Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Marked Difference

Dear Brethren, it is to be feared that many of us are not separated enough from the world. God intends the difference to be very marked; he would have the line between the church and the world drawn very clearly. I could wish to obliterate for ever the unhappy and artificial distinction which is constantly made between sacred and secular, for a world of mischief has come out of it. The truth is that a real Christian may be known by this, that to him everything secular is sacred, and the commonest matters are holiness unto the Lord. I do not believe in the religion which only lifts its head above water on Sunday, and confines itself to praying and preaching and carrying hymn books about: we must have a religion which gives a true yard when it is measuring its calicoes, a religion which weighs a true pound when it is dealing out shop goods, a religion which scorns to puff and lie, and take advantage of a gullible public, a religion which is true, upright, chaste, kind, and unselfish.

Give me a man who would not lie if all the whole earth or heaven itself were to be won thereby. We need among professed Christians a high morality; nay, far more, we need unsullied holiness. O, Holy Spirit, work it in us all! As we have often said, holiness means wholeness of character in contradistinction to the cultivation of some few virtues and the neglect of others. Oh that we were like the Lord in this, that we loved only that which is right, and abhorred that which is evil; that we kept along the straight and narrow path, and could not be decoyed from it, fearing not the frown of man nor courting his smile, but resolved as God lives in us that we will live in our daily actions according to his will. This would make Christians to be indeed a separated people, and this is precisely what their God would have them to be.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Solomon's Plea," delivered May 2, 1875. Image by Eric Bryan on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, January 30, 2012

His Name Shall Be Exalted

At the present time you will say the name of Christ is not honored; but wait awhile, and he shall be very high. His name is even now more honored than in former days, when it was the jest of the nations. The prudent plans which the Lord has adopted are surely working out the growth of his kingdom, and will certainly result in bringing to the front his name, and person, and teaching. Perhaps you think that certain doctrines are hindrances to the success of the gospel: you know not what you say. In the end it shall be seen that every part of his teachings, and procedure, and every act of his life, and all his government in providence were so wisely ordered, that as a whole they secured in the best and speediest manner the exalting and extolling of his holy name.

The star of Jesus rises higher every hour; the twilight of Calvary brightens towards millennial day. He was despised and rejected of men, but now tens of thousands adore him; and, according to the omnipotent promise of the Father, to him every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord. The Spirit of God is at work glorifying Jesus, and providence is bending all its forces to the same end. In heaven Jesus is exalted and extolled; in his church he is very high; and even in the world itself his name is a word of power already, and destined to be supreme in ages to come.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Sure Triumph Of The Crucified One," delivered April 25, 1875. Image by Alosh Bennett on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Sweetest Sounds

“I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” — Psalm 101:2.

The hundredth psalm is perhaps the best known song of praise in the word of God. To sing the “Old Hundredth” has been a habit of worshippers from generation to generation — the custom of every succeeding age, as it is our custom still. “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands.” Now, it is somewhat significant that the hundred-and-first, which immediately follows it, should be such a practical psalm, — all about how a man should walk in his house, how he should put away sin from his very eyes, and keep himself from evil companionship. What does it seem to teach us but this, that the best praise is purity, and that the best music in the world is holiness?

If we would extol the Lord, the best way to do it is to labor to keep his mind before us, and to walk in his commandments. The sweetest sounds that ever came from the heaving bellows or the organ pipes can never have so much melody in them as a life that is tuned to the example of Christ. If we obey, we praise. He singeth best who worketh best for God. There is no praise that excels that which is like the praise of angels, “who do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Holy And Homely Resolve." Image by Paul Bica on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Your consecration will break your temptation

Nine out of every ten questions which can possibly come before you in your business are already answered when the grand question is settled. Is such an action dishonest? Then it matters nothing how profitable it might be, it is dismissed as quite beyond consideration. Is such a course necessitated by honesty? Then let it be followed whatever the loss may be. David prayed “lead me in a plain path because of mine enemies,” and the man who has made up his mind by divine grace that he will serve the Lord has that prayer fulfilled.

 This saves many men from temptation. Satan tempts those who can be tempted, but when he finds men sufficiently resolved there is a certain order of temptation with which he never assails them any more. He adapts his devices to our standing, and does not use for lion-hearted minds those petty nets with which he takes small birds. As a giant walks along unconscious of the cobwebs across his path, so does a thoroughly consecrated man break through a thousand temptations, which indeed to him are no longer temptations at all.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Decision - Illustrated By The Care Of Joshua," delivered April 18, 1875. Image by Paul Bica on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Not relying on my own purity

We differ also from those who place reliance upon moral virtues and spiritual excellencies, and even from those who would have us found our hope upon certain graces supposed to be the works of the Holy Spirit. Had we been the most courageously honest, had we been the most chastely pure, had we never offended against the law of man in any respect whatever, if we could say with the apostle “as touching the law blameless,” and if, like the young man in the gospel narrative, re could say of the commandments, “All these things have I kept from my youth up,” yet would we count our virtues and obediences to be but dross that we might win Christ and be found in him, not having our own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

We dare not hope to be acceptable with God because of anything good that is in us by nature, or may be infused into us by grace: we are accepted in the Beloved, and apart from him we look not to be found acceptable. Even what the Holy Ghost works with us does not furnish us with any merit which we can plead, for it is a gift of grace, and no part of our justifying righteousness. We rest upon Jesus Christ crucified, and not upon our faith, our repentance, our prayers, our conquests of sin, our likeness to Christ. Right away from anything that comes from us or to us we look to Jesus, who is all our salvation, the Alpha and Omega, the author and the finisher of faith.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Salvation By Faith And The Work Of The Spirit," delivered April 11, 1876. Image by wildxplorer on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Those who appreciate Him

There are some who do appreciate the sweetness of Christ. I would to God I could find such out this morning. Hungry souls, we are brethren. If you are hungry after pardon, mercy, and grace, I remember when I was in your condition. What would you give to have Christ? “I would give my eyes,” says one. Give him your eyes, then, by looking to him, and you shall have him. “What would I give,” saith one, “to be delivered from my besetting sin! I hunger after holiness.” Soul, you may have deliverance from besetting sins, and have it for nothing.

Jesus Christ has come into the world to save his people from their sins, and looking to him he will deliver you from that disease which now makes you love sin, and he will give you a taste for holiness, and a principle of holiness by the Holy Ghost, and you shall henceforth become a saint unto God. He turns lions into lambs, and ravens into doves; nothing is impossible with him. You have but to trust your soul with him and you shall have pardon, peace, holiness, heaven, God, everything.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Spiritual Appetite," delivered April 4, 1875. Image by SteveB in Denver on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

If He strengthens me

It may not please God to lessen the burden, but it comes to the same thing if he strengthens the back. He may not recall the soldier from the battle, but if he gives him a greater stomach for the fight, and increased strength for its toils, it may be better still for him. “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity, but a wounded spirit who can bear?” Give a man health in his countenance, and he laughs at that which would have crushed him had he been in another mood. There are times when the grasshopper becomes a burden, and there are other seasons when with undaunted spirit we can say, “Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubabel thou shalt become a plain.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Secret Of Health," delivered March 25, 1875. Image by Steve Jurvetson on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, January 23, 2012

True God from True God

When John fell down to worship one of the angels he received an earnest protest, “See thou do it not.” Now, if the worship given to Christ had been wrong, the thrice holy Savior would have exclaimed most earnestly, “See thou do it not”; but he intimates no objection to the worship, although it is freely rendered by all the intelligent beings before the throne. Depend upon it, my hearer, you never will go to heaven unless you are prepared to worship Jesus Christ as God.

They are all doing it there: you will have to come to it, and if you entertain the notion that he is a mere man, or that he is anything less than God, I am afraid you will have to begin at the beginning and learn what true religion means. You have a poor foundation to rest upon. I could not trust my soul with a mere man, or believe in an atonement made by a mere man: I must see God himself putting his hand to so gigantic a work. I cannot imagine a mere man being thus praised as the Lamb is praised. Jesus is “God over all, blessed for ever.” When we ever speak at all severely of Socinians and Unitarians you must not be surprised at it, because if we are right they are blasphemers, and if they are right we are idolaters, there is no choice between the two. We never could agree, and never shall while the world standeth.

We preach Christ the Son of God as very God of very God, and if they reject him it is not for us to pretend that it makes no difference, when in fact it makes all the difference in the world. We would not wish them to say more than they believe to be true, and they must not expect us to say less than we believe to be true. If Jesus be God, they must believe it, and must worship him as such, or else they cannot participate in the salvation which he has provided. I love the deity of Christ! I preach his humanity with all my might, and I rejoice that he is the son of man; but oh, he must be the Son of God too, or there is no peace for me.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Jesus, The Delight Of Heaven." Image by Randi Hausken on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Your Futile Opposition to Christ

In the days when persecution was more public than it is now, many persons were guilty of being informers against the Puritans, or the Quakers; their deaths were in many cases appalling, not because of any peculiar pains they endured, but because their persecutions came up to their memory in their last moments, and some of them could not rest for crying out and making acknowledgment of the injustice that they had done to good men in hunting them into prisons for worshipping God.

If any of you do not believe in Jesus, and will not be saved by him yourselves, I would recommend you to let him and his people alone, for if you oppose him you will be the losers, he will not. Your opposition is utterly futile; like a snake biting a file you will only break your own teeth. You cannot hurt the church, nor hurt the word of God. Perhaps your very opposition is one cog in the wheel to urge it on. If the thing be of God it is in vain that you fight against it. Be as wise as Haman’s wife when she warned her husband that if Mordecai was of the seed of the Jews, before whom he had begun to fall, it was no use to take up the cudgels against him. This warning he proved to be true when he was hung upon the gallows fifty cubits high. To oppose the seed royal of heaven is of no use whatever, but ensures ruin to those who engage in it.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Jesus, The Stumbling Stone of Unbelievers." Image by Randi Hausken on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Saved Through God's Own Blood

If one man might suffer for another, yet one man’s sufferings could not avail for ten thousand times ten thousand men. What efficacy could there be in the death of one innocent person to put away the transgressions of a multitude? Nay, but because he who carried our sins up to the tree was God over all, blessed for ever; because he who suffered his feet to be fastened to the wood was none other than that same Word who was in the beginning with God, and who also was God; because he who bowed his head to death was none other than the Christ, who is immortality and life: — his dying had efficacy in it to take away the sins of all for whom he died.

As I think of my Redeemer and remember that he is God himself, I feel that if he took my nature and died, then indeed my sin is gone. I can rest on that. I am sure that if he who is infinite and omnipotent offered a satisfaction for my sins I need not enquire as to the sufficiency of the atonement, for who dares to suggest a limit to its power? What Jesus did and suffered must be equal to any emergency. Were my sins even greater than they are his blood could make them whiter than snow. If God incarnate died in my stead my iniquities are cleansed.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Jesus, The Substitute For His People." Image by Steve Garvie on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

God Alone Can Fill Your Cup

Wealth is not true riches, neither are men’s hearts the fuller because their purses are heavy. Men have thought to fill their cups out of the foul pools of what they call “pleasure,” but all in vain, for appetite grows, passion becomes voracious, and lust, like a horse-leech, crieth, “Give, give.” Like the jaws of death and the maw of the sepulcher, the depraved heart can never be satisfied. At the polluted pool of pleasure no cup was ever yet filled though thousands have been broken; it is a corrosive liquor which eats into the pitcher, and devours the vessel into which it flows. Some have tried to fill their souls with fame: they have aspired to be great among their fellow-men, and to wear honorable titles earned in war, or gained in study. But satisfaction is not created by the highest renown; you shall turn to the biographies of the great, and perceive that in their secret hearts they never gained contentment from the grandest successes they achieved. Perhaps, if you had to look out the truly miserable, you would do better to go to the Houses of Parliament and to the palaces of those who govern nations, than to the purlieus of poverty, for awful misery is full often clothed in scarlet, and agony feasts at the table of kings. From the sparkling founts of fame no cups are filled.

Young man, you are just starting in life, you have the cup in your hand, and you want to fill it, let us warn you (those of us who have tried the world) that it cannot fill your soul, not even with such poor sickly liquor as it offers you. It will pretend to fill, but fill it never can. There is a craving of the soul which can never be satisfied, except by its Creator. In God only is the fullness of the heart, which he has made for himself.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Overflowing Cup." Image by Jay-P on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Desire in Prayer

You have seen a dog after a long run; how he stands with opened mouth panting for life and breath. Oh, that we had desires after God and divine things strong enough to make us thus open our mouth and pant! We may never have seen a stag in extremis, but I dare say David had. He had seen it in the fierce hunt, when it longed to have its smoking sides in the water brooks and to drink long draughts, and he said, “As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”

Nothing puts such energy into prayer as intense anguish of desire. Desire comes out of a sense of want; and in proportion as the necessity is overwhelming, the fervency of the desire will be vehement. My brethren, we have not, because, although we ask, we use a kind of asking which is as though we asked not.

An old Puritan says, “He that prays to God without fervor asks to be denied.” There is a way of asking for a thing in which the person to whom the request is made finds it very easy to decline the request, but persons in dire necessity understand how to put the case, so that only a very hard-hearted person could say “no.” They know how to place their petition in such a way that the request wins, not merely because of the rightness of the petition, but also because of the very style in which it is put. We must learn how to pray with strong crying and tears, for there are mercies which cannot be gained by any other mode of supplicating.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Opening The Mouth." Image by Ben Fredericson on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Because of Love

The Spirit of God causes every true-born son of God to burn with love to the rest of the family. He who is a stranger to Christian love is a stranger to divine grace. Brethren, we have our disputes, for we dwell where it must needs be that offenses come; but we would be slow to take offense and slower still to give it, for we are one in Christ Jesus, and our hearts are knit together by his Spirit. I take it that no honest man ought to hold his tongue concerning any of the errors of the day, it is a mean way of cultivating ease for yourself, and gaining, a popularity not worth the having; we must speak the truth whether we offend or please, but this is to be done in love and because of love.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Leading Of The Spirit." Image by David Gardiner on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Can we bear it?

Many would be saints if everybody would encourage them; but as soon as a hard word is spoken they are offended. They would go to heaven if they could travel there amidst the hosannas of he multitude, but when they hear the cry of “Crucify him, crucify him,” straightway they desert the man of Nazareth, for they have no intention to share his cross, or to be despised and rejected of men.

The true saints of God are prepared to endure scoffing, and jeering, and scorning; they accept this cross without murmuring, remembering him who endured such contradiction of sinners against himself. They know that their brethren who went before “resisted unto blood, striving against sin,” and as they have not yet come to that point, they count it foul scorn that they should be ashamed or confounded in minor trials, let their adversaries do what they may. Those who are to sing Christ’s praise in heaven must first have been willing to bear Christ’s shame below. Numbered with him in the humiliation must they be, or they cannot expect to be partakers with him in the glory. 

And now, dear brethren and sisters, how is it with us? Are we willing to be reproached for Christ’s glory? Can we bear the sarcasm of the wise? Can we bear the jest of the witty?

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Voice From Heaven." Image by Steve-h on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Economy in the things of God

There must be a clearing up after every banquet. They went round and gathered up the fragments that remained, and found twelve baskets full. This, as has often been remarked, teaches us economy in everything that we do for God; not economy as to giving to him, but as to the use of the Lord’s money. Break your alabaster boxes, and pour out the sacred nard with blessed wastefulness, for that very wastefulness is the sweetness of the gift; but when God entrusts you with any means to use for him, use those means with discretion. When we have money given to us for use in God’s cause we should be more careful with it than if it were our own; and the same rule applies to other matters.

Ministers, when God gives them a good time in their studies, and they read the Word and it opens up before them, should keep notes of what comes to them. The wind does not always blow alike, and it is well to grind your wheat when the mill will work. You should put up your sails, and let your barque fly along when you have a good, favoring breeze, and this may make up for dead calms. Economically put by the fragments that remain after you have fed next Sunday’s congregation, that there may be something for hard times when your head aches, and you are dull and heavy in pulpit preparations.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Miracle of the Loaves." Image by Renata Diem on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The one who rightly handles the Word

He that rightly handles the word of God will never use it to defend men in their sins, but to slay their sins. If there be a professing Christian here who is living in known sin, shame upon him; and if there be a non-Christian man who is living in sin, let his conscience upbraid him. What will he do in that day when Christ comes to judge the hearts of men, and the books shall be opened, and every thought shall be read out before an assembled universe?

I desire to handle the word of God so that no man may ever find an excuse in my ministry for his living without Christ, and living in sin, but may know clearly that sin is a deadly evil, and unbelief the sure destroyer of the soul. He has indeed been made to handle the word aright who plunges it like a two-edged sword into the very bowels of sin.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Rightly Dividing The Word Of Truth," delivered December 27, 1874. Image by Rodrigo Soldon on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Praying Earnestly

Many a prayer is too long by twenty lines. It is smothered under a bed-full of words. There are times when a Christian man can pray from hour to hour; but it is a great mistake when brethren measure their supplications by the clock. The great matter is not how long you pray, but how earnestly you pray. Consider the life of the prayer rather than the length of the prayer. If your prayer reaches to heaven it is long enough. What longer can it need to be? If it does not reach the Lord, though it occupied you for a week, it would not be long enough to be of use.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "To Souls In Agony." Image by Nigel Wedge on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Heaven, New Earth

We are coming to plead now with one whose arm is not shortened, and whose ear is not heavy. Renew your strength as you think of him. If you have doubted the ultimate success of Christianity, renew your strength as you remember who it is that has sworn by himself that surely all flesh shall see the salvation of God. You are coming to plead with Jesus Christ. Be silent, and remember those wounds of his with which he has redeemed mankind! 

Can these fail of their reward? Shall Jesus be robbed of the power he has so dearly earned? The earth is the Lord’s, and he will unsheathe her of the mists which dimmed her lustre at the fall, and he will make this planet shine as brightly as when she first was rolled from between the palms of the omnipotent Creator. There shall be a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Think of that, and renew your strength. Hath not the Lord said concerning his beloved Son, that he shall divide the spoil with the strong, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hands? Shall it not be so?

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Solemn Pleadings For Revival," delivered January 3, 1875. Image by NASA Goddard Photo and Video on Flickr under Creative Commons License.