Spurgeon: Comfort for “little faiths”

20 12 2011

By “Little-Faiths”, Spurgeon here means people who are not great in faith and deed.  There are no Moses, or Paul, or Peter, or Augustine, or Luther, or Calvin.  They aren’t even  ”Joe-Schmoe” Christians, but something less than that.  They are people whose faith is full of doubts, whose morality is often feeble.  They are not spiritual giants but spiritual midgets.  Here Spurgeon speaks a word of comfort to folks just like this, and shows that the blessings of Christ are every bit their’s as they are to the spritual giant.  Maybe these words will be a comfort to you.  I know it spoke a word of comfort to me…

Now I want to say one or two things to Little-Faiths this morning. The little children of God who are here mentioned as being bruised reeds or smoking flax are just as safe as the great saints of God. I wish for a moment to expand this thought, and then I will finish with the other head. These saints of God who are called bruised reeds and smoking flax are just as safe as those who are mighty for their Master, and great in strength, for several reasons. First of all, the little saint is just as much God’s elect as the great saint.When God chose his people, he chose them all at once, and altogether; and he elected one just as much as the other. If I choose a certain number of things, one may be less than the rest, but one is as much chosen as the other; and so Mrs. Fearing and Miss Despondency are just as much elected as Great-Heart, or Old Father Honest. Again: the little ones are redeemed equally with the great ones! the feeble saints cost Christ as much suffering as the strong ones; the tiniest child of God could not have been purchased with less than Jesus’ precious blood; and the greatest child of God did not cost him more. Paul did not cost any more than Benjamin—I am sure he did not—for I read in the Bible that “there is no difference.” Besides, when of old they came to pay their redemption-money, every person brought a shekel. The poor shall bring no less, and the rich shall bring no more than just a shekel. The same price was paid for the one as the other. Now then little child of God, take that thought to thy soul. You see some men very prominent in Christ’s cause—and it is very good that they should be—but they did not cost Jesus a farthing more than you did; he paid the same price for you that he paid for them. Recollect again, you are just as much a child of God as the greatest saint. Some of you have five or six children. There is one child of yours, perhaps, who is very tall and handsome, and has, moreover, gifts of mind; and you have another child who is the smallest of the family, perhaps has but little intellect and understanding. But which is the most your child? “The most!” you say; “both alike are my children, certainly, one as much as the other.” And so, dear friends, you may have very little learning, you may be very dark about divine things, you may but “see men as trees walking,” but you are as much the children of God as those who have grown to the stature of men in Christ Jesus. Then remember, poor tried saint, that you are just as much justified as any other child of God. I know that I am completely justified.

His blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress.

I want no other garments, save Jesus’ doings, and his imputed righteousness.

The boldest child of God wants no more; and I who am “less than the least of all saints,” can be content with no less, and I shall have no less. O Ready-to-Halt, thou art as much justified as Paul, Peter, John the Baptist, or the loftiest saint in heaven. There is no difference in that matter. Oh! take courage and rejoice.

Then one thing more. If you were lost, God’s honor would be as much tarnished as if the greatest one were lost. A queer thing I once read in an old book about God’s children and people being a part of Christ and in union with him. The writer says—”A father sitteth in his room, and there cometh in a stranger; the stranger taketh up a child on his knee, and the child hath a sore finger; so he saith, ‘My child, you have a sore finger;’ ‘Yes!’ ‘Well, let me take it off, and give thee a golden one!’ The child looketh at him and saith, ‘I will not go to that man any more, for he talks of taking off my finger; I love my own finger, and I will not have a golden one instead of it.’” So the saint saith, “I am one of the members of Christ, but I am like a sore finger, and he will take me off and put a golden one on.” “No,” said Christ, “no, no; I cannot have any of my members taken away; if the finger be a sore one, I will bind it up; I will strengthen it.” Christ cannot allow a word about cutting his members off. If Christ lose one of his people, he would not be a whole Christ any longer. If the meanest of his children could be cast away, Christ would lack a part of his fullness; yea, Christ would be incomplete without his Church. If one of his children must be lost, it would be better that it should be a great one, than a little one. If a little one were lost, Satan would say, “Ah! you save the great ones, because they had strength and could help themselves; but the little one that has no strength, you could not save him.” You know what Satan would say; but God would shut Satan’s mouth, by proclaiming, “They are all here, Satan, in spite of thy malice, they are all here; every one is safe; now lie down in thy den for ever, and be bound eternally in chains, and smoke in fire!” So shall he suffer eternal torment, but not one child of God ever shall.

One thought more and I shall have done with this head. The salvation of great saints often depends upon the salvation of little ones. Do you understand that? You know that my salvation, or the salvation of any child of God, looking at second causes, very much depends upon the conversion of some one else. Suppose your mother is the means of your conversion, you would, speaking after the manner of men, say, that your conversion depended upon hers; for her being converted, made her the instrument of bringing you in. Suppose such-and-such a minister to be the means of your calling; then your conversion, in some sense, though not absolutely, depends upon his. So it often happens, that the salvation of God’s mightiest servants depends upon the conversion of little ones. There is a poor mother; no one ever knows anything about her; she goes to the house of God, her name is not in the newspapers, or anywhere else; she teaches her child, and brings him up in the fear of God; she prays for that boy; she wrestles with God, and her tears and prayers mingle together. The boy grows up. What is he? A missionary—a William Knibb—a Moffat—a Williams. But you do not hear anything about the mother. Ah! but if the mother had not been saved, where would the boy have been? Let this cheer the little ones; and may you rejoice that he will nourish and cherish you, though you are like bruised reeds and smoking flax.

read the whole thing here





Charles Spurgeon: What is it to believe the Gospel?

20 12 2011

The final paragraph of Spurgeon’s excellent sermon “The Curse Removed.” Read the whole thing here.

To believe is to fall flat down upon the promise, and there to lie. To believe is as a man would do in a stream. It is said, that if we were to fold our arms, and lie motionless, we could not sink. To believe is to float upon the stream of grace. I grant you, you shall do afterward; but you must live before you can do. The gospel is the reverse of the law. The law says, “Do and live;” the gospel says, “Live first, then do.” The way to do, poor sinner, is to say, “Here, Jesus, here I am; I give myself to thee.” I never had a better idea of believing than I once had from a poor countryman. I may have mentioned this before; but it struck me very forcibly at the time, and I can not help repeating it. Speaking about faith he said, “The old enemy has been troubling me very much lately; but I told him that he must not say any thing to me about my sins, he must go to my Master, for I had transferred the whole concern to him, bad debts and all.” That is believing. Believing is giving up all we have to Christ, and taking all Christ has to ourselves. It is changing houses with Christ, changing clothes with Christ, changing our unrighteousness for his righteousness, changing our sins for his merits. Execute the transfer, sinner; rather, may God’s grace execute it, and give thee faith in it; and then the law will be no longer thy condemnation, but it shall acquit thee. May Christ add his blessing! May the Holy Spirit rest upon us! And may we meet at last in heaven! Then will we “sing to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved.





Charles Spurgeon: The Christian and fear

20 12 2011
Christian, you ought not to dread the arrival of evil tidings; because if you are distressed by them, what do you more than other men ? Other men have not your God to fly to; they have never proved His faithfulness as you have done, and it is no wonder if they are bowed down with alarm and cowed with fear: but you profess to be of another spirit; you have been begotten again unto a lively hope, and your heart lives in heaven and not on earthly things; now, if you are seen to be distracted as other men, what is the value of that grace which you profess to have received? Where is the dignity of that new nature which you claim to possess?

Again, if you should be filled with alarm, as others are, you would, doubtless, be led into the sins so common to others under trying circumstances. The ungodly, when they are overtaken by evil tidings, rebel against God; they murmur, and think that God deals hardly with them. Will you fall into that same sin? Will you provoke the Lord as they do? Moreover, unconverted men often run to wrong means in order to escape from difficulties, and you will be sure to do the same if your mind yields to the present pressure. Trust in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.

Your wisest course is to do as Moses did at the Red Sea, “Stand still and see the salvation of God.” For if you give way to fear when you hear of evil tidings, you will be unable to meet the trouble with that calm composure which nerves for duty, and sustains under adversity. How can you glorify God if you play the coward? Saints have often sung God’s high praises in the fires, but will your doubting and desponding, as if you had none to help you, magnify the Most High? Then take courage, and relying in sure confidence upon the faithfulness of your covenant God, “let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Christian, you ought not to dread the arrival of evil tidings; because if you are distressedby them, what do you more than other men ? Other men have not your God to fly to;they have never proved His faithfulness as you have done, and it is no wonder if theyare bowed down with alarm and cowed with fear: but you profess to be of another spirit;you have been begotten again unto a lively hope, and your heart lives in heaven andnot on earthly things; now, if you are seen to be distracted as other men, what is thevalue of that grace which you profess to have received? Where is the dignity of thatnew nature which you claim to possess?

Again, if you should be filled with alarm, as others are, you would, doubtless, be ledinto the sins so common to others under trying circumstances. The ungodly, when theyare overtaken by evil tidings, rebel against God; they murmur, and think that God dealshardly with them.

Will you fall into that same sin? Will you provoke the Lord as they do?  Moreover, unconverted men often run to wrong means in order to escape fromdifficulties, and you will be sure to do the same if your mind yields to the presentpressure. Trust in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Your wisest course is to do as Moses did at the Red Sea, “Stand still and see thesalvation of God.” For if you give way to fear when you hear of evil tidings, you willbe unable to meet the trouble with that calm composure which nerves for duty, and sustains under adversity. How can you glorify God if you play the coward? Saints have often sung God’s high praises in the fires, but will your doubting and desponding, as if you had none to help you, magnify the Most High? Then take courage, and relying sure confidence upon the faithfulness of your covenant God, “let not your heart betroubled, neither let it be afraid.”

From Spurgeon’s daily devotional Morning and Evening Sept 15. a.m.





Rob Sturdy: What role do feelings, faith, works etc. play in spirituality?

20 12 2011

Many judge the quality of their spiritual life by three things.  First, people judge their spiritual life by how they feel.  Do you feel spiritual?  Do you feel the presence of God?  Second, people judge their spiritual life by the quality of their life.  Am I becoming a better person?  Am I happier?  More content?  And finally, people will judge their spiritual life by the vibrancy of their faith.  Do I believe strongly  enough?  These are helpful questions to ask and I would encourage you to ask them frequently.  But there is more to the spiritual life than these things.  To ask these questions is not a journey to understand God but a journey to understand yourself.  How do I feel?  What do I believe?  Am I becoming a better person?  You’ll quickly notice the answers to these questions have very little to do with God.  You’ll also quickly notice that if you ask these questions frequently enough, you’ll learn that there are days when you don’t feel spiritual.  You’ll recognize that there are days when you’re not a good person at all.  You’ll even have days when you wonder if there is a God at all!  What is the solution then?  We need something that is (a) outside of ourselves and (b) unchanging.  Enter Christ . Rather than asking how strong is my belief we ask “how strong is Christ’s faith?”  Rather than asking “am I a good person?” we ask “is Christ a good person?” And you’ll notice that unlike your answer to these questions, Christ’s answer doesn’t change.  In short, if we base our spiritual life on Christ rather than ourselves we’ll have something quite special, that being confidence and assurance in our relationship with God.  It is put well by Charles Spurgeon who writes:

“There is one thing which we all of us too much becloud in our preaching, though I believe we do it very unintentionally- namely, the great truth that it is not prayer, it is not faith, it is not our doings, it is not our feelings upon which we must rest, but upon Christ and on Christ alone.  We are apt to think that we are not in a right state, that we do not fell enough, instead of remembering that our business is only with Christ.  O soul, of thou couldst fix thy soul on Jesus, and neglect every thing else- if thou couldst but despise good works, and aught else, so far as they relate to salvation, and look wholly, simply on Christ, I feel that Satan would soon give up throwing thee down, he would find that it would not answer his purpose, for thou wouldst fall on Christ, and like the giant who fell upon his mother, the earth, thou wouldst rise up each time stronger than before.”

Spurgeon, “The Comer’s Conflict with Satan” Spurgeon’s Sermons Vol II pg 309





Spurgeon: The Power of the Cross of Christ

20 12 2011

“The crucified Christ has irresistible attractions. When He stoops into the utmost suffering and scorn, even the brutal must relent. A living Savior men may love, but a crucified Savior they must love. If they perceive that He loved them and gave Himself for them, their hearts are stolen away. The city of Mansoul is captured before the siege begins, when the Prince Emmanuel uncovers the beauties of His dying love before the eyes of rebellious ones.”

– Charles Spurgeon, The Power of the Cross of Christ (Lynwood, WA: Emerald Books, 1995), 15.





Spurgeon: On Evolution and Election

20 12 2011

Spurgeon, while not educated in the classical sense, was no doubt an educated and well read man. His library at the time of his death contained hundreds of thousands of well worn volumes. So, I read the sermon below in the context of certain theories put forward by Charles Darwin twenty years before this sermon was preached. I also assume that Spurgeon understood said theories and understood their implications. What I want to draw the reader’s attention to is Spurgeon’s literal reading of Genesis while at the same time accepting the discoveries of science in his day. The point here being, that the great men of the church have never feared scientific discovery because they could not conceive that good science would ever contradict the word. Would only the contemporary conservative church follow Spurgeon’s example

Years ago we thought the beginning of this world was when Adam came upon it; but we have discovered that thousands of years before that God was preparing chaotic matter to make it a fit abode for man, putting races of creatures upon it, who might die and leave behind the marks of his handiwork and marvellous skill, before he tried his hand on man. But that was not the beginning, for revelation points us to a period long ere this world was fashioned, to the days when the morning stars were begotten; when, like drops of dew, from the fingers of the morning, stars and constellations fell trickling from the hand of God; when, by his own lips, he launched forth ponderous orbs; when with his own hand he sent comets, like thunderbolts, wandering through the sky, to find one day their proper sphere. We go back to years gone by, when worlds were made and systems fashioned, but we have not even approached the beginning yet. Until we go to the time when all the universe slept in the mind of God as yet unborn, until we enter the eternity where God the Creator lived alone, everything sleeping within him, all creation resting in his mighty gigantic thought, we have not guessed the beginning. We may go back, back, back, ages upon ages. We may go back, if we might use such strange words, whole eternities, and yet never arrive at the beginning. Our wing might be tired, our imagination would die away; could it outstrip the lightnings flashing in majesty, power, and rapidity, it would soon weary itself ere it could get to the beginning. But God from the beginning chose his people; when the unnavigated ether was yet unfanned by the wing of a single angel, when space was shoreless, or else unborn when universal silence reigned, and not a voice or whisper shocked the solemnity of silence; when there was no being and no motion, no time, and nought but God himself, alone in his eternity; when without the song of an angel, without the attendance of even the cherubim, long ere the living creatures were born, or the wheels of the chariot of Jehovah were fashioned, even then, “in the beginning was the Word,” and in the beginning God’s people were one with the Word, and “in the beginning he chose them into eternal life.” Our election then is eternal.

read the sermon here





Spurgeon helps us combat spiritual lethargy

19 12 2011

Let me remind you that if you will look at interesting things you will not sleep; and how can you be kept awake in the enchanted ground better than by holding up your Saviour before your eyes? There are some things, it is said, which will not let men shut their eyes if they are held before them. Jesus Christ crucified on Calvary is one of them. I never knew a Christian go to sleep at the foot of the cross; but he always said—

“Sweet the moments, rich in blessing,
Which before the cross I spend.”

And he said, too—

“Here I’d sit, for ever viewing
Mercies’ streams in streams of blood.”

But he never said, “Here I would lay down and sleep;” for he could not sleep with that shriek, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani,” in his ears. He could not sleep with “It is finished!” going into his very soul. Keep thou near to the cross, Christian, and thou wilt not sleep.
Then I would advise thee to let the wind blow on thee; let the breath of the Holy Spirit continually fan thy temples, and thou wilt not sleep. Seek to live daily under the influence of the Holy Ghost; derive all thy strength from him, and thou wilt not slumber.
Lastly, labor to impress thyself with a deep sense of the value of the place to which thou art going. If thou rememberest that thou art going to heaven, thou wilt not sleep on the road. If thou thinkest that hell is behind thee, and the devil pursuing thee, I am sure thou wilt not be inclined to sleep. Would the man-slayer sleep if the avenger of blood were behind him, and the city of refuge before him? Christian, wilt thou sleep whilst the pearly gates are open; the songs of angels waiting for thee to join them; a crown decorated with delight to be worn upon thy brow? Ah, no!

“Forget the steps already trod,
And onward urge thy way.”
“Weak as thou art, thou shalt not faint,
Or, fainting, shalt not die;
He feeds the strength of every saint,
He’ll help thee from on high.”

read it all here