“IT PLEASED GOD”
PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 1910.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON,
ON LORD’S-DAY EVENING, OCTOBER 19, 1862.
“It pleased God.” Galatians 1:15.
WE will read the whole verse from which our text is taken—“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His Grace.” You will perceive, I think, in these words, that the Divine plan of salvation is very clearly laid down. It begins, you see, in the will and pleasure of God—“when it pleased God.” The foundation of salvation is not laid in the will of man. “It is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy.” It does not begin with man’s obedience and then proceed onward to the purpose of God—but here is its commencement, here the fountainhead from which the Living Waters flow—“It pleased God.” Next to the Sovereign will and good pleasure of God comes the act of separation, commonly known by the name of election. This act is said, in the text, to take place even in the mother’s womb, by which we are taught that it took place before our birth when as yet we could have done nothing whatever to win it or to merit it! God separated us from the earliest part and time of our being! And, indeed, long before that, when as yet the mountains and hills were not piled and the oceans were not formed by His creative power, He had, in His eternal purpose, set us apart for Himself. Then, after this act of separation came the effectual calling—“and called me by His Grace.” The calling does not cause the election—the election, springing from the Divine purpose, causes the calling! The calling comes as a consequence of the Divine purpose and the Divine separation, and you will note how the obedience follows the calling. The Apostle does not begin to be a preacher, according to the purpose and will of God, until first of all the Spirit of God has called him out of his state of nature into a state of Grace. So the whole process runs thus—first the sacred, Sovereign purpose of God, then the distinct and definite election or separation, then the effectual and irresistible calling and then afterwards, the obedience unto life, and the sweet fruits of the Spirit which spring from there. They err, not knowing the Scriptures, who put any of these processes before the others, out of the Scriptural order. They who put man’s will first, know not what they say, nor whereof they affirm, for it is not of the will of man, says the Apostle in the most peremptory and positive manner—the salvation of any soul is a display of the eternal purpose and Sovereign will of God!
And, Beloved, by this test may we know the certainty of our election, if we have obediently yielded to the call of God. If the Divine calling has produced in us the fruit of obedience, then we may assuredly believe that we were separated unto God before time began, and that this separation was according to the eternal purpose and will of God! Like golden links of a chain, any one of these will draw on the others. Am I justified? Then I was called by God’s Grace. Am I called? Then I was predestined to be called and, on the other hand, if I was predestined, then I shall be called, being called, I shall be justified, being justified, I shall be glorified! I think I have used this illustration before. On that bank of the great river of time is the massive pillar of Divine Foreknowledge and Predestination, and on the other side of the river is the equally massive pillar of Glorification. How are we to bridge these two? Both of these pillars are in the mists and clouds of eternity, but these stupendous chains stretch right across the intervening chasm—“Whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” If I want to know Continue reading