All things are of God...
From Spurgeon's sermon, "High Doctrine"
"And all things are of God." -2 Corinthians.
The personal desire after Christ which is found in
the sinner's contrite heart is of God.
The first new hope which gilds the darkness of
the poor benighted mind is of God.
The first glimpse of new faith, when that man
turns his eye to the Saviour, is of God.
The first beginnings of divine love in the soul are of God.
Leave men to themselves, and the corruption of their nature
may fester, and rot, and breed the fungus of a vile imagination.
But the life of God never yet sprung 'naturally' from a dead heart.
Some seem to teach, that man is to take the first
step in salvation, and God will take the rest.
No, sirs, if man can take the first,
he can take the last, and take the whole.
If man, dead in trespasses and sins, can quicken himself,
he certainly can maintain the life of which he is himself the author.
If man, corrupt, debased, and cast away from God,
unawakened by grace, can say, "I will repent, I will change
my ways and turn to God." and if he can carry out that
resolution to himself, and by his own unaided mind,
then there is no room for God in salvation at all.
Let man have the whole of it, and let him have all the glory.
But my hearer, if you have but one good thought
in your heart it is of God.
If there be a something which says to you,
"Arise and go to your Father," that voice is God's voice.
If your affections begin to yearn towards the Father,
whom you have angered and aggrieved,
and if your feet desire to leave the mountains of sin and vanity,
and to tread the right road, it is a Father's hand that draws you,
it is a Saviour's voice that sweetly impels you to seek his face.
There is nothing in man by nature apart from God,
which is not vile and deceitful.
"In me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing."
If there be anything good in my nature,
if I have been transformed by the renewing of my mind,
if I am regenerate,
if I have passed from death unto life,
if I have been taken out of the family of Satan,
and adopted into the family of God's dear Son,
and if I am now no more an heir of wrath, but a child of heaven,
then all these things are of God, and in no sense,
and in no degree whatever are they of myself.
Good things are exotics in the human heart.
They are not like the weeds which spring up naturally in
such poor soil as human hearts are made of, but they are
rare choice flowers brought down of the Spirit's hand
from above and then planted in this unkindly soil.
Oh! let us ever know that anything, we can ever
do or feel or think that is right, is of God.
My brethren, discard forever with detestation and abhorrence
any doctrine which would lead you to think that any work,
or grace, anything just, pure, lovely, or of good report,
'in' man, is 'of' man himself.
Depend upon it, though it come to you in the garb of earnestness,
and paint its cheeks, and look fair enough to you,
it is the harlot of Popery in another dress.
Only let such doctrine be pushed to its fair conclusion,
and you come at once to salvation by works.
Hold, believe, and affirm, never swerving from it,
that all things in the new creation are of God.