Goodwin Banner

SERMON VII According to the good pleasure of his will; to the praise of the glory of hi. grace, wherein he hails made us accepted in the beloved.—VEE. 5, 6, I CoME to those other two causes mentioned in the text; as— 1. The efficient and principal cause that cast it; and that is merely the ‘good pleasure of his will’ And, 2. here is another motive, besides the glory of Christ before-mentioned; and that is, ‘the praise of the glory of God’s grace.’ ‘According to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace.’ The one is mentioned first, as that which did only cast the act, and move God to predestinate; the other, as that which yet moved him in the act itself. Now, for the explication of both these in general, you may thus conceive the difference between them. God, blessed for ever, deliberating, as it were, with himself whether he should make any creature or no, whether he should decree any children unto himseg or his Son to take human nature; that which cast the matter was merely the good pleasure of his will. He might have been blessed for ever without this; he needed not have cared to make so much as one creature, nor to ordain the second Person’s assumption of a human nature to glorify him. He neeaed not that external praise of the glory of his grace that ariseth from us. He was glorious enough without all this. What cast it then? Nothing but the good pleasure of his will. Here is God’s prerogative and blessedness. And the reason why nothing but God’s own will could move him to it is, because all that the creature can be to him, or do for him, falleth short of him, and of the glory due unto him. Neh. ix. 5, ‘Bless the Lord your God: blessed be his glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.’ God is above all blessing arid praise; for him, therefore, to aim at the praise of his grace, this was not motive sufficient to determine his will simply to do it. It was his own will that merely cast it, only it being determined to predestinate creatures, it propounded to itself the praise of the glory of God’s grace, wisdom, and other his attributes and so they move him in predestinating, though not to predestinate. More particularly, for the first, the efficient, determining cause of predestination. If you observe it, it is not only put upon God’s wifi, but upon the ‘good pleasure of his will;’ so saith the text. And this also is to be confined only to that part of his decrees of election, and predestinating men unto salvation so as, between those decrees and all other there is this difference, that when other things, and making of other creatures are spoken ot the decrees about them are only put upon his will; as Eph. i. 11, ‘He worketh all things according to the counsel of his own will ‘—barely ‘his own will.’ But when he comes to predestinate and to save poor creatures by Chrsst, there comes in the ‘good pleasure of his will,’ as the determining Cause. ‘He predestinated us according to the good pleasure of his will,’ —that is, this is the strength, the height
Return to Ephesians Index

Home | Links | Literature | Webrings | Photos