Monday, April 30, 2012

Follow Jesus, then expect this

The Spirit of God upon Jesus Christ was not recognised by the ungodly world to be indeed divine, but they perceived and were astonished at a something about him which they did not understand. He spake with authority and not as the scribes, and they confessed “Never man spake like this man.” They did not know what spirit he was of, but they knew they hated it, and straightway they began to oppose him.

Now, brothers and sisters, if you have the same seal as your Lord...the same result will follow: men will wonder at you, misunderstand you, and oppose you. And what is the reason? Never in this world did the Spirit of promise appear without opposition from the spirit of bondage. Isaac was the child of promise, and did not Ishmael, who was born after the flesh, persecute him? The two seeds, of the flesh and of the promise, are at daggers drawing with each other. When the Lord sets his seal upon you by giving you the Spirit of promise, so that you are not under the law but under Christ, the world will know it; they will not admire you, but they will strive against you to destroy you.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Sealing Of The Spirit," delivered March 19, 1876. Image by on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Where can I find God?

It is not going to your priest or to your clergyman, or to your Bible or to your Prayerbook, or even to your knees in formal prayer; but you must draw near to God in Christ Jesus, and he must be found of you as a man finds a treasure and takes it to be his own. “But where shall I find him?” saith one. When they sought God of old they went to the mercyseat, for there the Lord had promised to speak with them. Now, the Lord Jesus Christ is that mercy-seat, sprinkled with precious blood, and if you want to find God, you must seek him in the person of Jesus Christ. Is it not written: “No man cometh unto the Father but by me!”

Jesus is the one Mediator between God and man, and if you would find God, you must find him in the person of Jesus the Nazarene, who is also the Son of the Highest. You will find Jesus by believing him, trusting him, resting upon him. When you have trusted Jesus, you have found God in Jesus, for he hath said, “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father.” Then have you come to God when you have believed in Jesus Christ. How simple this is! How unencumbered with subtleties and difficulties! When God gives grace, how easy and how plain is believing. Salvation is not by doing, nor by being, nor by feeling, but simply by believing.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Conversions Encouraged," delivered March 12, 1876.  Image by Angelo Amboldi on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Complete Conversion

When a man believes in Jesus Christ he puts away his false gods, and worships the great Father of spirits; he makes no inferior object the aim of his being, but henceforth lives for the glory of God. This is a glorious turning, a complete conversion of the man’s heart and soul.

To turn to God means not merely to forsake the false god for the true, but to turn from the love of sin. Sin lies that way, but God’s glory lies in the opposite quarter. He who looks sinward has his back to God — he who looks Godward has his back to sin. It is blessed conversion when men turn from the folly of sin to the glory of God. With weeping and supplication do men so turn, confessing their wrongdoing, lamenting their transgressions, abhorring their evil lustings, desiring pardon, and hoping for renewal of their nature. Precious in the sight of the Lord are the tears of penitence and the sighs of contrite hearts. We can never be satisfied with the results of our ministry unless faith leads man to hearty repentance towards God, an intense loathing of their sins, and an actual forsaking of them.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Conversions Desired," delivered March 5, 1876. Image by NeilsPhotography on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More Love for Jesus!

My brethren, are not multitudes wrapped up in forms and ceremonies? If the service pleases the eye and the ear are they not quite content? Love to the person of Christ has not occurred to the mass of avowed worshippers of Jesus. We know others to whom the end-all and be-all of religion is an orthodox statement of doctrine. So long as the preaching is according to the confession of faith, and every word and act is piously correct, they are well pleased; but no love to Jesus ever stirs their bosoms, religion to them is not an exercise of the heart at all — it is mere brain work, and hardly that. They know nothing of the living soul going out towards a living person, a bleeding heart knit to another bleeding heart, a life subsisting on another life and enamoured of it. We know brethren who carry this very far, and if the preacher differs from them in the merest shade, they are overwhelmed with pious horror at his unsoundness, and they cannot hear him again: even if he preach Christ most preciously in all the rest of his discourse, it is nothing, because he cannot sound their “Shibboleth.”

What is orthodoxy without love, but a catacomb to bury dead religion in. It is a cage without a bird; the gaunt skeleton of a man out of which the life has fled. I am afraid that the general current of church life runs too much towards externals, and too little towards deep burning love to the person of Christ. If you preach much about emotional religion, and the heart-work of godliness, coldblooded professors label you as rather mystical, and begin to talk of Madame Guyon and the danger of the Quietist school of religion. We would not mind having a little spice of that, even if we were blamed for it, for after all the realizing of Christ is the grand thing. The faith which is most blessed is faith which deals most fully with the person of Jesus Christ, the truest repentance is that which weeps at a sight of his wounds, and the love which is most sweet is love to the adorable person of the Wellbeloved.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Lovest Thou Me?," delivered February 27, 1876. Image by Jeff Kubina on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, April 23, 2012

What He says He means

Do you want to be saved? Believe God as you would believe the one that told you that your house was on fire. Believe God as you would believe your friend, believe him actively, really, truly, for that is faith. God tells you that you have trangressed against him, but that he wills not your death — that he has therefore sent his Son into the world to suffer in the stead of sinners, and that if you rely upon his Son you shall have immediate forgiveness and shall be saved. Believe that message. Believe it to be true. You ought to believe it, for God cannot lie.

It is an indisputable fact that whatever God says stands good. It is not contingent upon aught [i.e., anything] but his own will, and he is without variableness or shadow of turning, What he says he means. Believe him, then, whom ye have not seen as you would believe any one whom ye see daily. Give credit to the word he has written as you would credit any word that is spoken to you.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Remonstrance And A Rejoinder." Image by Zach Dischner on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mercy came although He knew us

Man while living in rebellion against God is as much under his Maker’s eye as the bees in a glass hive are under your eye when you stand and watch all their movements. The eye of Jehovah never sleeps; it is never taken off from a single creature he has made. He sees man — sees him everywhere — sees him through and through, so that he not only hears his words but knows his thoughts, — does not merely behold his actions but weighs his motives, and knows what is in the man as well as that which comes out of the man. One is often led to cry, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain unto it.” That God should know all, even all the little things about man’s sin is a dreadful thing for unpardoned souls to think of.

I was reading the other day a very pretty observation upon one of our Savior’s sayings, and I cannot help telling it to you. You remember he says two sparrows are sold for a farthing, and yet one of them does not light on the ground without your Father. But in another passage he says, “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings? And not one of them is forgotten of God.” Do you notice that? Two for a farthing — five for two farthings; so there is an odd one thrown in for taking a double quantity. Only a sparrow! Nobody cares about that odd sparrow, but not one of them is forgotten of your heavenly Father — not the odd sparrow even. And so no stray thought of yours, no imagination, no trifle which you have quite forgotten, which indeed you never took any heed of, has escaped your heavenly Father’s notice. The text is true to the fullest possible extent “I have seen his ways.”

God has seen your ways at home, your ways abroad, your ways in the shop, your ways in the bedchamber, your ways within as well as your ways without, — the ways of your judgment, the ways of your hope, the ways of your desire, the ways of your evil lustings, the ways of your murmurings, the ways of your pride. He has seen them all, and seen them perfectly and completely; and the wonder is that, after seeing all, he has not cut us down, but instead of it has proclaimed this amazing word of mercy, “I have seen his ways, and will heal him. I have seen all that he has done, and yet for all that I will not cast him from my presence, but I will put my mercy and my wisdom to work with divine skill to heal this sinner of the wickedness of his soul.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Amazing Grace." Image by Zach Dischner on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, April 20, 2012

He deals out His grace to the unworthy

Many a man relieves an unknown person in distress whom he would not think of helping if he knew his character. Some generous hearts are perpetually victimized this way: they deal out their money to those who are altogether unworthy, but if they knew of this unworthiness they would not be so free with their gifts. Now, the Lord is aware of the unworthiness of those to whom he deals out his grace, and it is the glory of that grace that he pours it upon the utterly undeserving. He knows exactly what men are, and yet he is kind to the evil and to the unthankful. He gives his grace to those who, like Manasseh, and Saul of Tarsus, and the dying thief, have nothing but sin about them, and deserve his hot displeasure rather than his gracious love.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Amazing Grace." Image by Sean McGrath on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Does sin still attract you?

Are you willing to be obedient to the command, “Cease to do evil, learn to do well”? “Oh,” saith one, “I am willing enough to be obedient, but where is the strength to come from?” Ah, my blessed Lord does not ask you to find the strength; for that you may look to him. If you are willing he will grant you the power; nay, in making you willing he has already begun the work. If this morning he has made you truly willing to give up sin, his blessed Spirit will never leave you till sin is overcome. Jesus is able to cleanse you from the power of sin as well as from the guilt of it. The point is this — has he made you willing to be made holy? Are you at this present moment willing to be washed and cleansed? Do not answer this question till you have looked at it and marked the self-denial it will cost you. After doing so I fear that honesty will compel some of you to say, “I am not prepared to undergo the change which is here proposed.” You know, my hearer, that sin in some attractive form is very sweet to you, and while it is so there can be no hope of pardon for you.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Reasons For Parting With Sin," delivered February 13, 1876. Image by Photo Extremist on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We need our trials

While Joseph was tried in prison God’s great object was to prepare him for the government which awaited him. It was designed first to give him power to bear power: a rare acquirement. Solomon says, “As the fining pot to silver, and the furnace to gold, so is a man to his praise.” Many a man can bear affliction, but few men can endure prosperity; and I have marked it, and you must have marked it too, that the most perilous thing in all the world is to step suddenly from obscurity into power. Have we not seen men, illiterate and unknown, suddenly introduced to the Christian pulpit, and made much of, and has it not frequently turned out that their names have been by-and-by prudently forgotten, for they were overthrown by the dizzy heights to which they were lifted? It is far better that a man should fight his way up to his position, that he should be assailed by enemies and distrusted by friends, and should pass through a probationary career. Even then he can only stand as the Lord holds him, but without it he is in especial peril. Hence the apostle says, “not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” If I knew that some young man here present would be greatly owned of God in the future, and become in future a prince in our Israel, if by lifting up of this finger I could screen him from fierce criticism, misrepresentation, and abuse, I would not do it, because, severe as the ordeal might be to him, I am persuaded it is needful that he should pass through it in order to make him able to bear the giddy heights of the position for which God intends him.

Joseph on the throne of Egypt, I know not what he might have been if first of all he had not been laid in the stocks. His feet learned to stand fast on a throne through having been set fast in a dungeon. His gold chain was worn without pride because he had worn a chain of iron; and he was fit to be the ruler of princes because he had himself been a servant among prisoners. Through his trial God gave him power to bear power, and this is a far rarer gift than the power to endure oppression and contempt.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Trial By The Word," delivered February 6, 1876. Image by Xristoforos on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Considering ourselves in humility

The right position of a Christian is to walk with lowly humility before God, and with meekness towards his fellow Christians. The lowest room becomes us most, and the lowest seat in that room. Look at Paul, who knew far more of Christ than we do, and who served him far better. It is edifying to notice his expressions. He is an apostle, and he will by no means allow any one to question his calling, for he has received it of the Lord; but what does he say? “Not meet to be called an apostle.” What can be lowlier than this? But we shall see him descending far below it. He takes his place among the ordinary saints, and he will not give up his claim to be numbered with them, for he has made his calling and election sure; but where does he sit among the people of God? He styles himself “less than the least of all saints.” There is no small a descent from “not meet to be called an apostle” to “less than the least of all saints;” but he went lower yet, for at another time he confessed himself to be still a sinner, and coming into the assembly of sinners where does he take his position? He writes himself down as “the chief of sinners.” This is submission to God, the true surrender of every proud pretension or conceited claim.

If, my brethren, the Lord has called us to be ministers, let us ever feel that we are not worthy of so great a grace: since he has made us saints, let us confess that the very least of our brethren is more esteemed by us than we dare to esteem ourselves, and since we know that we are sinners let us look at our sins under that aspect which most reveals their heinousness, for in some respects and under certain lights there are evils in our character which make us guiltier than the rest of our fellow sinners. The stool of repentance and the foot of the cross are the favourite positions of instructed Christians.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Unconditional Surrender," delivered January 30, 1876. Image by dorena-wm on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Let us approach His Glory

The presence of God, as you know, in the temple and the tabernacle was known by the shining of the bright light called the Shekinah between the wings of the cherubim over the ark of the covenant. We often forget that the presence of God in the most holy place was a matter of faith to all but the high priest. Once in the year the high priest went within the awful veil, but we do not know that even he ever dared to look upon the blaze of splendor. God dwelleth in light that no man may approach unto. The smoke of the incense from the priest’s censer was needed partly to veil the exceeding glory of the divine presence, lest even those chosen eyes should suffer blindness. No one else went into the hallowed shrine, and only he once in the year. That symbolical pavilion of Jehovah is not for a moment to be compared with our Lord Jesus, who is the true dwelling-place of the Godhead, for “in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” What a masterly sentence that is! None but the Holy Ghost could surely have compacted words into such a sentence, — “In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.”

The manifestation of the Godhead in Christ is not unapproachable, for we may freely come to Jesus: a voice out of the excellent glory bids us come boldly unto the throne of the heavenly grace. We cannot come too often, nor be too long in our approaches unto Jesus, the true mercy-seat. The atonement has been offered, and the veil of the temple, that is to say, the flesh of Christ, has been rent, and now we may approach the Godhead in Christ Jesus without trembling. Verily, as I think of God, incarnate God in Jesus Christ, and dwelling among the sons of men, I feel how true it is, “In this place is one greater than the temple.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "One Greater Than The Temple," delivered January 23, 1876. Image by Rennett Stowe on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Something you will not regret

If I have any message to give from my own bed of sickness it would be this — if you do not wish to be full of regrets when you are obliged to lie still, work while you can. If you desire to make a sick bed as soft as it can be, do not stuff it with the mournful reflection that you wasted time while you were in health and strength.

People said to me years ago, “You will break your constitution down with preaching ten times a week,” and the like. Well, if I have done so, I am glad of it. I would do the same again. If I had fifty constitutions I would rejoice to break them down in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ. You young men that are strong, overcome the wicked one and fight for the Lord while you can. You will never regret having done all that lies in you for our blessed Lord and Master. Crowd as much as you can into every day, and postpone no work till to-morrow. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "For The Sick And Afflicted." Image by Matt McGee on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Fragrant Beauty of Holiness

The Easterns did not think themselves fit for their banquets till they had washed their face and anointed themselves with perfumed oil. They were very fond of locks dripping with oil and faces bright therewith. Certainly there is a beauty which the Spirit gives to men, which they can never obtain in any other way. Oh, the excellence of the character that is formed by the hand of the Spirit of God! It is a beautiful thing which even God himself delights to look upon; it is a thing of beauty, and in the most emphatic sense a joy for ever. He that is made comely with the comeliness which the Holy Spirit gives must be a happy man. Other beauty may bring sorrow, but the beauty of holiness makes us akin to angels.

Once more, it becomes a perfume. When oil was poured on a man his presence scented the air around him, and when the Spirit of God is given to us it is perceived by other spiritual minds. Cannot you detect in a brother’s prayer that he has been with Jesus? Do you not know by the lives of some of Christ’s dear saints that he is very familiar with them? Do you not perceive that they have had a special anointing? The ungodly world cannot tell it, but saints discern it. The nostril of the wicked is only pleased by the leeks, and the garlic, and the onions of Egypt, but the believing nostril has been sanctified, and it perceives the delicate myrrh and cinnamon, and sweet calamus and cassia, which make up the anointing oil. The rare combination of sacred qualities which make up a holy character will be seen in the believer in whom the Holy Spirit displays his power, and as a consequence he will be glad at heart.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Oil Of Gladness," delivered January 16, 1876. Image by Matt McGee on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A God who is full of compassion

...[M]ercy is an essential attribute of God. We must never think that our Lord Jesus died to make God merciful; on the contrary, the death of the Lord Jesus is the result of the mercy of God. When man sinned God was willing enough to pardon him, for the death of a sinner is no pleasure to him. Judgment is his strange work. The way in which the came to Adam at the first showed his mercy. He came, if you remember, in the cool of the day, — not at the instant the crime was committed. God is not in a hurry to accuse man, or to execute vengeance upon him; he therefore waited until the cool of the day. He did not address rebellious man in the language of indignation, but he kindly said, “Adam, where art thou?” And when he had questioned the guilty pair, and convicted them, and the sentence was passed, it was terrible certainly, but oh how mildly tempered; the curse was as much as possible made to fall obliquely: “cursed is the ground for thy sake.” Though the woman was made to feel great sorrows, yet those were connected with a happy event which causes the travail to be forgotten.

There was tenderness in the dread utterances of an offended God, and mainly so because almost as soon as he declared that man must labor and die he promised that the “seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head.” Assuredly the Lord our God is by nature very pitiful and full of compassion.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A God Ready To Pardon," delivered January 9, 1876. Image by o palsson on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Humble Gratitude

Have I this morning the spirit of humble gratitude?  How do I feel? Do I take God’s mercy as a matter of course, and view my own gifts without thankfulness? Then I act like the brutes that perish, but let me pray this morning that humble, lowly gratitude may daily rule my spirit. Such gratitude will make you cheerful, it will make you earnest, it will in fact be an atmosphere in which all Christian graces will grow by the blessing of God’s Spirit.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Pride Catechized And Condemned," delivered January 2, 1876. Image by Zack Sheppard on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sin was put away upon the tree

There was a time when we were parted from God; we were without God, being alienated from him by wicked works... He is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, neither can evil dwell with him. That strict justice with which he rules the world requires that he should hide his face from a sinful generation. God who looks with complacency upon guilty men is not the God of the Bible, who is in multitudes of places set forth as burning with indignation against the wicked. “The wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”

But, now the sin which separated us from God has been put away by the blessed sacrifice of Christ upon the tree, and the righteousness, the absence of which must have caused a gulf between unrighteous man and righteous God, that righteousness, I say, has been found, for Jesus has brought in everlasting righteousness. 

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "," delivered. Image by Linda Cronin on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

By grace, from first to last

If salvation were by works, and we could fight our own way to heaven by our own merits, I for one, when I got up there, would throw up my cap and say, “Well done! I have deserved something, and I have got it;” but since salvation is by grace from first to last, and not of man, neither by man, nor of the will of the flesh, nor by blood or birth — since the Lord begins and carries on and ends — let us give him all the glory. And if ever he gives us, as he will give us, a crown of life that fadeth not away, we will go and cast it at his feet, and say, “Not unto us, not unto us; but unto thy name be praise for ever and ever.”

Let us live in this spirit, dear friends. The man who believes in the doctrines of grace, and yet thinks much of himself, is highly inconsistent. A man who believes salvation to be all of grace, and yet does not glorify God continually, acts contrary to his own convictions. “Oh, magnify the Lord with me: let us exalt his name together.” He took us up out of the horrible pit, and out of the miry clay; and he set our feet upon a rock and established our goings. He put a new song into our mouths, even praise for evermore. Praise be unto him, for he hath done it, and he shall be extolled.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The New Fashion." Image by Linda Cronin on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Let us be large-hearted

Let us cultivate a large-hearted spirit, and sympathise with the people of God, especially with new converts, if we find them in trouble through past wrong-doing. If anything needs setting right, do not let us condemn them off-hand, and say, “You have been stealing from your master, have you? You profess to be converted, but we do not believe it.” Such suspicious and severe treatment may be deserved, but it is not such as the love of Christ would suggest. Try and set the fallen ones right, and give them again, as we say, “a fair start in the world.” If God has forgiven them, surely we may, and if Jesus Christ has received them, they cannot be too bad for us to receive. Let us do for them what Jesus would have done had he been here, so shall we truly be the disciples of Jesus.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Story Of A Runaway Slave." Image by Linda Cronin on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The God who hears your cries

The God of most men — the God of the unregenerate — is an inanimate God, or, if alive and able to see, he is an unfeeling God, careless about them and their personal interests. “Oh, it is preposterous,” say they, “to think that he takes notice of our sorrows and troubles — and still more absurd to suppose that he hears prayer, or that he ever interferes in answer to the voice of supplication, to grant a poor man his requests. It cannot be.” That is their God, you see. That is the God of the heathen — a dead, blind, dumb God. I do not wonder that they do not pray to him. They could not expect an answer.

But the God of grace is one who has opened a communication between heaven and earth, who notices the cries of his children, puts their tears into his bottle, sympathises with their sorrows, looks down on them with an eye of pity and a father’s love, has communion with them, and permits them to have communion with him, and all that through the blessed person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The God Of Bethel." Image by Linda Cronin on Flickr under Creative Commons License.