God’s Just Dealings with Two Different Men

Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God – Romans 3:24-25

The Lord is never severe beyond what justice demands, nor gracious beyond what justice allows. Here comes the unrenewed, the ungodly man, he brings up his good works, his prayers, his tears; the Lord will judge him according to his works, and woe worth the day to him; it will be a day of sorrow indeed, for he will soon discover his best perfections are as filthy rags, and that all his good works only seemed to be good because he was in the dark, and could not see the spots that defiled them. Another man approaches, it is the renewed man. God deals with him justly, it is true, but not according to the scale of the law, He looks at that man as accepted in Christ Jesus, justified through Christ’s righteousness and washed in His blood, and now He deals with that man, not as a judge with a criminal, nor as a king with a subject, but as a father with a child. That man is taken to Jehovah’s bosom; his offense is put away, his soul constantly renewed by the influence of divine grace, and the dealings of God with him are as different from the dealings of God with another man, as the love of a husband differs from the sternness of an incensed monarch. On the one hand, it is simple justice; on the other hand, fervent love; on the one hand, the inflexible severity of a judge, and on the other hand, the unbounded affection of a parent’s heart. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0305.cfm

The Distinction

… that ye may know that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. – Exodus 11:17

Between the righteous and the wicked, there is an essential distinction of nature. There are some of you, who imagine that the only difference between the true Christian and another, is just this,-that the one is more attentive to his place of worship-that he is more regular in the practice of ceremonies-that he could not live without private prayer, and the like. Permit me to assure you, that if there is no greater difference than this between you and another man, you are not a child of God. The distinction between the unconverted and the converted, is far wider than this. It is one not of dress or of outward form but of essence and of nature…You must be born again; there must be a new nature put into you; a spark of divinity must fall into your bosom, and must burn there… God by His infinite power has quickened His people: He has brought them out of their old nature, they now love the things which they once hated, and they hate the things they once loved. Old things with them are “passed away; behold all things are become new.” The change is not that they speak more solemnly and religiously, or that they have left off going to the theater, or that they do not spend their lives in the frivolities of the world: that is not the change-it is a consequence of it, but the change is deeper and more vital than this; it is a change of the man’s very essence. He is no more the man that he once was. he is “renewed in the spirit of his mind,” born over again, regenerated, re-created: he is a stranger and a foreigner here below, he no more belongs to this world, but to the world to come. The Lord, then, in this respect, hath put a difference between Israel and Egypt.~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0305.cfm

The Searching Questions

For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? – 2 Corinthians 2:15-16

Pass the question round, my dear brethren and sisters: Are you soldiers who engage in actual fighting for Jesus, under His banner? Do you rally round it? Do you know the standard? Do you love it? Could you die in defense of it? Is the person of Jesus dearest of all things to you? Do you value the doctrine of the atoning substitution? Do you feel your own energy and power awakened in the defense of that, and for the love of that? Let not one go away without making the searching question.

Is there any power in my life that would condemn a sinner? Any holiness about me that would make a wicked man feel ill at ease in my company? Is there enough of Christ about my life to make me like a light in the midst of the darkness? Or is it very likely that if I were to live in a house the inhabitants would never see any difference between me and the ungodly? Oh, how many Christians there are who need to wear a label round their necks: you would never know that they were Christians without it! They make long prayers and great pretenses, but they are Christians in nothing but the name. May your life and mine never be thus despicable, but may we convince gainsayers that there is a power in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and make them confess, that they, not having it, are losing a great blessing. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0984.cfm

The Old Banner Still

I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great assembly.-Psalm 40:10

I need not quote to you the old Latin proverb which says that truth is mighty and must prevail. Truth is, and truth shall be. It alone is substance, and must outlast the lapse of ages. Falsehoods are soon swollen to their perfection of development, like the bubbles with rainbow hues which children blow, but they are dispersed as easily as they are fashioned; they are children of the hour, while truth is the offspring and heir of eternity. Falsehood dies, pierced through the heart by the arrows of time, but truth, in her impenetrable mail bids defiance to all foes. Men who love the truth are building gold and silver, and precious stones; and though their architecture may progress but slowly, it is built for eternity. Ramparts of truth may often be assailed, but they will never be carried away by the foe. Establish a power among men of the most ostentatious and apparently stable kind, but rest assured that if untruth be at the root of it, it must perish, sooner or later; only truth is invincible, eternal, supreme. The fear of the true church and the dread thereof falls upon the enemy, because they have wit enough left to know that truth has an abiding and indestructible power… We would still, God granting us help, continue preaching the “foolishness” of the gospel, and deliver again and again the old truth, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. Instead of lifting up a new banner (which would better please our adversaries) it shall be the old banner still-“None but Christ.” “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Salvation is by free favor, through the expiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Lord.~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0984.cfm

Be Bold for Jesus

But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God…That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. -1 Corinthians 1:24; 2:5

The gospel that we preach, although the worldly wise man despises it, is God’s gospel for all that. “Ah,” says he, “there is nothing in it: science has overthrown it.” “And,” says another, “this gospel is but so much platitude; we have heard it over and over again.” Ah, sir, and though it be platitude to you, and you decree it to be contemptible, you shall hear it or nothing else from us; “for it is the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” In its simplicity lies its majesty and its power. We are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. “God forbid that we should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We will proclaim it again with confidence; We will bring forth once more the selfsame truth as of old; and as the barley loaf smote the tent of Midian, so that it lay along, so shall the gospel overturn its adversaries. The broken pitcher, and the flaming torches, and the old war cry, “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon” shall yet fill the foeman with dismay. Let us but be bold for Jesus, and we shall see what His arm can do. The gospel is the voice of the eternal God, and has in it the same power as that which brought the world out of nothing, and which shall raise the dead from their graves at the coming of the Son of Man. The gospel, the word of God, can no more return to Him void than can the snow go back to heaven, or the rain-drops climb again the path by which they descended from the clouds. Have faith in God’s word, faith in the presence of the Holy Ghost, faith in the reigning Savior, faith in the fulfillment of the everlasting purposes, and you will be full of confidence, and like an army with banners.~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0984.cfm

Fight for the Glory of His Name

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might…Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. -Ephesians 6:10,13

When an army folds up its colors the fight is over. Little is being done in military circles when the banners are put away; the troops are on furlough, or are resting in barracks. An army with banners is exercising, or marching, or fighting; probably it is in the middle of a campaign, it is marshaled for offense and defense, and there will be rough work before long. It is to be feared that some churches have hung up their flags to rot in state, or have encased them in dull propriety…The reason for a church being a church lies in its mutual edification and in the conversion of sinners; and if these two ends are not really answered by a church, it is a mere name, a hindrance, an evil, a nuisance; like the salt which has lost its savor, it is neither fit for the land nor yet for the dunghill. May we all in our church fellowship be active in the energy of the Spirit of God. May none of us be dead members of the living body, mere impediments to the royal host, baggage to be dragged rather than warriors pushing on in the war. May we, every one of us, be soldiers filled with vigor to the fullness of our manhood, by the eternal power of the Holy Spirit; and may we be resolved that any portion of the church which does not uplift its banner of service shall not long number us among its adherents. Be it ours to determine that whether others will or will not serve God and extend the kingdom of His dear Son, we will, in His name and strength, contend even to the death. Unsheath your swords, ye soldiers of the cross; arise from your slumbers, ye careless ones, gird on your swords and prepare for the war. The Lord has redeemed you by His blood, not that you might sleep, but that you might fight for the glory of His name.~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0984.cfm

That Fairest Among Women

Thou art beautiful, O my love as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners. – Song of songs 6:4

There are various estimates of the Christian church. Some think everything of her; some think nothing of her; and probably neither opinion is worth the breath which utters it. Neither Ritualists, who idolize their church, nor skeptics, who vilify all churches, have any such knowledge of the true spiritual church of Jesus Christ as to be entitled to give an opinion. The King’s daughter is all glorious within, with a beauty which they are quite unable to appreciate. What is usually the most correct character which is obtainable of a woman? Shall we be guided by the praises of those neighbors who are on good terms with her, or by the scandal of those who make her the subject of ill-natured gossip? No; the most accurate judgment we are likely to get is that of her husband. Solomon saith in the Proverbs concerning the virtuous woman, “Her husband also riseth up, and he praiseth her.” Of that fairest among women, the church of Christ, the same observation may be made. It is to her of small consequence to be judged of man’s judgment, but it is her honor and joy to stand well in the love and esteem of her royal spouse, the Prince Emmanuel… it is evident that the Divine Bridegroom gives His Bride a high place in His heart, and to Him, whatever she may be to others, she is fair, lovely, comely, beautiful, and, in the eyes of His love, without a spot. Moreover, even to Him there is not only a beauty of a soft and gentle kind in her, but a majesty, a dignity in her holiness, in her earnestness, in her consecration, which makes even Him say of her that she is “terrible as an army with banners,” “awful as a bannered army.” She is every inch a Queen: her aspect in the sight of her Beloved is majestic. Take, then, the words of our text as an encomium upon Christ’s church, pronounced by Him who knows her best, and is best able to judge concerning her, and you learn that to His discerning eye she is not weak, dishonorable, and despicable, but bears herself as one of highest rank, consciously, joyously strong in her Lord’s strength.~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0984.cfm