Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Our Sovereign God

From the unsurpassed pen of Pastor Charles Haddon Spurgeon comes these wonderfully comforting and sobering words for God's own chosen ones:

"There is no attribute more comforting to His children, than that of
God's sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials--they believe that sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that sovereignty overrules them, and that sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend, than the doctrine of their Master over all creation--the kingship of God over all the works of His own hands--the throne of God and His right to sit upon that throne.

On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldlings, no truth of which they have made such a football--as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine, of the sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow God to be everywhere, except on His throne. They will allow Him to be in His workshop to fashion worlds and make stars. They will allow Him to be in His almonry to dispense His alms and bestow His bounties. They will allow Him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean; but when God ascends His throne--then His creatures gnash their teeth!

We proclaim an enthroned God, and His right to do as He wills with His own, to dispose of His creatures as He thinks well, without consulting them in the matter. Then it is, that we are hissed and execrated; and then it is, that men turn a deaf ear to us--for God on His throne--is not the God they love. But it is God upon the throne that we love to preach. It is God upon His throne, whom we trust!"

(HT: Grace Gems)

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Truth About Unity

Several months ago, during a conversation with one of the elders at our former church, the elder quoted to me John 17:22 (Jesus praying "that they may be one"). The elder intended this to chide me for participating in something he and the other elders saw as disturbing the unity of that church.

By His grace, the Lord led me to respond to this elder with John 17:17 a few verses before -- Jesus praying, "Sanctify them by thy truth, thy word is truth."

Then, this morning, I saw this quote from Spurgeon, in which he makes the same connection the Lord had shown me during my conversation with this elder:

To remain divided is sinful! Did not our Lord pray, that they may
be one, even as we are one”? (John 17:22). A chorus of ecumenical
voices keep harping the unity tune. What they are saying is,
“Christians of all doctrinal shades and beliefs must come together
in one visible organization, regardless… Unite, unite!” Such
teaching is false, reckless and dangerous.
Truth alone must
determine our alignments. Truth comes before unity. Unity without truth is hazardous. Our Lord’s prayer in John 17 must be read in its full context. Look at verse 17: “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” Only those sanctified through the Word can be one in Christ. To teach otherwise is to betray the Gospel.

Thanks be to God.

-Charles H. Spurgeon.