God gave us grace “before the world began”
8. Yet further, a period is mentioned and added- “before the world began.” Those last words seem to me for ever to lay prostrate all idea of anything of our own merits in saving ourselves, because it is here witnessed that God gave us grace “before the world began.” Where were you then? What hand had you in it “before the world began?” Why, fly back if you can in imagination to the ancient years when those venerable mountains, that elder birth of nature, were not yet formed; when world, and sun, and moon, and stars, were all in embryo in God’s great mind; when the unnavigated sea of space had never been disturbed by wing of seraph, and the awful silence of eternity had never been startled by the song of cherubim-when God dwelt alone. If you can conceive that time before all time, that vast eternity-it was then he gave us grace in Christ Jesus. What, O soul, hadst thou to do with that? Where were thy merits then? Where wast thou thyself? O thou small dust of the balance, thou insect of a day, where wert thou? See how Jehovah reigned, dispensing mercy as he would, and ordaining unto eternal life without taking counsel of man or angel, for neither man or angel then had an existence. That it might be all of grace he gave us grace before the world began.
I have honestly read out the doctrine of the text, and nothing more. If such is not the meaning of the text I do not know the meaning of it, and I cannot therefore tell you what it is, but I believe that I have given the natural and grammatical teaching of the text. If you do not like the doctrine why I cannot help it. I did not make the text, and if I have to expound it I must expound it honestly as it is in my Master’s Word, and I pray you to receive what he says whatever you may do with what I say.
Charles H. Spurgeon- Salvation Altogether by Grace (2 Timothy 1:9)- Delivered on Sunday Morning July 29th, 1866