Saturday, July 30, 2011

When have we learned a doctrine?

My brethren, this is a lesson for us; let us never reckon that we have learned a doctrine till we have seen its bearing upon our lives. Whatever we discover in God’s word, let us pray the Holy Spirit to make us feel the sanctifying influence of it. You know not a man because you recognize his features, you must also know his spirit, and so the mere acquaintance with the letter of truth is of small account — you must feel its influence and know its tendency.

There are some brethren who are so enamored of doctrine that no preacher will content them unless he gives them over and over again clear statements of certain favourite truths: but the moment you come to speak of practice they fight shy of it at once, and either denounce the preacher as being legal, or they grow weary of that which they dare not contradict. Let it never be so with us. Let us follow up truth to its practical “therefore.” Let us love the practice of holiness as much as the belief of the truth; and, though we desire to know, let us take care when we know that we act according to the knowledge, for if we do not our knowledge itself will become mischievous to us, will involve us in responsibilities, but will bring to us no effectual blessing. Let everyone here who knoweth aught, now pray God to teach him what he would have him to do, as the consequence of that knowledge.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Motives For Steadfastness," delivered May 11, 1873. Image by Ken Lund on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Even so has He loved us

It is quite certain, my dear brethren, that you who believe in Jesus are personally the objects of the love of the Triune Jehovah. You are loved as much as you love your children, or as the bridegroom loves his bride — nay, those are very feeble images, for you are loved by God infinitely. The heart of God never does anything weakly; his love is strong and powerful, for it is the affection of an omnipotent spirit. Remember the words of the Lord Jesus — “As the Father hath loved me even so have I loved you.” Do you know how much the Father loves his Son? Can you form any conception? Are you not baffled in the attempt? “Even so,” saith Jesus, “have I loved you.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Miracles of Love," delivered May 4, 1873. Image by Ken Lund on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Go to the work, stay at the work

Find a man who is pleading with sinners, really practically engaged in the work, and is bringing souls to Jesus Christ, and I will warrant you that he will be orthodox. He believes in the doctrine of human depravity, for he sees it to be a fact: he believes in the work of the Holy Spirit, for he often sees his own work to be good for nothing: he believes in sovereign grace, for he often observes that some are saved whom he least expected to see, and those whom he looked for are left behind.

There is nothing like work to keep a man soundly evangelical. When a fellow has nothing to do, the devil puts it into his head to write an essay against the orthodox faith. The man is a practical ignoramus, and, therefore, he is wiser than seven men that can render a reason. His hands are unemployed, and, therefore, he wanders about in Christ’s halls, whittling the doctrines of truth, and inventing new notions to please his fancy. Get to work, and you will be healthy. If God makes you a light to others you will be bright yourself, as you are giving the light your shining will burn off the spots and blots. When iron is red hot the blackness disappears. Streams as they run let fall their impurities, and filter themselves; and so the working Christian is enabled by God’s Spirit to purge himself from errors. He does God’s will, and therefore he knows
his doctrine.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Light Of The World," delivered April 27, 1873. Image by pasotraspaso on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What a peace!

The man who has believed in Jesus feels a deep peace in his soul. “Jesus died for me,” saith he. Then if Jesus died in my stead my sin is put away. God will not be so unjust or inconsistent as to punish me for the very sin for which he put Christ my substitute to grief. If Jesus suffered in my stead, I shall not suffer. It were not just that two should suffer for the selfsame sin. The believer, knowing this, finds satisfaction, smells a savor of rest, and feels peace.

O, what a peace! Believe me, there is nothing like it in this world, it is the peace of God which passeth all understanding, a peace like that which rules amid angelic thrones.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Plenary Absolution." Image by francesco sgroi on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Without the spirit of prayer

If the spirit of prayer be not with the people, the minister may preach like an angel, but he cannot expect success. If there be not the spirit of prayer in a church there may be wealth, there may be talent, there may be a measure of effort, there may be an extensive machinery, but the Lord is not there. It is as sure evidence of the presence of God that men pray as the rising of the thermometer is an evidence of the increase of the temperature. As the Nilometer measures the rising of the water in the Nile, and so foretells the amount of harvest in Egypt; so is the prayer-meeting a grace-ometer, and from it we may judge of the amount of divine working among a people. If God be near a church it must pray; and if he be not there, one of the first tokens of his absence will be slothfulness in prayer.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Call To Worship," delivered April 20, 1873. Image by paul (dex) on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Do not reject His righteousness

Men think that they are to be saved by keeping God’s commandments. They are to do their best, and they conceive that their sincere endeavors will be accepted, and they will thus save themselves. This self-righteous idea is diametrically opposed to the whole spirit of the gospel. The gospel is not for you who can save yourselves, but for those who are lost. If you can save yourselves, go and do it, and do not mock the Savior with your hypocritical prayers. Go and stumble among the tombs of ancient Israel, and perish as they did in the wilderness, for into rest Moses and the law can never lead you.

The gospel is for sinners who cannot keep the law for themselves, who have broken it, and incurred its penalty, who know that they have done so, and confess it. For such, a living Savior has come that he may blot out their transgressions. Seek not salvation by the works of the law, for by them shall no flesh living be justified. By the law is the knowledge of sin, and nothing more, but righteousness, peace, life, salvation, come by faith in the living Lord Jesus Christ, and by no other means. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved;” but if thou goest about to establish thine own righteousness, thou shalt surely perish, because thou hast rejected the righteousness of Christ.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Lord Is Risen Indeed," delivered April 13, 1873. Image by paul (dex) on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

His heart was with the common people

Many men have concealed inordinate pride beneath a crouching manner, mimicking humility while harbouring arrogance. While their spirit has been full of imperial despotism they have pretended to be the friends of the people, and have talked like the veriest demagogues. Not so our truthful Master. He was “meek and lowly in heart.” To him association with the poor and sinful was no affectation of condescension, he was already on their level in intense sympathy with their sorrows.

His heart was with the common people. He did not force himself down from a natural haughtiness to a constrained contact with the lowly, but he became a real friend of sinners, and a willing companion of the needy. He rejoiced in spirit when he said, “Father, I thank thee, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” His heart was meek and lowly: it was his very nature to be clear of anger and pride, passion, and enmity.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Heart of Jesus," delivered April 6, 1873. Image by Tom BKK on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Be patient and wait for the fruit

We must not always reckon to see nations converted the moment the gospel is preached to them; and especially where new ground has been broken up, where countries have just received the gospel message, we must not be disappointed if neither to-day nor tomorrow we are rewarded with abundant results. God’s plan involves ploughing, sowing, and waiting, and after these the up-springing and the harvest. “Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Spring," delivered March 30, 1873. Image by Tom BKK on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Trust Your Father in Heaven!

You have been unable to trust God to give you day by day your daily bread, and therefore you have been craving for what you call “some provision for the future.” You want a more trusty provider than providence, a better security than God’s promise. You are unable to trust your heavenly Father’s word, a few bonds of some half bankrupt foreign government you consider to be far more reliable; you can trust the Sultan of Turkey, or the Viceroy of Egypt, but not the God of the whole earth!

In a thousand ways we insult the Lord by imagining “the things which are seen” to be more substantial than his unseen omnipotence. We ask God to give us at once what we do not require at present, and may never need at all; at bottom the reason for such desires may be found in a disgraceful distrust of him which makes us imagine that great stores are needful to ensure our being provided for. Brethren, are you not to blame here, and do you expect the Lord to aid and abet your folly? Shall God pander to your distrust? Shall he give you a heap of cankering gold and silver for thieves to steal, and chests of garments to feed moths? Would you have the Lord act as if he admitted the correctness of your suspicions and confessed to unfaithfulness? God forbid!

Expect not, therefore, to be heard when your prayer is suggested by an unbelieving heart: “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him and he shall bring it to pass.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Conditions of Power in Prayer," delivered March 23, 1873. Image by Tom BKK on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

But in the meantime

...“The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Concerning such a sentence I will venture to say every single syllable in the verse is worth more than whole volumes about heaven might have been, though the Spirit of God might have inspired them - worth more for present and practical purpose to us who are yet among the sons of men. Are there any dear brethren who understand the Book of Revelation, the Book of Ezekiel, and the Book of Daniel? I am pleased to hear it. But if the Lord will help me to understand Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, I shall be perfectly satisfied to go on preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, for I think I shall get up to them by and by in their knowledge of prophecy and mystery, when I come into clearer light and see the Master face to face.

Meanwhile, there are sinners to be saved. We must go about doing this soul-saving business in his name, with the simple means put before us in the gospels and epistles, which we are enabled to understand by the Spirit of God through our own personal experience of the truth revealed.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Royal Homage." Image by szeke on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, July 18, 2011

What is conviction of sin?

The Lord shuts us up to hopelessness and helplessness in order that he may come, as a God of grace, and display his abounding mercy. All our hope lies in him, and all other hopes are delusions. The great work in conversion is not to make people better, so that they may come to God on a good footing, it is to strip them completely and lay them low, so that God may come to them when they are on a bad footing, or rather on no footing at all, but down in the dust at his feet. The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost, but it wants* God himself to convince men that they are lost; and the Spirit’s work of soul-humbling is just this - to get man to feel so diseased that he will accept the physician; to get him to feel so poor that he will accept the charity of heaven; to get him to know that he is so stripped, that he will no longer be proud of his fig leaves, but will be willing to take the robe of righteousness which Christ has wrought out.

Conviction is sent to kill the man, to break him in pieces, to bury him, to let him know his own corruption; and all this as a preliminary to his quickening and restoration. We must see the bones in the valley to be dead and dry, or we shall not hear the voice out of the excellent glory, saying, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Ye dry bones live!’” May God in his mercy teach us what all this means, and may we all experience an old-fashioned conversion.

* - that is, it requires

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "An Old-Fashioned Conversation," delivered March 16, 1873. Image by szeke on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Not a self-improvement program

The theory of some is, that there is much natural goodness in men, and they have only to work it out and gradually improve themselves into a state of grace. No, sir, you are on the wrong tack. Do you know what is the very first ceremony of the Christian religion? “Yes,” say you, “baptism.” So it is. And what is baptism? “Buried with Christ in baptism.” Who are buried, then? Living people? No! but dead people.

The very first lesson of the gospel after believing in Christ is that you are, before the law, dead, through having been crucified with Christ, and therefore you must be buried. There is no improving your old nature, mending it up and beautifying it into perfection-the thing is hopeless, and it must die and be buried. The scripture does not say, “Ye must be improved,” “Ye must be born again.” That is quite another thing.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Good News For The Lost," delivered March 9, 1873. Image by -Chiotas- on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hope for troubled spirits

Let it never be forgotten that the subject of the sorrows of the Savior has proved to be more efficacious for comfort to mourners than any other theme in the compass of revelation, or out of it. Even the glories of Christ afford no such consolation to afflicted spirits as the sufferings of Christ. Christ is in all attitudes the consolation of Israel, but he is most so as a man of sorrows.

Troubled spirits turn not so much to Bethlehem as to Calvary, they prefer Gethsemane to Nazareth. The afflicted do not so much look for comfort to Christ as he will come a second time in splendor of state, as to Christ as he came the first time, a weary man and full of woes. The passion-flower yields us the best perfume, the tree of the cross bleeds the most healing balm. Like in this case cures like, for there is no remedy for sorrow beneath the sun like the sorrows of Immanuel. As Aaron’s rod swallowed up all the other rods, so the griefs of Jesus make our griefs disappear.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Man Of Sorrows," delivered March 2, 1873. Image by -Chiotas- on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

His Promise is good

He cannot be a glorious God, unless his people ultimately be a glorified people; he cannot be true, unless his people be kept to the end, for he has pledged his honor for their safety. Jesus has said, “I give unto my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.” Yea, the Lord himself hath declared that, “Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation, they shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.” Heaven and earth shall pass away, but God’s word shall not fail, sun and moon shall cease their shining, but he will not alter the thing which hath gone forth of his lips. Hath he said, and shall he not do it? Hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Wonders," delivered February 23, 1873. Image by Zach Dischner on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Nothing worth envying

A soul that gets what God gives him has quite as much as he can hold, and as much as he can want. He has got a portion that might well excite envy. If the world did but know how happy and blessed Christians are, they would count them up in the royal family, and they would envy them beyond all others. There is nothing in the worldling’s estate to envy. The more he has the worse it will be for him to leave it. His fine gardens and lawns and parks will make it hard to die. The greater his earthly honor the worse will be his eternal dishonor. It must be to him a horrible thing to have had a high soar, and then to have all the greater fall because of it.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Good Cause For Great Zeal." Image by Zach Dischner on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Equal Gratitude

Jesus Christ is the gift of the Father’s love to us, but Jesus himself loved his own, and laid down his life for his flock. It is true that the Son loves us, but the Father himself loveth us too, The love of God does not come to us from one person of the blessed Trinity alone, but from all. We ought to make no distinctions by way of preference in the love of either Father, Son, or Holy Ghost. One love dwells in the breast of the one undivided Three, we must adore and bless our Lord Jesus Christ and God, even our Father, with equal gratitude.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Divine Love And Its Gifts," delivered February 16, 1873. Image by nosha on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Conscience Not Enough

Though I have heard ten thousand times that conscience is the vicegerent of God in the soul of man, I have never been able to subscribe to that dogma. It is no such thing. In many persons conscience is perverted, in others only a fragment of it remains, and in all it is fallible, and subject to aberrations. Conscience is in all men a thing of degrees dependent upon education, example, and previous character; it is an eye of the soul, but it is frequently purblind and weak, and always needs light from above, or else it does but mock the soul.

Conscience is a faculty of the mind, which, like every other, has suffered serious damage through our natural depravity, and it is by no means perfect. It is only the understanding acting upon moral subjects; and upon such matters it often puts bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter, darkness for light and light for darkness. Hence it is that men’s sins do not appear to them sin. In all probability there is not one, even among renewed men, who fully knows the evil of sin, nor will there be until in heaven we shall be perfect; and then, when we shall see the perfection of divine holiness, we shall understand how black a thing was sin. Men who have lived underground all their lives do not know how dark the mine is, nor can they know it until they stand in the blaze of a summer’s noon.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Monster Dragged To Light," delivered February 9, 1873. Image by nosha on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Favor every moment

Dear friends, a Christian has infinite cause for gratitude. When I first looked to Christ and was lightened, I thought that if I never received another mercy except that one of being delivered from my load of guilt, I would praise God, if he would but let me, for ever and ever. To have the feet taken out of the miry clay, and to feel them set on the rock of ages, is a subject for eternal gratitude. But you have not received one spiritual mercy only, beloved brother, nor two, nor twenty; you have had them strewn along your path in richest profusion; the stars above are not more numerous, nor the sands beneath more innumerable. Every hour, yea, every moment has brought a favor upon its wings.

Look downward and give thanks, for you are saved from hell; look on the right hand and give thanks, for you are enriched with gracious gifts; look on the left hand and give thanks, for you are shielded from deadly ills; look above you and give thanks, for heaven awaits you.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Always And For All Things," delivered February 2, 1873. Image by nosha on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Freedom and Obedience

The Savior, when the Caesar question was brought forward, answered it most completely. They said, “Shall we pay tribute to Caesar?” “Whose money is this?” said he. “Caesar’s money.” “Very well; you have evidently submitted to Caesar’s government, you are under his sway; therefore pay to him the tax which he demands of you, but still by no means forget that you are under God’s government; therefore render unto God the things that are God’s.” He drew a line of distinction here which ever ought to be maintained. “To Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.”

To maintain order, to repress crime, to preserve individual liberty, to protect each man’s rights, this is Caesar’s business. To teach us religion? Is Caesar to do that? God forbid, for what religion will Caesar teach us? Is he a Pagan? he will enforce idolatry; is he a Papist? he will ordain Popery; is an atheist? he will establish infidelity. Remember the days of Queen Mary, and see what Caesar is capable of when he meddles with religion.

It is none of Caesar’s business to deal with our consciences, neither will we ever obey Caesar in any matter which touches conscience. He may make what laws he will about religion, but by our loyalty to God we pour contempt on Caesar when he usurps the place of God. He is no more to us than the meanest beggar in the street if he goes beyond his own legitimate authority. To Caesar, Caesar’s; politics to politicians; obedience, cheerful and prompt, to civil rulers: to God, and to God only, things that are God’s; and what are these? Our hearts, our souls, our consciences. Man himself is the coin upon which God has stamped his image and superscription (though, alas! both are sadly marred), and we must render to God our manhood, our wills, our thoughts, our judgments, our minds, our hearts.

Consciences are for God. Any law that touches a conscience is null and void ipso facto, for the simple reason that kings and parliaments have no right to interfere in the realm of conscience. Conscience is under law to none but God. We do not believe in liberty of conscience towards God. We are bound towards him, to believe what he tells us, and to do what he bids us; but liberty of conscience in respect to all mankind is the natural right of every man of woman born, and it ought to be tenderly respected.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Questions of the Day and the Question of the Day," delivered January 26, 1873. Image by nosha on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Remember Christ Crucified

Whatever we do not know, my brethren, let us know the cross; whatever subject may have a second place in our estimation, always let the ransomprice paid on Calvary be first and foremost. I would have you study much the four records of the evangelists. Dwell upon them.

Christians ought to be familiar with every little incident of their Savior’s death: there is teaching in every nail; the sponge, the vinegar, and the hyssop all have a meaning in them, and the spear that pierced his side is full of instruction. We ought to study them - study them again, and again, and again. Here is the very essence of our confidence; this is the pillar upon which our souls lean. If there be any hope for sinners; if there be any consolation for sufferers; if there be any cleansing for the guilty; if there be any life for the dead, it is here.... O, dwell at the cross, then. Whatever your minds may forget to consider, let them never lose the savor of this, or leave the meditation of Christ crucified.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Holy Celebration." Image by nosha on Flickr under Creative Commons License.