Stephen Charnock: Regeneration

[Regeneration] is a universal change of the whole man. It is a new creature, not only a new power or new faculty. This, as well as creation, extends to every part; understanding, will, conscience, affections, all were corrupted by sin, all are renewed by grace. Grace sets up its ensigns in all parts of the soul, surveys every corner, and triumphs over every lurking enemy; it is as large in renewing as sin was in defacing. The whole soul shall be glorified in heaven; therefore the whole soul shall be beautified by grace.

Source: The Doctrine of Regeneration by Stephen Charnock

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C. H. Spurgeon: God’s Sovereignty

There is no attribute more comforting to His children, than that of God’s sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials–they believe that sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that sovereignty overrules them, and that sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend, than the doctrine of their Master over all creation–the kingship of God over all the works of His own hands–the throne of God and His right to sit upon that throne.

On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldlings, no truth of which they have made such a football–as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine, of the sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow God to be everywhere, except on His throne. They will allow Him to be in His workshop to fashion worlds and make stars. They will allow Him to be in His almonry to dispense His alms and bestow His bounties. They will allow Him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean; but when God ascends His throne–then His creatures gnash their teeth!

We proclaim an enthroned God, and His right to do as He wills with His own, to dispose of His creatures as He thinks well, without consulting them in the matter. Then it is, that we are hissed and execrated; and then it is, that men turn a deaf ear to us–for God on His throne–is not the God they love. But it is God upon the throne that we love to preach. It is God upon His throne, whom we trust!

Exert out of “Divine Sovereignty” by C. H. Spurgeon, sermon in May 1856

R .C. Sproul: God’s Sovereignty and Man’s Will

How do we reconcile the fact that God is sovereign with the fact that he has given us free will as persons?

I don’t see any problem in reconciling the sovereignty of God with man’s free will as long as we understand the biblical concept of freedom. With respect to mankind, human beings are given the ability to make free choices, but our freedom is a limited freedom. We are not absolutely free. Remember, God said to Adam and Eve, “You may eat of all of the trees in the Garden.” But then he added a restriction: “Of this tree you may not eat. If you do, you will surely die.” Now, God is a being who has the ability to make free choices, and I am a being who has the ability to make free choices. The difference, however, is that I am not sovereign. God is sovereign. God has more authority than I do. God has the right and the power and the authority to do whatsoever he pleases. I have the power and the ability and the freedom to do those things that I can do, but my freedom can never override the power or the authority of God. My freedom is always limited by the higher freedom of God. What is a contradiction is God’s sovereignty and human autonomy. Autonomy means that man can do whatever he wants without being worried about judgment from on high. Obviously those two are incompatible, and we do not believe that man is autonomous. We say that he is free, but his freedom is within limits, and those limits are defined by the sovereignty of God. This is a simple analogy: In my house I have more freedom than my son. We both have freedom, but mine is greater.

How do we reconcile the fact that God is sovereign with the fact that he has given us free will as persons? , Copyright 2009 by R .C. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries