“And all things are of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:18
Suggested Further Reading: Ephesians 3:7-13
There are some men who seem to think that God does his work bit by bit: altering and making additions as he goes on. They cannot believe that God had a plan; they believe that the most ordinary architect on earth has prefigured to himself some idea of what he means to build, though it were but a mud cottage, but the Most High God, who created the heavens and the earth, when he says, “Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness,” has no plan but what is left to the caprice of manhood; he is to have no decrees, no purposes, no determinations, but men are to do as they will, and so virtually man is to usurp the place of God, and God is to become the dependant of man. Nay, my brethren, in all the work of salvation, God is the sole and supreme designer. He planned the time when, and the manner how, each of his people should be brought to himself; he did not leave the number of his saved ones to chance, or to what was worse than chance—to the depraved will of man; he did not leave the choice of persons to mere accident, but on the stones of the eternal breastplate of the great High Priest he engraved the names of those he chose. He did not leave so much as one tent-pin, one single line or yard of canvas to be afterwards arranged; the whole of the tabernacle was given by pattern in the holy mount. In the building of the temple of grace, every stone was squared and chiselled in the eternal decree, its place ordained and settled, nor shall that stone be dug from its quarry till the hour ordained, nor shall it be placed in any other position than that which God, after the counsel of his own will has ordained.
For meditation: Man has no idea what he is doing himself, but he is very good at questioning what God does (Luke 23:34-39).
Sermon no. 318
3 June (1860)