1. Welcome to Baptist Board, a friendly forum to discuss the Baptist Faith in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to all the features that our community has to offer.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Reconciling friends - Free will and Predestination

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Martin Marprelate, Mar 24, 2023.

  1. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Messages:
    8,467
    Likes Received:
    2,056
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I recently came across this sermon by Spurgeon in which he describes Free will and Predestination as 'friends' rather than the deadly enemies which they seem to have become on this board.

    Spurgeon is speaking on the treatment of our Lord's body after His death upon the cross, and how the two prophecies of Zechariah 12:10 and Exodus 12:46 came to be fulfilled. Here is a meaty extract from the sermon. If you want the whole thing - and why wouldn't you? - it is found here:
    https://www.spurgeongems.org/sermon/chs1956.pdf

    But now let me remind you that although the problem was complicated, and its working out was improbable, yet it was fulfilled in the most natural manner. Nothing can be less constrained than the action of the soldiers. They have broken the legs of two, but the other is dead, and they do not break His legs. Yet, to make sure that they will be safe in omitting the blow, they pierce His side. There was no compulsion put upon them, they did this of their own proper thought. No angel came from heaven to stand with his broad wings in front of the cross, so as to protect the Savior. No awful aegis of mystery was hung over the sacred body of the Lord so that intruders might be driven back with fear. No, the quaternion of soldiers did whatever they wished to do. They acted of their own free will, and yet at the same time they fulfilled the eternal counsel of God. Shall we never be able to drive into men’s minds the truth that predestination and free agency are both facts? Men sin as freely as birds fly in the air, and they are altogether responsible for their sin, and yet everything is ordained and foreseen of God. The fore-ordination of God in no degree interferes with the responsibility of man. I have often been asked by persons to reconcile the two truths. My only reply is—They need no reconciliation, for they never fell out. Why should I try to reconcile two friends? Prove to me that the two truths do not agree. In that request I have set you a task as difficult as that which you propose to me. These two facts are parallel lines, I cannot make them unite, but you cannot make them cross each other. Permit me also to add that I have long ago given up the idea of making all my beliefs into a system. I believe, but I cannot explain. I fall before the majesty of revelation, and adore the infinite Lord. I do not understand all that God reveals, but I believe it. How can I expect to understand all the mysteries of revelation, when even the arithmetic of Scripture surpasses My comprehension, since I am taught that in the Godhead the Three are One, while in the undivided One I see most manifestly Three? Need I measure the sea? Is it not enough that I am upborne by its waves? I thank God for waters deep enough for my faith to swim in, understanding would compel me to keep to the shallows, but faith takes me to the main ocean. I think it more to my soul’s benefit to believe than to understand, for faith brings me nearer to God than reason ever did. The faith which is limited by our narrow faculties is a faith unworthy of a child of God, for as a child of God he should begin to deal with infinite sublimities, like those in which his great Father is at home. These are only to be grasped by faith. To return to my subject, albeit the matter must be as Scripture foreshadowed, yet no constraint nor inducement was put forth, but as free agents, the soldiers performed the very things which were written in the Prophets concerning Christ. Dear friends, suffer one more observation upon this fulfillment of Scripture, it was marvelously complete. Observe that in these transactions a seal was set upon that part of Scripture which has been most exposed to skeptical derision, for the seal was set first of all upon the types. Irreverent readers of Scripture have refused to accept the types, they say, “How do you know that the Passover was a type of Christ?” In other cases, more serious persons object to detailed interpretations, and decline to see a 6 On the Cross After Death Sermon #1956 6 Volume 33 meaning in the smaller particulars. Such persons would not attach spiritual importance to the law, “Not a bone of it shall be broken,” but would dismiss it as a petty regulation of an obsolete religious rite. But observe, beloved, the Holy Spirit does nothing of the kind, for He fixes upon a minor particular of the type, and declares that this must be fulfilled. Moreover, the providence of God intervenes, so that it shall be carried out. Wherefore, be not scared away from the study of the types by the ridicule of the worldly-wise. There is a general timidity coming over the minds of many about Holy Scripture, timidity to which, thank God, I am an utter stranger. It would be a happy circumstance if the childlike reverence of the early fathers could be restored to the church, and the present irreverent criticism could be repented of and cast away. W
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  2. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    Messages:
    4,153
    Likes Received:
    402
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Nice Comment here. I hope he was screaming it Out Loud!!

    Fine speech.

    Quality. Great treatment. That's the way to handle it. Truth. IMHO.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Messages:
    8,467
    Likes Received:
    2,056
    Faith:
    Baptist
    He was addressing around 6,000 people without the aid of P.A. equipment. You may be sure that he was speaking rather loudly!

    He was not called 'the Prince of preachers nor nothing.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. MB

    MB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    6,875
    Likes Received:
    262
    Faith:
    Baptist
    This sermon does not appear to be anything like Calvinism today.
    MB
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2021
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    238
    Faith:
    Baptist
    The first sermon I read by Spurgeon was from "Sword of the Lord", the fundamentalist paper out of Tennessee in the early 80's. Spurgeon was at least respected by the fundamentalists and a lot of his sermons show a recognition of God acting in a sovereign way balanced with man's free will. If you read Puritan sermons you find the same balance.

    As far as today, if you just get on the internet and look at the statement of faith or the "what we believe" section of the web pages of the Reformed Baptist churches in your area you will find little of the militant Calvinism you see on this board. And these churches tend to encourage witnessing, learning to use apologetics, and often do outreaches based on things for neighborhood kids to do and so on, while at the same time recognizing God's sovereignty in a person's salvation. Some of them can even put on a pretty good pot-luck dinner.

    I do agree that there is a type of Calvinism today that does not believe in a "free or actual offer" of the gospel and that teaches officially that non-Calvinists are not saved. I don't see that much at the community level but I guess it's around. They tend to not like Spurgeon or even the Puritans either.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Messages:
    8,467
    Likes Received:
    2,056
    Faith:
    Baptist
    It agrees very well with my Calvinism. :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Messages:
    8,467
    Likes Received:
    2,056
    Faith:
    Baptist
    In the light of comments made by @George Antonios and others on another thread, I thought I might give this one a bump.:)
     
Loading...