Eph 3 :21 Unto him be glory in the Church
by Christ Jesus throughout all ages
World Without End Amen

 

 

A. W. Pink

 

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD


THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

FOREWORD TO THE FIRST EDITION


June 1918.

ARTHUR W. PINK.

*Among those who have dealt most helpfully with the subject of God’s Sovereignty in recent years we mention Dr. Rice, J. B. Moody, and Bishop, from whose writings we have also received instruction.


FOREWORD TO THE SECOND EDITION


1921 Swengel, Pa.

ARTHUR W. PINK


FOREWORD TO THE THIRD EDITION


1929 Morton’s Gap, Kentucky.

ARTHUR W. PINK


FOREWORD TO THE FOURTH EDITION


1949 I. C. Herendeen



THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

INTRODUCTION



Chapter 1

GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY DEFINED

"Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art exalted as Head above all"

1 Chronicles 29:11



ENDNOTES:

[1] Some years ago an evangelical (?) preacher of nation-wide repu­tation visited the town in which we then were, and during the course of his address kept repeating, “Poor God! Poor God!” Surely it is this “preacher” who needs to be pitied.

[2]  John 3:16 will be examined in Appendix III.

[3] We are not unmindful of the fact that men have invented the distinction between God’s love of complacency and His love of compassion, but this is an invention pure and simple. Scripture terms the latter God’s “pity” (see Matt. 18:33), and “He is kind unto the unthankful and the evil” (Luke 6:35).

[4] An esteemed friend who kindly read through this book in its manuscript form, and to whom we are indebted for a number of excellent suggestions, has pointed out that, grace is something more than “unmerited favor.” To feed a tramp who calls on me is “unmerited favor,” but it is scarcely grace. But suppose that after rob­bing me I should feed this starving tramp—that would be “grace.” Grace, then, is favor shown where there is positive de-merit in the one receiving it.

[5]  It has been pointed out to us that God’s sovereignty was signally displayed in His choice of the place where His Son was born. Not to Greece or Italy did the Lord of Glory come, but to the insignificant land of Palestine! Not in Jerusalem—the royal city—was Immanuel born, but in Bethlehem, which was “little among the thousands (of towns and villages) in Judah” (Micah 5:2)! And it was in de­spised Nazareth that He grew up!! Truly, God’s ways are not ours.


Chapter 2

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN CREATION

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honor, and power: for Thou hast created all things, and

for Thy pleasure they are and were created"

Revelation 4:11



Chapter 3

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN ADMINISTRATION

"The Lord hath prepared His Throne in the heavens; and His Kingdom ruleth over all"

Psalm 103:19


"Ten thousand ages ere the skies
Were into motion brought;
All the long years and worlds to come,
Stood present to His thought:
There’s not a sparrow nor a worm,
But’s found in His decrees,
He raises monarchs to their thrones
And sinks as He may please."


Chapter 4

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN SALVATION

"O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out"

Romans 11:33


"Sons we are by God’s election
Who on Jesus Christ believe,
By eternal destination,
Sovereign grace we now receive,
Lord Thy mercy,
Doth both grace and glory give!"

Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below,
Praise Him above ye heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


ENDNOTES:

[1] The priority contended for above is rather in order of nature than of time, just as the effect must ever be preceded by the cause. A blind man must have his eyes opened before he can see, and yet there is no interval of time between the one and the other. As soon as his eyes are opened, he sees. So a man must be born again before he can “see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Seeing the Son is necessary to believing in Him. Unbelief is attributed to spiritual blindness—those who believed not the “report” of the Gospel “saw no beauty” in Christ that they should desire Him. The work of the Spirit in “quickening” the one dead in sins, precedes faith in Christ, just as cause ever precedes effect. But no sooner is the heart turned toward Christ by the Spirit, than the Saviour is embraced by the sinner.


Chapter 5

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN REPROBATION

"Behold therefore the goodness and the severity of God"

Romans. 11:22



ENDNOTES:

[1] “Of Him”—His will is the origin of all existence; “through” or “by Him”—He is the Creator and Controller of all; “to Him”—all things promote His glory in their final end.


Chapter 6

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN OPERATION

"For of Him, and thro’ Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen" (Romans 11:36).


"When all Thy mercies O my God
My wondering soul surveys,
Transported with the view I’m lost
In wonder, love and praise."


Chapter 7

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD AND THE HUMAN WILL

"It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure"

Philippians 2:13



[1] Since writing the above we have read an article by the late J. N. Darby entitled, “Man’s so-called freewill,” that opens with these words: “This re-appearance of the doctrine of freewill serves to support that of the pretension of the natural man to be not irremedi­ably fallen, for this is what such doctrine tends to. All who have never been deeply convicted of sin, all persons in whom this convic­tion is based on gross external sins, believe more or less in freewill.”


Chapter 8

GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY AND HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY

"So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God"

Romans 14:12


I. How is it possible for God to so bring His power to bear upon men that they are PREVENTED from doing what they desire to do, and IMPELL to do other things they do not desire to do, and yet to preserve their responsibility?

II. How can the sinner be held responsible FOR the doing of what he is UNABLE to do? And how can he be justly condemned for NOT DOING what he COULD NOT do?

III. How is it possible for God to DECREE that men SHOULD commit certain sins, hold them RESPONSIBLE in the committal of them, and adjudge them GUILTY because they committed them?

IV. How can the sinner be held responsible to receive Christ, and be damned for rejecting Him, when God FOREORDAINED him TO condemnation?


ENDNOTES:

[1] Gordian knot: 1. An intricate knot tied by King Gordius of Phrygia and cut by Alexander the Great with his sword after hearing an oracle promise that whoever could undo it would be the next ruler of Asia. 2. An exceedingly complicated problem of deadlock (The American Heritage Dictionary, ed).

[2] The terms of this example are suggested by an illustration used by the late Andrew Fuller.


Chapter 9

GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY AND PRAYER

"If we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us"

1 John 5:14


"God in His sovereignty has ordained that human destinies may be changed and moulded by the will of man. This is at the heart of the truth that prayer changes things, meaning that God changes things when men pray. Some one has strikingly expressed it this way: ‘There are certain things that will happen in a man’s life whether he prays or not. There are other things that will happen if he prays, and will not happen if he does not pray’. A Christian worker was impressed by these sentences as he entered a business office, and he prayed that the Lord would open the way to speak to some one about Christ, reflecting that things would be changed because he prayed. Then his mind turned to other things and the prayer was forgotten. The opportunity came to speak to the business man on whom he was calling, but he did not grasp it, and was on his way out when he remembered his prayer of a half hour before, and God’s answer. He promptly returned and had a talk with the business man, who, though a church-member, had never in his life been asked whether he was saved. Let us give ourselves to prayer, and open the way for God to change things. Let us beware lest we become virtual fatalists by failing to exercise our God-given wills in praying".


Chapter 10

OUR ATTITUDE TOWARD GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY

"Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Thy sight"

(Matthew 11:26


"A little bird I am,
Shut from the fields of air;
Yet in my cage I sit and sing
To Him who placed me there;
Well pleased a prisoner to he,
Because, my God, it pleases Thee.

Nought have I else to do
I sing the whole day long;
And He whom most I love to please,
Doth listen to my song;
He caught and bound my wandering wing
But still He bends to hear me sing.

My cage confines me round;
Abroad I cannot fly;
But though my wing is closely bound,
My heart’s at liberty.
My prison walls cannot control
The flight, the freedom of the soul.

Ah! it is good to soar
These bolts and bars above,
To Him whose purpose I adore,
Whose Providence I love;
And in Thy mighty will to find
The joy, the freedom of the mind."


ENDNOTES:

[1] Note how Old Testament prophecy also declared that “the Spirit of the Lord” should “rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and un­derstanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord (Isa.11:1,2).


Chapter 11

DIFFICULTIES AND OBJECTIONS

"Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not My way equal? are not your ways unequal?"

Ezekiel 18:25


"But, O my soul, if truth so bright
Should dazzle and confound thy sight,
Yet still His written Word obey,
And wait the great decisive day."—Watts.


ENDNOTES:

[1] Romans 5 :8 is addressed to saints, and the “we” are the same ones as those spoken of in 8:29, 30.

[2] Concerning the rich young ruler of whom it is said Christ “loved him” (Mark 10:21), we fully believe that he was one of God’s elect, and was “saved” sometime after his interview with our Lord. Should it be said this is an arbitrary assumption and assertion which lacks anything in the Gospel record to substantiate it, we reply, It is writ­ten, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out,” and this man certainly did “come” to Him. Compare the case of Nicodemus. He, too, came to Christ, yet there is nothing in John 3 which intimates he was a saved man when the interview closed; nevertheless, we know from his later life that he was not “cast out.”

[3] For a further discussion of John 3:16 see Appendix 3.


Chapter 12

THE VALUE OF THIS DOCTRINE

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, And is profitable for doctrine, For reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, Throughly furnished unto all good works"

2 Timothy 3:16, 17


"Why was I made to hear His voice,
And enter while there’s room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?
‘Twas the same love that spread the feast,
That sweetly forced us in;
Else we had still refused to taste
And perished in our sin."

"Death and plagues around me fly,
Till He hid, I cannot die;
Not a single shaft can hit,
Till the God of love sees fit."

"Ill that He blesses is our good,
And unblest good is ill,
And all is right that seems most wrong,
If it he His sweet will."

"Ye fearful saints fresh courage take
The clouds ye so much dread,
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings o’er your head."


CONCLUSION

"Halleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" - Revelation 19:6


"The Lord, our God, is clothed with might,
The winds and waves obey His will;
He speaks, and in the shining height
The sun and rolling worlds stand still.
Rebel ye waves, and o’er the land
With threatening aspect foam and roar,
The Lord hath spoken His command
That breaks your rage upon the shore.
Ye winds of night, your force combine—
Without His holy high behest
You shall not in a mountain pine
Disturb the little swallow’s nest.
His voice sublime is heard afar;
In distant peals it fades and dies;
He binds the cyclone to His car
And sweeps the howling murky skies.
Great God! how infinite art Thou,
What weak and worthless worms are we,
Let all the race of creatures bow
And seek salvation now from Thee.
Eternity, with all its years
Stands ever-present to Thy view,
To Thee there’s nothing old appears
Great God! There can be nothing new.
Our lives through varied scenes are drawn,
And vexed with mean and trifling cares;
While Thine eternal thought moves on
Thy fixed and undisturbed affairs."

"Halleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" (Rev. 19:6).


Appendix 1

THE WILL OF GOD



Appendix 2

THE CASE OF ADAM



Appendix 3

The Meaning Of "KOSMOS" In John 3:16


"Kosmos" is used of the Universe as a whole: Acts 17:24 - "God that made the world and all things therein seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth."

"Kosmos" is used of the earth: John 13:1; Ephesians 1:4, etc., etc.- "When Jesus knew that his hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world He loved them unto the end." "Depart out of this world" signifies, leave this earth. "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world." This expression signifies, before the earth was founded—compare Job 38:4 etc.

"Kosmos" is used of the world-system: John 12:31 etc. "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the Prince of this world be cast out"— compare Matthew 4:8 and 1 John 5:19, R. V.

"Kosmos" is used of the whole human race: Romans 3:19, etc.—"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God."

"Kosmos" is used of humanity minus believers: John 15:18; Romans 3:6 "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you." Believers do not "hate" Christ, so that "the world" here must signify the world of unbelievers in contrast from believers who love Christ. "God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world." Here is another passage where "the world" cannot mean "you, me, and everybody," for believers will not be "judged" by God, see John 5:24. So that here, too, it must be the world of unbelievers which is in view.

"Kosmos" is used of Gentiles in contrast from Jews: Romans 11:12 etc. "Now if the fall of them (Israel) be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them (Israel) the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their (Israel’s) fulness." Note how the first clause in italics is defined by the latter clause placed in italics. Here, again, "the world" cannot signify all humanity for it excludes Israel!

"Kosmos" is used of believers only: John 1:29; 3:16, 17; 6:33; 12:47; 1 Corinthians 4:9; 2 Corinthians 5:19. We leave our readers to turn to these passages, asking them to note, carefully, exactly what is said and predicated of "the world" in each place.


Appendix 4

1 JOHN 2:2


1 John 2:2

John 11:51, 52

"He is the propitiation for our (believing Israelites) sins".

"He prophesied that Jesus should die for that) nation".

"And not for ours only".

"And not for that nation only".

"But also for the whole world"— That is, Gentile believers scattered throughout the) earth.

"He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad".


ENDNOTES:

[1] It is true that many things in John’s Epistle apply equally to believing Jews and believing Gentiles. Christ is the Advocate of the one, as much as of the other. The same may be said of many things in the Epistle of James which is also a catholic, or general epistle, though expressly addressed to the twelve tribes scattered abroad.


 

 

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