The power which saves a sinner is not the power of man. The power of man must die, for its only use is to stand out as far as it is able against the power of God; for the carnal mind is enmity against God, and is not reconciled to God, neither indeed can be. You cannot extract out of any amount of darkness a single beam of light; and you cannot extract out of any amount of flesh, purify it, educate it, direct it, guide it as you may, you cannot extract anything like spiritual light: that must come from above. “Ye must be born again.”
Do not think Christians are made by education; they are made by creation. You may wash a corpse as long as ever you please, and even a corpse should be clean, but you cannot wash life into it; and you may deck it in flowers, and robe it in scarlet and fine linen, but you cannot make it live: the vital spark must come from above. Regeneration is not of the will of man, nor of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, but by the power and energy of the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God alone.
As this light was unassisted by darkness, so was it also unsolicited. There came no voice out of that thick darkness, “Oh God, enlighten us,” there was no cry of prayer, no note of desire that God would send light: the desire and the thought began with Deity not with the darkness. He said “Let there be light,” and there was light. The first work of grace in the heart does not begin with man’s desire, but with God’s implanting the desire.
Dear hearer, if thou desirest to be saved by grace, God gave thee that desire, for thou couldst never get so far as that apart from him. Thy darkness can be darkness, and that is all it can be. It cannot long for or aspire after light; in fact if thy soul longa after light it has some light already: a sincere desire is a part of that divine light and life, and must have come from above. See then the ruin of nature and the freeness of grace. Void and dark, a chaos given up to be covered with blackness and darkness for ever, and, while yet it is unseeking God, the light arises, and the promise is fulfilled, “I am found of them that sought me not: I said, behold me! behold me! to a people that were not a people.” While we were lying in our blood, filthily polluted, defiled, he passed by, and he said in the sovereignty of his love, “Live,” and we do live.
The whole must be traced to sovereign grace: from this sacred well of discriminating distinguishing grace we must draw water this morning, and we must pour it out, saying, “Oh Lord, I will praise thy name, for the first origin of my light was thy sovereign purpose, and nothing in me.”
(Taken From C.H. Spurgeon’s sermon #660 Light, Natural, and Spiritual)
While we were lying in our blood,
filthily polluted, defiled,
he passed by, and he said
in the sovereignty of his love,
and we do live.
*Emphasis Mine-Pictures Not Mine.