Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Put on the whole armor of God

Life is indeed a “warfare;” and just as a man enlists in our army for a term of years, and then his service runs out, and he is free, so every believer is enlisted in the service of life, to serve God till his enlistment is over, and we sleep in death. Our charge and our armor we shall put off together.

Brethren, you are soldiers, enlisted when you believed in Jesus. Let me remind you that you are a soldier, you will be always at war, you will never have a furlough or conclude a treaty. Like the old knights who slept in their armor, you will be attacked even in your rest. There is no part of the journey to heaven which is secure from the enemy, and no moment, not even the sweet rest of the Lord’s day, when the clarion may not sound. Therefore, prepare yourselves always for the battle. “Put on the whole armor of God,” and look upon life as a continued battle. Be surprised when you have not to fight; be wonderstruck when the world is peaceful towards you; be astonished when your old corruptions do not rise and assault you. You must travel with your swords always drawn, and you may as well throw away the scabbard, for you will never want it. You are a soldier who must always fight, and by the light of battle you must survey the whole of your life.

From a sermon entitled "Our Life, Our Work, Our Change," delivered August 4, 1867. Image by Nic McPhee under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Words for the weak

Why, if there be a choice word in the Bible, it is always for the weak ones; if there be a peculiarly precious promise, it is generally for the feeble minded. The best carriage in all the world that I ever heard of is Jesus’ bosom, but then that is for the lamb, not for those who are strong, but for the tender and frail. Those most compassionate of sentences in which Jesus seems to have most fully expressed his gentleness, and to have employed the tenderest similes, are evidently spoken with an eye to the trembling and timid.

From a sermon entitled "Songs of Deliverance," delivered June 28, 1867. Image by Mike Locke under Creative Commons License.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tell it to Jesus

There is a grief, which the stranger cannot intermeddle with; but there never was a pang into which Christ could not enter. Make a confidant of the Lord Jesus - tell him all. You are married unto him: play the part of a wife who keeps no secrets back, no trials back, no joys back; tell them all to him. I was in a house yesterday where there was a little child, and it was said to me, “He is such a funny child.” I asked in what way, and the mother said, “Well, if he tumbles down and hurts himself in the kitchen, he will always go up stairs crying and tell somebody, and then he comes down and says, “I told somebody;” and if he is upstairs he goes down and tells somebody, and when he comes back it is always, “I told somebody,” and he does not cry any more, Ah! well, I thought, we must tell somebody: it is human nature to want to have sympathy, but if we would always go to Jesus, and tell him all, and there leave it, we might often dismiss the burden, and be refreshed with a grateful song. Let us do so, and go with all our joys and all our troubles unto him, who says, “I am married unto you.”

I know the devil will say, “Why, you must not tell the Lord your present trouble: it is too little, and besides, you know you did wrong, and brought it upon yourself.” Well, but you would tell your husband, would you not? and will you not tell your Lord? You could not tell a master, but you can tell a husband. Oh! do not go back into the old legal state of calling Christ Baali*, but call him Ishi, “My man, my husband,” and put that confidence in him which it is expected that the wife should place in a husband who dearly loves her.

* - meaning, my master or lord

From a sermon entitled "The Relationship Of Marriage." Image by Maco under Creative Commons License.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A warning to those who live for gain

Is not the life of millions clear, transparent selfishness? “What shall we eat, and what shall we drink, and wherewithal shall we be clothed?” This is the grand object of human research. The religion of the multitude is, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain.” Gain is the world’s summum bonum, the chief of all mortal good, the main chance, the prime object, the barometer of success in life, the one thing needful, the heart’s delight. And yet, O worldlings, who succeed in getting gain, and are esteemed to be shrewd and prudent, Jesus Christ calls you fools, and he is no thrower about of hard terms where they are not deserved.

“Thou fool,” said he, and why? Because the man’s soul would be required of him; and then whose would those things be which he had gathered together? Ah! ye who have been prosperous all your days, and made money, and risen in the world, and gathered a competence, and lived to gather wealth, if this be the one thing ye care about, tremble and expect your doom. O ye careless ones, do you dream that you were made to live for yourselves? Was this the object of
your Maker that you should live to gather gold for yourselves and for your children? Did he send you into this world merely that you might scrape together yellow clay? Has your Maker no claim upon you?

From a sermon entitled "The Shrill Trumpet of Admonition," delivered July 21, 1867. Image by Shirl under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fear not, for I am with thee

We sometimes speak and think very lightly of doubts and fears; but such is not God’s estimate of them. Our heavenly Father evidently considers them to be great evils, extremely mischievous to us, and exceedingly dishonorable to himself, for he very frequently forbids our fears, and as often affords us the most potent remedies for them. “Fear not” is a frequent utterance of the divine mouth. “I am with thee” is the fervent, soul-cheering argument to support it. Unless the Lord had judged our fears to be a great evil, he would not so often have forbidden them, or have provided such a heavenly quietus for them.

I pray that my dear brethren and sisters who are cast down, may have grace to struggle with their despondency, and to overcome it. Martin Luther used to say, that to comfort a desponding spirit is as difficult as to raise the dead; but, then, we have a God who both raises the dead from their graves and his people from their despair. “Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.” “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” May the oil of joy be exchanged for mourning by many sorrowing ones this morning!

From a sermon entitled "The Sweet Harp of Consolation," delivered July 14, 1867. Image by James Jordan under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Confidence in Our Savior

The Spirit of the Lord was upon him. He came in his Father’s name, clothed with his Father’s authority: “I do not mine own will,” said he, “but the will of him that sent me.” He continually calls it his Father’s work and business which he came to do. This ought to give us richest consolation.

Jesus is no amateur Savior, who has no right to appear as our representative: he comes in a legal and proper manner. The King of kings hath appointed him, and what he does he does in the name and by the authority of God. God hath sent his Son into the world. His death, though voluntary on his own part, was not without the consent and will of his Father. It pleased the Father to bruise him: he hath put him to grief.

From a sermon entitled "Jesus Putting Away Sin," delivered July 7, 1867. Image by James Jordan by under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Stand for the Truth

“Never get into religious controversies,” says one; that is to say, being interpreted, be a Christian soldier, but let your sword rust in its scabbard, and sneak into heaven like a coward. Such advice I cannot endorse. If God has called you by the truth, maintain the truth, which has been the means of your salvation.

We are not to be pugnacious, always contending for every crotchet of our own; but wherein we have learned the truth of the Holy Spirit, we are not tamely to see that standard torn down which our fathers upheld at peril of their blood. This is an age in which truth must be maintained zealously, vehemently, continually. Playing fast and loose as many do, believing this today and that tomorrow, is the sure mark of children of wrath; but having received the truth, to hold fast the very form of it, as Paul bids Timothy to do, is one of the duties of heirs of heaven. Stand fast for truth, and may God give the victory to the faithful. We must believe the gospel and maintain it, for it is committed to our trust.

From a sermon entitled "The Glorious Gospel of the Blessed God," delivered June 30, 1867. Image by Richard0 under Creative Commons License.

Monday, September 21, 2009

God is working everywhere

A blind world this, which always talks about “natural laws,” and “the effects of natural causes,” but forgets that laws cannot operate of themselves, and that natural causes, so called, are not causes at all unless the First Cause shall set them in motion. The old Romans used to say, God thundered; God rained. We say, It thunders; it rains. What “it”? All those expressions are subterfuges to escape from the thought of God.

We commonly say, “How wonderful are the works of nature!” What is “nature”? Do you know what nature is? I remember a lecturer in the street, an infidel, speaking about nature, and he was asked by a Christian man standing by whether he would tell him what nature was. “Walk in the fields, and see nature”- “nature did this and nature did that”- these are common phrases, but is there any meaning in them? Is not that an old heathenish way of talking? If we see aright, we see God working everywhere. We frequently talk as if we were trying to thrust our God into the distance.

Our good old forefathers, the Puritans, when they wanted rain, used to pray that God would unstop the bottles of heaven; at another time that he would be pleased to bind up the clouds, that there might not be too much rain; we run to the barometer, or grumble at the bad weather. They referred all natural phenomena to the Most High, and were accustomed to see him at work in all the events of life; we have grown so wise nowadays that we find a thousand second causes interposing between the world and its Maker.

From a sermon entitled "In The Hay-Field," delivered June 23, 1867. Image by Matteo Mazzoni under Creative Commons License.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Labor of Christ

I would not say to any young man, “Be idle.” If you want to prosper in anything, throw your whole soul into it, and work as hard as you can. Many, many people feel the compulsion of working to get on, or working to support a family. Very proper indeed; but I need not exhort you to do it, for I dare say, as honest and moral men, you will feel that compulsion without any exhortation from me. Some work in order to get fame. Well, that is not so bad a thing in its way; but I need not speak about it, for those who choose that path will fall into it without my advice.

But here is the point, “I must work the works of him that sent me.” Christ came into this world, neither to be a King among kings, nor to be famous among the famed, but to be a Servant of servants, and to fulfill the will of God. “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God.” He came to do it, and, having come, he did it. Observe the character of the work, which Christ performed. It was not a work of his own devising. It was not a work which he had set to himself of his own will, but it was a work which had been ordained of old, and settled by his Father. “I came not to do my will, but the will of him that sent me.” Observe too, that Christ made no picking nor choosing about this work. He says, “I must work the works;” not some of them, but all of them, whether they should be works of drudgery or works of honor, bearing reproach for the truth, or bearing testimony to the truth; works of suffering himself or works of relief to those that suffered; works of silent secret groaning, or works of ministry in which he rejoiced in spirit; works of prayer on the mountain-side, or works of preaching on the mountain’s brow. Christ had given himself up unreservedly to do for God whatsoever the Father should bid him do.

From a sermon entitled "Work," delivered March 21, 1867. Image by abcdz2000 under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Avoiding the ways of the ungodly

Now, I have heard of some professed Christians, wanting to see, they said, the ways of the ungodly, going into low places of amusement, to spy out the land, to judge for themselves. Such conduct is dangerous and worse. My dear friends, I never found it necessary, in my ministry, to do anything of the kind, and yet I think I have had no small success in winning souls. I must confess, I should feel very much afraid to go into hell, to put my head between the lion’s jaws, for the sake of looking down his throat. I should think I was guilty of a gross presumption if I went into the company of the lewd and the profane to see what they were doing. I should fear that perhaps it might turn out that I was only a mere professor, and so should taint myself with the dead matter of the sin of those with whom I mingled, and perish in my iniquity. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing!” The resort of the ungodly is not the place for you. “Let the dead bury their dead, but as for thee,” said Christ, “follow thou me.”

From a sermon entitled "Alive Or Dead - Which?," delivered June 16, 1867. Image by Neil under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Do you know the Spirit of God?

If thou knowest not the Spirit, then thou art carnal and sensual; not having the Spirit, thou art dead in sin; thou hast not the Spirit which quickeneth, and the flesh can profit thee nothing. Whatever thou mayst have attained in depth of knowledge, or in excellence of morality, or in boldness of profession, thou hast foolishly begun to build thy house at the top instead of at the bottom, and thy house, lacking a foundation, will all go to pieces; and all thy building shall be but as the card house of little children, or the sand-built tower of the fool, which falls in the day of tempest.

The great question which I want to raise in every heart this morning will be this: Dost thou know the Spirit of God? Does he dwell with thee? Is he in thee? for, if thou hast not the spirit of Christ, thou art none of his; but if the Spirit be in thee, the body indeed is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Thou art a living child of God if the Spirit of God dwell in
thee, but without him thou art dead whilst thou livest.

From a sermon entitled "The Saint And The Spirit," delivered June 9, 1867. Image by Nicholas Kenrick under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

If we are not renewed

We do not know how much devil there is inside any one of us; if we are not renewed and changed by grace, we are heirs of wrath even as others. The description, which is given in the Romans, that second chapter, that awful chapter, is a truthful picture of every child of Adam. He may look respectable; he may seem to be a lamb, and to be so quiet that a weaned child might play on the cockatrice’s den; but he is a deadly cockatrice for all that. The snake may sleep, and you may play with it, but let it wake, and you will see that it is a deadly thing. Sin may lie dormant in the soul, but there may come a time when it will wake up; and there may come a time in England when those good people who hang on to the skirts of Christ, and attend our places of worship, may actually develop into persecutors.

From a sermon entitled "Nazareth; Or, Jesus Rejected By His Friends," delivered June 2, 1867. Image by Indy Kethdy under Creative Commons License.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The King In His Beauty

Ed. note - I tried to find the best and most fitting photograph I could for this post, but none can match the subject.

The King this day wears the beauty of an intercessor who can never fail, of a Prince who can never be defeated, of a conqueror who has vanquished every foe, of a Lord who has the heart’s allegiance of every subject, of a well-beloved who is adored in the depths of all regenerate hearts. Jesus wears all the beauty which the pomp of heaven can bestow upon him, all the glory which ten thousand times ten thousand angels can minister to him. The chariots of the Lord are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels; Jesus is in the midst of them as in the holy place.

You cannot with your utmost stretch of imagination conceive the beauty which now adorns our King; yet, brethren, there will be a further revelation of it when he shall appear on earth in his glory, for he is yet to descend from heaven in great power. “We believe that thou shalt shortly come to be our Judge.” We expect to see the King on earth again, it may be as a King to rule over all the nations; it may be, it must be, as a Judge to separate the people as the shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats. Oh, the splendor of that glory! It will ravish his people’s hearts, but those who in derision crowned him, mocking thus his gracious claim, shall weep and wail because of him, when they shall look on him whom they have pierced but find no salvation, seeing they rejected him in the day of grace. Amidst the splendours of that day, it shall be the joy of the Christian to see the King in his beauty.

From a sermon entitled "The King In His Beauty," delivered May 26, 1867. Image by Stian Rødven Eide under Creative Commons License.

Friday, September 11, 2009

More than conquerors!

"To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."

The Christians of the early ages sacrificed themselves continually upon the altar of Christ with joy and alacrity. Wherever they were they bore testimony against the evil customs which surrounded them. They counted it foul scorn for a Christian to be as others were; they would not conform themselves to the world: they could not, for they were transformed by the renewing of their minds; their love to Christ compelled them to bear their witness against everything which dishonored Christ by being contrary to truth, and righteousness, and love. They were innovators, reformers, image-breakers, everywhere; they could not be quiet and let others do as they pleased, whilst they followed out their own views, but their protest was continual, incessant, annoying to the foe, but acceptable to God. In every place the Christian was a speckled bird, because love to Jesus would not allow him to disguise his convictions; he was everywhere a stranger and an alien, because the very language of his everyday life differed from that of his neighbors.

Where others blasphemed, he adored; where others used oaths habitually, his “yea” was yea, and his “nay,” nay; where others girt on the sword, he resisted not evil; where others were each man seeking his own and not his brother’s welfare, the Christian was known as being one whose treasure was in heaven, and who had set his affections upon things above.

From a sermon entitled "More Than Conquerors," delivered May 19, 1867. Image by Jasmic under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

When Christ comes in to the heart

What thou wantest [ed. - what you lack], sinner, for thy salvation, is that Christ should come unto thee; for if he should come unto thee, then that dead soul of thine would live. His presence is life. He quickeneth whom he will. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. When he comes into a soul, spiritual life is there. The sinner wakes up to consciousness and rises from the grave over the mouth of which his reckless indifference, like a great stone, has been rolled, and he cries, “What must I do to be saved?”

When Christ comes into the heart sin is seen to be sinful. In the light of the cross man begins to repent; he sees that his sin has slain the Savior, and he loathes it; he now seeks to be delivered both from its guilt and from its power. The coming of Christ does that. It takes away the guilt of man. Christ in the heart, revealed to the soul, speaks peace to the troubled conscience. We look to him and are lightened, and our faces are not ashamed. We see the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness in Christ; here we wash and are made clean: as for the reigning power of sin, nothing can ever conquer that but the incoming of Christ. If a man serves an evil master, the only way of getting rid of that hated despot is to bring in the rival sovereign.

From a sermon entitled "A Triumphal Entrance," delivered December 13, 1866. Image by David Hopkins under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Continuing on to the final victory

Frequently, in the New Testament, the Christian is compared to a runner - he runs in a race for a great prize; but it is not by merely starting, it is not by making a great spurt, it is not by distancing your rival for a little time, and then pulling up to take breath, or sauntering to either side of the road, that you will win the race: we must never stop till we have passed the winning-post; there must be no loitering throughout the whole of the Christian career, but onward, like the Roman charioteer, with glowing wheels, we must fly more and more rapidly till we actually obtain the crown.

The Christian is sometimes, by the apostle Paul, who somewhat delights to quote from the ancient games, compared to the Grecian wrestler or boxer. But it is of little avail for the champion to give the foe one blow or one fall: he must continue in the combat until his adversary is beaten. Our spiritual foes will not be vanquished until we enter where the conquerors receive their crowns, and therefore we must continue in fighting attitude. It is in vain for us to talk of what we have done or are doing just now, he that continueth to the end, the same shall be saved, and none but he.

The believer is commonly compared to a warrior: he is engaged in a great battle, a holy war. Like Joshua, he has to drive out the Canaanites, that have chariots of iron, before he can fully take possession of his inheritance; but it is not the winning of one battle that makes a man a conqueror; nay, though he should devastate one province of his enemy’s territories, yet, if he should be driven out by-and-by, he is beaten in the campaign, and it will yield him but small consolation to win a single battle, or even a dozen battles, if the campaign as a whole should end in his defeat. It is not commencing as though the whole world were to be cleared by one display of fire and sword, but continuing, going from strength to strength, from victory to victory, that makes the man the conqueror of his foe.

From a sermon entitled "The Righteous Holding On His Way," delivered May 12, 1867. Image by Duncan Rawlinson ( Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The grace that produces humility

I frequently find that a sense of God’s amazing love to me has a greater tendency to humble me than even a consciousness of my own guilt. Think, my brethren, what you are by grace! You were chosen of God according to his purpose; chosen, not for good in you, but chosen because he would choose you; because "He will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and will have compassion on whom he will have compassion." You were “not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold... but with the precious blood or Christ.” You were so lost that nothing could save you but the sacrifice of God’s only begotten. Think of that; and, as Jesus stooped for you, bow yourselves in lowliness at his feet.

You are now a child of God; a favorite of the skies, on the road to glory, with a heritage beyond the black river which shall be yours when suns and moons have paled their waning light. You are to dwell forever near to God, and to be like him. Surely the thoughts of such amazing goodness will make the vessel, laden so heavily with mercy, sink in the water, even to its bulwarks. Surely you will feel that you must bless and magnify God, because you are less than the least of all his mercies.

From a sermon entitled "Self-Humbling," delivered May 5, 1867. Image by fdecomite under Creative Commons License.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Without the Spirit...

We must have the aid of the Holy Spirit, for ours is not a mechanical religion. If our worship consisted in the reading of forms “appointed by authority,” we could do exceedingly well without the assistance of the Spirit of God. If we believed in the manipulations of priest-craft, and thought that after certain words, and genuflections, and ceremonials, all was done, it would matter little to us whether we had the conscious presence of God or no. If we could regenerate by water, applied by hands saturated with the oil of apostolical succession, we should have no particular need to pray for the benediction of the Holy Ghost; and if the utterance of certain words, it may be by profane lips, could turn bread and wine - oh, horrible dogma! - into the flesh and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, we could wondrously well afford to dispense with the Spirit of God.

But we cannot thus deceive ourselves. Ours is not a religion of mechanics and hydrostatics: it is spiritual, and must be sustained by spiritual means. If our religion were, on the other hand, one of mere intellectualism, we should only need a well-trained minister, who had passed through all the grades of human learning, who had stored himself with the best biblical criticism, and was able to instruct and illuminate our understandings, and we, if we be men of judgment ourselves, could profit exceedingly well. Our faith standing in the wisdom of man, the wisdom of man could easily be found, and our faith could be confirmed. But if, my brethren, our faith standeth not in the wisdom of man nor in the eloquence of human lips, but in the power of God, then in vain do we make a profession, unless the Holy Ghost dwelleth in our inner man.

From a sermon entitled "Make This Valley Full Of Ditches," delivered April 28, 1867. Image by Steve Berardi under Creative Commons License.

The Daily Spurgeon will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 8, after the Labor Day holiday in the U. S.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Christian unity

We can dispense with uniformity if we possess unity: oneness of life, truth, and way; oneness in Christ Jesus; oneness of object and spirit - these we must have, or our assemblies will be synagogues of contention rather than churches of Christ. The closer the unity the better; for the more of the good and the pleasant there will be. Since we are imperfect beings, somewhat of the evil and the unpleasant is sure to intrude; but this will readily be neutralized and easily ejected by the true love of the saints, if it really exists. Christian unity is good in itself, good for ourselves, good for the brethren, good for our converts, good for the outside world; and for certain it is pleasant: for a loving heart must have pleasure and give pleasure in associating with others of like nature. A church united for years in earnest service of the Lord is a well of goodness and joy to all those who dwell round about it.

From The Treasury Of David, exposition of Psalm 133. Image by Teo under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

You must take His shield

If you will trust the Lord Jesus, and take him to be your salvation, you are then enlisted as a soldier of Jesus. Oh! may you have grace to do that! But recollect, all soldiers have to fight. One of the first things you will have to do, if you become a Christian, is to carry a cross. Ah! you do not like it. “His yoke is easy, and his burden is light;” take it upon you: and yet to carnal shoulders the cross is very galling, and nothing but grace can make it light. You will have to give up your sins; you will have to give up your empty pleasures; you will have henceforth to bear witness for Christ before a crooked and perverse generation.

Do not think to be Christ’s soldier, and yet not wear his livery. No; you must put on his regimentals; you must wear his crest - his crest is the cross; you must take his shield, the shield of faith; and his sword, which is the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, and resting alone on him, depending alone upon his merit, you shall certainly win the victory.

From a sermon entitled "The End Of The Righteous Desired," delivered April 21, 1867. Image by Kenneth Baruch under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

May he find laborers for His service!

We find the most eminent of God’s servants frequently magnifying their office as preachers of the gospel. Whitfield was wont to call his pulpit his throne; and when he stood upon some rising knoll to preach to the thousands gathered in the open air, he was more happy than if he had assumed the imperial purple, for he ruled the hearts of men more gloriously than doth a king.

Carey was laboring in India, and his son Felix had accepted the office of ambassador to the king of Burma, Carey said, “Felix has driveled into an ambassador” - as though he looked upon the highest earthly office as an utter degradation if for it the minister of the gospel forsook his lofty vocation. Paul blesses God that this great grace was given to him, that he might preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; he looked upon it not as toil, but as a grace. Aspire to this office, young men whose souls are full of love to Jesus. Fired with sacred enthusiasm, covet earnestly the best gifts, and out of love to Jesus try whether you cannot in your measure tell to your fellow-men the story of the cross. Men of zeal and ability, if you love Jesus, make the ministry your aim; train your minds to it; exercise your souls towards it; and may God the Holy Spirit call you to it, that you also may preach the Word of reconciliation to the dying thousands. The laborers still are few, may the Lord of the harvest thrust you into his work.

From a sermon entitled "The Unsearchable Riches Of Christ," delivered April 14, 1867. Image by James Jordan under Creative Commons License.