Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nothing will compensate for a lack in prayer

There should be meetings wholly devoted to prayer, and there is a serious flaw in the arrangements of a church when such gatherings are omitted or placed in a secondary position. These prayer-meetings should be kept to their object, and their great attraction should be prayer itself. An address if you like, a few burning words to stir up prayer if you like, but if you cannot have them, do not look upon speech-making as at all necessary.

Let it be a standing ordinance in the church that at certain times and occasions many shall meet together to pray, and supplication shall be their sole object. The private Christian will read, and hear, and meditate, but none of these can be a substitute for prayer: the same truth holds good upon the larger scale, the church should listen to her teachers, and receive edification from gospel ordinances, but she must also pray; nothing can compensate for the neglect of devotion.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Special Prayer Meeting," delivered July 20, 1875. Image by ankakay on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Do you know God?

There must be a knowledge of God. And, mark you, if you know God you will think very little of yourself. He who knows not God thinks man a noble being; he who has seen God thinks man to be dust and ashes. He who knows not God’s holiness thinks himself to be a good creature, but when he sees a thrice-holy God he says, “I abhor myself.” He who knows not God thinks man to be a wonderful being, able to accomplish whatsoever he wills, but in the sight of God human strength is burned up, and man becomes lighter than vanity.

Do you know God? O my dear hearer, do you know God in the majesty of his justice as condemning your sin, and you for sin? Do you know God in the splendor of his love, as giving Jesus Christ to die for sinners, blending that love with justice — for love gave Jesus, and justice slew him? Do you know God in the fullness of his power to save, renewing the heart, changing the mind, subduing the will? Do you know him even in this, which is, comparatively, a slender branch of knowledge? If you do, you have begun to know him, and you have begun to know yourself too, for he knows not himself who does not know something of God. Oh, to know the Father as my Father, who hath kissed me, and put the best robe upon me! Oh, to know the Son as my brother, in whose garments I am accepted, and stand comely in the sight of God! Oh, to know the Spirit as the quickener and the divine indweller and illuminator, by whose light alone we see, and in whose life we live!

To know the Lord — that is true religion, and I say again, any religion, whatever it is — Churchianity or Nonconformity, or what you like — if it does not lead you to know God, is of no use whatever.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Blessings Of Following On." Image by ankakay on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Take Christ as your remedy at once!

May God grant us grace to shake these vipers into the fire; for, oh my brothers, though I have spoken sternly, just now, even as John the Baptist might have done, I also am a man, and would plead with you tenderly. What sin can be worth indulging at the expense of your soul? Young soldier, over yonder, is there any sin which prevents your being a Christian in your regiment? Can any sin repay you for losing your soul? Young woman, over there, tempted by pleasure, can any gaiety be worth losing heaven for?

Whether young or old, I ask you, “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” I have spoken roughly to you in love — love to your souls. If the whole host of pleasurable sins could be put together, and gold piled upon them high as the moon, the whole mass would not repay a man for being cast into the fires of hell. Do not run such risks, I pray you. May great grace enable you to cast your sins away and take Christ at once.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Why Men Cannot Believe in Christ." Image by Keven Law on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Safe in His Hand!

Can a mother forget her sucking child, that she could not have compassion on the son of her womb? Could she suffer a child of hers to die while she had power to keep it alive? Would she lay violent hands upon the child of her love and destroy it? God forbid. Neither will God destroy, or suffer to be destroyed, any one of his own dear children. Jesus has solemnly said — “I give unto my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.” The fairest children of the earth will die, for that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and all flesh is as decaying grass; but the feeblest child of God will live for ever, for the life of God in every degree of it is immortality.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Faith's Ultimatum," delivered July 18, 1875. Image by Heather Katsoulis on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Importance of 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," by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, exposition of Psalm 133. Image by Earl Wilkerson on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Are we doing all we can for missions?

Ask what God is, and the answer is, God is a river of goodness streaming down to men through the person of Jesus Christ.... see what a misery it is that men should be perishing and dying of soul-thirst when there is this river so near. That men should die of thirst would be horrible, but that such deaths should happen all along the banks of a river is shocking indeed. What ails them? Have they never heard of it?

Dear brethren, let the thought press heavily on you, that millions of our race have never heard of Jesus. In China, in parts of India, in Africa, in large tracts of country myriads live and die without having heard the sweet name of Jesus. Are we doing all we can for missions, do you think? Are we all sure that we give as much as we should, and pray as we should, and work as we should for missions? It is a sad thing that Christ has come into the world and yet men perish by millions.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Rivers Of Water In A Dry Place," delivered July 11, 1875. Image by Steve-h on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Journey of Faith

 Abraham’s case there was neither misbelief nor provocation, he believed God with a childlike faith.... When the Lord spoke he believed that it was the living God who addressed him. Believing that God spoke, he judged him worthy of his earnest heed; and he felt that it was imperative union him to do as he was bidden. This settled, he desired nothing more to influence his course: he felt that the will of God must be right, and that his highest wisdom was to yield to it.

Though he did not know where he was to go, he was certain that his God knew, and though he could hardly comprehend the reward promised to him, he was sure that the bounteous God never mocked his servants with deceitful gifts. He did not know the land of Canaan, but he was sure if it was a country chosen by God as a peculiar gift to his called servant, it must be no ordinary land. He left all such matters with his heavenly Friend, being fully persuaded that what he had promised he was able also to perform. What a mighty sway faith has over a man, and how greatly it strengthens him. Faith was to the patriarch his authority for starting upon his strange journey, an authority which enabled him to defy alike the worldly wisdom which advises, and the worldly folly which scoffs.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Abraham's Prompt Obedience To The Call Of God," delivered June 27, 1875. Image by Kevin Dooley on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

In Heaven through His Blood and Righteousness

The day will come when the gospel shall have been preached for the last time, when the chosen of God shall have been all gathered out from among men, and the dispensation shall be fulfilled. Then shall all the saints rise to glory at the call of God. The elect multitude shall be all there, every one according to the purpose of the Father, every one according to the redemption of the Son, every one according to the calling of the Spirit, all there; upon their faces there shall be no spot nor wrinkle, and on their garments no stain nor defilement, for they are without fault before the throne of God. Then as the books are opened, and the transgressions of the ungodly are published under heaven, they shall stand without trembling, for

“Jesus, thy blood and righteousness
Their beauty are, their glorious dress;
‘Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall they lift up their head.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Song Of Songs," delivered June 13, 1875. Image by Gemma Stiles on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Faith that saves will change your heart

I am afraid that some imagine that they have only to believe something or other, and they will go to heaven when they die, and that they have only to feel a certain singular emotion, and it is all right within them. Now, if any of you have fallen into that error, may God in his mercy lead you out of it, for it is not every faith that saves, but only the faith of God’s elect. It is not any sort of emotion that changes the heart, but the work of the Holy Ghost. It is a small matter to go into an inquiry-room and say, “I believe”; such an avowal as that proves nothing at all, it may even be false. It will be proved by this, — if you have rightly believed in Jesus Christ you will become from that time forward a different man from what you were. There will be a change in your heart and soul, in your conduct and your conversation; and, seeing you thus changed, those who have been honest objectors will right speedily leave off their objections, for they will be in the condition of those who saw the man that was healed standing with Peter and John; and therefore they could say nothing against them.

The world demands facts, and these we must supply. It is of no use to cry up our medicine by words, we must point to cures. Your change of life will be the grandest argument for the gospel, if that life shall show the meaning of my text, "They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Vindication Of The Doctrine Of Justification By Faith." Image by Steve-h on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Preaching the Gospel will prove it is true

Brethren, if you want to answer infidelity*, preach the gospel; tell the people that Jesus Christ is able to save sinners. Lift high the bloodstained cross, proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prisons to them that are bound. This will make a stir, this will agitate the masses. There is nothing like it. Christ’s gospel is like fire flung amongst the standing corn, it makes a wondrous conflagration. Preach Jesus Christ and him crucified, the people must come to hear it, they are not masters of themselves, they cannot stay away; and as they hear it, and as they feed upon it, and joy comes unto them, and peace, and new life, facts will answer theories, salvation will be the best reply to the witticisms and the sophistries of unbelief.

Do not enter into arguments, but test the gospel practically.... If they tell us that the gospel which we preach is not true, we point to many here present whose stories of reclamation from vice and deliverance from despair and uplifting into light and life and holiness are proofs that the gospel is divine. There they are! Facts, facts, facts, these are God’s replies.

*- in the old sense of unbelief, especially mocking and atheistic unbelief

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Beware Of Unbelief," delivered June 6, 1875. Image by Angelo Amboldi on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Stand against that ancient foe

Satan always has been since his fall a tempter of the worst order, and ever since he first beguiled our mother Eve he has gone on to ensnare men’s souls with the same craft, the same cruelty, the same falsehood, the same impiety against the Lord. It will help you if you reflect that you are not alone, and the pathway which you follow was trodden by the most honored of the elect of God.

Paul, who won provinces for Christ, nevertheless had his messengers of Satan to buffet him, and had to stand against doubts and scars insinuated by the old serpent, even as you must stand. If you could have examined the celestial victors one by one as they entered within the pearly you would have found them all covered with scars: though now they bear neither spot, nor wrinkle, nor any such thing, they had all of them in the day of their flesh to feel the cruel tooth and fang of that infernal serpent; not one of them traversed a clear course and took his throne unchallenged; neither will you conquer without conflict. For you also if there be no cross there will be no crown; therefore, be not astonished if you are attacked in all ways.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "How They Conquered The Dragon," delivered May 30, 1875. Image by Angelo Amboldi on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A word to fathers and mothers

O fathers and mothers, the ruin of your children or their salvation will, under God, very much depend upon you. The gracious Spirit may use you for their conversion, or Satan may employ you as the instruments of their destruction. Which is it like to be? I charge you, consider. It is a notable event in family history when the grace of God takes up its headquarters in the heart of the husband and the father: that household’s story will henceforth be written by another pen.

Let those of us who are the Lord’s gratefully acknowledge his mercy to us personally, and then let us return to bless our household. If the clouds be full of rain they empty themselves upon the earth; let us pray to be as clouds of grace to our families. Whether we have only an Isaac and an Ishmael like Abraham, or twelve children like Jacob, let us pray for each and all that they may live before the Lord, and that we and all that belong to us may be bound up in the bundle of life.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Best House-Visitation," delivered May 23, 1875. Image by steve-h on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What is the result of your life?

Men are affected by the course which they pursue; for good or bad their own conduct comes home to them. The backslider and the good man are very different, but in each of them the same rule is exemplified — they are both filled by the result of their lives. The backslider becomes filled by that which is within him, as seen in his life, and the good man also is filled by that which grace implants within his soul. The evil leaven in the backslider leavens his entire being and sours his existence, while the gracious fountain in the sanctified believer saturates his whole manhood, and baptizes his entire life. In each case the fullness arises from that which is within the man, and is in its nature like the man’s character; the fullness of the backslider’s misery will come out of his own ways, and the fullness of the good man’s content will spring out of the love of God which is shed abroad in his heart.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "How A Man's Conduct Comes Home To Him," delivered May 16, 1875. Image by paul bica on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

That great division

The great division between the sons of men is Christ. Here are the sheep: there are the goats. What parts them? Christ! He is the center. There is no great barrier set up, as it were, on that last tremendous day, but he himself is the division. He shall set the sheep on his right hand, and the goats on his left. Now, that which parts us to-night into two portions is our relationship to Jesus Christ. On which side of Christ are you to-night? I want you to question yourselves about that. If you are on his right hand you are among his people. If you are not with him you are against him, and so are on his left hand.

That which parts the saint and the sinner is Christ; and the moment a sinner comes to Christ he passes over to the other side, and is numbered with the saints. This is the real point of separation. Christ stands between the believers and the unbelievers, and marks the boundary of each class.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Final Separation." Image by Zach Dischner on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Humblest Faith

We may also learn that the humblest and most timid faith in Jesus Christ will save. It is a grand thing to believe in Jesus Christ with all your heart, and soul, and strength; it is delightful never to doubt, but to go from strength to strength until you come to full assurance of understanding; but if you cannot thus mount up with wings as eagles you will be saved if you come limping to Jesus. If you have but a mustard-seed of faith you are saved. She who in the press touched but the hem of the Savior’s garment found that virtue flowed out of him and came to her. Pluck a leaf of this tree by thy poor trembling faith, and if thou darest not take more than that yet shall it make thee whole.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Healing Leaves," delivered May 9, 1875. Image by nosha on Flickr under Creative Commons License.