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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Divine Confirmation

Do we not all desire to know from time to time that our faith in Christ will not fail us in the end? In those dark times that come upon us, do we not feel some need for confirmation that we will be preserved in our position with Christ? Charles H. Spurgeon addresses this subject:

I want you to notice the security which Paul confidently expected for all the saints. He says—“Who shall confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is the kind of confirmation which is above all things to be desired. You see it supposes that the persons are right, and it proposes to confirm them in the right. … Divine confirmation can only be enjoyed by those to whom the grace of God has been already manifested. It is the work of the Holy Ghost. He who gives faith strengthens and establishes it: He who kindles love in us preserves it and increases its flame. What He makes us to know by His first teaching, the good Spirit causes us to know with greater clearness and certainty by still further instruction. Holy acts are confirmed till they become habits, and holy feelings are confirmed till they become abiding conditions. Experience and practice confirm our beliefs and our resolutions. Both our joys and our sorrows, our successes and our failures, are sanctified to the selfsame end: even as the tree is helped to root itself both by the soft showers and the rough winds. The mind is instructed, and in its growing knowledge it gathers reasons for persevering in the good way: the heart is comforted, and so it is made to cling more closely to the consoling truth. The grip grows tighter, and the tread grows firmer, and the man himself becomes more solid and substantial.

This is not a merely natural growth, but is as distinct a work of the Spirit as conversion. The Lord will surely give it to those who are relying upon Him for eternal life. By His inward working He will deliver us from being “unstable as water,” and cause us to be rooted and grounded. It is a part of the method by which He saves us—this building us up into Christ Jesus and causing us to abide in Him. Dear reader, you may daily look for this; and you shall not be disappointed. He whom you trust will make you to be as a tree planted by the rivers of waters, so preserved that even your leaf shall not wither.

What a strength to a church is a confirmed Christian! He is a comfort to the sorrowful, and a help to the weak. Would you not like to be such? Confirmed believers are pillars in the house of our God. These are not carried away by every wind of doctrine, nor overthrown by sudden temptation. They are a great stay to others, and act as anchors in the time of church trouble. You who are beginning the holy life hardly dare to hope that you will become like them. But you need not fear; the good Lord will work in you as well as in them. One of these days you who are now a “babe” in Christ shall be a “father” in the church. Hope for this great thing; but hope for it as a gift of grace, and not as the wages of work, or as the product of your own energy.

The inspired apostle Paul speaks of these people as to be confirmed unto the end. He expected the grace of God to preserve them personally to the end of their lives, or till the Lord Jesus should come. Indeed, he expected that the whole church of God in every place and in all time would be kept to the end of the dispensation, till the Lord Jesus as the Bridegroom should come to celebrate the wedding-feast with his perfected Bride. All who are in Christ will be confirmed in Him till that illustrious day. Has He not said, “Because I live ye shall live also”? He also said, “I give unto my sheep eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” He that hath begun a good work in you will confirm it unto the day of Christ. The work of grace in the soul is not a superficial reformation; the life implanted as the new birth comes of a living and incorruptible seed, which liveth and abideth for ever; and the promises of God made to believers are not of a transient character, but involve for their fulfillment the believer’s holding on his way till he comes to endless glory. We are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation. “The righteous shall hold on his way.” Not as the result of our own merit or strength, but as a gift of free and undeserved favor those who believe are “preserved in Christ Jesus.” Of the sheep of His fold Jesus will lose none; no member of His Body shall die; no gem of His treasure shall be missing in the day when He makes up His jewels. Dear reader, the salvation which is received by faith is not a thing of months and years; for our Lord Jesus hath “obtained eternal salvation for us,” and that which is eternal cannot come to an end. (All of Grace)

Resurrection Power

Even though the secular world may cast us out and laugh at our profession of faith, yet Jesus Christ will walk with, and abide in us. George Whitefield writes:

[T]hat I may know him and the power of his resurrection. . . . (Philippians 3:10 ESV)

By the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are new-born to a heavenly inheritance amongst all them which are sanctified; but our own corrupt wills, would tempt us to sell this glorious birth-right for the vanities of the world, which, like Esau’s red pottage, may please us for a while, but will soon be taken away from us. God knows this, and therefore rather bids us renounce them . . . [than lose] the privilege of that glorious birth-right, to which, by knowing the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are entitled.

O the depth of the riches and excellency of Christianity! Well might the great St. Paul count all things but dung and dross for the excellency of the knowledge of it. Well might he desire so ardently to know Jesus, and the power of his resurrection. For even on this side of eternity it raises us above the world, and makes us to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Well might that glorious company of worthies, recorded in the Holy scriptures, supported with a deep sense of their heavenly calling, despise the pleasures and profits of this life, and wander about in sheep-skins, and goat-skins, in dens and caves of the earth, being destitute, afflicted, tormented.

And O that we were all like minded! That we felt the power of Christ’s resurrection as they did! How should we then “count all things as dung and dross for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord!” How should we then recover our primitive dignity, trample the earth under our feet, and with our souls be continually gasping after God?

And what hinders but we may be thus minded? Is Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, altered from what he was? No, “he is the same yesterday, today, and for ever.” And though he is exalted to the right hand of God, yet he is not ashamed to call us brethren. The power of his resurrection is as great now as formerly, and the Holy Spirit, which was assured to us by his resurrection, as ready and able to quicken us who are dead in trespasses and sins, as any saint that ever lived. Let us but cry, and that instantly, to Him that is mighty and able to save; let us, in sincerity and truth, without secretly keeping back the least part, renounce ourselves and the world; then we shall be Christians indeed.

The Plague of Sin

The following is from a sermon by Charles H. Spurgeon:

All the filth and loathsomeness that ever offended eye and nostril, is sweetness itself compared with sin. The foulest and most detestable thing in the whole universe is sin!

Sin is that which keeps the fire of hell burning as God’s great sanitary necessity. Well may God cause the fiery flames of eternal torment to go up for ever and ever, for it is only by such terrific punishment that the plague of sin can be at all restrained within bounds.

Sin is a horrible evil, a deadly poison; and yet, sinner, though you be as full of sin as an egg is full of meat, and as reeking with sin as the foulest piece of noxious matter can be reeking with foul smell — yet the infinite mercy of God in Christ Jesus can lift you from this utmost degradation, and make you to shine as a star in his kingdom at the last!

To know that my Beloved is mine, and that I am his, and that he loved me and gave himself for me, this is far better than to be heir-apparent to a score of empires! (“From the Dunghill to the Throne” No. 658)

Sanctification

When God saves a sinner, He justifies and sanctifies him. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him and the principle of holiness is imparted to him. Andrew Murray writes:

“But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation: because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15,16)

“But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us sanctification.” (1 Corinthians 1:30)

“God hath from the beginning chosen you unto salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

[W]hat is this holiness that I must have? Christ is your sanctification. The life of Christ in you is your holiness. In Christ you are sanctified – you are holy. In Christ you must continually be sanctified. The glory of Christ must penetrate your whole life.

Holiness is more than purity. In Scripture we see that cleansing precedes holiness. Cleansing is the taking away of that which is wrong – liberation from sin. Holiness is the filling with that which is good and divine – the disposition of Jesus. Holiness is conformity to Him. It is separation from the spirit of the world and being filled with the presence of the Holy God. The tabernacle was holy because God lived there. We are holy, as God’s temple, after we have God living within us. Christ’s life in us is our holiness.

And how do we become holy? By the sanctification of the Spirit. The Spirit of God is named the Holy Spirit because He makes us holy. He reveals and glorifies Christ in us. Through Him, Christ dwells in us, and His holy power works in us. Through this Holy Spirit, the workings of the flesh are mortified, and God works in us both the will and the accomplishment. (“Holiness”)

The Offensive Christ

The following is from Charles H. Spurgeon:

There are some who stumble at Christ because of his holiness.

He is too strict for them; they would like to be Christians, but they cannot renounce their sensual pleasures; they would like to be washed in his blood, but they desire still to roll in the mire of sin.

Willing enough the mass of men would be to receive Christ, if, after receiving him, they might continue in their drunkenness, their wantonness, and self-indulgence. But Christ lays the axe at the root of the tree; he tells them that these things must be given up, for “because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience,” and “without holiness no man can see the Lord.”

Human nature kicks at this.

“What! May I not enjoy one darling lust? May I not indulge myself at least now and then in these things? Must I altogether forsake my old habits and my old ways? Must I be made a new creature in Christ Jesus?”

These are terms too hard, conditions too severe, and so the human heart goes back to the flesh pots of Egypt, and clings to the garlic and the onions of the old estate of bondage, and will not be set free even though a greater than Moses lifts up the rod to part the sea, and promises to give to them a Canaan flowing with milk and honey.

Christ offends men because his gospel is intolerant of sin. (“Unbelievers stumbling; Believers rejoicing”)

Are You Growing in Holiness?

As a Christian, do you possess a “cultural holiness”? There are many Christians who simply adapt their behaviors to the Christians around them. God, however, has not called us to be like the people we like or associate with; He has called us to conform to His Character. Andrew Murray writes:

“But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation: because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15, 16)

“But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us sanctification.” (1 Corinthians 1:30)

“God hath from the beginning chosen you unto salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

Not only has God chosen and called us for salvation, but also for holiness – salvation in holiness. The goal of the young Christian must not only be safety in Christ, but also holiness in Christ. Safety and salvation are, in the long run, found only in holiness. The Christian who thinks that his salvation consists merely in safety and not in holiness will find himself deceived. Young Christian, listen to the Word of God – Be ye holy.

And why must I be holy? Because He who called you is holy and summons you to fellowship and conformity with Himself. How can anyone be saved in God when he does not have the same disposition as God?

God’s holiness is His highest glory. In His holiness, His righteousness and His love are united. His holiness is the flaming fire of His zeal against all that is sin. This is how He keeps Himself free from sin, and in love makes others also free from it. It is as the Holy One of Israel that He is the Redeemer, and that He lives in the midst of His people. Redemption is given to bring us to Himself and to the fellowship of His holiness. We cannot possibly take part in the love and salvation of God if we are not holy as He is holy. Young Christians, be holy. (“Holiness”)

There Is Mercy In The Wilderness

Quoting Steve Camp:

It is easy to praise the Lord from the heights of His love, but it is rich to worship Him from the depths of His love. If you are in a time of testing or trial may I encourage you today to stop and worship the Lord. Find comfort in His word and in the obedience that comes from surrendering our will and rights to Him. Job prayed in the course of his trials, “Though He may slay me, I will hope in Him.” Our Lord is sovereign – He is in control of all things. There is mercy in the wilderness dear friend. Come to Christ Jesus today, worship Him in spirit and truth, and drink of His mercy as He molds you to Himself.

To Be More Like Christ

Charles Spurgeon typically read 6 books per week and could remember what he had read, and where, even years later. He once addressed an audience of 23,654 without a microphone or any mechanical amplification. In 1865, Spurgeon’s sermons sold 25,000 copies every week. They were translated into more than 20 languages. In the article below, Spurgeon teaches us that we must spend time reflecting on the grace of Christ:

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. . . . (Ephesians 5:25 ESV)

What a golden example Christ gives to His disciples! Few masters could venture to say, “If you would practice my teaching, imitate my life;” but as the life of Jesus is the exact transcript of perfect virtue, He can point to Himself as the paragon of holiness, as well as the teacher of it. The Christian should take nothing short of Christ for his model. Under no circumstances ought we to be content unless we reflect the grace which was in Him. As a husband, the Christian is to look upon the portrait of Christ Jesus, and he is to paint according to that copy. The true Christian is to be such a husband as Christ was to His church. The love of a husband is special. The Lord Jesus cherishes for the church a peculiar affection, which is set upon her above the rest of mankind: “I pray for them, I pray not for the world.” The elect church is the favorite of heaven, the treasure of Christ, the crown of His head, the bracelet of His arm, the breastplate of His heart, the very centre and core of His love. A husband should love his wife with a constant love, for thus Jesus loves His church. He does not vary in His affection. He may change in His display of affection, but the affection itself is still the same. A husband should love his wife with an enduring love, for nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” A true husband loves his wife with a hearty love, fervent and intense. It is not mere lip-service. Ah! Beloved, what more could Christ have done in proof of His love than He has done? Jesus has a delighted love towards His spouse: He prizes her affection, and delights in her with sweet complacence. Believer, you wonder at Jesus’ love; you admire it-are you imitating it? In your domestic relationships is the rule and measure of your love-“even as Christ loved the church”? (Morning & Evening)

The Tomb Of Jesus

Excerpts from the sermon “The Tomb of Jesus” by Charles H. Spurgeon:

“Come; see the place where the Lord lay.” (Matthew 28:6)

I shall commence my remarks this morning by inviting all Christians to come with me to the tomb of Jesus. “Come; see the place where the Lord lay.” We will labor to render the place attractive, we will gently take your hand to guide you to it; and may it please our Master to make our hearts burn within us while we talk by the way. . . .

Come, then, for ’tis the shrine of greatness, ’tis the resting-place of the man, the Restorer of our race, the Conqueror of death and hell . . . Ask me the greatest man who ever lived—I tell you the man Christ Jesus was “anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellow.” If ye seek a chamber honored as the resting-place of genius, turn in hither; if ye would worship at the grave of holiness, come ye here; if ye would see the hallowed spot where the choicest bones that e’er were fashioned lay for awhile, come with me, Christian, to that quiet garden, hard by the walls of Jerusalem. . . .

Yea, more, I will further urge you to this pious pilgrimage. Come, for angels bid you. Angels said, “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” The Syriac version reads, “Come, see the place where our Lord lay.” Yes, angels put themselves with those poor women, and used one common pronoun—our. Jesus is the Lord of angels as well as of men. Let me lead thee by the hand of meditation, my brother; let me take thee by the arm of thy fancy, and let me again say to thee, “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”. . .

It is in a pleasant garden, far from the hum of Jerusalem; the noise and din of business will not reach thee there; “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” It is a sweet resting spot, a withdrawing room for thy soul, where thou mayest brush from thy garments the dust of earth and muse awhile in peace.

Thus I have pressed the invitation; now we will enter the tomb. Let us examine it with deep attention, noticing every circumstance connected with it.

And, first, mark that it is a costly tomb. It is no common grave; it is not an excavation dug out by the spade for a pauper, in which to hide the last remains of his miserable and over wearied bones. It is a princely tomb; it was made of marble, cut in the side of a hill. . . .

But, though it is a costly grave, it is a borrowed one. I see over the top of it, “Sacred to the memory of the family of Joseph of Arimathea;” yet Jesus slept there. Yes, he was buried in another’s sepulcher . . . It was a borrowed tomb; and why? I take it, not to dishonor Christ, but in order to show that, as his sins were borrowed sins, so his burial was in a borrowed grave. Christ had no transgressions of his own; he took ours upon his head; he never committed a wrong, but he took all my sin, and all yours, if ye are believers; concerning all his people, it is true, he bore their griefs and carried their sorrows in his own body on the tree; therefore, as they were others’ sins, so he rested in another’s grave; as they were sins imputed, so that grave was only imputedly his. . . .

Let us not weary in this pious investigation, but with fixed attention observe everything connected with this holy spot. The grave, we observe, was cut in a rock. Why was this . . .? O! my soul, canst thou find a spiritual reason? Christ’s sepulcher was cut in a rock. . . . The sepulcher stands, I believe, entire to this day; if it does not naturally, it does spiritually. The same sepulcher which took the sins of Paul, shall take my iniquities into his bosom, for if I ever lose my guilt, it must roll off my shoulders into the sepulcher. It was cut in a rock, so that if a sinner were saved a thousand years ago, I too can be delivered, for it is a rocky sepulcher where sin was buried—it was a rocky sepulcher of marble where my crimes were laid forever—buried never to have a resurrection.

You will mark; moreover, that tomb was one wherein no other man had ever lain. Christopher Ness says, when Christ was born, he lay in a virgin’s womb, and when he died, he was placed in a virgin tomb; he slept where never man had slept before. The reason was that none might say that another person rose, for there never had been any other body there, thus a mistake of persons was impossible. . . .

[L]et us stoop down once more before we leave the grave, and notice something else. We see the grave, but do you notice the grave-clothes, all wrapped and laid in their places, the napkin being folded up by itself? Wherefore are the grave-clothes wrapped up? The Jews said robbers had abstracted the body; but if so, surely they would have stolen the clothes; they would never have thought of wrapping them up and laying them down so carefully; they would be too much in haste to think of it. Why was it then. . . So at the precise hour, the decreed instant, Jesus Christ . . . came forth in his pure and naked innocence, perhaps to show us that as clothes were the offspring of sin—when sin was atoned for by Christ, he left all raiment behind him—for garments are the badges of guilt: if we had not been guilty we should never have needed them. . . .

I . . . bid you stand and see the place where the Lord lay with emotions of deep sorrow. Oh come, my beloved brother, thy Jesus once lay there. He was a murdered man, my soul, and thou the murderer. . . .

I slew him—this right hand struck the dagger to his heart. My deeds slew Christ. Alas! I slew my best beloved; I killed him who loved me with an everlasting love. . . .

Ah! we may indeed regret our sin, since it slew Jesus . . . Thy sin slew him, but his divinity raised him up. Thy guilt hath murdered him, but his righteousness hath restored him. Oh! he hath burst the bonds of death; he hath unit the cerements of the tomb, and hath come out more than conqueror, crushing death beneath his feet. Rejoice, O Christian, for he is not there—he is risen. . . .

And now, Christian brethren, “Come, see the place where the Lord lay,” to learn a doctrine or two. What did you see when you visited “the place where the Lord lay?” “He is not here; for he is risen.” The first thing you perceive, if you stand by his empty tomb, is his divinity. The dead in Christ shall rise first at the resurrection: but he, who rose first— their leader, rose in a different fashion. They rise by imparted power. He rose by his own. He could not slumber in the grave, because he was God. . . .

A second doctrine here taught well may charm thee, if the Holy Spirit applies it with power. Behold his empty tomb, O true believer: it is a sign of thine acquittal, and thy full discharge. If Jesus had not paid the debt, he ne’er had risen from the grave. He would have lain there till this moment if he had not cancelled the entire debt, by satisfying eternal vengeance. O beloved, is not that an overwhelming thought . . . ?

One more doctrine we learn, and with that we will conclude—the doctrine of the resurrection. Jesus rose, and as the Lord our Savior rose, so all his followers must rise. . . . O my soul, dost thou now dread to die? Thou wilt lose thy partner body a little while, but thou wilt be married again in heaven; soul and body shall again be united before the throne of God. The grave—what is it? It is the bath in which the Christian puts the clothes of his body to have them washed and cleansed. Death—what is it? It is the waiting-room where we robe ourselves for immortality. . . .

Come; view the place then, with all hallowed meditation, where the Lord lay. Spend this afternoon, my beloved brethren, in meditating upon it, and very often go to Christ’s grave, both to weep and to rejoice. (No. 18, April 8, 1855)

By Grace Through Faith

There are many in this world who, no doubt, understand the doctrine of faith, but will one day be in hell because they did not believe. Yet, not any who have trusted in our Lord Jesus Christ will ever be cast out, even if his faith is as a grain of Mustard seed. Read here the words of Charles Spurgeon and receive Christ into your soul:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. (Ephesians 2:8 ESV)

Commit yourself to the merciful God; rest your hope on the gracious gospel; trust your soul on the dying and living Savior; wash away your sins in the atoning blood; accept His perfect righteousness, and all is well. Trust is the lifeblood of faith; there is no saving faith without it. The Puritans were accustomed to explain faith by the word “recumbency.” It meant leaning upon a thing. Lean with all your weight upon Christ. It would be a better illustration still if I said, fall at full length, and lie on the Rock of Ages. Cast yourself upon Jesus; rest in Him; commit yourself to Him. That done, you have exercised saving faith. Faith is not a blind thing; for faith begins with knowledge. It is not a speculative thing; for faith believes facts of which it is sure. It is not an unpractical, dreamy thing; for faith trusts, and stakes its destiny upon the truth of revelation. That is one way of describing what faith is.

Let me try again. Faith is believing that Christ is what He is said to be, and that He will do what He has promised to do, and then to expect this of Him. The Scriptures speak of Jesus Christ as being God; God is human flesh; as being perfect in His character; as being made of a sin-offering on our behalf; as bearing our sins in His own body on the tree. The Scripture speaks of Him as having finished transgression, made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness. The sacred records further tell us that He “rose again from the dead,” that He “ever liveth to make intercession for us,” that He has gone up into the glory, and has taken possession of Heaven on the behalf of His people, and that He will shortly come again “to judge the world in righteousness, and his people with equity.” We are most firmly to believe that it is even so; for this is the testimony of God the Father when He said, “This is my beloved Son; hear ye him.” This also is testified by God the Holy Spirit; for the Spirit has borne witness to Christ, both in the inspired Word and by diverse miracles, and by His working in the hearts of men. We are to believe this testimony to be true.

Faith also believes that Christ will do what He has promised; that since He has promised to cast out none that come to Him, it is certain that He will not cast us out if we come to Him. Faith believes that since Jesus said, “The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life, it must be true; and if we get this living Water from Christ it will abide in us, and will well up within us in streams of holy life. Whatever Christ has promised to do He will do, and we must believe this, so as to look for pardon, justification, preservation, and eternal glory from His hands, according as He has promised them to believers in Him.

Jesus is what He is said to be, Jesus will do what He says He will do; therefore we must each one trust Him, saying, “He will be to me what He says He is, and He will do to me what He has promised to do; I leave myself in the hands of Him who is appointed to save, that He may save me. I rest upon His promise that He will do even as He has said.” This is a saving faith, and he that hath it hath everlasting life. Whatever his dangers and difficulties, whatever his darkness and depression, whatever his infirmities and sins, he that believeth thus on Christ Jesus is not condemned, and shall never come into condemnation. (All of Grace)

The Excellency Of Christ

Quoting Jonathan Edwards:

“But Christ Jesus has true excellency, and so great excellency, that when they come to see it they look no further, but the mind rests there. It sees a transcendent glory and an ineffable sweetness in him; it sees that till now it has been pursuing shadows, but that now it has found the substance; that before it had been seeking happiness in the stream, but that now it has found the ocean. The excellency of Christ is an object adequate to the natural cravings of the soul, and is sufficient to fill the capacity. It is an infinite excellency, such an one as the mind desires, in which it can find no bounds; and the more the mind is used to it, the more excellent it appears. Every new discovery makes this beauty appear more ravishing, and the mind sees no end; here is room enough for the mind to go deeper and deeper, and never come to the bottom. The soul is exceedingly ravished when it first looks on this beauty, and it is never weary of it. The mind never has any satiety, but Christ’s excellency is always fresh and new, and tends as much to delight, after it has been seen a thousand or ten thousand years, as when it was seen the first moment.”

Knowledge Is Essential To Faith

You must have faith that God is, and that He hears the cries of sincere hearts. You must know in your mind and heart that the gospel is from God. You must understand that justification by faith is the grand truth which God has revealed to us. Jesus is in truth our God and Savior; the Redeemer of men. Charles H. Spurgeon helps us to understand:

“By grace are ye saved, through faith” (Ephesians ii. 8).

Still, I again remind you that faith is only the channel or aqueduct, and not the fountainhead, and we must not look so much to it as to exalt it above the divine source of all blessing which lies in the grace of God. Never make a Christ out of your faith, nor think of as if it were the independent source of your salvation. Our life is found in “looking unto Jesus,” not in looking to our own faith. By faith all things become possible to us; yet the power is not in the faith, but in the God upon whom faith relies. Grace is the powerful engine, and faith is the chain by which the carriage of the soul is attached to the great motive power. The righteousness of faith is not the moral excellence of faith, but the righteousness of Jesus Christ which faith grasps and appropriates. The peace within the soul is not derived from the contemplation of our own faith; but it comes to us from Him who is our peace, the hem of whose garment faith touches, and virtue comes out of Him into the soul.

See then, dear friend, that the weakness of your faith will not destroy you. A trembling hand may receive a golden gift. The Lord’s salvation can come to us though we have only faith as a grain of mustard seed. The power lies in the grace of God, and not in our faith. Great messages can be sent along slender wires, and the peace-giving witness of the Holy Spirit can reach the heart by means of a thread-like faith which seems almost unable to sustain its own weight. Think more of Him to whom you look than of the look itself. You must look away even from your own looking, and see nothing but Jesus, and the grace of God revealed in Him.

What is this faith concerning which it is said, “By grace are ye saved, through faith?” Faith is the simplest of all things, and perhaps because of its simplicity it is the more difficult to explain . . . What is faith? It is made up of three things—knowledge, belief, and trust. Knowledge comes first. “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” I want to be informed of a fact before I can possibly believe it. “Faith cometh by hearing”; we must first hear, in order that we may know what is to be believed. “They that know thy name shall put their trust in thee.” A measure of knowledge is essential to faith; hence the importance of getting knowledge. “Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live.” Such was the word of the ancient prophet, and it is the word of the gospel still. Search the Scriptures and learn what the Holy Spirit teaches concerning Christ and His salvation. Seek to know God: “For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” May the Holy Spirit give you the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord! Know the gospel: know what the good news is, how it talks of free forgiveness, and of change of heart, of adoption into the family of God, and of countless other blessings. Know especially Christ Jesus the Son of God, the Savior of men, united to us by His human nature, and yet one with God; and thus able to act as Mediator between God and man, able to lay His hand upon both, and to be the connecting link between the sinner and the Judge of all the earth. Endeavor to know more and more of Christ Jesus. Endeavor especially to know the doctrine of the sacrifice of Christ; for the point upon which saving faith mainly fixes itself is this—“God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” Know that Jesus was “made a curse for us, as it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” Drink deep of the doctrine of the substitutionary work of Christ; for therein lies the sweetest possible comfort to the guilty sons of men, since the Lord “made him to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Faith begins with knowledge. (All of Grace)

Forgetful Of Jesus?

From the pen of Charles H. Spurgeon:

“Do you not find yourselves forgetful of Jesus? Some creature steals away your heart, and you are unmindful of him upon whom your affection ought to be set. Some earthly business engrosses your attention when you should have your eye steadily fixed upon the cross. It is the incessant round of world, world, world; the constant din of earth, earth, earth, that takes away the soul from Christ. Oh! my friends, is it not too sadly true that we can recollect anything but Christ, and forget nothing so easy as him whom we ought to remember? While memory will preserve a poisoned weed, it suffereth the Rose of Sharon to wither.”

Walking With Christ

On February 24th, 1856, Charles H. Spurgeon preached a sermon titled “A Solemn Warning for All Churches”. What follows here are excerpts from that sermon:

Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. (Revelation 3:4 ESV)

“They shall walk in white, for they are worthy.” The attentive reader will observe that in quoting the passage just now, I left out two of the sweetest words in the passage. It reads: “They shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy.” That is the very pith of the honor; if the rest of it be gold this is the jewel. “They shall walk with me in white.” That is to say, communion with Christ on earth shall be the special reward of those who have not defiled their garments. Now, I must say a very hard thing again, but it is a true one. Go into what company you please, do you meet with many men who hold communion with Christ? Though they may be godly men, upright men, ask them if they hold communion with Christ, and will they understand you? If you give them some of those sweetly spiritual books, that those who hold fellowship love to read, they will say they are mystical, and they do not love them. Ask them whether they can spend an hour in meditation upon Christ, whether they ever rise to heaven and lay their head on the breast of the Savior, whether they ever know what it is to enter into rest and get into Canaan; whether they understand how he has raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; whether they can often say,

Abundant sweetness while I sing

Thy love, my ravished heart overflows;

Secure in thee my God and King

Of glory that no period knows.”

Ask them that, and they will say, “We don’t comprehend you.” Now, the reason of it is in the first part of my sermon—they have defiled their garments, and therefore Christ will not walk with them. He says, “Those that have not defiled their garments shall walk with me.” Those who hold fast the truth, who take care to be free from the prevailing sins of the times, “These,” he says, “shall walk with me; they shall be in constant fellowship with me; I will let them see that I am bone of their bone, and flesh of their flesh: I will bring them into the banqueting-house; my banner over them shall be love; they shall drink wine on the lees well refined; they shall have the secrets of the Lord revealed unto them, because they are the people who truly fear me: they shall walk with me in white.” Oh, Christian! If thou wouldst have communion with Christ, the special way to win it is by not defiling thy garments, as the church has done. (“A Solemn Warning for All Churches”)

Charles H. Spurgeon On Purity of Heart and Life

“Blessed are the are pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

Purity, even purity of heart, is the main thing to be aimed at. We need to be made clean within through the Spirit and the Word, and then we shall be clean without by consecration and obedience. There is a close connection between the affections and the understanding: if we love evil we cannot understand that which is good. If the heart is foul, the eye will be dim. How can those men see a holy God who love unholy things?

What a privilege it is to see God here! A glimpse of Him is heaven below! In Christ Jesus the pure in heart behold the Father. We see Him, His truth, His love, His purpose, His sovereignty, His covenant character, yea, we see Himself in Christ. But this is only apprehended as sin is kept out of the heart. Only those who aim at godliness can cry, “Mine eyes are ever towards the LORD.” The desire of Moses, “I beseech thee, show me thy glory,” can only be fulfilled in us as we purify ourselves from all iniquity. We shall “see him as he is,” and “every one that hath this hope in him purifieth himself.” The enjoyment of present fellowship and the hope of the beatific vision are urgent motives for purity of heart and life. LORD, make us pure in heart that we may see Thee! (Faith’s Checkbook)

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