Last night I opened my copy of Spurgeon’s Sermons once again and began to read through volume two and his message on “Election.” These sermons are feeding my soul. Solid food, for sure, from Mr. Spurgeon.
This one was originally preached on September 2, 1855, and it’s a remarkable work. Biblical to the core, but with a critical approach to the doctrine of election that is sorely needed today. Here’s a sampling:1
First, I think election, to a saint, is one of the most stripping doctrines in all the world—to take away all trust in the flesh, or all reliance upon anything except Jesus Christ. How often do we wrap ourselves up in our own righteousness, and array ourselves with the false pearls and gems of our own works and doings. We begin to say “Now I shall be saved, because I have this and that evidence.” Instead of that, it is naked faith that saves; that faith and that alone unites to the Lamb, irrespective of works, although it is productive of them. How often do we lean on some work, other than that of our own Beloved, and trust in some might, other than that which comes from on high. Now if we would have this might taken from us, we must consider election. Pause my soul, and consider this. God loved thee before thou hadst a being. He loved thee when thou wast dead in trespasses and sins, and sent his Son to die for thee. He purchased thee with his precious blood ere thou couldst lisp his name. Canst thou then be proud?
I know nothing, nothing again, that is more humbling for us than this doctrine of election. I have sometimes fallen prostrate before it, when endeavouring to understand it. I have stretched my wings, and, eagle-like, I have soared towards the sun. Steady has been my eye, and true my wing, for a season; but, when I came near it, and the one thought possessed me, “God hath from the beginning chosen you unto salvation.” I was lost in its lustre, I was staggered with the mighty thought; and from the dizzy elevation down came my soul, prostrate and broken, saying, “Lord, I am nothing, I am less than nothing. Why me? Why me?”
Friends, if you want to be humbled, study election, for it will make you humble under the influence of God’s Spirit. He who is proud of his election is not elect; and he who is humbled under a sense of it may believe that he is. He has every reason to believe that he is, for it is one of the most blessed effects of election that it helps us to humble ourselves before God.
While Spurgeon anchored this message to the text of 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14, there were a number of passages that he expounded upon, including: Luke 18:7; John 15:16; 17:8–9; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:29, 33; 9:11–13; 11:7; 1 Corinthians 1:26–29; Ephesians 1:14; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1–2; and 2 John 1.
It is a tremendous survey on the doctrine of election and I commend it to you to read in its entirety (here from The Spurgeon Archive). You will be richly blessed and humbled for doing so.
1 Spurgeon, Charles Haddon. Spurgeon’s Sermons Volume Two (Peabody: Hendrickson Publisher’s Marketing, 2011).83-84.