I found myself without Wi-Fi or cable in a tiny house in Florida for two and a half weeks. Knowing I would be technologically starved (except for outings to McDonald’s or Wendy’s for free Wi-Fi), I decided to read several works I’d put off for years. GRACE, GOD’S UNMERITED FAVOR by Charles Spurgeon was one of them. To be honest, this work had always been a bit intimidating. After all, the author was a pastoral, evangelical, and theological giant of his era.
Having made the commitment to open the book, I was struck by the simplicity of Spurgeon’s writing. In Chapter 1, ‘The Covenant of Grace’, he writes:
This is all of it. Do you believe in Christ? Then God will work in you “to will and do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). God will conquer your sin; God will sanctify you; God will save you: God will keep you: God will bring you to Himself. Rest in this covenant. Then moved by intense gratitude, go forward to serve your Lord with all your heart and soul and strength.
What could be plainer than this? What could be simpler language? And yet, I had been intimidated by the name Spurgeon for years and had put off opening the book.
He writes with eloquence. The passage ‘From Eternity Past’ is stunning. He talks about the time before the earth and stars, “that time before all time — when God dwelt alone.”
In this thin volume Spurgeon says he’s striving to give us the “natural and grammatical teaching” of Bible verses as they relate to the Covenant of Grace..
To me it was astonishing to find the words below because I’ve long believed freedom and liberty have their origin in the Bible. Here Spurgeon declares they are part of the Covenant of Grace.
There is no doctrine like it for putting a backbone into a man and making him feel that he is something better than to be trodden down like straw for the dunghill beneath a despot’s heel.
Spurgeon further points out it’s not any old grace. In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter specifically stated, “We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved.”
I can’t find fault with Spurgeon’s teaching on God’s rod of chastisement, though modern ‘grace teachers’ would certainly use contemporary language and nuance it in a much different manner. The doctrine of grace as presented by the author is not one of the license, which some critics fear comes with this teaching. Far from it. It is one whereby the believer’s heart cries out for a deeper relationship with a Holy God.