Compare yourself with Paul, with John, with Brainerd or Rutherford, and even that is ill advice, for what were the best disciples compared with their Master? There must be no lower standard for us than the perfection of Christ. No attainment must ever satisfy us until we are conformed to his image who is the firstborn among many brethren. You will tell me I am holding up a high standard. I am; but then you have a great helper, and I will show you in a moment how you may be of good cheer concerning this business.
To purge out the old leaven many sweepings of the house will be wanted; one certainly will not suffice. You must search, and search, and search on, until you get to heaven. The motto of your life must be, “Watch, watch, watch.” For, mark you, you are sure to leave some leaven, and if you leave a little it will work and spread. Sin has evermore a swelling tendency, and until the Holy Spirit has cut up the last root of sin, evil will grow up again in the heart, at the scent of water it will bud and put forth once again its shoots. Here is work for all time, enough to keep us busy till we land in eternity.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Purging Out The Leaven," delivered December 11, 1870. Image by Sean McGrath under Creative Commons License.