His Own Holiness

“The iniquity of the holy things.”- Exodus 28:38

What a veil is lifted up by these words, and what a disclosure is made! It will be humbling and profitable for us to pause awhile and see this sad sight. The iniquities of our public worship, its hypocrisy, formality, lukewarmness, irreverence, wandering of heart and forgetfulness of God, what a full measure have we there! Our work for the Lord, its emulation, selfishness, carelessness, slackness, unbelief, what a mass of defilement is there! Our private devotions, their laxity, coldness, neglect, sleepiness, and vanity, what a mountain of dead earth is there! If we looked more carefully we should find this iniquity to be far greater than appears at first sight. Dr. Payson, writing to his brother, says, “My parish, as well as my heart, very much resembles the garden of the sluggard; and what is worse, I find that very many of my desires for the melioration of both, proceed either from pride or vanity or indolence. I look at the weeds which overspread my garden and breathe out an earnest wish that they were eradicated. But why? What prompts the wish? It may be that I may walk out and say to myself, ‘In what fine order is my garden kept!’ This is pride. Or it may be that my neighbours may look over the wall and say, ‘How finely your garden flourishes!’ This is vanity. Or I may wish for the destruction of the weeds because I am weary of pulling them up. This is indolence.” So that even our desires after holiness may be polluted by ill motives. Under the greenest sods worms hide themselves; we need not look long to discover them. How cheering is the thought, that when the High Priest bore the iniquity of the holy things he wore upon his brow the words, “HOLINESS TO THE LORD:” and even so while Jesus bears our sin, He presents before His Father’s face not our unholiness, but His own holiness. O for grace to view our great High Priest by the eye of faith! ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Those Whom God Will Receive

Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. – Hosea 14:3

Down must go the gods of our former estate. He that would come to the true God must have done with the false gods. If we have been living for any objects save the glory of God, we must away with those objects. If we have been paying religious reverence to anything save God Himself, we must away with it. “Neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods.” It seems strange that men should ever have said such a thing; but since they have said it, they must say it no more. God help everyone to make a complete renunciation of everything which usurps the place of God! Whether it be an object of trust, reverence, desire, fear, or love, we must cast it down, and worship God alone. He saith to us, “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” In the work of salvation the work of our hands is out of court, and God alone must be glorified.

“In thee the fatherless findeth mercy.” God is the Father of the fatherless. Now, if God receives the fatherless, who have none to take care of them, and He becomes their God, we may be encouraged to come to Him, even in the most forlorn condition. Does God keep open house for those who have no home? Then I will go to Him. Does God take up those whom father and mother have forsaken? Then will I put my trust in Him. I saw on a board this morning words announcing that an asylum was to be built on a plot of ground, for a class of persons who are described in three terrible words-HELPLESS, HOMELESS, HOPELESS. These are the kind of people that God receives: to them He gives His mercy. Are you helpless? He will help you. Are you homeless? He will house you. Are you hopeless? He is the hope of those who have no other confidence. Come, then, to Him at once! ~ C.H. Spurgeon



O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God… – Hosea 14:1

This is a very instructive call; for it tells the sinner exactly what he has to do. Return: that is, reverse your course. The course you have taken is the opposite of that which you ought to have taken; therefore, come back. You have gone from God; come back to God. You have been prayerless; begin to pray! You have been hardened; yield to the Word. You have been full of cavils; believe even as a little child. Bring forth fruits meet for repentance, and not the fruits of obstinate persistence in evil. To many there could be no better direction in spiritual morals than this word, “Return.” Do what you have not done: leave undone what you have been doing. Reverse the original. Take the other track! “Return!” is but a single word, but that word is full of meaning. There is to be a change, a total change, a coming back to God.

The word is also instructive, because it says, Return unto the Lord.” Do not only look to God but return to Him. Arise, and go unto your Father. Do not barely think about it but do it. Do not return part of the way to this and to that good custom and salutary habit; but come right back to the Lord, and rest not till you feel that you are in His arms. It is of no use for the prodigal to say, “I will arise,” unless he adds, “and go to my father.” It is of no use his quitting one far-off country for another; but it must be said of him, “And he arose and came to his father.” The best direction we can give to many a sinner is: reverse your course of life and let your reversed course of life lead you to God Himself. How surely will he need the abounding grace of God for such a work as this! ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Not Only Man’s Saviour, but His Salvation

Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father. – Galatians 1:4

When it came to Christ’s death, which was the pouring out of His soul, then His fullness of grace was seen. He was full of grace indeed, forasmuch as He emptied Himself to save men. He was Himself not only man’s Saviour, but his salvation. He gave Himself for us. He was indeed full of grace when He bore our sins in His own body on the tree. His was love at its height, since He died on the cross, “the just for the unjust, to bring us to God.” Pronounce the word “Substitution, ” and you cannot help feeling that the Substitute for guilty man was full of grace; or use that other word, ” representative,” and remember that whatever Jesus did, He did as the covenant Head of His people. If He died, they died in Him; if He rose again, they rose in Him; if He ascended up on high, they ascended in Him; and if He sits at the right hand of God, they also sit in the heavenly places in Him. When He shall come a second time it shall be to claim the kingdom for His chosen as well as for Himself; and all the glory of the future ages is for them, and not for Himself alone. He saith, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” Oh, the richness of the grace and truth that dwell in our Lord as the representative of His people! He will enjoy nothing unless His people enjoy it with Him. “Where I am, there also shall my servant be.” “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.”

There is yet another word higher than “substitution,” higher than “representation,” and that is “union.” We are one with Christ, joined to Him by a union that never can be broken. Not only does He do what He does, representing us, but we are joined unto Him in one spirit, members of His body, and partakers of His glory. Is it not a miracle of love that worms of the earth should ever be one with incarnate Deity, and so one that they never can be separated throughout the ages? – C.H. Spurgeon


The Glory of His Grace

“We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace…” – John 1:14

Jesus Christ is the Son of God; He is His only begotten Son. Others are begotten of God, but no other was ever begotten of God as Christ was; consequently, when He came into this world the glory that was about Him was a glory as of the only begotten. A very singular, and very special, and incommunicable glory abides in the person of our Lord…The glory of the only begotten of the Father must lie in the same things as the glory of the Father, namely, in longsuffering and truth. In Christ there is wonderful gentleness, patience, pity, mercy, and love of God. Not merely did He teach the grace of God, and invite us to the grace of God, but in Himself He displayed the grace of God.

This is seen in His incarnation. It is a wonderful instance of divine grace that the Word should be made flesh and dwell among us and reveal His glory to us. Apart from anything that springs out of the incarnation of Christ, that incarnation itself is a wondrous act of grace. There must be hope for men now that man is next akin to God through Jesus Christ…He lived in order to perfect Himself as our High Priest. Was He not made perfect through His sufferings, that He might sympathize with us in all our woes? He was compassed with infirmities, and bore our sorrows, and endured those crosses of the human life which press so heavily on our own shoulders; and all this to make Himself able to deal graciously with us in a tender and brotherly way. Apart from that which comes wonderful brotherhood, there is a bottomless depth of grace about the fellowship itself. The Lord Jesus cannot curse me, for He has borne my curse: He cannot be unkind to me, for He has shared my sorrows. If every pang that tends my heart has also rent His heart, and if into all my woes He has descended even deeper than I have gone, it must mean love to me, it cannot mean anything else; and it must mean truth, for Jesus did not play at fellowship, His griefs were real. I say then that this manifestation of God in the person of Christ Jesus is seen in His sorrowing life to be full of grace and truth. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


A More Real Glory

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him. – John 1:18

Many of us besides the apostles can say, “We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” We have not seen Jesus raise the dead; we have not seen Him cast out devils; we have not seen Him hush the winds and calm the waves, but we do see, with our mind’s eye, His spotless holiness, His boundless love, His superlative love and truth, His wondrous heavenliness; in a word, we have seen, and do see, His fullness of grace and truth; and we rejoice in the fact that the tabernacling of God among men in Christ Jesus is attended with a more real glory than the mere brilliance of light and the glow of flame. The condescension of Christ’s love is to us more glorious than the pillar of cloud, and the zeal of our Lord’s self-sacrifice is more excellent than the pillar of fire. As we think of the divine mysteries which meet in the person of the Lord, we do not envy Israel the gracious manifestation vouchsafed her when “a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord covered the tabernacle”; for we have all this and more in our incarnate God, who is with us always, even to the end of the world.

In Jesus Christ all the attributes of God are to be seen; veiled, but yet verily there. You have only to read the gospels, to look with willing eyes, and you shall behold in Christ all that can possibly be seen of God. It is veiled in human flesh, as it must be; for the glory of God is not to be seen by us absolutely; it is toned down to these dim eyes of ours; but the Godhead is there, the perfect Godhead in union with the perfect manhood of Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory forever and ever. Let us spend our days and nights in gladness and delight. God is reconciled to us in the person of His dear Son, and we have fellowship with God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, let us rejoice evermore. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Seeing God in Christ

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6

In and around the tent wherein the Lord dwelt in the center of the camp there was a manifestation of the presence of God. This was the glory of that house: but how scanty was the revelation! A bright light, the Shekinah, is said to have shone over the mercy-seat; but the high priest only could see it, and he only saw it once in the year when he entered with blood within the veil. Outside, above the holy place, there was the manifest glory of the pillar of cloud by day, and of fire by night. This sufficed to bear witness that God was there; but still, cloud and fire are but physical appearances, and cannot convey a true appearance of God, who is a spirit. God cannot be perceived by the senses; and yet the fiery, cloudy pillar could appeal to the eyes only. The excellence of the indwelling of God in Christ is this-that there is in Him a glory as of the only begotten of the Father, the moral and spiritual glory of Godhead. This is to be seen, but not with the eyes; this is to be perceived, but not by the carnal senses: this is seen, and heard, and known, by spiritual men, whose mental perceptions are keener than those of sight and hearing. In the person of the Lord there is a glory which is seen by our faith, which is discerned of our renewed spirits, and is made to operate upon our hearts. The glory of God in the sanctuary was seen only by the priest of the house of Aaron; the glory of God in the face of Christ is seen by all believers, who are all priests unto God. That glory the priest beheld but once in the year; but we steadily behold that glory at all times and are transformed by the sight. The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ is not a thing of outward appearance, to be beheld with the eyes, like the pillar of cloud and fire; but there is an abiding, steady luster of holy, gracious, truthful character about our Lord Jesus Christ, which is best seen by those who by reason of sanctification are made fit to discern it. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God; yea, they do see Him in Christ Jesus. ~ C.H. Spurgeon