OUT OF TOMES
The writings of theologians and pastors who have come before us can serve as an invitation to think more prolongedly and with greater specificity on God, and His glorious works and ways. In this ongoing series, I cull quotations on passages of Scripture from Christian Classics Ethereal Library to help spur your consideration, discernment, mediation, and worship. You can link to the full sources below or start your own search on a biblical text here.
Three causes of our salvation are here mentioned, and a fourth is shortly afterwards added. The efficient cause is the good pleasure of the will of God, the material cause is, Jesus Christ, and the final cause is, the praise of the glory of his grace. [...] in the freest manner, and on no mercenary grounds, does God bestow upon us his love and favor, just as, when we were not yet born, and when he was prompted by nothing but his own will, he fixed upon us his choice.
— John Calvin
Sonship in reference to God includes—1. Participation of his nature, or conformity to his image. 2. The enjoyment of his favour, or being the special objects of his love. 3. Heirship, or a participation of the glory and blessedness of God.
— Charles Hodge
The more you search the Bible, the more sure will you be that sonship is the special privilege of the chosen people of God and of none beside. Having thus, as far as I can, established my point, that the privilege of our text is a special one, let me dwell upon it for a moment and remark that, as a special one, it is an act of pure unmistakeable grace. No man has any right to be a son of God. If we are born into his family it is a miracle of mercy. It is one of the ever-blessed exhibitions of the infinite love of God which without any cause in us, has set itself upon us. If thou art this day an heir of heaven, remember, man, thou wast once the slave of hell. Once thou didst wallow in the mire, and if thou shouldst adopt a swine to be thy child, thou couldst not then have performed an act of greater compassion than when God adopted thee. And if an angel could exalt a gnat to equal dignity with himself, yet would not the boon be such-an-one as that which God hath conferred on thee.
— Charles Spurgeon
God’s praise is the end of the work of redemption. In Eph. i. where that work in its various parts is particularly insisted on, and set forth in its exceeding glory, this is mentioned, from time to time, as the great end of all, that it should be ”to the praise of his glory.” As in ver. 6, 12, 14. By which we may doubtless understand much the same thing, with what in Phil. i. 11. is expressed, ”his praise and glory.” Agreeably to this, Jacob’s fourth son, from whom the great Redeemer was to proceed, by the special direction of God’s providence, was called praise. This happy consequence, and glorious end of that great redemption, Messiah, one of his posterity, was to work out.
In the Old Testament this praise is spoken of as the end of the forgiveness of God’s people, and their salvation, in the same manner as God’s name and glory. Isa. xlviii. 9, 10, 11. “For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise, will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. Behold I have refined thee—for mine own sake, even for mine own sake will I do it; for how should my name be polluted? and my glory will I not give to another.” Jer. xxxiii. 8, 9. “And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity—and I will pardon all their iniquities. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour.”
— Jonathan Edwards, Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. I
Finally, we are informed here, that in this matter He took counsel with none, but that we are "predestinated according to the good pleasure of His will."
— A. W. Pink, Sovereignty of God