Sovereignty and Free Will from a Pastor’s Heart

Below is the December 7th morning reading from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening devotional:


“Base things of the world hath God chosen.”
1 Corinthians 1:28
Walk the streets by moonlight, if you dare, and you will see sinners then. Watch when the night is dark, and the wind is howling, and the picklock is grating in the door, and you will see sinners then. Go to yon jail, and walk through the wards, and mark the men with heavy over-hanging brows, men whom you would not like to meet at night, and there are sinners there. Go to the Reformatories, and note those who have betrayed a rampant juvenile depravity, and you will see sinners there. Go across the seas to the place where a man will gnaw a bone upon which is reeking human flesh, and there is a sinner there. Go where you will, you need not ransack earth to find sinners, for they are common enough; you may find them in every lane and street of every city, and town, and village, and hamlet. It is for such that Jesus died. If you will select me the grossest specimen of humanity, if he be but born of woman, I will have hope of him yet, because Jesus Christ is come to seek and to save sinners. Electing love has selected some of the worst to be made the best. Pebbles of the brook grace turns into jewels for the crown-royal. Worthless dross he transforms into pure gold. Redeeming love has set apart many of the worst of mankind to be the reward of the Saviour’s passion. Effectual grace calls forth many of the vilest of the vile to sit at the table of mercy, and therefore let none despair.

Reader, by that love looking out of Jesus’ tearful eyes, by that love streaming from those bleeding wounds, by that faithful love, that strong love, that pure, disinterested, and abiding love; by the heart and by the bowels of the Saviour’s compassion, we conjure you turn not away as though it were nothing to you; but believe on him and you shall be saved. Trust your soul with him and he will bring you to his Father’s right hand in glory everlasting.


Spurgeon has long been considered the “Prince of Preachers” and I would add that his pastoral heart comes through in His preaching so well. The sovereignty of God in salvation, namely election, can be such a divisive subject in any church. On the other hand, our handling of what we call “free will” too often drifts into some “inalienable rights” we have as humans before a holy and perfectly just God, and inevitably our sense of our depravity softens, giving way to an overly independent spirit.

Spurgeon makes some incredible statements in this brief (but packed) devotional. I encourage you to stop and read it again. Did you get it? Did you see that we are ALL sinners? Did you see that before a holy and righteous God no one is worthy to stand in His presence? Did you see the biblically consistent positive perspective of election mentioned? Namely, that we are vile before God and He sovereignly and lovingly saves many and when you are included it evokes praise and humility, exalting the glory of God, not the decisiveness of humanity.

Lastly, did you see the last paragraph? Not just “read” but SEE? We are blind to all that God has hidden in Himself, include all that would ever come to know Him. We are radically dependent on this perfect, exalted, righteous, almighty God! So, we are to implore others to come to Christ, faithfully proclaiming the whole gospel. Then, as others come to Christ we rejoice in Him, not ourselves. What a treasure! What a Savior who saves sinners…just like you and me!

One thought on “Sovereignty and Free Will from a Pastor’s Heart

  1. its 3am and i can not sleep. on a whim I google you and here i am. i like the blog.

    michael mcminn, sagamore and ehhs.

    great to see you pastoring. how are things going?

    well i am gonna try to read or to do something to help me get back to sleep.

    look forward to hearing from you. (you can contact me through my blog or find me on facebook) the family looks great. do you keep up with any old sagamoron’s?


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