Thursday, March 28, 2013

Let Us Not Forget The Substitute

Sin with many streams had been flowing down the hills of time and forming by their dread accumulation one vast and fathomless lake. Into this the sinner’s substitute must be plunged. He had a baptism to be baptized with and He must endure it, or all His chosen must perish forever. That was a day of vengeance when all the waves and billows of divine wrath went over His innocent head.

Came at length the dreadful night; 
Vengeance with its iron rod 
Stood, and with collected might 
Bruised the harmless Lamb of God. 
See, my soul, thy Savior see, 
Prostrate in Gethsemane!

From His blessed person there distilled a bloody sweat, for His soul was exceedingly sorrowful even unto death. All through the night with scourgings and buffetings and spittings of cruel men, He was tortured and abused; He was rejected, despised, maltreated, and pierced in His inmost soul by man’s scorn and cruelty. Then in the morning He was taken out to be crucified, for nothing could suffice short of His death. The outward sorrows of crucifixion ye know, but the inward griefs ye do not know, for what our Lord endured was beyond what any mortal man could have borne. The infinity of the Godhead aided the manhood, and I doubt not Hart was right in saying that He

Bore all Incarnate God could bear 
With strength enough but none to spare. 

 It was an awful “day of vengeance of our God,” for the voice cried aloud, “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts.” The doctrine that justice was executed upon our great Substitute is the most important that was ever propounded in the hearing of men; it is the sum and substance of the whole gospel, and I fear that the church which rejects it is no longer a church of Christ.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Proclamation Of Acceptance And Vengeance," delivered August 12, 1877. Image by mindfulness on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sin And Grace Cannot Agree

Sin and grace can no more agree than fire and water. Even the God of peace never tries to establish a peace between good and evil, for it would be monstrous even if it were possible. The way to peace is the way of holiness. Cast out sin, and you cast out contention. Subdue iniquity, and peace wins the victory.

Beloved, it is of no use for us to seek happiness of life except by the way of holiness of conversation*. I have already declared that we have peace with God through the atoning work of our Lord Jesus Christ; but for deep calm of heart and quiet of conscience there must be a work of sanctification within us wrought by the power which raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Sin is our enemy, and the new life within us is heartily at enmity with evil, and therefore peace can never be proclaimed in the triple kingdom of our nature until we always do that which is well pleasing in the sight of the Lord, through Jesus Christ.

* - In modern English the old word "conversation" means "life" or "lifestyle."

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The God Of Peace And Our Sanctification," delivered August 5, 1877. Image by Jenny Downing on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Without Thought Of Fear

God dwelt among men in human flesh, you know it to be true that so it was; Jesus, the Son of God, abode upon the earth throughout a lowly life amidst poverty and shame, and (wonder of wonders), at last he poured out his heart’s blood for our redemption; and can we entertain a doubt of his ability to save? Do we see those blood drops from his hand and heart, sealing the everlasting covenant, and can we doubt?

Abraham had strong confidence when he saw the smoking furnace and the burning lamp passing between the pieces of the slain victims, and what ought our confidence to be when we behold the Lord Jesus Christ himself ratifying the eternal covenant by his own death? Surely if the patriarch could find rest in the sight of the type only, we ought to rest without thought of fear.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Strong Faith." Image by Jenny Downing on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, March 22, 2013

When A Child Of God Falls

I may be addressing a child of God, or one who thought that he was a child of God, who has grievously fallen. My brother, go thou with haste to thy Lord, and acknowledge thine iniquity. He bids thee come. Only confess thine iniquity in which thou hast transgressed against the Lord, and he will have mercy upon thee now. And oh, what a relief it is when you have discharged the load, and when the voice of mercy has said, “Thou art forgiven; go in peace.” What would I give for that, says one. Well, thou needest not give anything. Do but confess, and if thou confess into the ear of God, with faith in his dear Son, for Jesus’ sake he will accept thee, and seal thy pardon home to thy soul. Come and unburden thy spirit at the bleeding feet of the Redeemer, and leap for joy.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Danger Of Unconfessed Sin." Image by Luis Argerich on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Rightly Planted

His promises are sure to be fulfilled. If he plants a tree he will cause it to flourish. There seems to be very much against the Christian, many perils to which he is exposed, when he is first planted. Indeed, in the early childhood of Christian life we undergo a world of trial. Such was our weakness, and such our exposure to the bleak atmosphere of this present evil world, the chances were all against us. But there is no chance with God. What he plants is sure to take root. If he says it shall flourish, flourish it will. Satan may seek to tear it up; the foxes may try to spoil the vines; there may be chilling winds; there may be long droughts; the sun may seek to smite it by day, and the moon by night; but God hath promised that it shall flourish, and flourish it must; therefore I invite you, young Christians, to be very hopeful. See to it that you are rightly planted, and then you may depend upon it that you will really flourish.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Trees In God's Courts." Image by Ian Sane on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Never Hesitate To Stand Alone

Never hesitate to stand alone when the truth is to be confessed. Never be overawed by sacerdotalism, or daunted by rage, or swayed by multitudes. Unpopular truth is, nevertheless, eternal, and that doctrine which is scouted and cast out as evil to-day shall bring immortal honor to the man who dares to stand by its side and share its humiliation.... Through flood or flame, in loneliness, in shame, in obloquy, in reproach, follow him! If it be without the camp, follow him! if every step shall cost you abuse and scorn, follow still; yea, to prison and to death still follow him, for as surely as he sitteth at the right hand of power so shall those who love him and have been faithful to his truth sit down upon his throne with him. His overcoming and enthronement are the pledges of the victory both of the truth and of those who courageously espouse it.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Nevertheless. Hereafter." Image by rachel_thecat on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The True Wealth

Let us be careful to place our chief treasure in heaven, for, as old Swinnock says, “A worldling’s wealth lieth in the earth, therefore, like wares laid in low damp cellars, it corrupts and moulders; but the godly man’s treasure is in heaven, and, like commodities laid up in high rooms, it continues sound and safe.” Treasure in the skies is treasure indeed. Where moth and rust and thief can reach is no fit place for us to store our treasures in. Let us commit our all to the custody of God, who is our all in all. Such a blessed thing is faith in God that if the believer should lose everything he possesses here below he would have small cause for sorrow so long as he kept his faith. If a great landed proprietor in walking down the street were robbed of his handkerchief, he would not lie down in despair, nor even make a great noise over his loss. “Ah,” says he, “they could only steal a mere trifle, they could not rob me of. my parks and farms, and yearly incomings.”

Believers invest their true wealth in a bank which never breaks, and as for their earthly substance it is not theirs at all, but their Lord’s, and they desire only to employ it for his cause; so that if he takes it away they are bound to look upon themselves as no losers, but as in some measure released from responsibility, and they may thank their Lord for such relief. Be sure thou use this world as not abusing it, and fix all thy joy and love and hope and trust in the eternal God, and then, happen what may, thou wilt be safe. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Sudden Sorrow," delivered July 8, 1877. Image by mendhak on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, March 11, 2013

We Shall Rejoice Together In Him

Looking to him whom they pierced, the whole house of Israel will weep bitterly. And now, dear brethren, it will tend to increase the blessed sorrows which will then sweep over Israel, to think how the Lord has had patience with them, and still has never cast them away. To this day they are as distinct a people as ever they were. They dwell alone; they are not numbered among the people. Persecuted almost beyond conception, poor Israel, for many a century, has been the butt and jest of those - I shame to say it - who called themselves Christians, and yet despised the chosen people of the Lord. Alas! the precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, have been esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter! “How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel!” They have for centuries endured a terrible chastening; they have been turned upside down, and wiped as when a man wipeth a dish, but still they stand waiting for a vainly expected King. They would not have their true King, Jesus the Son of David, and they have no other - where is there any king of the Jews? The scepter hath departed from Jacob, and the lawgiver from between his feet, for Shiloh has come, even he who, as he did hang upon the cross, was thrice named, “King of the Jews.”

Jesus is the sole and only King of the Jews, and they are preserved and kept alive notwithstanding a thousand influences which threatened to make them lose their nationality; they shall yet be gathered again, and their restoration shall be the fullness of the Gentiles, and we and they shall rejoice together in him who hath made both one, and broken down the middle wall or partition, so that there is now neither Jew nor Gentile, barbarous Scythian, bond nor free, but we are all one in Christ Jesus.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Mourning For Christ," delivered July 1, 1877. Image by Zach Dischner on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Perseverance In The Path

The man who is righteous before God has a way of his own. It is not the way of the flesh, nor the way of the world; it is a way marked out for him by the divine command, in which he walks by faith. It is the King’s highway of holiness, the unclean shall not pass over it; only the ransomed of the Lord shall walk there, and these shall find it a path of separation from the world. Once entered upon the way of life, the pilgrim must persevere in it or perish, for thus saith the Lord, “If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” Perseverance in the path of faith and holiness is a necessity of the Christian, for only “he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.”

It is in vain to spring up quickly like the seed that was sown upon the rock, and then by-and-by to wither when the sun is up; that would but prove that such a plant has no root in itself, but “the trees of the Lord are full of sap,” and they abide and continue and bring forth fruit, even in old age, to show that the Lord is upright. There is a great difference between nominal Christianity and real Christianity, and this is generally seen in the failure of the one and the continuance of the other.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Final Perseverance Of The Saints," delivered June 24, 1877. Image by Brian Smithson on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, March 8, 2013

He Came Through Compassion

The Samaritan came to the wounded one because in the course of business he was led there, and, being there, he helped the man; but Jesus came to earth on no business but that of saving us, and he was found in our flesh that he might have sympathy with us. In the very existence of the man Christ Jesus you see the noblest form of pity manifested. And being here, where we had fallen among robbers, he did not merely run risks of being attacked by thieves himself, but he was attacked by them; he was wounded, he was stripped, and not half dead was he, but altogether dead, for he was laid in the grave. He was slain for our sakes, for it was not possible for him to deliver us from the mischief which the thieves of sin had wrought upon us excepting by suffering that mischief in his own person; and he did suffer it that he might deliver us.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Good Samaritan," delivered June 17, 1877. Image by Alan Cleaver on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Sword Is Yours

We are armed with the word of God, not only that we may smite our own spiritual foes, but that we may win men for Christ. As the Israelites had to conquer Canaan, so have we to conquer the world for Jesus. Go ye up against the ramparts of error, go ye up against the hosts of evil, with no weapon in your hand but the story of the cross, the revelation of the Most High, the declaration of the gospel of Jesus, for by this sign we conquer; it is impossible that we should fail with the gospel in our hands. How happy God’s people ought to be when they think of this. Armed with an invincible weapon, ought we not to rejoice in anticipation of victory?

A man who has a Bible of his own - I mean not the paper and the letterpress, but all that is in the inspired volume, - is there anything more that he can desire? He finds from Genesis to Revelation every promise his, every dear assurance of almighty power and love all his own, what more doth he need? He who can use this two-edged sword may defy doubt, fear, anxiety, care, temptation, worldliness, yea, and death and the devil. At the very sight of this sword our adversaries tremble, for it cuts through joints and marrow, and leaves a deadly wound wherever it cuts. Be happy, Christian; the Lord help thee to be happy as thou seest this sword of the Spirit to be thine.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Happiness The Privilege And Duty Of Christians," delivered June 10, 1877. Image by LenDog64 on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Wisest And The Best Thing

Our Savior’s advice to those who wished to be his disciples was “Count the cost.” He did not wish to entice any man to enlist in his army by keeping him in ignorance as to the requirements of his service, Again and again he tested professed converts himself, and he frequently exhorted men to try themselves, lest they should begin a profession and be unable to maintain it. True religion is a matter of enthusiasm, but at the same time its truths and precepts can endure the severest examination. The exercise of our judgments upon the gospel is invited, yea required. It is true that many persons are brought to Christ in earnest assemblies, where they are addressed in fervent language; but yet a man may sit down in his study or his counting house with his pen in his hand, and in the coolest possible manner he may calculate, and, if under the Holy Spirit’s guidance he shall be led to calculate truthfully, he will come to the conclusion that the cause of the Lord Jesus is worthiest and best.

Do not imagine, as some do, that religion consists in a wild fanaticism which never considers, calculates, judges, estimates, or ponders; for such an imagination will be the reverse of truth. Ardour, fervor, enthusiasm, these are desirable, and we cannot well have too much of them; but at the same time, as I have already said, we can justify our attachment to Christ by the calmest logic, by the most patient consideration. We may make a lengthy and deliberate estimate, taking both things temporal and things eternal into review, and yet we may challenge all gainsayers while we declare that it is the wisest and the best thing in all the world to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "All The People At Work For Jesus ," delivered June 3, 1877. Image by Rajesh on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Knowledge Of God

The most of the subjects which mortals study here will be forgotten in the world to come; the profoundest of them will be too trifling to be pursued amid angelic thrones. The honors of classical and mathematical attainments will shine but dimly amidst the glories of heaven, but the knowledge of Christ Jesus will still be priceless, and it will cause those who possess it to shine as the sun. He that knoweth Christ shall go on to sit at his feet and still to learn, and as he learns he will tell to principalities and powers the manifold wisdom of God in the person of Jesus Christ. See ye, then, beloved, that the apostle for the sake of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord still counted all the things that he had once gloried in to be but loss.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Business-Like Account," delivered June 3, 1877. Image by Bert Kaufmann on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Spirit At Work

We know that at certain times of the year we may expect winds, and if they come not to a day or two, yet, as a rule, the month is stormy; and there are also trade winds, monsoons which blow with remarkable regularity and are counted upon by mariners. And so with the Spirit of God. We know that at certain times he visits the churches, and under certain conditions puts forth his power. If, for instance, there is mighty prayer, you may be sure the Spirit of God is at work; if the people of God meet together and besiege the throne of grace with cries and tears, the spiritual barometer indicates that the blessed wind is rising. Besides, the Holy Spirit has graciously connected himself with two things, truth and prayer. Preach the truth, publish the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is the habit of the Holy Spirit to make the word quick and powerful to the hearts of men. If we falsify his word, if we keep back part of the truth, if we become unfaithful, we cannot expect the Holy Spirit to bless us; but if our teaching be Christ crucified, lovingly set forth, and if the grace of God in its fullness be really declared, the Holy Spirit will attend the truth and make it the great power of God. I will not say that it is always, and without exception so, but I think exceptions must be rare; almost invariably the Spirit beareth witness with the truth in the conversion of men.

So too with prayer, the Holy Spirit is pleased to connect himself with that also, if it be believing prayer. Here the connection is exceedingly intimate, because it is the Spirit of God who himself gives the believing prayer, and it is not only true that the Spirit will be given in answer to prayer, but the Spirit is already given or the believing prayer would never have been offered. The spirit of prayerfulness, the spirit of anxiety for the conversion of men is one of the surest indications that the Holy Spirit is already at work in the minds of his people.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Heavenly Wind," delivered May 27, 1877. Image by Laszlo Ilyes on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, March 1, 2013

What Is Your Answer To That Question?

No event in history is so well authenticated as the resurrection of Christ, he was seen by individuals alone, and by twos and twenties, and by above five hundred brethren at once. After having lived here a little while he ascended up into heaven in the presence of his disciples, a cloud receiving him out of their sight. At this moment he is sitting at the right hand of God in human flesh: that selfsame man who died upon the tree is now enthroned in the highest heavens Lord of all, and every angel delights to do him homage. The one question which he asks of you to-night, through these poor lips is this, “Believest thou that I am able to save thee-that I, the Christ of God now dwelling in heaven, am able to save thee?” Everything depends upon your answer to that question.

I know what your answer ought to be. Surely, if he be God, nothing is impossible or even difficult to him. If he has laid down his life to make atonement, and God has accepted that atonement, by permitting him to rise from the dead, then there must be efficacy in his blood to cleanse me, even me. The answer ought to be, “Yea, Lord Jesus, I believe that thou art able to do this.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Our Lord's Question To The Blind Men," delivered May 13, 1877. Image by Paul Bica on Flickr under Creative Commons License.