Posted On April 20, 2020

Spurgeon: God is Good and God is Sovereign

by | Apr 20, 2020 | Theology

God is good and sovereign! The following is taken from Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s Sermon “A View of God’s Glory”.  The section below was particularly edifying to me (the remaining words are all Spurgeon’s):

“Do not be alarmed, my Friends, because I am going to preach about Divine Sovereignty. I know some people, when they hear about Sovereignty, say, “Oh, we are going to have some terrible high Doctrine!” But as it is in the Bible, that ought to be enough for you. Is not that all you need to know? If God says, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy,” it is not for you to say that it is high Doctrine.

Who told you it was high Doctrine? It is good Doctrine. What right have you to call one Doctrine high and another low? Would you like me to have a Bible with “H” against high, and “L” against low, so that I should leave the high Doctrine out to please you? My Bible has no mark of that kind! It says, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious.” There is Divine Sovereignty!

I believe some are afraid to say anything about this great Doctrine lest they should offend some of their people, but, my Friends, it is true and you shall hear it! God is a Sovereign. He was a Sovereign before He made this world. He lived alone and this thought was in His mind, “Shall I make anything, or shall I not? I have a right to make creatures, or not to make any.”

He resolved that He would fashion a world. When He made it, He had a right to form the world in what shape and size He pleased. And He had a right, if He chose, to leave the globe untenanted by a single creature. When He had resolved to make man, He had a right to make him whatever kind of creature He liked. If He wished to make him a worm or a serpent, He had a right to do it. When He made him, He had a right to put any command on him that He pleased. And God had a right to say to Adam, “You shall not touch that forbidden tree.” And when Adam offended, God had a right to punish him and all the race forever in the bottomless pit!

God is so far Sovereign that He has a right, if He likes, to save anyone in this Chapel, or to crush all who are here. He has a right to take us all to Heaven if He pleases, or to destroy us. He has a right to do just as He pleases with us. We are as much in His hands as prisoners are in the hands of Her Majesty when they are condemned for a capital offense against the law of the land—yes, as much as clay in the hands of the potter. This is what He asserted when He said, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.”

This Doctrine stirs up your carnal pride, does it not? Men want to be somebody. They do not like to lie down before God and have it preached to them that God can do just as He wills with them. Ah, you may hate this Doctrine but it is what the Scripture tells us. Surely it is self-evident that God may do as He wills with His own! We all like to do what we will with our own property. God has said that if you go to His Throne in prayer, He will hear you—but He has a right not to do so if He likes. He has a right to do just as He pleases. If He chooses to let you go on in the error of your ways, that is His right. And if He says, as He does, “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” it is His right to do so.

That is the high and awful Doctrine of Divine Sovereignty!

Put the two together, goodness and Sovereignty, and you see God’s Glory! If you take Sovereignty alone, you will not understand God. Some people only have an idea of God’s Sovereignty and not of His goodness—such are usually gloomy, harsh and ill humored. You must put the two together—that God is good and that God is a Sovereign. You must speak of Sovereign Grace. God is not gracious alone, He is sovereignly gracious! He is not Sovereign alone, but He is graciously Sovereign. That is the true idea of God. When Moses said, “I beseech You, show me Your Glory.” God made him see that He was glorious and that His Glory was His Sovereign goodness. Surely, Beloved, we cannot be wrong in loving the Doctrine of free, unmerited, distinguishing Grace when we see it thus mentioned as the brightest jewel in the crown of our Covenant God! Do not be afraid of Election and Sovereignty.

The time has come when our ministers must tell us more about them or, if not, our souls will be so lean and starved that we shall mutiny for the Bread of Life! Oh, may God send us more thorough Gospel men who will preach Sovereign Grace as the Glory of the Gospel!”

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