2 Corinthians 5:18-21
And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation;…
Whatsoever the Christian can desire is to be found in the "all things." But lest even that should not be comprehensive enough, our summary contains a still greater word, "God." If we be thirsty, here are streams that never can be exhausted. If we be poor, here are riches inexhaustible.
I. THE DOCTRINE ITSELF.
1. What is meant here by the term, "all things"? Do we call that man an infidel who should teach that some things of the old creation were of man? What name shall I give to him who will say that anything in the new creation of grace is of man? This is of God as to —
(1) Its first implanting. If thou hast but one good thought in thy heart it is of God; for "all things are of God."(2) Its subsequent outworking. Has the believer strength — it is of God. Is he preserved in the midst of temptation — his integrity is of God.
(3) Its privileges, pardon, justification, sanctification, adoption, communion. Who will dare to think of these things apart from the unspeakable grace of the Most High?
(4) Its actions. See yonder missionary venturing even unto death? Let us give him his raced of tribute; he hath done valiantly. But let us remember that everything in him that was good, was of God. Does the martyr burn at the stake? Is there a Christian, generous, thoughtful of the woes of others, mighty in prayer and diligent in service? All these things are of God. Set down no virtue to man. Good things are exotics in the human heart.
2. How and in what respect are all things of God?
(1) In the planning. Nay, in all the work of salvation God is the sole designer.
(2) In the purchase and procuring. One price hath bought His people.
(3) In the applying and bringing of it home to each individual conscience. God Will make moll willing in the day of His power.
(4) In the maintaining. Leave the Christian to himself to maintain the grade already begun, and he is gone.
(5) In the completing. The last steps shall be of God as much as the first.
3. Why is it that "all things are of God"? Because —
(1) There cannot be anything of man. What can a dead man do towards his own resurrection? Till the stone shall of itself fly upwards, till the sea shall beget fire, and until fire distil the shower, then and not till then shall depraved humanity breathe goodness within itself.
(2) It is expressly told us not that some good gifts, and some perfect gifts are from above, but every one. God were only in part the world's benefactor, if there were other fountains out of which the world could draw.
(3) All the glory is God's. Now if that be so the work must have been His; for where the work is, there must be the merit.
(4) You as Christians are compelled to feel Thou hast wrought all our works in us."
II. THE EXCELLENT TENDENCIES OF THIS DOCTRINE.
1. It compels men to think.
2. It rouses enthusiasm in the minds of those who believe it.
3. It humbles men.
4. It affords consolation for the troubled heart. If all things be of God, let not thy spirit be ruffled and affrighted by the tempest.
5. It encourages the sinner. You are naked; the robe in which you shall be dressed is of God. You are filthy; the washing is of God. You are unworthy; your worthiness must be of God. You are guilty; your pardon is of God. All you are bidden to do is simply to be a receiver. Come with your empty pitcher, and hold it now to the flowing fountain.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;