Godly Adornment

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. -1 peter 3:4

The very best ring that we can have upon our finger is the ring which the father puts upon the finger of the prodigal son, when he is brought back; and the very best dress we can ever wear, is a garment wrought by the Holy Spirit, the garment of a consistent conduct. But it is marvelous, while many are taking all the trouble they can to array this poor body, they have very few ornaments for their soul; they forgot to dress the soul… I am obliged to depart a little sometimes, from what we call the high things of the gospel; for really the children of God cannot now be told by outward appearance from the children of the devil, and they really ought to be; there should be some distinction between the one and the other; and although religion allows distinction of rank and dress, yet everything in the Bible cries out against our arraying ourselves, and making ourselves proud, by reason of the goodliness of our apparel. Some will say, “I wish you would leave that alone!” Of course you do, because it applies to yourself. But we let nothing alone which we believe to be in the Scriptures; and while I would not spare any man’s soul, honesty to every man’s conscience and honesty to myself demands, that I should always speak of that which I see to be an evil breaking out in the Church. We should always take care that in everything we keep as near as possible to the written Word. If you want ornaments here they are. Here are jewels, rings, dresses, and all kinds of ornament; men and women, ye may dress yourselves up till ye shine like angels. How can you do it? By dressing yourselves out in benevolence, in love to the saints, in honesty and integrity, in uprightness, in godliness, in brotherly-kindness, in charity. These are the ornaments which angels themselves admire, and which even the world will admire; for men must give admiration to the man or the woman who is arrayed in the jewels of a holy life and godly conversation. I beseech you, brethren, “adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.”~ C.H. Spurgeon


A Christian’s Sermon

(T)hat they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. John 17:21

Every Christian was sent into the world to be a preacher; and just like every other creature that God has made, he will always be preaching about his Lord. Doth not the whole world preach God? Do not the stars, while they shine, look down from heaven and say there is a God? Do not the winds chant God’s name in their mighty howling? Do not the waves murmur it upon the shore, or thunder it in the storms? Do not the floods and the fields, the skies and the plains, the mountains and the valleys, the streamlets and the rivers, all speak for God? Assuredly they do; and a new-born creature-the man created in Christ-must preach Jesus Christ wherever he goes. This is the use of good works. He will preach, not with his mouth always, but with his life. The use of good works is, that they are a Christian’s sermon. A sermon is not what a man says, but what he does. You who practice are preaching; it is not preaching and practising, but practising is preaching. The sermon that is preached by the mouth is soon forgotten, but what we preach by our lives is never forgotten. There is nothing like faithful practice and holy living, if we would preach to the world…The adornment of good works, the adornment in which we hope to enter heaven, is the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ; but the adornment of a Christian here below, is his holiness, his piety, his consistency. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


The Evidence of Faith

Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. -James 2:24

A man comes to this chapel, and while he hears the gospel, he exclaims, “What delicious truth! what heavenly doctrine!” Yet when he leaves the place, you may see him enter one public-house for another, and get intoxicated. Has this man any right to think himself an heir of heaven? The man who comes to God’s house, and drinks “wine on the lees, well refined,” and then goes away and drinks the cup and enjoys the company of the ungodly, gives no evidence that he is a partaker of divine grace. He says, “I do not like good works.” Of course he does not. “I know I shall not be saved by good works.” Of this we are certain, for he has none to be saved by. Many are ready enough to say,

“Nothing in my hands I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;”

who believe they are children of God, because, though they have no good works as evidence, they think they have faith. Ah, sir! you have faith, and there is another gentleman quite as respectable as you are, who has faith…he is better than you are, for it is said, “He believes and trembles,” while you sit unmoved by the most powerful appeals. Yes you who think you are children of God while you live in sin, you are in the most dreadful error. There is no delusion, if you except the delusion of the Pharisee, which is more dreadful than the delusion of a man who thinks that sin and grace can reign together. The Christian has sins of heart, over which he groans and laments, but as regards his outward life, he is kept, so that the evil one touches him not; the Lord keeps him under the shadow of His wing; He doth not, except in some falls, allow him to turn out of the way. Works are the evidence of our faith; by faith our souls are justified before God; by works our faith is justified before ourselves and fellow-men. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


One With Christ

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing. -John 15:5

We believe that the more a man knows and feels himself to be one with Jesus, the more holy will he be. The very fact that Christ and the Christian become one, makes the Christian Christ-like. Why is a Christian’s character like Christ’s character? Only for this reason, that he is joined and united to the Lord Jesus Christ. Why doth that branch bring forth grapes? Simply because it has been engrafted into the vine, and therefore it partakes of the nature of the stem. So, Christian, the only way whereby thou canst bring forth fruit to God is by being grafted into Christ and united with Him. You Christians who think you can walk in holiness without keeping up perpetual fellowship with Christ have made a great mistake. If you would be holy, you must live close to Jesus. Good works spring only thence. Hence we draw the most powerful reasons against anything like trusting in works; for as works are only the gift of God, how utterly impossible does it become for an unrighteous, unconverted, ungodly man, to produce any such good works in himself. And if they are God’s gifts, how little merit can there be in them.

So we say, good works are the best evidence of spiritual life in the soul. Is it not written, “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren?” Loving the brethren is a good work. Again, “If any man abide in Me, he shall bring forth fruit.” Fruits of righteousness are good works, and they are evidence that we abide in Christ. If I am living in sin day by day, what right have I to conclude I am a child of God?~ C.H. Spurgeon


The Origin of Good Works

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us…-Romans 12:6

It is an old maxim, that nature can never rise above itself. Water, coming from the top of a hill, will rise as high as its source; but unless there is some extraordinary pressure put upon it, it will never rise higher. So of human nature, Scripture says it is exceedingly vile; we cannot expect good works out of an evil nature…We must not look for good works in an evil nature any more than we should look for the grapes of Sorek on the vines of Gomorrah. We cannot expect to find good works coming from nature; truly it is vain and idle to think that good works can arise from the natural man. “Where, then,” you ask, “do they come from?” We answer, good works come from a real conversion, brought about by the Spirit of God. Until our conversion, there is not the shadow of goodness about us. In the eye of the world we may be reputable and respectable, but in the eye of God we are nothing of the sort… When once the human heart is put under the microscope of Scripture, and we see it with a spiritual eye, we see it to be so vile and filthy, that we are quite sure that until we have a new heart and a right spirit, it would be just as impossible to expect to find good works in an unrighteous, unconverted man, as to hope to see fire burning in the midst of the ocean. The two things would be incongruous. Our good works, if we have any, spring from a real conversion; yet more, they spring also from a constant spiritual influence exercised upon us, from the time of conversion even until the hour of death. Ah! Christian, thou wouldst have no good works if thou hadst no fresh influence day by day. Thou wouldst not find the grace given thee at the first hour sufficient to produce fruit to-day…Good works, I know whence you come! Ye come floating down on the stream of grace, and if I did not have that stream of grace always flowing, I should never find good works coming from me. Good works from the creature? Impossible! Good works are the gifts of God, His choice pearls, which He sendeth down with His grace.~ C.H. Spurgeon



Zealous of Good Works

Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. -Titus 2:14

We think, if we read Scripture rightly, that no work can be good unless it is commanded of God. How this cuts off a large portion of what men will do in order to win salvation! The Pharisee said he tithed mint, anise, and cummin; could he prove that God commanded him to tithe his mint, his anise, and his cummin? Perhaps not. He said he fasted so many times a week; could he prove that God told him to fast? If not, his fasting was no obedience. If I do a thing that I am not commanded to do, I do not obey in doing it. Vain, then, are all the pretences of men, that by mortifying their bodies, by denying their flesh, by doing this, that, or the other, they shall therefore win the favour of God. No work is good unless God has commanded it. A man may build a long row of almshouses, but if he build without reference to the commandment, he has performed no good work…Work is not good, unless a man does it with a view to God’s glory, and he has been brought into subjection to God’s divine will, so that in everything he has an eye to the Most High, and works in order to promote His glory and honor in the world. And even, beloved, when our works are done from the best motives, nothing is a good work unless it is done with faith; for “without faith it is impossible to please God.”

And now, beloved, do you think you have any good works? “Oh!” you say “I am afraid I have not many myself-nay, I know I have not; but thanks be unto His love, He who accepted my person in Christ, accepts my works through Christ; and He who blessed me in Him, that I should be a chosen vessel, has been pleased to accept that which He Himself poured into the vessel, ‘to the praise of the glory of His grace, where He hath made me accepted in the Beloved.'”~ C.H. Spurgeon