Lead us not into temptation

Lead us not into temptation

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Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Matthew 6:13

Suggested Further Reading: Matthew 4:1-11

The text does not say, Tempt us not;  if it did, then there would be a difficulty; it does not say, Lord, tempt us not, but it says, Lead us not into temptation; and I think I shall very rapidly be able to show you that there is a vast difference between leading into temptation and actually tempting. God tempts no man. For God to tempt in the sense of enticing to sin would be inconsistent with his nature, and altogether contrary to his known character; but for God to lead us into those conflicts with evil which we call temptations, is not only possible, but usual. Full often the great Captain of salvation leads us by his providence to battle fields where we must face the full array of evil, and conquer through the blood of the Lamb; and this leading into temptation is by divine grace overruled for our good, since by being tempted we grow strong in grace and patience. Our God and Father may, for wise ends, which shall ultimately subserve his own glory and our profit, lead us into positions where Satan, the world and the flesh may tempt us; and the prayer is to be understood in that sense of a humble self-distrust which shrinks from the conflict. There is courage here, for the suppliant calmly looks the temptation in the face, and dreads only the evil which it may work in him, but there is also a holy fear, a sacred self-suspicion, a dread of contact with sin in any degree. The sentiment is not inconsistent with all joy when the divers temptations do come; it is akin to the Saviour’s “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me,” which did not for a moment prevent his drinking the cup even to its dregs.

For meditation: Temptations to sin are bound to come (Luke 17:1), but never from God (James 1:13). It was the Holy Spirit who led the Lord Jesus Christ into the wilderness to be tempted, Satan who did the tempting (Matthew 4:1) and God who provided the means of escape (Matthew 4:4,7,10; 1 Corinthians 10:13).

Sermon no. 509
17 May (1863)

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)

 

The quintessence of the Word of God is Christ

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Morning

 

“We live unto the Lord.”
Romans 14:8

 

If God had willed it, each of us might have entered heaven at the moment of conversion. It was not absolutely necessary for our preparation for immortality that we should tarry here. It is possible for a man to be taken to heaven, and to be found meet to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light, though he has but just believed in Jesus. It is true that our sanctification is a long and continued process, and we shall not be perfected till we lay aside our bodies and enter within the veil; but nevertheless, had the Lord so willed it, he might have changed us from imperfection to perfection, and have taken us to heaven at once. Why then are we here? Would God keep his children out of paradise a single moment longer than was necessary? Why is the army of the living God still on the battle-field when one charge might give them the victory? Why are his children still wandering hither and thither through a maze, when a solitary word from his lips would bring them into the centre of their hopes in heaven? The answer is–they are here that they may “live unto the Lord,” and may bring others to know his love. We remain on earth as sowers to scatter good seed; as ploughmen to break up the fallow ground; as heralds publishing salvation. We are here as the “salt of the earth,” to be a blessing to the world. We are here to glorify Christ in our daily life. We are here as workers for him, and as “workers together with him.” Let us see that our life answereth its end. Let us live earnest, useful, holy lives, to “the praise of the glory of his grace.” Meanwhile we long to be with him, and daily sing–

“My heart is with him on his throne,

And ill can brook delay;

Each moment listening for the voice,

Rise up, and come away.'”

 

Evening

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“They are they which testify of me.”
John 5:39

 

Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega of the Bible. He is the constant theme of its sacred pages; from first to last they testify of him. At the creation we at once discern him as one of the sacred Trinity; we catch a glimpse of him in the promise of the woman’s seed; we see him typified in the ark of Noah; we walk with Abraham, as he sees Messiah’s day; we dwell in the tents of Isaac and Jacob, feeding upon the gracious promise; we hear the venerable Israel talking of Shiloh; and in the numerous types of the law, we find the Redeemer abundantly foreshadowed. Prophets and kings, priests and preachers, all look one way–they all stand as the cherubs did over the ark, desiring to look within, and to read the mystery of God’s great propitiation. Still more manifestly in the New Testament we find our Lord the one pervading subject. It is not an ingot here and there, or dust of gold thinly scattered, but here you stand upon a solid floor of gold; for the whole substance of the New Testament is Jesus crucified, and even its closing sentence is bejewelled with the Redeemer’s name. We should always read Scripture in this light; we should consider the word to be as a mirror into which Christ looks down from heaven; and then we, looking into it, see his face reflected as in a glass–darkly, it is true, but still in such a way as to be a blessed preparation for seeing him as we shall see him face to face. This volume contains Jesus Christ’s letters to us, perfumed by his love. These pages are the garments of our King, and they all smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia. Scripture is the royal chariot in which Jesus rides, and it is paved with love for the daughters of Jerusalem. The Scriptures are the swaddling bands of the holy child Jesus; unroll them and you find your Saviour. The quintessence of the word of God is Christ.

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)

 

Forgiveness

Forgiveness

MEGIDDO

 

I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

 Isaiah 43:25

Suggested Further Reading: Acts 8:26-40

There are some passages of scripture which have been more abundantly blessed to the conversion of souls than others. They may be called salvation texts. We may not be able to discover how it is, or why it is, but certainly it is the fact, that some chosen verses have been more used of God to bring men to the cross of Christ than any others in his Word. Certainly they are not more inspired, but I suppose they are more noticeable from their position, from their peculiar phraseology more adapted to catch the eye of the reader, and more suitable to a prevailing spiritual condition. All the stars in the heavens shine very brightly, but only a few attract the eye of the mariner, and direct his course; the reason is this, that those few stars from their peculiar grouping are more readily distinguished, and the eye easily fixes upon them. So I suppose it is with those passages of God’s Word which especially attract attention, and direct the sinner to the cross of Christ. It so happens that this text is one of the chief of them. I have found it, in my experience, to be a most useful one; for out of the hundreds of persons who have come to me to narrate their conversion and experience, I have found a very large proportion who have traced the divine change which has been wrought in their hearts to the hearing of this precious declaration of sovereign mercy read, and the application of it with power to their souls: I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

For meditation: The texts often quoted by Spurgeon towards the end of his sermons Mark 16:16; 1 Timothy 1:15. Has God used a particular text to bring you to himself?

Sermon no. 24
19 May (Preached 20 May 1855)

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)