Spurgeon Thursday

THE SECURITY OF BELIEVERS—OR, SHEEP WHO SHALL NEVER PERISH NO. 2120

 INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD’S-DAY, DECEMBER 29, 1889,

 DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,

AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON THURSDAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 5, 1889.

 My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life.  And they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.  My Father, which gave them Me is greater than all. And no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.

John 10:27-30

 Spurgeon Pen & InkOUR Savior did not hesitate to preach the deeper doctrines of the Gospel to the most miscellaneous assembly. When He began to preach where He was brought up, they all gathered with admiration about Him, until He preached the doctrine of election. And then, straightway, they were so angry that they would have destroyed Him. They could not bear to hear of the widows of Israel passed by and the woman of Sarepta chosen—nor of a heathen leper healed, while the many lepers of their own race were left to die.

Election seems to heat the blood and fire the wrath of many. Not that they care to be chosen of God themselves. But, like the dog in the manger, they would keep other people out of the privilege. Not even to prevent these displays of bad temper did our Lord keep back the discriminating Truths of the Word. Here, when addressing the Jews, he did not hesitate to speak, even to a rude rabble, concerning that glorious doctrine.

He says, “You believe not, because you are not of My sheep, as I said unto you.” He does not lower the standard of the doctrine. But He holds His ground and carries the war into the enemy’s camp. The notion that certain truths are not fit to be preached to a general assembly but are to be kept for the special gathering of the saints, is, I believe, horribly mischievous. Christ has not commanded us to keep a part of our teaching reserved from the common folk and set aside for the priests alone.

He is for openly proclaiming all the Truths of God. “What I tell you in darkness, that speak you in light: and what you hear in the ear, that preach you upon the housetops.” There is no Truth of God that we need be ashamed of and there is no Truth of God that will do any harm. We grant you that every truth can be twisted—but even this would be a less evil than the concealment of it. Whatever the doctrine may be, ungodly men can pervert it according to their own lusts— and if we have to stop preaching a doctrine because of the possibility of perverting it, we shall never preach anything at all, for every truth may be perverted and made to be the mother of infinite mischief.

Our Savior did not teach His disciples to keep certain things for the instructed few who were able to receive them. But He bade us publish all the great Truths of God, since they are necessary for conviction, for conversion, for edification, for sanctification, and for the perfecting of the people of God. Even to His brutish opponents He exhibited but little reserve. He flashed in the faces of His adversaries this grand but humbling Truth, “You believe not, because you are not of My sheep.” Your unbelief is just an evidence that you were not chosen, that you have not been called by the Spirit of God and that you are still in your sins.

The Jews had said to him, “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” They professed that they wanted to know more certainly concerning Him. This was a vain pretense, for He had told them all they needed to know and they had not believed Him. Therefore He answered them to a large degree by making them know more about themselves. Sometimes the point in which a man is deficient is not as to the Gospel, but as to his own need of it. He may know all of Christ that is needful for his salvation but he may not know enough about himself and his own lost condition.

And therefore he is not in the way in which Christ becomes precious to him, because he is ignorant of his deep and terrible need. So the Savior began to talk to them, not so much about Himself as about His people and what they were to be. “My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me.”

I pray God, the Holy Spirit, to bless the Word to many, that they may learn more about the work of Christ in their hearts and more about their need of it—and thus may be led to seek Jesus and find Him tonight as their Savior and their Shepherd.

There are two things in my text which will suffice for our meditation. First, here is a description given of the Lord’s people. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me.” And then, secondly, there is a privilege secured to them, namely, their everlasting, unquestionable safety. “I give unto them eternal life. And they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all. And no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are One.”

I. First, and all that I can say will be but little, considering the largeness of the subject, let us notice THE DESCRIPTION HERE GIVEN OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD.

They are first described by a specialty of possession—“My sheep.” All men are not sheep, for some are foxes, Continue reading

Whosoever Will

Many times when I have spoken to someone about the electing grace of God, the response has been, “I believe in WHOSOEVER WILL.” I suppose that such a response is meant to imply that these two Bible teachings are mutually exclusive of one another or perhaps even diametrically opposed. Everyone who preaches the electing love of God believes that THE ELECT WILLINGLY COME TO CHRIST! The fact is that not only do I believe WHOSOEVER WILL. I know WHO they are! Our Lord said, “All that the Father giveth to me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). Our Lord said, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and learned of the Father, cometh unto me” (John 6:45). Our Lord said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). The heavenly Father said to His beloved Son, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power” (Psalm 110:3). Who will come to Christ? Those who have been given to Christ, taught of the Father, and made willing in the day of our Lord’s power. They are His sheep! – Tim James

God’s Absolute Sovereignty

God is SovereignNo doctrine is more despised by the natural mind than the truth that God is absolutely sovereign. Human pride loathes the suggestion that God orders everything, controls everything, rules over everything. The carnal mind, burning with enmity against God, abhors the biblical teaching that nothing comes to pass except according to His eternal decrees. Most of all, the flesh hates the notion that salvation is entirely God’s work. If God chose who would be saved, and if His choice was settled before the foundation of the world, then believers deserve no credit for their salvation.

But that is, after all, precisely what Scripture teaches. Even faith is God’s gracious gift to His elect. Jesus said, “No one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father” (John 6:65). “Nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27). Therefore no one who is saved has anything to boast about (cf Eph. 2:8, 9). “Salvation is from the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). . . .

Moreover, everything that exists in the universe exists because God allowed it, decreed it, and called it into existence. “Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases” (Ps. 115:3). “Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps” (Ps. 135:6). He “works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11). “From Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Rom. 11:36). “For us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him” (1 Cor. 8:6). . . .

Paul anticipated the argument against divine sovereignty: “You will say to me then, ‘Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?’” (v. 19). In other words, doesn’t God’s sovereignty cancel out human responsibility? But rather than offering a philosophical answer or a deep metaphysical argument, Paul simply reprimanded the skeptic: “On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use?” (vv. 20, 21).

Scripture affirms both divine sovereignty and human responsibility. We must accept both sides of the truth, though we may not understand how they correspond to one another. People are responsible for what they do with the gospel—or with whatever light they have (Rom. 2:19, 20), so that punishment is just if they reject the light. And those who reject do so voluntarily. Jesus lamented, “You are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life” (John 5:40). He told unbelievers, “Unless you believe that I am [God], you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). In John chapter 6, our Lord combined both divine sovereignty and human responsibility when He said, “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (v. 37); “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life” (v. 40); “No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (v. 44); “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life” (v. 47); and, “No one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father” (v. 65). How both of those two realities can be true simultaneously cannot be understood by the human mind—only by God.

Above all, we must not conclude that God is unjust because He chooses to bestow grace on some but not to everyone. God is never to be measured by what seems fair to human judgment. Are we so foolish as to assume that we who are fallen, sinful creatures have a higher standard of what is right than an unfallen and infinitely, eternally holy God? What kind of pride is that? In Psalm 50:21 God says, “You thought that I was just like you.” But God is not like us, nor can He be held to human standards. “‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isa. 55:8, 9).

We step out of bounds when we conclude that anything God does isn’t fair. In Romans 11:33 the apostle writes, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?” (Rom. 11:33, 34).

– John MacArthur, ‘God’s Absolute Sovereignty