What is the heresy of Rome, but the addition of something to the perfect merits of Jesus Christ—the bringing in of the works of the flesh, to assist in our justification? And what is the heresy of Arminianism but the addition of something to the work of the Redeemer? Every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here. I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor.
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:4
…Believers are to be justified, not by works of righteousness which they have done, of whatever description, but solely by faith in Jesus Christ, in whom their reconciliation with God is complete. It is this grand truth which, from the beginning of the Epistle, he had been exhibiting, for the conviction and establishment in the faith of those whom he addressed. It is indeed a truth in which Christians need to be fully instructed, which they are all apt to let slip out of their minds, but by which they are saved, if they keep it in memory. There is nothing which so much retards them in their course as their proneness to walk according to the flesh, in seeking to establish their own righteousness; and nothing more powerfully tends, when giving way to it in any degree, to bring them into bondage, to lead them to serve in the oldness of the letter, and not in newness of spirit, and to mar their joy and peace in believing.
“Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.” 1 Corinthians 3:18
The fruit and effect of divine teaching is to cut in pieces, and root up all our fleshly wisdom, strength, and righteousness. God never means to patch a new piece upon an old garment. All our wisdom, our strength, our righteousness must be torn to pieces! It must all be plucked up by the roots—that a new wisdom, a new strength, and a new righteousness may arise upon its ruins.
But until the Lord is pleased to teach us, we never can part with our own righteousness—never give up our own wisdom—never abandon our own strength. These things are a part and parcel of ourselves—so ingrained within us—so innate in us—so growing with our growth—that we cannot willingly part with an atom of them until the Lord Himself breaks them up, and plucks them away.
Then, as He brings into our souls some spiritual knowledge of our own dreadful corruptions and horrible wickedness—our righteousness crumbles away at the divine touch. As He leads us to see and feel our ignorance and folly in a thousand instances, and how unable we are to understand anything aright but by divine teaching—our wisdom fades away. As He shows us our inability to resist temptation and overcome sin, by any exertion of our own— our strength gradually departs, and we become like Samson, when his locks were cut off.
Upon the ruins, then, of our own wisdom, righteousness and strength, does God build up Christ’s wisdom, Christ’s righteousness, and Christ’s strength. But only so far as we are favored with this special teaching are we brought to pass a solemn sentence of condemnation upon our own wisdom, strength, and righteousness—and sincerely seek after the Lord’s.
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Friends there is only one God. Though there are many false gods of the imagination of men, there is only one true and living God. And God here by the mouth of His prophet declares who He is, so that there is no confusion or mistaking Him for the gods of men. God declares to us here that He is Sovereign. God tells us that He is altogether in a class by Himself, for He has decreed the end of all things from the beginning. Before anything was created, God dwelling alone in eternity by Himself, without the counsel of any of His creation purposed all things that should happen in time and eternity after the counsel of His own Sovereign Free will. All things that have been done and all things that are being done, and all things that shall be done in time were purposed of God from eternity.
Therefore, seeing that the only True God has purposed ALL THINGS before any of them were made, who then shall prevent Him from accomplishing All His decrees? If your god can be thwarted by the will or works of men, then your god IS NOT GOD! Our God who is Sovereign in ALL THINGS (in the creation of the world, in the providence of time and especially in the salvation of His elect people that Jesus Christ has redeemed) nothing shall stop Him from Doing ALL His sovereign will.
God says that He WILL DO ALL His pleasure. There is nothing that God was pleased to do that He has not or will not do. God cannot deny Himself, for all He is and all He does is Holy and Good.
Therefore, consider that it pleased the Father to elect a people to be His Holy children. (Ephesians 1:3-6) It pleased the Father to give them to Jesus Christ the Son of God. (John 6:36-40) It pleased the Father that Jesus Christ should be made all their wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30-31) It pleased the Son of God to accomplish all their righteousness and give Himself a ransom for their sins. (Isaiah 42:21; 1 Timothy 2:3-6) It pleased the Holy Spirit of God to come at the appointed time and give to us life and faith and to keep us until we are safe in heaven with Him. (John 3:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 1:3-5) This is our Sovereign God; Worship Him Alone for He Alone is God.