No Man

“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:44

How then does the Father draw men? Arminian preachers generally say that God draws men by the preaching of the gospel. Very true; the preaching of the gospel is the instrument of drawing men, but there must be something more than this. Let me ask to whom did Christ address these words? Why, to the people of Capernaum, where He had often preached, where He had uttered mournfully and plaintively the woes of the Law and the invitations of the gospel. In that city He had done many mighty works and worked many miracles. In fact, such teaching and such miraculous attestation had He given them, that He declared that Tyre and Sidon would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes if they had been blessed with such privileges.

Now, if the preaching of Christ Himself did not avail to the enabling these men to come to Christ, it cannot be possible that all that was intended by the drawing of the Father was simply preaching. No, brethren, you must note again, He does not say no man can come except the minister draw him, but except the Father draw him. Now there is such a thing as being drawn by the gospel, and drawn by the minister, without being drawn by God. Clearly, it is a divine drawing that is meant, a drawing by the Most High God—the First Person of the most glorious Trinity sending out the Third Person the Holy Spirit, to induce men to come to Christ.

– Charles Spurgeon

Romans 11:36

For from him and through him and to him are all things.  To Him be glory forever, Amen” (ESV).

I have had this verse of scripture on my mind for the past few weeks. In God’s amazing providence, this passage of scripture has turned up in several books that I have been reading, in blog posts that I have “happened” across, and in my own reading of the Bible.  After the 3rd or 4th time coming across this passage, the thought hit me that ‘maybe this is important’ so I started thinking about it and then searching out commentary on it.  While I realize the the Apostle Paul wrote much of the New Testament, but, I’m inclined to think that this verse, this one sentence, these 18 words, or 66 letters, is the most important thing Paul ever wrote!  It puts the entire focus of what Paul had written in the book of Romans to this point on God, and God alone.  What grander focus could there ever be?

I want to share two sermons based on Romans 11:36 that have blessed me tremendously.  One is from our own time and one is from 150 years ago.  One is in video format and one is written, but both should cause our minds to soar to new heights and depths of thoughts of the grandeur of God.

All Things Are from God, Through God, and to God. The Glory Is All His

John Piper concludes this video message with the following 5 questions:

Do you love the thought that you exist to make God look glorious?

Do you love the thought that all creation exists to display the glory of God?

Do you love the truth that all of history is designed by God to one day be a completed canvas that displays in the best way possible the greatness and beauty of God?

Do you love the fact that Jesus Christ came into the world to vindicate the righteousness of God and repair the injury that we had done to the reputation of the glory of God?

Do you love the truth you personally exist to make God look like what he really is—glorious?

My heart and mind want to cry out with Paul, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Romans 11:33).

Laus Deo

DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, MAY 29, 1864,

BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON,

AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

MY text consists almost entirely of monosyllables, but it contains the loftiest of sublimities. Such a tremendous weight of meaning is concentrated here, that an archangel’s eloquence would fail to convey its teaching in all its Glory to any finite minds, even if seraphs were his hearers! I will affirm that there is no man living who can preach from my text a sermon worthy of it; no, that among all the sacred orators, and the eloquent pleaders for God, there never did live and never will live, a man capable of reaching the height of the great argument contained in these few simple words. I utterly despair of success and will not, therefore, make an attempt to work out the Infinite Glory of this sentence. Our great God alone can expound this verse, for He only knows Himself, and He only can worthily set forth His own perfections. Yet I am comforted by this reflection, that maybe, in answer to our prayers, God Himself may preach from this text this morning in our hearts! If not through the words of the speaker, yet by that still small voice to which the Believer’s ear is so well accustomed. If thus He shall condescend to favor us, our hearts shall be lifted up in His ways!

Read the rest of this sermon here.

My prayer is that these two sermons would cause you to think of God differently.  Why did God create the world?  To shine forth His Glory.  He did not create this world to make much of mankind, which, for the most part, is a foreign thought to many Christians, not to mention those who are not Christians.  God created this world to make much of His glory, splendor and majesty.  Those of us who are truly His should live in in the light of this fact and constantly ask ourselves, “Do you love the thought that you exist to make God look glorious?”

To Him be glory forever, Amen!

 

 

 

Spurgeon’s View On Inerrancy

There are two things I want to say before I sit down. The first is, let us hold fast, tenaciously, doggedly, with a death grip, the truth of the inspiration of God’s Word. If it is not inspired and infallible, it cannot be of use in warning us.  I see little use in being warned when the warning may be like the idle cry of “Wolf!” when there is no wolf. Everything in the railway service depends upon the accuracy of the signals: when these are wrong, life will be sacrificed. On the road to heaven we need unerring signals, or the catastrophes will be far more terrible. It is difficult enough to set myself right and carefully drive the train of conduct; but if, in addition to this, I am to set the Bible right, and thus manage the signals along the permanent way, I am in an evil plight indeed. If the red light or the green light may deceive me, I am as well without signals as to trust to such faulty guides. We must have something fixed and certain or where is the foundation?  Where is the fulcrum for our lever if nothing is certain? If I may not implicitly trust my Bible, you may burn it, for it is of no more use to me. If it is not inspired, it ceases to be a power either to warn or to command obedience.  Beloved, others may say what they will, but here I stand bearing this witness: “The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”

While you hold fast its inspiration, pray God to prove its inspiration to you. Its gentle but effectual warning will prove its inspiration. This precious Book has pulled me up many times, and put me to a pause, when else I had gone on to sin. At another time I should have sat still had it not made me leap to my feet to flee from evil or seek good. To me it is a monitor, whose voice I prize. There is a power about his Book which is not in any other. I do not care whether it be the highest poetry, or the freshest science; each must yield to the power of the Word of God. Nothing ever plays on the cords of a man’s soul like the finger of God’s Spirit. This Book can touch the deep springs of my being, and make the life-floods to flow forth. The Word of God is the great power of God; and it is well that you should know it to be so by its power over you. One said, “ I cannot believe the Bible.” Another answered, “I cannot disbelieve it.” When this question was raised: “Why cannot you disbelieve?” the believer answered, “I know the Author, and I am sure of his truthfulness.”  There is the point; if we know the Author, we know that his witness is true, and knowing it to be true, we take his warnings, and follow his commands. May the Lord work in us to will and to do of his own good pleasure; then shall the Book be more and more precious in our eyes; and this sense of its preciousness will be one of the rewards which come to us in keeping the statutes of the Lord. So be it unto you through Christ Jesus! Amen.

Taken from the sermon “The Warnings and the Rewards of the Word of God” preached March 16th 1890

Spurgeon Thursday

 THE WAILING OF RISCA

NO. 349

A SERMON DELIVERED ON SABBATH MORNING, DECEMBER 9, 1860,
BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON,
AT EXETER HALL, STRAND.

Suddenly are my tents spoiled and my curtains in a moment.” Jeremiah 4:20.

Youthful Charles Spurgeon  THE sorrow of the weeping Prophet was exceedingly heavy when he uttered these words of bitter lamentation. A great and present burden from the Lord is weighing so heavily upon our hearts this morning that we cannot spare so much as a moment for sympathy with the griefs of past ages. God has visited our land and His strokes have been exceedingly hard. We are constrained to take up a wailing and cry aloud, “Suddenly are my tents spoiled and my curtains in a moment.”

There is a spot in South Wales which has frequently yielded me a quiet and delightful retreat. Beautiful for situation, surrounded by lofty mountains, pierced by romantic valleys—the breathing of its air refreshes the body and the sight of the eyes makes glad the heart. I have climbed its hills, I have seen the ever-widening landscape, the mountains of Wales, the plains of England and the seas sparkling afar. I have descended the hills and marked the mist creeping up the side of the hills and covering the woods in clouds. I have mingled with its godly men and women and worshipped God in their assemblies.

These lips have ministered the Word in that once happy valley. I have been fired with the glorious enthusiasm of the people when they have listened to the Word. Well does my soul remember one night which I shall never forget in time or in eternity, when, crowded together in the place of worship, hearty Welsh miners responded to every word of Christ’s minister with their “gogoniants” encouraging me to preach the Gospel and crying “Glory to God” while the message was proclaimed.

I remember how they constrained me and kept me well nigh to midnight, preaching three sermons one after another, almost without rest—for they loved to listen to the Gospel. God was present with us and many a time has the baptismal pool been stirred since then by the fruit of that night’s labor. Nor shall I ever forget when standing in the open air beneath God’s blue sky I addressed a mighty gathering within a short distance of that spot. The Spirit of God was poured upon us and men and women were swayed to and fro under the heavenly message as the corn is moved in waves by the summer winds. Great was our joy that day when the people met together in thousands and with songs and praises separated to their homes, talking of what they had heard.

But now our visitation of that neighborhood must ever be mingled with sorrow. How has God been pleased to smite down strong men and to take away the young men upon a sudden! “How suddenly are my tents spoiled and my curtains in a moment.” Oh, valley of Risca, I take up a lamentation for you—the Lord has dealt sorely with you. Behold and see if there is sorrow in any valley like unto your sorrow which is done unto you. The angel of death has emptied out his quiver upon you.

The awful reaper has gathered to himself full sheaves from your beautiful valley.

You all know the story—it scarcely needs that I should tell it to you. Last Saturday week some two hundred or more miners descended in health and strength to their usual work in the bowels of the earth. They had not been working long—their wives and their children had risen and their little ones had gone to their schools when suddenly there was heard a noise at the mouth of the pit—it was an explosion—all knew what it meant. Men’s hearts failed them, for well they prophesied the horror which would soon reveal itself.

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Round Up

Using Discernment with Entertainment – Though we are in this world, we are not of this world (John 17:14-16). That means we can’t watch every movie, laugh at every joke on television, download every new music album, click on every online video, or visit every Internet page. Taking a stand for righteousness in your own life and family is not being legalistic. It’s being Christian.

Don’t Stain Glass the Bible – Lots of Christians have a habit of “stained glassing” Bible characters.  Sometimes it seems like pretty much anyone other than Jezebel and Judas Iscariot will get a free pass and find their actions vindicated by believers. The Bible is full of real people with real issues and real messy mixed up faith responses.

Divine Mathematics – If a person wants to maximize their life by living for the glory of God, then that person needs to be passionate about evangelism. If the Lord has saved you, he has saved you for a purpose: to live for the glory of God.

Weekly Highlights at Monergism – A list of links to some really good reformed articles.

Quote:

“In the very beginning, when this great universe lay in the mind of God, like unborn forests in the acorn cup; long before the echoes awoke the solitudes; before the mountains were brought forth; and long before the light flashed through the sky, God loved His chosen creatures. Before there was any created being — when the ether was not fanned by an angel’s wing, when space itself had not an existence, where there was nothing save God alone — even then, in that loneliness of Deity, and in that deep quiet and profundity, His heart moved with love for His chosen. Their names were written on His heart, and then were they dear to His soul. Jesus loved His people before the foundation of the world — even from eternity! and when He called me by His grace, He said to me, ‘I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee’” – Charles H. Spurgeon

Gospel-Shaped Affections: Rejoicing In The Lord Always

I listened to this sermon by Mike Riccardi on my way to work yesterday.  It is an outstanding sermon on joy and the fact that we are commanded to rejoice in the Lord.  You can either listen to it or read the transcript below.

Introduction

Mike2We return again this morning to the fourth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Philippians: Philippians chapter 4. And we find ourselves in the middle of a collection of Paul’s concluding exhortations—a set of rapid-fire commands to the saints at the church of Philippi. And what unites those commands thematically is that they are the means of achieving the spiritual stability that Paul has called them to in chapter 4 verse 1. As a conclusion to all he’s warned them about in chapter 3—the legalism of the Judaizers, the error of the perfectionists, and the sensuality of the antinomians—and especially in light of their present citizenship in heaven and their glorious future at Christ’s return, Paul culminates in chapter 4 verse 1: “Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.”

And if we are in a right spirit here this morning, the prospect of spiritual stability is attractive to us. Those of us who belong to Christ and who are rightly related to Him deeply desire to be consistently growing into greater spiritual maturity. We want to be spiritually stable—the kind of enduring, unwavering, uncompromising people that are faithful to the Lord and His Word even in the midst of great opposition. We don’t want to be the kind of people who are characterized by instability, whose Christian life is littered with fits and starts and highs and lows and peaks and valleys. Now, it’s true that, given the principle of indwelling sin, some degree of that is unavoidable. But as much as we can, we’d like to avoid that. By the grace of God we want to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Cor 15:58). We want to stand firm.

And so the important question, then, is, “By what means can I attain that spiritual stability? How can I make this holy aspiration a reality in my life?” Well it’s just that question that Paul answers in this Continue reading