“We love him because he first loved us.” Here is the starting point of love’s race. This is the rippling rill which afterwards swells into a river, the torch which the pile of piety is kindled. The emancipated spirit loves the Savior for the freedom which He has conferred upon it; it beholds the agony with which the priceless gift was purchased, and it adores the bleeding Sufferer for the pains which He so generously endured.
On taking a survey of our whole life, we see that the kindness of God has run all through it like a silver thread.
There was never a soul yet that sincerely sought the Savior, who perished before he found Him. No; the gates of death shall never shut on you till the gates of grace have opened for you; till Christ has washed your sins away you shall never be baptized in Jordan’s flood. Your life is secure, for this is God’s constant plan—-He keeps His own elect alive till the day of His grace, and then He takes them to Himself. And inasmuch as you know your need of a Savior, you are one of His, and you shall never die until you have found him. God sends the right messenger to the right man. (Charles Spurgeon, ed. Al Bryant, “Day by Day with C. H. Spurgeon,” 218)
Besides the eloquence of Spurgeon’s speech, this reflection has some interesting implications behind it, at least to me. One of those, of course, has to do with the ‘unconditional election’ that Spurgeon speaks of in his ‘sermonette’. First of all this is a good example of how a Calvinist uses his theology in practical and pastoral ways, in ways that comfort the souls; especially of those who have family members or friends who have not yet come to Christ (although this could be a source of discomfort in that regard as well). But I am wondering about the person who does not hold to the Calvinist concept of election and reprobation; do you believe that God is sovereignly in control, and that He will most certainly make sure that the people He wants ‘saved’ will get ‘saved’? I just find it interesting, non-Calvinists can trumpet the sovereignty of God when it comes to everything else in life; but when it comes to who will get saved, or not, at that point it is not up to God, but man.
And I write this as a non-Calvinist; nevertheless I am ‘Reformed’, just not in the 5-point style that Spurgeon is. I find it interesting though, many Christians who claim to be non-Calvinist still function and talk like Spurgeon in regards to salvation. They still trust God to save those for whom they have been praying . . . but I suppose the caveat these folks might provide is that it depends upon how the ‘person’ determines to respond. Interesting.
. . . Resting upon Christ means wholly looking to Him for everything that has to do with our salvation. Genuine faith in Christ does not trust Him to pardon sin and then trust itself to overcome sin. It trusts Christ for both. We must depend upon the Lord to keep us to the end just as we do for pardon from the past. We rejoice in a Savior who promises to keep us as long as we keep ourselves. There must be no reliance for us but upon Christ for all things—-wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, ultimate perfection. We are complete in Christ and can add no perfection to Him. (Charles Spurgeon, ed. Robert Hall, “The Triumph of Faith in a Believer’s Life,” 20)