Monday, February 28, 2011

Pleading with God

For my part, brethren and sisters, I desire to feel a spirit of urgency within my soul as I plead with God for the dew of his grace to descend upon this church. I am not bashful in this matter, for I have a license to pray. Mendicancy* is forbidden in the streets, but, before the Lord I am a licensed beggar. Jesus has said, “men ought always to pray and not to faint.” You land on the shores of a foreign country with the greatest confidence when you carry a passport with you, and God has issued passports to his children, by which they come boldly to his mercy seat; he has invited you, he has encouraged you, he has bidden you come to him, and he has promised that whatsoever ye ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Come, then, come urgently, come importunately, come with this plea, “I am poor and needy; make no tarrying, O my God,” and a blessing shall surely come; it will not tarrry. God grant we may see it, and give him the glory of it.

* - that is, begging

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Pleading," delivered October 29, 1871. Image by Leland Francisco under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Simplicity of the Word

Suppose the sacred volume had all been like the book of the prophet Ezekiel, small would have been its service to the generality of mankind. Imagine that the entire volume had been as mysterious as the Book of Revelation: it might have been our duty to study it, but if its benefit depended upon our understanding it, we should have failed to attain it. But how simple are the gospels, how plain these words, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;” how deliciously clear those parables about the lost piece of money, the lost sheep, and the prodigal son.

Wherever the word touches upon vital points, it is as bright as a sunbeam. Mysteries there are, and profound doctrines, deeps where Leviathan can swim; but, where it has to do immediately with what concerns us for eternity, it is so plain that the babe in grace may safely wade in its refreshing streams. In the gospel narrative the wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err. It is familiar talk; it is God’s great mind brought down to our littleness, that it may lift us up.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Talking Book," delivered October 22, 1871. Image by Dave Gilbert under Creative Commons License.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The oil of joy for mourning

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” — Isaiah 61:3.

Here we have first beauty, and then unction. The Orientals used rich perfumed oils on their persons — used them largely and lavishly in times of great joy. Now, the Holy Spirit comes upon those who believe in Jesus, and gives them an anointing of perfume, most precious, more sweet and costly than the herd of Araby. An unction, such as royalty has never received, sheds its costly moisture over all the redeemed when the Spirit of the Lord rests upon them. “We have an unction from the Holy One,” saith the apostle. “Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over.”

Oh, how favored are those who have the Spirit of God upon them! You remember that the oil which was poured on Aaron’s head went down to the skirts of his garment, so that the same oil was on his skirts that had been on his head. It is the same Spirit that rests on the believer as that which rests on Jesus Christ, and he that is joined unto Christ is one Spirit. What favor is here! Instead of mourning, the Christian shall receive the Holy Spirit, the Comforter who shall take of the things of Christ, and reveal them unto him, and make him not merely glad, but honored and esteemed.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Beauty For Ashes." Image by James Whitesmith under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sitting at the Feet of Jesus

Discipleship is too often forgotten; it is as needful as faith. We are to go into all the world and disciple all nations, baptising them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. A man cannot be saved unless he becomes a learner in the school of Christ, and a learner, too, in a practical sense, being willing to practice what he learns. Only he who does the Master’s will knows his doctrine.

We are, if we have chosen the good part, sitters at the feet of Jesus, just as Saul of Tarsus sat at the feet of Gamaliel; Christ is to us our great Instructor, and we take the law from his lips. The believer’s position is that of a pupil, and the Lord Jesus is his teacher. Except we be converted and become as little children, we can in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. Sitting at the feet of Jesus indicates the child-like spirit of true discipleship; and this is the one thing needful: there is no salvation apart from it.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The One Thing Needful," delivered October 15, 1871. Image by liz west under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A weaned soul

Brethren, it often happens that the loss of dear friends, or the treachery of those we trusted, or bodily sickness, or depression of spirit, may help to unloose the holdfasts which enchain us to this life; and then we are enabled to say with David in one of the most precious little Psalms in the whole Book, the 131st, “I have behaved and quieted myself as a child that is weaned of his mother, my soul is even as a weaned child.” I have often thought that if David had said, “my soul is even as a weaning child,” it would have been far more like most of God’s people. But to be weaned, quite weaned from the world, to turn away from her consolations altogether, this it is which makes us cry, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.” Even as the psalmist when he said, “And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Nunc Dimittis," delivered January 15, 1871. Image by Glass_House under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What we love...

Now, let me show you, beloved, what it is in salvation that the thoughtful believer loves; and I may begin by saying that he loves, best of all, the Savior himself. Often our Lord is called Salvation, because he is the great worker of it, the author and finisher, the Alpha and the Omega of it. He who has Christ has salvation; and, as he is the essence of salvation, he is the center of the saved ones’ affection.

Have you, beloved, carefully considered that Jesus is divine, that he counts it not robbery to be equal with God, being our Creator and Preserver, as well as our Redeemer? Do you fully understand that our Lord is infinite, eternal, nothing less than God; and yet for our sakes he took upon himself our nature, was clothed in that nature with all its infirmities, sin alone excepted, and in that nature agonized, bled, and died, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. Oh, marvel of marvels, miracle of miracles! The immortal Lord stoops to death; the Prince of glory bows to be spit upon. Shame and dishonor could not make him start back from his blessed purpose, but to the death of the cross he surrendered himself.

O, you who are saved, do you not love Christ, who is your salvation ? Do you not feel a burning desire to behold him as he is ? Is not his presence, even now, a nether heaven to you ? Will not a face to face view of his glory be all the heaven that your utmost stretch of imagination can conceive ? I know it is so. Your heart is bound to Jesus, his name is set as a seal upon it; therefore, I charge you to say continually, “Let God be magnified.” Glory be to the Father who gave his Son, to the Son who gave himself, to the Spirit who revealed all this to us. Triune God, be thou extolled for ever and ever.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Our Watchword," delivered October 1, 1871. Image by OliBac under Creative Commons License.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Beyond Amazing

It is to me the most surprising thing I ever heard of that “the word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” I do not wonder that in Hindostan the missionaries are often met with this remark: “It is too good to be true that God ever took upon himself the nature of such a thing as man!” Yet, more wonderful does it seem to be that, when Christ became man, he took all the sorrows and infirmity of man, and, in addition, was made to bear the sin of many.

The most extraordinary of all facts is this: that the infinitely Holy should be “numbered with the transgressors,” and, in the words of Esaias*, should “bear their iniquities.” The Lord hath made him, who knew no sin, to be made sin for us. Wonder of wonders! It is beyond all degree amazing that he who distributes crowns and thrones should hang on a tree and die, the just for the unjust, bearing the punishment due to sinners for guilt.

* - that is, Isaiah

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Unbeliever's Unhappy Condition," delivered September 24, 1871. Image by Jon Bragg under Creative Commons License.

Friday, February 18, 2011

No need to go back!

[T]here is no period of our life in which it is necessary for us to go back. The young Christian, with all the strength of his natural passions, can by grace be strong and overcome the Wicked One; the Christian in middle life, surrounded with the world’s cares, can prove that “this is the victory which overcometh the world, even our faith.” The man immersed in business may still be baptised of the Holy Ghost. Assuredly, old age offers no excuse for decline: “they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; to show that the Lord is upright.”

No, brethren as Christ said to his disciples, when they would fain have sent the multitude away to buy meat, “they need not depart;” so would he say to the whole company of the Lord’s people, “ye need not depart;” there is no compulsion for decline in grace.” Your sun need not stand still, your moon need not wane. If you cannot add a cubit to your spiritual stature, at any rate, it need not decrease. There are no reasons written in the book of your spiritual nature why you, as a believer, should lose fellowship with God, and, if you do so, take blame and shame to yourself, but do not ascribe it to necessity. Do not gratify your corruptions by supposing that they are licensed to prevail occasionally, neither vex your graces by conceiving that they are doomed to inevitable defeat at a certain season. The spirit that is in us lusteth to evil, but the Holy Spirit is able to subdue it, and will subdue it, if we yield ourselves to him.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Job's Regret And Our Own," delivered September 17, 1871. Image by Zach Dischner under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Into the Light of Truth

Men who know not the truth, since they must have some faith, seek out many inventions; for, if they are not taught of God, they soon become taught of Satan, and apt scholars are they in his school. Galilee was noted for the heresies which abounded there. But what a mercy it is that God can save heretics. Those who have received false doctrine, and added darkness to darkness in so doing, can yet be brought into the glorious light of truth. Though they may have denied the Deity of Christ, though they may have doubted the inspiration of Scripture, though they may have fallen into many traps and pitfalls of false doctrine, yet the Divine Shepherd, when he seeks his lost sheep, can find them out and bring them home again.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Light For Those Who Sit In Darkness," delivered September 10, 1871. Image by Katie Brady under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It is high time we awaken!

The world is perishing for lack of knowledge. Did any one among us ever lay China on his heart? Your imagination cannot grapple with the population of that mighty empire, without God, without Christ, strangers to the commonwealth of Israel. But it is not China alone; there are other vast nations lying in darkness; the great serpent hath coiled himself around the globe, and who shall set the world free from him?

Reflect upon this one city with its three millions. What sin the moon sees! What sin the Sabbath sees! Alas! for the transgressions of this wicked city. Babylon of old could not have been worse than London is, nor so guilty, for she had not the light that London has received. Brethren, there is no hope for China, no hope for the world, no hope for our own city, while the church is sluggish and lethargic. It is through the church the blessing is bestowed. Christ multiplies the bread, and gives it to the disciples; the multitudes can only get it through the disciples. Oh, it is time, it is high time that the churches were awakened to seek the good of dying myriads. Moreover, brethren, the powers of evil are ever active. We may sleep, but Satan sleepeth never. The church’s plough lies yonder, rusting in the furrow: do you not see it, to your shame? But the plough of Satan goes from end to end of his great field, he leaves no headland, but he ploughs deep whilst sluggish churches sleep. May we be stirred as we see the awful activity of evil spirits and persons who are under their sway.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Travailing for Souls," delivered September 3, 1871. Image by paul (dex) under Creative Commons License.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The ocean love of God

Our love to him is like a trickling rill, speeding its way to the ocean because it first came from the ocean. All the rivers run into the sea, but their floods first arose from it: the clouds that were exhaled from the mighty main distilled in showers and filled the waterbrooks. Here was their first cause and prime origin; and, as if they recognised the obligation, they pay tribute in return to the parent source. The ocean love of God, so broad that even the wing of imagination could not traverse it, sends forth its treasures of the rain of grace, which drop upon our hearts, which are as the pastures of the wilderness; they make our hearts to overflow, and in streams of gratitude the life imparted flows back again to God. All good things are of thee, Great God; thy goodness creates our good; thine infinite love to us draws forth our love to thee.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Love's Logic," delivered August 27, 1871. Image by Kyle Kruchok under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Much yet to be done for His Cause

Hard and stern hath been the battle up to this point. We have had to win every inch of ground by sheer push of pike. Effort after effort has been put forth by the church of God under the guidance of her heavenly leader, and none has been in vain. Hitherto the Lord hath helped us, but there is much yet to be done. Canaanites and Hivites, and Jebusites have to be driven out; yea, in fact, the whole world seems still to lie in darkness, and under the dominion of the wicked one. We do but hold here and there a sacred fortress for truth and holiness in the land; but these we must retain till the Lord Jesus shall send us more prosperous times, and the battle shall be tamed against the foe, and the kingdom shall come unto our prince. Nor is there any fear but that such a time will come, therefore let us have courage.

Soldiers of the cross, have faith; have faith in your great leader, for behold he is still at the head of you, and is still omnipotent. The hour of his weakness is past. His sun set once in blood, but it has risen to go down no more. Once was it eclipsed at noon day; but now the Sun of Righteousness ariseth with healing beneath his wings. He who died once for all, is now life’s source, center, and Lord. The living Christ is present among us as the commander-in-chief of the church militant. Let us refresh our souls by drawing, near to him by the power of the Holy Ghost.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "North And South." Image by José Luis Mieza under Creative Commons License.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Christ Is All

There are a great many differences among believers, but there is no difference as to this essential point. Unhappily, the Christian church has been divided into sections, but those divisions do not affect our agreement upon this one point, that Christ is all.

It is no uncharity if I say that the man who does not accept this is no Christian, nor is it too wide a liberality to affirm that every man who is sound in heart upon this point is most certainly a believer. He who trusts alone in Christ, who submits to him as his sole teacher, king, and Savior, is already a saved man; but he who gives not Christ the glory, though he should speak with the tongues of men and of angels, though he should have the gift of prophecy, and all knowledge, and though he should have all faith, and could remove mountains, and he should appear to have all virtue, yet he is no Christian if Christ be held in light esteem by him, or be anything less than all in all; for in the new creation this one thing stands as the mark of the newly created, that “Christ is all, and in all” to them, whatever he may be to others.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Christ Is All," delivered August 20, 1871. Image by Christian Revival Network under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thoughts on seeing God in Nature

It appears to me that those who would forbear the study of nature, or shun the observation of its beauties, are conscious of the weakness of their own spirituality. When the hermits and monks shut themselves out from the temptations of life, foolish persons said, “These are strong in grace.” Not so, they were so weak in grace that they were afraid to have their graces tried. They ran away from the battle like the cowards they were, and shut themselves up because they knew their swords were not of the true Jerusalem metal, and they were not men who could resist valiantly. Monasticism was the confession of a weakness which they endeavored to cover with the vain show of humility, and the presence of superior sanctity.

If my graces are strong, I can look upon the outward world, and draw forth its good without feeling its evil, if evil there be; but if my religion is mainly fictitious, then hypocrisy dictates to me the affectation of unusual spirituality, or at any rate I have not grace enough to rise from a contemplation of the works of God to a nearer fellowship with God himself. It cannot be that nature of itself debases me, or diverts me from God; I ought to suspect a deficiency in my self when I find that the Creator’s handiworks have not a good effect upon my soul. Moreover, rest assured brethren, that he who wrote the Bible, the second and clearest revelation of his divine mind, wrote also the first book, the book of nature; and who are we that we should derogate from the worth of the first because we esteem the second.

Milton’s “Paradise Regained” is certainly inferior to his “Paradise Lost,” but the Eternal God has no inferior productions, all his works are master-pieces. There is no quarrel between nature and revelation, fools only think so: to wise men the one illustrates and establishes the other. Walking in the fields at eventide, as Isaac did, I see in the ripening harvest the same God of whom I read in the word that he covenanted that seed-time and harvest should not cease. Surveying the midnight skies, I remember him who, while he calls the stars by their names, also bindeth up the broken in heart. Who will may neglect the volume of creation, or the volume of revelation, I shall delight in them both as long as I live.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Lessons From Nature," delivered August 13, 1871. Image of Antarctic sky by Christian Revival Network under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The faith which purifies the soul

Brethren and sisters, it is no slight thing to be holy. A man must not say, “I have faith,” and then fall into the sins of an unbeliever; for, after all, our outer life is the test of our inner life; and if the outer life be not purified, rest assured the heart is not changed. That faith which does not bring forth the fruit of holiness is the faith of devils. The devils believe and tremble. Let us never be content with a faith which can live in hell, but rise to that which will save us — the faith of God’s elect, which purifies the soul, casting down the power of evil, and setting up the throne of Jesus Christ, the throne of holiness within the spirit.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "'Bought With A Price,'" delivered August 6, 1871. Image by Christian Revival Network under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

So that we might never bear it

Christ Jesus bore the wrath of God that we might never bear it. He has made a full atonement to the justice of God for the sins of all believers. Against him that believeth there remaineth no record of guilt; his transgressions are blotted out, for a Christ Jesus hath finished transgression, made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness. What a comprehensive word then is this — "salvation"! It is a triumphant deliverance from the guilt of sin, from the dominion of it, from the curse of it, from the punishment of it, and ultimately from the very existence of it. Salvation is the death of sin, its burial, its annihilation, yea, and the very obliteration of its memory; for thus saith the Lord: “their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Your Own Salvation," delivered July 30, 1871. Image by truds09 under Creative Commons License.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Then shall I know

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. Surely, no creature will ever be able, even when exalted to heaven, to comprehend all the thoughts of the Creator. We shall never be omniscient — we cannot be. God alone knoweth everything, and understandeth everything. But how much more of authentic truth shall we discern when the mists and shadows have dissolved; and how much more shall we understand when raised to that higher sphere and endowed with brighter faculties, none of us can tell.

Probably, things that puzzle us here will be as plain as possible there. We shall perhaps smile at our own ignorance. I have fancied sometimes that the elucidations of learned doctors of divinity, if they could be submitted to the very least in the kingdom of heaven, would only cause them to smile at the learned ignorance of the sons of earth. Oh! how little we do know, but how much we shall know! I am sure we shall know, for it is written, “Then shall I know even as also I have known.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Now, And Then." Image by truds09 under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Be diligent in the school of the cross

If you do but touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, you shall be made whole; but will this always satisfy you? Will you not desire to get beyond the hem and beyond the garment, to himself, and to his heart, and there for ever take up your abode? Who desires to be for ever a babe in grace, with a halfawakened dreamy twilight consciousness by the Redeemer?

Brethren, be diligent in the school of the cross, therein is enduring wisdom. Study your Savior much. The science of Christ crucified is the most excellent of sciences; and to know him and the power of his resurrection, is to know that which is best worth knowing. Ignorance of Jesus deprives many saints of those divine raptures which carry others out of themselves, therefore let us be among those children of Zion who are taught of the Lord.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Altogether Lovely," delivered July 23, 1871. Image by charmar under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

His Very Essence

What is the nature and character of the Supreme? “Is he harsh or loving?” saith one. The Scripture answers the question, not by telling us that God is loving, but by assuring us that God is love. God himself is love; it is his very essence. It is not that love is in God, but that God himself is love. Can there be a more concise and more positive way of saying that the love of God is infinite?

You cannot measure God himself; your conceptions cannot grasp the grandeur of his attributes, neither can you tell the dimensions of his love, nor conceive the fullness of it. Only this know, that high as the heavens are above the earth, so are his ways higher than your ways, and his thoughts than your thoughts. His mercy endureth for ever. He pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage. He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. “Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive: and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” “Thy mercy is great above the heavens.” “The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Number One Thousand; Or, 'Bread Enough And To Spare'" delivered July 16, 1871. Image by Jenny Downing under Creative Commons License.