Sermon Quotes: "Sovereign Grace"

“The subject of predestination, which in itself is attended by considerable difficulty, is rendered very perplexed, and hence perilous, by human curiosity, which cannot be restrained from wandering into forbidden paths. Let it, therefore, be our first principle that to desire any other knowledge of predestination than that which is expounded by the word of God, is no less infatuated than to walk where there is no path, or to seek light in darkness. The best rule of sobriety is, not only in learning to follow wherever God leads, but also when he makes an end of teaching to cease from wishing to be wise.” John Calvin

“We give our hand to every man that loves the Lord Jesus Christ. The doctrine of election, like the great act of election itself, is intended to divide, not between Israel and Israel, but between Israel and the Egyptians,-not between saint and saint, but between saints and the children of the world. A man may be evidently of God’s chosen family, and yet though elected, may not believe in the doctrine of election. I hold that there are many savingly called, who do not believe in effectual calling, and that there are many who persevere to the end, who do not believe the doctrine of final perseverance. We do hope the hearts of many are a great deal better than their heads. We do not set their fallacies down to any willful opposition to the truth as it is in Jesus but simply to an error in their judgments, which we pray God to correct. We hope that if they think us mistaken too, they will reciprocate the same Christian courtesy; and when we meet around the cross, we hope that we shall ever feel that we are one in Christ Jesus.” Charles Spurgeon

“We must therefore affirm both God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility; both God’s sovereign grace and our active participation in the process of salvation. We can only do justice to biblical teaching if we firmly hold on to both sides of the paradox. But since God is the Creator and we are his creatures, God must have the priority. Hence we must maintain that the ultimately decisive factor in the process of our salvation is the sovereign grace of God. The decisive factor in determining who is to be saved from sin is not the decisions of the human beings concerned, but the sovereign grace of God-though human decision does play a significant role in the process.” Anthony Hoekema

“After giving a brief survey of these doctrines of sovereign grace, I asked for questions from the class. One lady, in particular, was quite troubled. She said, ‘This is the most awful thing I’ve ever heard! You make it sound as if God is intentionally turning away men and women who would be saved, receiving only the elect.’ I answered her in this vein: ‘You misunderstand the situation. You’re visualizing that God is standing at the door of heaven, and men are thronging to get in the door, and God is saying to various ones, ‘Yes, you man come, but not you, and you, but not you.’ The situation is hardly this. Rather, God stands at the door of heaven with his arms outstretched, inviting all to come. Yet all men without exception are running in the opposite direction towards hell as hard as they can go. So God, in election, graciously reaches out and stops this one, and that one, and this one over here, and that one over there, and effectively draws them to Himself by changing their hearts, making them willing to come. Election keeps no one out of heaven who would otherwise have been there, but it keeps a whole multitude of sinners out of hell who otherwise would have been there. Were it not for election, heaven would be an empty place, and hell would be bursting at the seams. That kind of response, grounded as I believe that it is in Scriptural truth, does put a different complexion on things, doesn’t it? If you perish in hell, blame yourself, as it is entirely your fault. But if you should make it to heaven, credit God, for that is entirely His work! To Him alone belong all praise and glory, for salvation is all of grace, from start to finish.” Mark Webb

“I believe in the doctrine of election because I am quite certain that, if God had not chosen me, I should never have chosen Him; and I am sure He chose me before I was born, or else He never would have chosen me afterwards; And He must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why He should have looked upon me with special love.” Charles Spurgeon

“Unless you have election as the ultimate reason as to why you are a Christian, then you have reason to boast.” Kevin DeYoung

“God intentionally designed salvation so that no man can boast of it. He didn’t merely arrange it so that boasting would be discouraged or kept to a minimum. He planned it so that boasting would be absolutely excluded. Election does precisely that.” Mark Webb

“That God has planned our redemption from all eternity delivers a declaration louder than any thunderclap. It is that he is for us, that he has always been for us. He was for us in the far reaches of eternity. It was there he took thoughts of us even before we existed. It was there that he planned to act for us. This plan was there from the very beginning. He planned to do this knowing that once we fell into the disorder of sin our fist would be raised against him. But his grace preceded us. It preempted our refusal to submit to him. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He refused to abandon us as orphans in the world. On the contrary, from all eternity he planned to effect our rescue and adoption. Can we find a more reassuring word than this?” David Wells

“Paul is not standing at his desk engaged in dialectical argumentation; rather he is on his knees, lost in adoring worship.” Bruce Milne