Monday, December 7, 2009

Yesterday I read Pink's classic work again in preparation for my sermon on Psalm 47 this week at Church. God is good and He truly is the Sovereign King.

Quotes from A. W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God. Revised edition. Reprint, 1928. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1998.

“From every pulpit in the land it needs to be thundered forth that God still lives, that God still observes, that God still reigns.” (p.15).

“Learn then this basic truth, that the Creator is absolute Sovereign, executing His own will, performing His own pleasure, and considering naught but His own glory. “The Lord hath made all things FOR HIMSELF. (Prov 16:4). And had He not a perfect right to do so? Since God is God, who dare challenge His prerogative? To murmur against Him is rank rebellion. To question His ways is to impugn His wisdom. To criticize Him is sin of the deepest dye. Have we forgotten who He is?” (p.30).

“Because God governs inanimate matter… when we complain about the weather, we are, in reality, murmuring against God” (36).

“’The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will” (Prov 21:1). What could be more explicit? Out of the heart are the issues of life (Prov 4:23), for as a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he (Prov 23:7). If then the heart is in the hand of the Lord, and if ‘He turneth it whithersoever He will,” is it not clear that men, yea, governors and rulers, and so all men, are completely beneath the governmental control of the Almighty!” (40-41).

“Ah, the heathen may ‘rage’ and the people imagine a ‘vain thing’; the kings of the earth may ‘set themselves,’ and the ruler take counsel together against the Lord and against His Christ . . . but God knows that He can crush men like moths when He pleases, or consume them in a moment with the breath of His mouth. Ah, it is but ‘a vain thing’ for the potsherds of the earth to strive with the glorious Majesty of Heaven. Such is our God; worship ye Him” (p.42).

“The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. His government is exercised over inanimate matter, over the brute beasts, over the children of men, over angels good and evil, and over Satan Himself. NO revolving of a world, no shining of a star, no storm, no movement of a creature, no actions of men, no errands of angels, no deeds of the Devil—nothing in all the vast universe can come to pass otherwise than God has eternally purposed. Here is a foundation for faith. Here is a resting place for the intellect. Here is an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast. It is not blind fate, unbridled evil, man or Devil, but the Lord Almighty who is ruling the world, ruling it according to His own good pleasure and for His own eternal glory” (p.44).

“To say that Christ died for all alike, to say that He became the Substitute and Surety of the whole human race, to say that He suffered on behalf of and in the stead of all mankind, is to say that He ‘bore the curse for many who are now bearing the curse for themselves; that He suffered punishment for many who are now lifting up their own eyes in Hell, being in torments; that He paid the redemption price for many who shall yet pay in their own eternal anguish ‘the wages of sin, which is death’” (quote from GS

Bishop) p.59

“To say that He made an atonement which fully atones is to say that He paid a price which actually ransoms” (59)

“Will Christ ever force anyone to receive Him as Savior? In one sense this is true, but in another sense it is positively untrue. The salvation of any sinner is a matter of Divine power. By nature the sinner is at enmity with God, and naught but Divine power operating within him, can overcome this enmity; hence it is written, “no man can come unto Me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him (John 6:44). It is the Divine power overcoming the sinner’s innate enmity which makes him willing to come to Christ that he might have life” (p.61).

“The new birth is due to the sovereign will of the Spirit” (69).

“The new birth is solely the work of God the Spirit and man has NO part or lot in causing it . . . birth altogether excludes the idea of any effort or work on the part of the one who is born” (69).

“Here is a servant of God who preaches the Gospel to a congregation in which are an hundred unsaved people. He brings before them the teaching of Scripture concerning their ruined and lost condition; he speaks of God, His character and righteous demands; he tells of Christ meeting God’s demands, an dying the Just for the unjust, and declares that through “this Man” is now preached the forgiveness of sins; he closes by urging the lost to believe what God has said in His Word and receive His Son as their own personal Savior. The meeting is over; the congregation disperses; ninety-nine of the unsaved have refused to come to Christ that they might have life, and go out into the night having no hope, and without GO din the world. But the hundredth hears the Word of life; the Seed sown falls into ground which has been prepared by God; he believes the Good News, and goes home rejoicing that His name is written in heaven. He has been ‘born again’ and just as a newly born babe in the natural world begins his life by clinging instinctively, in its helplessness, to its mother, so this new-born soul has clung to Christ.” (p.71).

“To speak hypothetically but reverently, if God had done nothing more than given Christ to die for sinners, not a single sinner would ever have been saved. In order for any sinner to see his need of a Savior and be willing to receive the Savior he needs, the work of the Holy Spirit upon and within him is imperatively required. Had God done nothing more than given Christ to die for sinner and then sent forth His servants to proclaim salvation through Christ, leaving sinners entirely to themselves to accept or reject as they pleased, then every sinner would have rejected, because at heart every man hates God and is at enmity with Him (Rom 8:7)” (p.72)

“Foreknowledge of future events then is founded upon God’s decrees, hence if God foreknows everything that is to be, it is because He has determined in Himself from all eternity everything which

will be—“Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18).” (p.75).

“The new birth is very much more than simply shedding a few years due to a temporary remorse over sin. It is far more than changing our course of life, the leaving off of bad habits and the substituting of good ones. It is something different from the mere cherishing and practicing of noble ideals. It goes infinitely deeper than coming forward to take some popular evangelist by the hand, signing a pledge-card, or “joining a church.” The new birth is no mere turning over a new leaf, but is the inception and reception of a new life. It is no mere reformation but a complete transformation. In short, the new birth is a miracle, the result of the supernatural operation of God. It is radical, revolutionary, lasting” (79).

“God has access to the hearts of all men and He may soften them according to His sovereign purpose” (84).

“Yes, God hardens men’s hearts. God blinds men’s minds. Yes, so Scripture represents Him. In developing this theme of the sovereignty of God in Operation we recognize that we have now reached its most solemn aspect of all, and that here especially, we need to keep very close indeed to the words of Holy Writ” (88).

“Man chooses that which is according to his nature, and therefore before he will ever choose or prefer that which is divine and spiritual, a new nature must be imparted to him; in other words, he must be born again” (93).

“How then is the sinner to move heavenwards? By an act of his own will? Not so. A power outside of himself must grasp hold of him and lift him every inch of the way. The sinner is free, but free in one direction only—free to fall, free to sin!” (101).

“God requires that we shall worship Him and prayer, real prayer, is an act of worship” (114).

“Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude—an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God. Prayer is a confession of creature weakness, yea, of helplessness. Prayer is the acknowledgement of our need and the spreading of it before God” (121).

“irreverence begets disobedience” (126)

“A true recognition of God’s sovereignty will avow God’s perfect right to do with us as He wills. The one who bows to the pleasure of the Almighty will acknowledge His absolute right to do with us as seemeth Him good. If He chooses to send poverty, sickness, somestic bereavements, even while the heart is bleeding at every pore, it will say, “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right!” (128).

“It has been well said that ‘true worship is based upon RECOGNIZED GREATNESS, and greatness is superlatively seen in Sovereignty, and at no other footstool will men really worship (JB Moody). In the presence of the Divine King upon His throne even the seraphim ‘veil their faces’” (135).

“The doctrine of God’s sovereignty lies at the foundation of Christian theology, and in importance is perhaps second only to the Divine Inspiration of the Scriptures” (139).

“Divine sovereignty has ordained that some shall be condemned for their sins to show that all deserved such an end. But grace intervenes and draws out from a lost humanity a people for God’s name, to be throughout all eternity the monuments of His inscrutable favor. Sovereign grace reveals God breaking down the opposition of the human heart, subduing the enmity of the carnal mind, and bringing us to love Him because He first loved us” (141).

“To say, as alas! Many preachers are saying, God is willing to do His part if you will do yours, is a wretched and excuseless denial of the Gospel of His grace. To declare that God helps those who help themselves, is to repudiate one of the most precious truths taught in the Bible, and in the Bible alone; namely, that God helps those who are unable to help themselves, who have tried again and again, only to fail. To say that the sinner’s salvation turns upon the action of his own will, is another form of the Gos-dishonouring dogma of salvation by human efforts” (142).

“God is infinite in power, and therefore it is impossible to withstand His will or resist the outworking of His decrees” (p.144).

“God is too wise to err and too loving to cause His child a needless tear” (146)

“The secret of development of Christian character is the realization and acknowledgement of our own powerlessness, and the consequent turning unto the Lord for help” (154).

“What is God’s word of cheer for the one who is thoroughly disheartedned at the lack of response to his appeals and the absence of fruit of his labours (in evangelism)? This—that we are not responsible for results: that is God’s side, and God’s business. Paul may ‘plant,’ and Apollos may ‘water,’ but it is GOD who ‘gave the increase” (1 Cor 3:6). Our business is to obey Christ and preach the Gospel to every creature, to emphasize the ‘whosoever believeth” and then to leave the Holy Spirit to apply the Word in quickening power to whom He wills, resting on the sure promise of Jehovah” (p.156).

“Be it noted, in choosing the ones He did for salvation, God did no injustice to the others who were passed by, for none had any right to salvation. Salvation is by grace, and the exercise of grace is a matter of pure sovereignty—God might save all or none, many or few, one or ten thousand, just as He saw best” (158).

“God initiates all things, regulates all things, and all things are working unto His eternal glory” (158).


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