Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Modern God who is not Divine

“God is angry with the wicked every day.”

The wise men of modern thought have made a new God of late - one of those gods newly come up that our fathers knew not, and who is quite unknown to the Bible, as false a god as Apollo or Baal. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob these deep thinkers cannot endure, but if you say that God is angry with the wicked every day, these modern god-makers tell you that he is too loving for that - that he cannot possibly be angry, but loves all, has redeemed all, and will in the long run save all, including Satan himself.

They adore a god made of putty or of wax - plastic, effeminate, molluscous, with no masculine faculty about him, and no quality that entitles him to the respect of just and honest men, for a being who cannot be angry at wrongdoing is destitute of one of the essential virtues, and a moral Ruler who is not angry with the wicked, and who refuses to punish crime, is not divine.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Reasons For Turning To The Lord," delivered January 13, 1878. Image by davedehetre on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

When the Children of God Mix with the World

The chosen family was intended by the divine purpose to dwell alone and maintain a peculiar walk of separation. The seed of Abraham was ordained to be in the highest sense a Nonconformist tribe, a race of separatists. Their God meant them to be a distinct people, entirely severed from all the nation among whom they dwelt; and so they must be, but the inclination to be like their neighbors was very manifest in Jacob’s family....

Children of God cannot mix with the world without mischief. The world does hurt to us and we to it when once we begin to be of the world and like it. It is an ill-assorted match. Fire and water were never meant to be blended. The seed of the woman must not mix with the seed of the serpent. It was when the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and took of them as they pleased, that the deluge came and swept away the population of the earth. Abundant evil comes of joining together what God has put asunder.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Family Reformation." Image by Jöshua Barnett on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

To Declare Myself A Friend Of Christ

Christian men, however reserved and backward their natural disposition may be, are compelled to speak out when they are very much pressed. These Pharisees took this man and questioned him rather closely. They put questions to him by way of examination and cross-examination. “What did he to thee? How opened he thine eyes?” and so on. He does not appear to have been disturbed or disconcerted by the questions. He acquitted himself grandly. Self-contained, quiet, shrewd, immovable, his mind was made up, and with a thorough mastery of the situation, he was ready for them. He did not hesitate.

Well now, I trust if ever you and I are brought to book, and questions are put to us, even though it be with intent to entangle us, we shall never be “ashamed to own our Lord or to defend his cause.” Surely we might expect to be smitten dumb if we were ever abashed to speak of Christ when we are adjured to do it. If it comes to a challenge, “On whose side am I?” shall I ever hesitate to say, “I am with Immanuel, the crucified Savior”? If ever they get us into a corner and say, “Thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth,” oh may God give us grace to be prompt and not think twice - “Of course I was, and of course I am still. He is my Friend, my Savior, my all in all; and I never blush to own his name.” Christians must come out and bear each man for himself a clear and distinct testimony.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Speak For Yourself. A Challenge!" Image by John B. on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Righteousness of Christ Imputed to Me

As he takes thy sin and lays it upon Christ so he takes Christ’s righteousness and lays it upon thee. He looks at thee as if thou wert as righteous as his Son who represents thee. He treats thee as if thou hadst been obedient to all his law; he looks upon the model man Christ Jesus, the perfect humanity, and he sees in Christ all his people, and treats them accordingly. He looks upon his people as if they themselves had magnified the law and made it honorable by a sinless life. Wondrous doctrine this, but he that believes it shall find rest unto his soul; and it is because of it that we are authorized to come forth this day and declare the day of salvation. The guilt of the believing sinner is put away, for Christ has carried it; and now righteousness belongs to the sinner, for God imputes it to him without works: therefore this is the day of salvation.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Day Of Salvation," delivered January 13, 1878. Image by Paul Bica on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Not what we could be... but what we are.

I know persons of great attainments in spiritual knowledge who do not teach one half so much as newly converted lads and girls, who occupy their posts in the school right earnestly, and teach what little they know. I regret to say it, that those who could fight best are often the last to go to battle, and those who could plough best most often leave the ploughshare to rust, while feebler hands are worn to the bone. Brother, I will not deny that you have much knowledge, nor question that you have much experience, nor debate with you your right to be our superior but if you be so, be so good as to excel us in consecration, in self-denial, in earnestness, and in holiness.

In estimating our personal character, let us not so much calculate what we could be, as what we are. Let us not so much consider what we might be if we would, but what we really are doing for the Lord, for that is the matter of most importance. You may be a well of water, but you will get no credit for it at the last; the reward comes for the cup of cold water that was given to a disciple in the name of a disciple.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Catechism For The Proud," delivered January 6, 1878. Image by Urbanicsgroup on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Father, Glorify Thy Name!

Why is Christ resolved to die? Is it to save men? Yes, but not as the chief reason. His first prayer is not, “Father, save my people,” but “Father, glorify thy name.” The glory of God was the chief end and object of our Savior’s life and death. It is that the Father’s name may be illustrious that Jesus would have souls redeemed. His passion had for its main intent the exhibition of the attributes of God. And, brethren, how completely he has glorified Jehovah’s name! Upon the cross we see the divine justice in the streaming wounds of the great Substitute: for the Son of God must needs die when sin is laid upon him. There also you behold infinite wisdom, for what but infallible wisdom could have devised the way whereby God might be just and yet the justifier of him that believeth. There, too, is love, rich, free, boundless love - never so conspicuous as in the death of man’s Redeemer.

Till this day it still remains a question concerning the atonement which of the letters best is writ, the justice, the wisdom, or the love. In the atonement the divine attributes are all so perfectly glorified that no one crowds out the other: each one has its full display without in the least degree diminishing the glory of any other. Our blessed Lord, that the Father might be glorified, pushed on to the end which he had set before him. Whatever conflict might be within his spirit, his heart was fixed upon bearing to the death our load, and suffering to the end our penalty.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Golden Prayer," delivered December 30, 1877. Image by jd.echendar on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Habit and the Spirit of Prayer

To deal with this matter practically, then, it is the duty and privilege of every Christian to have set times of prayer. I cannot understand a man’s keeping up the vitality of godliness unless he regularly retires for prayer, morning and evening at the very least. Daniel prayed three times a day, and David says, “Seven times a day will I praise thee.” It is good for your hearts, good for your memory, good for your moral consistency that you should hedge about certain portions of time and say, “These belong to God. I shall do business with God at such-and-such a time, and try to be as punctual to my hours with him as I should be if I made an engagement to meet a friend.” When Sir Thomas Abney was Lord Mayor of London the banquet somewhat troubled him, for Sir Thomas always had prayer with his family at a certain time. The difficulty was how to quit the banquet to keep up family devotion; but so important did he consider it that he vacated the chair, saying to a person near that he had a special engagement with a dear friend which he must keep. And he did keep it, and he returned again to his place, none of the company being the wiser, but he himself being all the better for observing his wonted habit of worship.

But now, having urged the importance of such habitual piety, I want to impress on you the value of another sort of prayer; namely, the short, brief, quick, frequent ejaculations of which Nehemiah gives us a specimen. And I recommend this, because it hinders no engagement and occupies no time. You may be measuring off your calicoes, or weighing your groceries, or you may be casting up an account, and between the items you may say, “Lord, help me.” You may breathe a prayer to heaven and say, “Lord, keep me.” It will take no time. It is one great advantage to persons who are hard pressed in business that such prayers as those will not, in the slightest degree, incapacitate them from attending to the business they may have in hand. It requires you to go to no particular place. You can stand where you are, ride in a cab, walk along the streets, be the bottom sawyer in a saw pit, or the top one either, and yet pray just as well such prayers as these. No altar, no church, no so-called sacred place is needed, but wherever you are, just a little prayer as that will reach the ear of God, and win a blessing. Such a prayer as that can be offered anywhere, under any circumstances. I do not know in what condition a man could be in which he might not offer some such prayer as that. On the land, or on the sea, in sickness or in health, amidst losses or gains, great reverses or good returns, still might he breathe his soul in short, quick sentences to God. The advantage of such a way of praying is that you can pray often and pray always. If you must prolong your prayer for a quarter of an hour you might possibly be unable to spare the time, but if it only wants the quarter of a minute, why, then, it may come again and again and again and again - a hundred times a day. The habit of prayer is blessed, but the spirit of prayer is better; and the spirit of prayer it is which is the mother of these ejaculations; and therefore do I like them, because she is a plentiful mother. Many times in a day may we speak with the Lord our God.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Ejaculatory Prayer," delivered September 9, 1877. Image by snowpeak on Flickr under Creative Commons License.