COVERED IN CHRIST

Terrible convictions and gentle drawings

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“When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer.” Psalm 32:3,4

Suggested Further Reading: Acts 16:11-34

I have met with at least a score of persons who found Christ and then mourned their sins more afterwards than they did before. Their convictions have been more terrible after they have known their interest in Christ than they were at first. They have seen the evil after they have escaped from it; they had been plucked out of the miry clay, and their feet set on a rock, and then afterwards they have seen more fully the depth of that horrible pit out of which they have been snatched. It is not true that all who are saved suffer these convictions and terrors; there are a considerable number who are drawn by the cords of love and the bands of a man. There are some who, like Lydia, have their hearts opened not by the crowbar of conviction, but by the picklock of divine grace. Sweetly drawn, almost silently enchanted by the loveliness of Jesus, they say, “Draw me, and I will run after thee.” And now you ask me the question—“Why has God brought me to himself in this gentle manner?” Again I say—there are some questions better unanswered than answered; God knows best the reason why he does not give you these terrors; leave that question with him. But I may tell you an anecdote. There was a man once who had never felt these terrors, and he thought within himself—“I never can believe I am a Christian unless I do.” So he prayed to God that he might feel them, and he did feel them, and what do you think is his testimony? He says, “Never, never do that, for the result was fearful in the extreme.” If he had but known what he was asking for, he would not have asked for anything so foolish.

For meditation: The important thing is not how we are brought to Christ, but that we are brought to Christ. The wind sometimes blows fiercely; sometimes it blows gently (John 3:8). But we should not presume upon God’s kindness, forbearance and patience—they lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4).

Sermon no. 313     6 May (1860)

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

 

Temptations on the pinnacle

ACTS 16:16-40

ACTS 16:16-40

‘Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’ Matthew 4:5–7

Suggested Further Reading: 2 Peter 2:9–22

It is a precious doctrine that the saints are safe, but it is a ****able inference from it, that therefore they may live as they please. It is a glorious truth that God will keep his people, but it is an abominable falsehood that sin will do them no harm. Remember that God gives us liberty, not licence, and while he gives us protection, he will not allow us presumption. I did know a person once when I was a child; I remember seeing him go into a country wake in a little village where I lived, though he was a professed Christian, going to spend the evening in a dancing booth with others, drinking as other men did, and when I in my warm zeal said to him, ‘What doest thou here, Elijah?’ his reply was, ‘I am a child of God, and I can go where I like and yet be safe,’ and though for the moment I knew not what text to quote to answer him, yet my soul revolted from the man ever afterwards, for I felt that no child of God would ever be so wicked as to take poison in the faith that his Father would give him the antidote, or thrust himself into the fire, in the hope that he should not be burned. If God sends me trouble he will yield me deliverance from it, but if I make trouble myself I must bear it. If providence permits the devil to set me upon a pinnacle, even then God will help me, but if I throw myself down, and go in the very teeth of providence, then woe unto me, for I give proof by my presumption that the grace of God is not in me at all. Yet the temptation is not uncommon.

For meditation: How would you have answered this man ‘Elijah’ who had no regard for his own soul or for the young Spurgeon’s? Christian liberty does not provide a loophole for the flesh (Romans 13:13–14;Galatians 5:13) or for being a stumbling block to others (Romans 14:13).

Sermon no. 689   6 May (1866)

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

 

Morning

BRIDE WAITS FOR GROOM

BRIDE WAITS FOR GROOM

“We dwell in him.”
1 John 4:13

Do you want a house for your soul? Do you ask, “What is the purchase?” It is something less than proud human nature will like to give. It is without money and without price. Ah! you would like to pay a respectable rent! You would love to do something to win Christ? Then you cannot have the house, for it is “without price.” Will you take my Master’s house on a lease for all eternity, with nothing to pay for it, nothing but the ground-rent of loving and serving him forever? Will you take Jesus and “dwell in him?” See, this house is furnished with all you want, it is filled with riches more than you will spend as long as you live. Here you can have intimate communion with Christ and feast on his love; here are tables well-stored with food for you to live on forever; in it, when weary, you can find rest with Jesus; and from it you can look out and see heaven itself. Will you have the house? Ah! if you are houseless, you will say, “I should like to have the house; but may I have it?” Yes; there is the key–the key is, “Come to Jesus.” “But,” you say, “I am too shabby for such a house.” Never mind; there are garments inside. If you feel guilty and condemned, come; and though the house is too good for you, Christ will make you good enough for the house by-and-by. He will wash you and cleanse you, and you will yet be able to sing, “We dwell in him.” Believer: thrice happy art thou to have such a dwelling-place! Greatly privileged thou art, for thou hast a “strong habitation” in which thou art ever safe. And “dwelling in him,” thou hast not only a perfect and secure house, but an everlasting one. When this world shall have melted like a dream, our house shall live, and stand more imperishable than marble, more solid than granite, self-existent as God, for it is God himself–“We dwell in him.”

Evening

flowers

“All the days of my appointed time will I wait.”
Job 14:14

A little stay on earth will make heaven more heavenly. Nothing makes rest so sweet as toil; nothing renders security so pleasant as exposure to alarms. The bitter quassia cups of earth will give a relish to the new wine which sparkles in the golden bowls of glory. Our battered armour and scarred countenances will render more illustrious our victory above, when we are welcomed to the seats of those who have overcome the world. We should not have full fellowship with Christ if we did not for awhile sojourn below, for he was baptized with a baptism of suffering among men, and we must be baptized with the same if we would share his kingdom. Fellowship with Christ is so honourable that the sorest sorrow is a light price by which to procure it. Another reason for our lingering here is for the good of others. We would not wish to enter heaven till our work is done, and it may be that we are yet ordained to minister light to souls benighted in the wilderness of sin. Our prolonged stay here is doubtless for God’s glory. A tried saint, like a well-cut diamond, glitters much in the King’s crown. Nothing reflects so much honour on a workman as a protracted and severe trial of his work, and its triumphant endurance of the ordeal without giving way in any part. We are God’s workmanship, in whom he will be glorified by our afflictions. It is for the honour of Jesus that we endure the trial of our faith with sacred joy. Let each man surrender his own longings to the glory of Jesus, and feel, “If my lying in the dust would elevate my Lord by so much as an inch, let me still lie among the pots of earth. If to live on earth forever would make my Lord more glorious, it should be my heaven to be shut out of heaven.” Our time is fixed and settled by eternal decree. Let us not be anxious about it, but wait with patience till the gates of pearl shall open.

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

 

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