An Enemy at the Feast

And (the king) saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. – Matthew 22:12

The banquet was intended for the honour of the (king’s) son, but this man meant not so; he was willing to eat the good things, but he intended no respect to the prince…The man came in full exercise of self-will and self-love. He resolved to yield no homage, but to assert his independent self-sovereignty. He would show the king, even at his table where his bounties were so largely dispensed, that he was not afraid to affront him. When he came to the door of the feast, he found the guests all putting on the garment suitable for the marriage banquet. As here, in our own country, at a funeral, each mourner is expected to put on the articles of mourning which are provided, so at the wedding feast each person was expected to wear the bridegroom’s favours, the garment which, as a badge, marked him as an attendant at the wedding, and as one who rejoiced in it. While others cheerfully put on this wedding dress the traitor would not; he resolved to defy the rules of the palace, and to insult the king by appearing in his own garments. He scorned to wear the livery of respectful joy, he preferred to make himself conspicuous by his daring insolence. The badge was intended to show that the wearer was a real participator in the joy of the feast, and for that very reason he would not put it on. He did not acknowledge the king nor the prince, nor care one atom about the gladsome event. He had no objection to be there, to eat the dainties, or recline upon the seats, and see the pomp and the show, but he was only in it, and not of it; he was there in body, but not in spirit. Are there not crowds of people whose union to the church is nothing better than an insult to God? Custom sways them, and not sincere faith. They have no regard to the great Head of the Church or to the heart-searching God. They treat church membership as a trifle and have no tenderness of heart touching the matter. They, in effect, say, “The table of the Lord is contemptible.” “Spots are they in our feasts, feeding themselves without fear.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Are We Found Wanting?

“And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.”- Matthew 22:11-14

Whenever there is a revival and many are brought to Christ, it seems inevitable that at the same time a proportion of unworthy persons should enter the church. However diligent may be the oversight there will be pretenders creeping in unawares who have no true part or lot in the matter, and hence, when the preacher is most earnest for the ingathering of souls to Christ, he needs to couple therewith a holy jealousy, lest those who come forward to make a profession of faith should be moved by carnal motives and should not really have given their hearts to God. We must use the net to draw in the many, but all are not good fishes that are taken therein…It is most needful in times of religious excitement, to remind men that godliness does not consist in profession but must be proved by inward vitality and outward holiness. Everything will have to be tested by a heart-searching God, and if, when He comes to search us, we are found wanting, we shall be expelled even from the marriage feast itself; for there is a way to hell from the very gates of Heaven. In a word, it is well for all to be reminded that the enemies of the great King are not only outside the Church, but they are even in it; while a part refuse to come to the wedding of His Son, others press into the banquet and are still His foes. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

The Value of Living by Faith

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. – Romans 10:12,13

What does experience say about believing in Christ! Experience says that it is the grandest way of living in the world. I assure you that I daily find the value of living by faith. In hours of dire distress and great heaviness of spirit, of which I know enough, I prove the power of faith in Jesus. Ah, my Lord, what should I do then if I could not as “a poor sinner, and nothing at all” find Christ to be my “all in all.” Fair-weather sailors, who go out in their little painted perfection boats, are people who have had small temptation and little soul-trouble. They are generally gentlemen in good health, with regular incomes and sweet tempers, and so they soon reach their imaginary sinlessness -vain creatures that they are but you never get any of that among the poor, suffering, tried people of God. In stormy weather our beauty and glory soon turn pale; when the devil meets us face to face, he cracks up our tinsel perfection with a blow. He laughs at all our comeliness for he knows that it is a hollow cheat, a vile sham. In the moments when the soul is in the lowest depths, faith is the only way to live…How blessed it is when a child of God has actually fallen into sin, -God keep us so that we never may, -but if guilt is on the soul, what is a poor creature to do? He can do nothing unless he has learned this precious truth, that he is nothing at all, and Jesus Christ is his all in all. Then he knows that Jesus will blot out his transgressions, and create in him a clean heart, and restore him to Himself again, though now, like David, his sin is ever before him.

 When God gives you growth in grace and fruitfulness in good works it will be your safety to be as little as ever you were, and to trust in nothing but the work of the Lord. This blessed faith keeps men down when they are apt to go up, and up when otherwise they would be apt to go down. It is a holy balancing pole: we can walk the narrowest line with this in our hands and fear no fall. Ourselves nothing, Christ everything-that is it. Keep to it. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Trust Altogether to the Blood and Merits of Jesus Christ

For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed. – Romans 10:11

“Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.” “Whosoever.” Whatever man in all the world, throughout all the ages, shall come and trust on Christ shall never be ashamed of having done so…You know what Cardinal Bellarmine said: he was a great antagonist of Luther, and thought that we might trust in our works; but, looking it all over, he admitted that inasmuch as no man could be quite sure that he had done enough good works, it was perhaps best on the whole and safest to trust altogether to the blood and merits of Jesus Christ…There is really no other hope, for if you get a little bit of your own works put into the building, of your hope, you have just so much rotten timber in the fabric, and that rot will plague the whole house, and turn it into dust at the last. No man that rested in Christ, and Christ alone, ever was ashamed of his hope; and none ever shall be. There is sure ground here. The Rock of Ages never fails.

No man is forbidden to believe; “for there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.” There never was a sinner yet to whom God said, “You must not trust My Son”: on the contrary, it is written, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” …Read this verse, “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” Whoever will in the whole world believe in Christ may do so; he is neither too old or too young, or too rich, or too poor, or too wicked, or too moral; if he will but trust Christ he shall be saved, and he is fully allowed and permitted, yea, commanded to believe and live. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Difficulty There is None

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. – Romans 10:8,9

The gospel speaking for itself declares, this word of life by faith in the risen Christ to be near us, that is, to be accessible to us. As your next-door neighbor’s house is not hard to get at, so neither is salvation by the gospel. It is nigh you; it is nigh you now: it will never be nigher than it is at this moment. You may now believe in Christ and live eternally. Difficulty there is none: only believe and thou art saved. It is not a mystical, obscure thing; it is near and familiar. Believe in Christ as you would believe in your friend: believe that He died for sinners, and trust in Him for salvation. If God has made you feel yourself a sinner, then Christ is such a Savior as you need, and you may have Him at once: the only difficulty lies in the way being so easy that you can hardly think it can be so. Have done with doings, and feelings, and trust yourself with Christ. “The word is nigh thee.” It is simple; indeed, so simple that people try to obscure it in order to understand it. It is such milk for babes that I have known people refuse such plain truth because they were not willing to be treated like little children. Just as I lean all my weight upon this rail so do I lean my soul wholly upon Christ. If what Christ has done will not save a sinner I am damned; for I have nothing else to depend upon; but if it will save, and sure I am that it will, I am saved as surely as Christ has risen from the dead. This is the substance of the matter-Christ saves, and we trust. This is what that word of faith says, even the gospel which we preach. I am afraid we say a great deal at times which rather lumbers and cumbers the gospel than makes it clear. Perhaps I am doing the same this morning, but I do not mean to do it. I mean to let it stand out simply before you, that the incarnation, the life, the death, and the resurrection of Christ are the one foundation upon which we must depend for eternal salvation, and upon that alone; and if we do so depend we shall most assuredly be saved. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

The Saving Work is Done

Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) – Romans 10:6,7

A voice cries “Who shall ascend into heaven?” The gospel replies, if you did ascend to heaven what would you do there, without Christ, the anointed Savior? You say, “Who shall descend into the deep?” Listen, man. If you were to descend there, what would you do without Him whom God has anointed to save? If you find Him it will not much matter where you find Him, in heaven or in the deep, for He must be almighty everywhere. Now hearken. Thou sayest, “Who shall ascend into heaven?” the top and bottom of such an ascent must be, “to bring Christ down.” Hear this! Jesus has come down: years ago He left the glories of His Father…Oh, my hearer, our salvation lies in this! Not in our descending, but in Christ’s descending our hope is to be found. Listen to it, lost ones; you need not climb to heaven: Christ has come down from heaven to you; and if you lie among the spiritually dead to-day, or think you do, He has come down to you, and you need not enquire how you can go up to Him. No prayers, or tears, are wanted to bring Him down: He has already come and is near at hand… You need not “bring up Christ again from the dead,” for the Lord has risen indeed…He has gone up to the Father’s throne, as the sinner’s Savior: at the throne He stands to-day to intercede for sinners, and from that throne He bends to comfort those who come to Him. Now, your hope lies wholly in what this Son of God did in His descent and ascent. God has brought Him again from the dead and exalted Him at His own right hand, and this is not for Himself, but for all those who trust in Him. His death is instead of the death of our souls: His life is the life of our spirits. Now, soul, thou hast nothing to do with asking vain questions; thou hast to accept the result of the Savior’s actual performances. The saving work is done, done by Him who was anointed of the Lord to do it. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

The Righteousness of Faith

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. – Romans 10:4

“I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. – Revelation 3:18

The righteousness of faith lies not in dreams and visions, delusions or depressions: it lies only in reliance upon the work of Jesus finished for you. Go not to the loom to weave a righteousness. The garment is woven already; put it on; Christ gives it to you. Dig not into the bowels of the earth to find the gold of salvation. Christ holds it out to you: take it freely and be rich for ever. 

The top and bottom of the matter is, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.” Be nothing; be nobody; and trust Him. Do not believe in yourself but believe in Jesus. Have as many good works as you can cram into your life, but never tell anybody about them, or think anything of them. The best of them are but filthy rags: stow them all away in the coal-hole, and look to the merits of your Lord for salvation. Go to Jesus for everything. He says, “I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou may be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed.” Take His counsel. ~ C.H. Spurgeon