We may come boldly, because being sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ!

Perfection in faith

 John 8:7 (KJV) 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.


John 8:7 (KJV)
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

 Hebrews 10:14

Suggested Further Reading: 2 Timothy 2:20-26

We could not have access to God unless on the footing of perfection; for God cannot walk and talk with imperfect creatures. But we are perfect; not in character, for we are still sinners; but we are perfected through the blood of Jesus Christ, so that God can allow us to have access to him as perfected creatures. We may come boldly, because being sprinkled with the blood, God does not look on us as unholy and unclean, otherwise he could not allow us to come to his mercy seat; but he looks upon us as being perfected for ever through the one sacrifice of Christ. That is one thing. The other is this. We are the vessels of God’s temple; he has chosen us to be like the golden pots of his sanctuary; but God could not accept a worship which was offered to him in unholy vessels. Those vessels, therefore, were made perfect by being sprinkled with blood. God could not accept the praise which comes from your unholy heart; he could not accept the song which springs from your uncircumcised lips, nor the faith which arises from your doubting soul, unless he had taken the great precaution to sprinkle you with the blood of Christ; and now, whatever he uses you for, he uses you as a perfect instrument, regarding you as being perfect in Christ Jesus. That, again, is the meaning of the text, and the same meaning, only a different phase of it. And, the last meaning is, that the sacrifices of the Jews did not give believing Jews peace of conscience for any length of time; they had to come again, and again, and again, because they felt that those sacrifices did not present to them a perfect justification before God. But behold, beloved, you and I are complete in Jesus. We have no need of any other sacrifice. All others we disclaim. He hath perfected us for ever. We may set our conscience at ease, because we are truly, really, and everlastingly accepted in him.

For meditation: Being accepted in Christ enables us to serve God acceptably.

Sermon no. 232 15 December (Preached 2 January 1859)

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Compel them to come in

Compel them to come in

THE THIRD TEMPLE

Compel them to come in.  Luke 14:23

Suggested Further Reading: John 3:31-36

I beseech you by him that liveth and was dead, and is alive for evermore, consider my master’s message which he instructs me now to address you. But do you spurn it? Do you still refuse it? Then I must change my tone a minute. I will not merely tell you the message, and invite you as I do with all earnestness, and sincere affection—I will go further. Sinner, in God’s name, I command you to repent and believe. Do you ask me my authority? I am an ambassador of heaven. My credentials, some of them secret, and in my own heart; and others of them open before you this day in the seals of my ministry, sitting and standing in this hall, where God has given me many souls for my hire. As God the everlasting one has given me a commission to preach his gospel, I command you to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; not on my own authority, but on the authority of him who said, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature;” and then he annexed this solemn sanction, “He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Reject my message, and remember “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God.” An ambassador is not to stand below the man with whom he deals, for we stand higher. If the minister chooses to take his proper rank, girded with the omnipotence of God, and anointed with his holy unction, he is to command men, and speak with all authority compelling them to come in: “command, exhort, rebuke with all longsuffering.”

For meditation: Do we regard the Gospel as a take-it or leave-it option? The opposite of trusting in Christ is disobedience (Romans 1:5 and 16:26).

Sermon no. 227 5 December (1858)

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GOD HAS HIS CHILDREN COVERED-ARE YOU UNDER HIS HOOPA?

Is God concerned with the material well-being of Christians?

ocean-dawn-with-you-always-who-shall-separate-us

The short answer to that, emphatically and definitely, is yes. Not only is God concerned about the material well-being of Christians, he’s deeply and profoundly concerned for the material well-being of the whole world. God created a material world. He created man as a material creature with profound material needs. All we would have to do is go to the Sermon on the Mount to see Jesus‘ great expression of compassion for those who are in material want. There’s a tremendous emphasis of concern in the New Testament that we as Christians have a profound care for those who are hungry, poor, naked, and homeless. That concern indicates a concern for the material welfare of people. The New Testament has a lot to say about wealth and poverty and the various causes and circumstances involving those conditions. There are frightening warnings to the rich, for example, particularly those who would put their confidence in their wealth rather than in the benevolent concern of God. In this regard Jesus says, “Take no thought for tomorrow, what you should eat, what you should drink, what you should put on; but rather, consider the lilies of the field that they neither toil nor spin. Solomon in all his glory is not arrayed like one of these.” He is saying that we can become so preoccupied with the accumulation of wealth that we miss the kingdom of God; we have a concern for the material things to the neglect of the spiritual things. Because we see the world preoccupied with material things and woefully neglecting the spiritual, we may be inclined to become extremists in the opposite direction and say, “All that God cares about are spiritual things.” Again, a balanced view of Scripture will prevent us from coming to that conclusion, because there is nothing wrong with a concern for material welfare. In another manner of speaking, God cares for people, and people are material creatures who require material things in order to survive. If God cares for people, obviously he cares for their material well-being. Health and healing from sickness are material matters, and so God’s concern for our health is a concern for our material well-being. Tough Questions with RC Sproul is excerpted from Now, That’s a Good Question! Copyright © 1996 by R. C. Sproul. All rights reserved.

THE CARNAL MIND ENMITY AGAINST GOD

THY WORD

Sermon #20 The New Park Street Pulpit 1
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THE CARNAL MIND ENMITY AGAINST GOD NO. 20
A SERMON DELIVERED ON SABBATH MORNING, APRIL 22, 1855

BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON, AT EXETER HALL STRAND
“The carnal mind is enmity against God.” Romans 8:7.

This is a very solemn indictment which the Apostle Paul here speaks against the carnal mind. He declares it to be enmity against God. When we consider what man once was, only second to the angels, the companion of God, who walked with Him in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day. When we think of him as being made in the very image of his Creation pure, spotless and unblemished, we cannot but feel bitterly grieved to find such an accusation as this declared against us as a race. We may well hang our harps upon the willows while we listen to the voice of Jehovah, solemnly speaking to His rebellious creature—“How are you fallen from Heaven, you son of the morning!” “You seal up the sun, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You have been in Eden, the Garden of God. Every precious stone was your covering—the workmanship of your tabrets and of your pipes was prepared in you in the day that you were created. You are the anointed cherub that covers and I have set you so—you were upon the holy mountain of God. You have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you and you sinned. Therefore I will cast you as profane out of the mountain of God—and will destroy you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.” There is much to sadden us in a view of the ruins of our race. As the Carthaginian who might tread the desolate site of his much-loved city would shed many tears when he saw it laid in heaps by the Romans. Or as the Jew, wandering through the deserted streets of Jerusalem, would lament that the plowshare had marred the beauty and the glory of that city which was the joy of the whole earth. So ought we to mourn for ourselves and our race when we behold the ruins of that goodly structure which God has made—that creature, matchless in symmetry, second only to angelic intellect. That mighty being, man—when we behold how he is “fallen, fallen, fallen, from his high estate” and lies in a mass of destruction. A few years ago a star was seen blazing out with considerable brilliance but soon disappeared. It has since been affirmed that it was a world on fire, thousands of millions of miles from us and yet the rays of the conflagration reached us. The noiseless messenger of light gave to the distant dwellers on this globe the alarm of, “A world on fire!” But what is the conflagration of a distant planet, what is the destruction of the mere material of the most ponderous orb compared with this fall of humanity, this wreck of all that is holy and sacred in ourselves? To us, indeed, the things are scarcely comparable, since we are deeply interested in one, though not in the other. The Fall of Adam was OUR fall. We fell in and with him. We were equal sufferers. It is the ruin of our own house that we lament. It is the destruction of our own city that we bemoan when we stand and see written in lines too plain for us to mistake their meaning, “The carnal mind”—that very same mind which was once holiness and has now become carnal—“is enmity against God.” May God help me this morning to solemnly speak this indictment against you all! Oh, that the Holy Spirit may so convince us of sin that we may unanimously plead “guilty” before God! There is no difficulty in understanding my text—it needs scarcely any explanation. We all know that the word, “carnal,” here signifies, fleshly. The old translators rendered the passage thus—“The mind of the flesh is enmity against God.” That is to say, the natural mind—that soul which we inherit from our fathers—that which was born within us when our bodies were fashioned by God. The fleshly mind, the phronema sarkos , the lusts, the passions of the soul. It is this which has gone astray from God and become enmity against Him! But before we enter upon a discussion of the Doctrine of the text, observe how strongly the Apostle expresses it. “The carnal mind,” he says, “it is ENMITY against God.” He uses a noun and not an adjective. He does not say it is merely opposed to God, but it is positive enmity! It is not black, but blackness. It is not at enmity, but enmity itself. It is not corrupt, but corruption. It is not rebellious, it is rebellion—it is not wicked, it is wickedness itself. 

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The heart, though it is deceitful, is positively deceit. It is evil in the concrete, sin in the essence. It is the distillation, the quintessence of all things that are vile. It is not envious against God, it is envy . It is not at enmity, it is actual enmity . Nor need we say a word to explain that it is “enmity against God.” It does not charge manhood with an aversion merely to the dominion, Laws, or Doctrines of Jehovah. It strikes a deeper and surer blow. It does not strike man upon the head but it penetrates into his heart. It lays the axe at the root of the tree and pronounces man, “enmity against God.” Against the Person of the Godhead, against the Deity, against the mighty Maker of this World—not at enmity against His Bible or against His Gospel—though that is true, but against God, Himself! Against His Essence, His Existence and His Person. Let us, then, weigh the words of the text, for they are solemn words. They are well put together by that master of eloquence, Paul. They were, moreover, dictated by the Holy Spirit, who tells man how to speak aright. May He help us to expound, as He has already given us the passage to explain. We shall be called upon to notice, this morning, first, the truthfulness of this assertion. Secondly, the universality of the evil here complained of. Thirdly, we will still further enter into the depths of the subject and press it to your hearts, by showing the enormity of the evil. And after that, should we have time, we will deduce one or two Doctrines from the general fact. I. First, we are called upon to speak of the truthfulness of this great statement , “the carnal mind is enmity against God.” It needs no proof, for since it is written in God’s Word, we, as Christian men and women, are bound to bow before it. The words of the Scriptures are words of infinite wisdom and if reason cannot see the ground of a statement of Revelation, it is bound, most reverently, to believe it, since we are well-assured even should it be above our reason, that it can- not be contrary to it! Here I find it written in the Scriptures, “the carnal mind is enmity against God.” And that, of it- self, is enough for me. But did I need witnesses, I would conjure up the nations of antiquity. I would unroll the volume of ancient history, I would tell you of the awful deeds of mankind. It may be I might move your souls to detestation if I spoke of the cruelty of this race to itself, if I showed you how it made the world an Aceldama by its wars and deluged it with blood by its fights and murders! If I should recite the black list of vices in which whole nations have indulged or even bring before you the characters of some of the most eminent philosophers, I would blush to speak of them and you would refuse to hear. Yes, it would be impossible for you, as refined inhabitants of a civilized country, to endure the mention of the crimes that were committed by those very men who nowadays are held up as being paragons of perfection! I fear if all the truth were written, we should rise up from reading the lives of earth’s mighty heroes and proudest sages and would say at once of all of them, “They are clean gone mad! They are all together become unprofitable. There is none that does good. No, not one!” And did not that suffice, I would point you to the delusions of the heathen. I would tell you of their priestcraft by which their souls have been enthralled in superstition. I would drag their gods before you. I would let you witness the horrid obscenities, the diabolical rites which are to these besotted men most sacred things! Then, after you had heard what the natural religion of man is, I would ask what must his irreligion be? If this is his devotion, what must be his impiety  If this is his ardent love of the Godhead, what must his hatred thereof be? You would, I am sure, at once confess, did you know what the race is, that the indictment is proven and that the world must unreservedly and truthfully ex- claim, “guilty.” A further argument I might find in the fact that the best of men have been always the most ready to confess their depravity  The holiest men, the most free from impurity, have always felt it most. He whose garments are the whitest will best perceive the spots upon them. He whose crown shines the brightest will know when he has lost a jewel. He who gives the most light to the world will always be able to discover his own darkness. The angels of Heaven veil their faces. And the angels of God on earth, His chosen people, must always veil their faces with humility when they think of what they were! Hear David—he was none of those who boast of a holy nature and a pure disposition. He says, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity. And in sin did my mother conceive me.” Hear all those holy men who have written in the Inspired Volume and you shall find them all confessing that they were not clean, no, not one. Yes, one of them even exclaimed, “O wretched man that I am; who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” And more—I will summon one other witness to the truthfulness of this act who shall decide the question. It shall be your conscience. Conscience, I will put you in the witness box and cross-examine you this morning! Conscience, answer truly! Be not drugged with the opium of self-security! Speak the truth! Did you ever hear the heart say, “I wish there were no God?” Have not all men, at times, wished that our religion were not true? 


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 Though they could not entirely rid their souls of the idea of the Godhead, did they not wish that there might not be God? Have they not had the desire that it might turn out that all these Divine realities were a delusion, a farce? “Yes,” says every man, “that has crossed my mind sometimes. I have wished I might indulge in folly. I have wished there were no laws to restrain me. I have wished, as the fool, that there were no God.” That passage in the Psalms, “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God,” is wrongly translated. It should be, “The fool has said in his heart, no God .” The fool does not say in his heart there is no God, for he knows there is a God. Rather he says, “No God—I don’t want any, I wish there were none.” And who among us has not been so foolish as to desire that there were no God? Now, Conscience, answer another question! You have confessed that you have at times wished there were no God. Now, suppose a man wished another dead, would not that show that he hated him? Yes, it would. And so, my Friends, the wish that there were no God proves that we dislike God! When I wish such a man dead and rotting in his grave, when I desire that he were non est , I must hate that man— otherwise I would not wish him to be extinct. So that wish—and I do not think there has been a man in this world who has not had it—proves that “the carnal mind is enmity against God.” But, Conscience, I have another question. Has not your heart ever desired, since there is a God, that He were a little less holy, a little less pure—so that those things which are now great crimes might be regarded as venial offenses, as pec- cadilloes? Has your heart ever said, “Would to God these sins were not forbidden. Would that He would be merciful and pass them by without an atonement! Would that He were not so severe, so rigorously just, so sternly strict to His integrity.” Have you never said that, my Heart? Conscience must reply, “you have.” Well, that wish to change God proves that you are not in love with the God that now is, the God of Heaven and earth! And though you may talk of natural religion and boast that you do reverence to the God of the green fields, the grassy meads, the swelling flood, the rolling thunder, the azure sky, the starry night and the great universe—though you love the poetic ideal of Deity, it is not the God of Scripture—for you have wished to change His nature and in that you have proved that you are at enmity with Him! So where do we go from here? You can bear faithful witness if you would speak the truth that each person here has so transgressed against God, so continually broken His Laws, violated His Sabbath, trampled on His statutes, despised His Gospel, that it is true, yes, most true, that “the carnal mind is enmity against God.” II. Now, secondly, we are called upon to notice the universality of this evil. What a broad assertion it is! It is not a single carnal mind, or a certain class of characters, but “ the carnal mind.” It is an unqualified statement, including every individual. Whatever mind may properly be called carnal, not having been spiritualized by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, is “enmity against God.” Observe then, first of all, the universality of this as to all persons. Every carnal mind in the world is at enmity against God! This does not exclude even infants at the mother’s breast. We call them innocent and so they are of actual transgression, but as the poet says, “Within the youngest breast there lies a stone.” There is in the carnal mind of an infant, enmity against God. It is not developed, but it lies there. Some say that children learn sin by imitation. But no—take a child away, place it under the most pious influences, let the very air it breathes be purified by piety—let it constantly drink in draughts of holiness. Let it hear nothing but the voice of prayer and praise. Let its ears be always kept in tune by notes of sacred song—and that child, notwithstanding, may still become one of the grossest of transgressors! And though placed apparently on the very road to Heaven, it shall, if not directed by Divine Grace, march downwards to the pit of Hell! Oh, how true it is that some who have had the best of parents have been the worst of children—that many who have been trained up under the most holy auspices, in the midst of most favorable scenes of piety—have, nevertheless, become loose and wanton! So it is not by imitation but it is by nature that the child is evil! Grant me that the child is carnal and my text says, “The carnal mind is enmity against God.” The young crocodile, I have heard, when broken from the shell, will in a moment begin to put itself in a posture of attack, opening its mouth as if it had been taught and trained. We know that young lions, when tamed and domesticated, will still have the wild nature of their fellows of the forest and were liberty given them, would prey as fiercely as others. So with the child. You may bind him with the green withes of educa- tion, you may do what you will with him—but you cannot change his heart! That carnal mind shall still be at enmity against God. And notwithstanding intellect, talent and all you may give to boot, it shall be of the same sinful complexion as every other child, if not as apparently evil, for, “the carnal mind is enmity against God.” And if this applies to children, equally does it include every class of men. There are some men who are born into this world master spirits. They walk about it as giants, wrapped in mantles of light and glory. I refer to the poets—men who stand aloft like Colossi—mightier than we, seeming to be descended from celestial spheres.

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There are others of acute intellect, who, searching into mysteries of science, discover things that have been hidden from the creation of the world! Men of keen research and mighty erudition—and yet of each of these—poet, philosopher, metaphysician and great discoverer—it can be said, “The carnal mind is enmity against God.” You may train him up, you may make his intellect almost angelic, you may strengthen his soul until he shall take what are riddles to us and unravel them with his fingers in a moment. You may make him so mighty that he can grasp the iron secrets of the eternal hills and grind them to atoms in his fist. You may give him an eye so keen that he can penetrate the deep secrets of rocks and mountains. You may add a soul so potent that he may slay the giant Sphinx that had, for ages, troubled the mightiest men of learning. Yet when you have done all this, his mind shall be a depraved one and his carnal heart shall still be in opposition to God. Yes, more, you may bring him to the House of Prayer. You may make him sit constantly under the clearest preaching of the Word of God where he shall hear the Doctrines of Grace in all their purity, attended by a holy unction. But if that holy unction does not rest upon him , all shall be vain—he shall attend most regularly, but like the pious door of the Chapel that turns in and out, he shall still be the same—having an outside superficial religion and his carnal mind shall still be at enmity against God. Now, this is not my assertion, it is the declaration of God’s Word and you must leave it, if you do not believe it! But quarrel not with me, it is my Master’s message and it is true of every one of you—men, women and children and myself, too—that if we have not been regenerated and converted, if we have not experienced a change of heart, our carnal mind is still at enmity against God! Again, notice the universality of this at all times. The carnal mind is at all times enmity against God. “Oh,” say some, “it may be true that we are at times opposed to God, but surely we are not always so.” “There are moments,” says one, “when I feel rebellious. At times my passions lead me astray. But surely there are other favorable seasons when I re- ally am friendly to God and offer true devotion. I have (continues the objector) stood upon the mountaintop, until my whole soul has kindled with the scene below and my lips have uttered the song of praise— “These are Your glorious works, parent of good, Almighty, Yours this universal frame, Thus wondrous fair—Yourself how wondrous then!” Yes, but mark—what is true one day is not false another, “the carnal mind is enmity against God” at all times! The wolf may sleep, but it is still a wolf. The snake with its azure hues may slumber amid the flowers and the child may stroke its slimy back, but it is still a serpent. It does not change its nature, though it is dormant. The sea is the house of storms even when it is glassy as a lake. The thunder is still the mighty rolling thunder when it is so much aloft that we hear it not. And the heart, when we perceive not its boiling, when it belches not forth its lava and sends not forth the hot stones of its corruption, is still the same dread volcano! At all times, at all hours, at every moment, (I speak this as God speaks it) if you are carnal, you are each one of you enmity against God! Another thought concerning the universality of this statement. The whole of the mind is enmity against God. The text says, “The carnal mind is enmity against God,” that is, the entire man, every part of him—every power, every passion. It is a question often asked, “What part of man was injured by the Fall?” Some think that the Fall was only felt by the affections and that the intellect was unimpaired. This they argue from the wisdom of man and the mighty discoveries he has made, such as the law of gravity, the steam engine and the sciences. Now I consider these things as being a very mean display of wisdom, compared with what is to come in the next hundred years—and very small compared with what might have been, if man’s intellect had continued in its pristine condition. I believe the Fall crushed man entirely! Albeit, when it rolled like an avalanche upon the mighty temple of human nature, some shafts were still left undestroyed and amidst the ruins you find here and there a flute, a pedestal, a cornice, a column not quite broken—yet the entire structure fell and its most glorious relics are fallen ones, leveled in the dust. The whole of man is defaced. Look at our memory— is it not true that the memory is fallen? I can recollect evil things far better than those which savor of piety. I hear a ribald song—that same music of Hell shall jar in my ear when gray hairs shall be upon my head! I hear a note of holy praise—alas, it is forgotten! Memory grasps with an iron hand ill things, but the good she holds with feeble fingers. She allows the glorious timbers from the forest of Lebanon to swim down the stream of oblivion, but she stops all the dross that floats from the foul city of Sodom! She will retain evil, she will lose good. Memory is fallen. So are the affections. We love everything earthly better than we ought. We soon fix our heart upon a creature but very seldom upon the Creator. And when the heart is given to Jesus it is prone to wander. Look at the imagination , too. Oh, how can the imagination revel when the body is in an ill condition! Only give man something that shall well near intoxicate him. Drug him with opium and how will his imagination dance with joy! Like a bird uncaged, how will it mount with more than eagles’ wings!

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 He sees things he had not dreamed of even in the shades of night. Why did not his imagination work when his body was in a normal state—when it was healthy? Simply because it is depraved! And until he had entered a foul element—until the body had begun to quiver with a kind of intoxication—the fancy would not hold its carnival. We have some splendid specimens of what men could write when they have been under the accursed influence of ardent spirits. It is because the mind is so depraved that it loves something which puts the body into an abnormal condition. And here we have proof that the imagination, itself, has gone astray. So with the judgment —I might prove how ill it decides. So might I accuse the conscience and tell you how blind it is and how it winks at the greatest follies. I might review all our powers and write upon the brow of each one, “Traitor against Heaven! Traitor against God!” The whole “carnal mind is enmity against God.” Now, my Hearers, “the Bible, alone, is the religion of Protestants”—but whenever I find a certain book much held in reverence by our Episcopalian brethren, entirely on my side, I always feel the greatest delight in quoting from it. Do you know I am one of the best Churchmen in the world, the very best, if you will judge me by the Articles and the very worst if you measure me in any other way? Measure me by the Articles of the Church of England and I will not stand second to any man under Heaven’s blue sky in preaching the Gospel contained in them! For if there is an excellent epitome of the Gospel, it is to be found in the Articles of the Church of England. Let me show you that you have not been hearing strange Doctrine. Here is the 9th Article, upon Original or Birth Sin. “Original Sin stands not in the following of Adam (as the Pelagians do vainly talk) but it is the fault and corruption of the nature of every man , that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam. Whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness and is, of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusts always contrary to the spirit. And, therefore, in every person born into this world, it deserves God’s wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature does remain, yes, in them that are regenerated, where- by the lust of the flesh, called in the Greek, phronema sarkos which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire, of the flesh, is not subject to the Law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostle does confess that concupiscence and lust has of itself the nature of sin.” I need nothing more! Will anyone who believes in the Prayer Book dissent from the Doctrine that “the carnal mind is enmity against God”? III. I have said that I would endeavor, in the third place, to show the great enormity of this guilt. I do fear, my Brothers and Sisters, that very often when we consider our state, we think not so much of the guilt as of the misery. I have sometimes read sermons upon the inclination of the sinner to evil, in which it has been very powerfully proved and certainly the pride of human nature has been well humbled and brought low. But one thing always strikes me, if it is left out, as being a very great omission—the Doctrine that man is guilty in all these things! If his heart is against God, we ought to tell him it is his sin . And if he cannot repent we ought to show him that sin is the sole cause of his disability— that all his alienation from God is sin—that as long as he keeps from God it is sin! I fear many of us here must acknowledge that we do not charge the sin of it to our own consciences. Yes, we say, we have many corruptions. Oh, yes. But we sit down very contented. My Brothers and Sisters, we ought not to do so. The having those corruptions is our crime which should be confessed as an enormous evil. If I, as a minister of the Gospel, do not press home the sin of the thing, I have missed what is the very virus of it. I have left out the very essence if I have not shown that it is a crime. Now, “the carnal mind is enmity against God.” What a sin it is! This will appear in two ways. Consider the relation in which we stand to God and then remember what God is. And after I have spoken of these two things, I hope you will see, in- deed, that it is a sin to be at enmity with God! What is God to us? He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth. He bears up the pillars of the universe, His breath perfumes the flowers. His brush paints them. He is the Author of this fair creation. “We are the sheep of His pasture, He has made us and not we ourselves.” He stands to us in the relationship of a Maker and Creator—and from that fact He claims to be our King. He is our Legislator our Law-Maker. And then, to make our crime still worse and worse, He is the Ruler of Providence. For it is He who keeps us daily. He supplies our needs. He keeps the breath within our nostrils. He bids the blood still pursue its course through the veins. He holds us in life and prevents us from death. He stands before us, our Creator, our King, our Sustainer, our Benefactor. And I ask, is it not a sin of enormous magnitude—is it not high treason against the Emperor of Heaven—is it not an awful sin, the depth of which we cannot fathom with the line of all our judgment—that we, His creatures, dependent upon Him, should be at enmity with Him?


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But the crime may be seen to be worse when we think of what God is. Let me appeal personally to you in an interrogatory style, for this has weight with it. Sinner! Why are you at enmity with God? God is the God of Love. He is kind to His creatures. He regards you with His love of benevolence. This very day His sun has shone upon you. This day you have had food and raiment and you have come up here in health and strength. Do you hate God because He loves you? Is that the reason? Consider how many mercies you have received at His hands all your lives long! You are born with a body not deformed, you have had a tolerable share of health. You have been recovered many times from sickness. When lying at the gates of death, His arm has held back your soul from the last step to destruction. Do you hate God for all this? Do you hate Him because He spared your life by His tender mercy? Behold His goodness that He has spread before you! He might have sent you to Hell, but you are here. Now, do you hate God for sparing you? Oh, why are you at enmity with Him? My fellow creature, do you not know that God sent His Son from His bosom, hung Him on the tree and there allowed Him to die for sinners, the Just for the unjust? And do you hate God for that? Oh, Sinner, is this the cause of your enmity? Are you so estranged that you give enmity for love? And when He surrounds you with favors, girds you with mercies, encircles you with loving kindness, do you hate Him for this? He might say as Jesus did to the Jews—“For which of these works do you stone Me?” For which of these works do you hate God? If an earthly benefactor fed you, would you hate him? Did he clothe you, would you abuse him to his face? Did he give you talents, would you turn those powers against him? Oh, speak! Would you forge the iron and strike the dagger into the heart of your best friend? Do you hate your mother who nursed you on her knee? Do you curse your father who so wisely watched over you? No, you say, we have some little gratitude towards earthly relatives. Where are your hearts, then? Where are your hearts that you can still despise God and be at enmity with Him? Oh, diabolical crime! Oh, Satanic enormity! Oh, iniquity for which words fail in description! To hate the All-Lovely—to despise the essentially Good—to abhor the constantly Merciful—to spurn the Ever-Beneficent—to scorn the Kind, the Gracious One! Above all, to hate the God who sent His Son to die for man! Ah, in that thought—“the carnal mind is enmity against God”—there is something which may make us shake. For it is a terrible sin to be at enmity with God. I wish I could speak more powerfully, but my Master, alone, can impress upon you the enormous evil of this horrid state of heart! IV. But there are one or two Doctrines which we will try to deduce from this. Is the carnal mind at “enmity against God?” Then salvation cannot be by merit , it must be by Grace. If we are at enmity with God, what merit can we have? How can we deserve anything from the Being we hate? Even if we were pure as Adam, we could not have any merit. For I do not think Adam had any desert before his Creator. When he had kept all his Master’s Law, he was but an unprofitable servant. He had done no more than he ought to have done. He had no surplus—no balance. But since we have become enemies, how much less can we hope to be saved by works! Oh, no. The whole Bible tells us, from beginning to end, that salvation is not by the works of the Law but by the deeds of Grace. Martin Luther declared that he constantly preached justification by faith alone, “because,” he said, “the people would forget it—so that I was obliged almost to knock my Bible against their heads, to send it into their hearts.” So it is true we constantly forget that salvation is by Grace alone. We always want to be putting in some little scrap of our own virtue. We want to be doing something. I remember a saying of old Matthew Wilkes—“Saved by your works? You might as well try to go to America in a paper boat!” Saved by your works? It is impossible! Oh no! The poor legalist is like a blind horse going round and round the mill, or like the prisoner going up the treadmill and finding himself no higher after all he has done. He has no solid confidence, no firm ground to rest upon. He has not done enough—never enough.” Conscience always says, “this is not perfection. It ought to have been better.” Salvation for enemies must be by an ambassador—by an Atonement—yes, by Christ. Another Doctrine we gather from this is the necessity of an entire change of our nature. It is true that by birth we are at enmity with God. How necessary, then, it is that our nature should be changed . There are few people who sincerely believe this. They think that if they cry, “Lord, have mercy upon me,” when they lie a-dying, they shall go to Heaven directly. Let me suppose an impossible case for a moment. Let me imagine a man entering Heaven without a change of heart. He comes within the gates. He hears a sonnet. He starts! It is to the praise of his Enemy. He sees a Throne and on it sits One who is glorious. But it is his Enemy. He walks streets of gold, but those streets belong to his Enemy. He sees hosts of angels. But those hosts are the servants of his Enemy. He is in his Enemy’s house. For he is at enmity with God! He could not join the song, for he would not know the tune. There he would stand—silent, motionless—till Christ should say, with a voice louder than ten thousand thunders, “What are you doing here? Enemies at a marriage banquet? Enemies in the children’s house? Enemies in Heaven? Get you gone! Depart, you cursed, into everlasting fire in Hell!” Oh, Sirs, if the unregenerate man could enter Heaven, I mention once more the oft-repeated saying of Whitefield, “he would be so unhappy in Heaven that he would ask God to let him run down into Hell for shelter.” There must be a change , if you consider the future state. For how can enemies of God ever sit down at the banquet of the Lamb?

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And to conclude, let me remind you—and it is in the text, after all—that this change must be worked by a power beyond your own. An enemy may possibly make himself a friend. But enmity cannot. If it is but an adjunct of his nature to be an enemy he may change himself into a friend. But if it is the very essence of his existence to be enmity, positive enmity, enmity cannot change itself. No, there must be something done more than we can accomplish. This is just what is forgotten in these days. We must have more preaching of the Holy Spirit if we are to have more conversion work. I tell you, Sirs, if you change your- selves and make yourselves better and better and better, a thousand times, you will never be good enough for Heaven! Till God’s Spirit has laid His hand upon you. Till He has renewed your heart—till He has purified your soul, till He has changed your entire spirit and made you a new man—there can be no entering Heaven. How seriously, then, should each stand and think. Here am I, a creature of a day, a mortal born to die, but yet an immortal! At present I am at enmity with God. What shall I do? Is it not my duty, as well as my happiness, to ask whether there is a way to be reconciled to God? Oh, weary slaves of sin, are not your ways the paths of folly? Is it wisdom, O my fellow creatures—is it wisdom to hate your Creator? Is it wisdom to stand in opposition against Him? Is it prudent to despise the riches of His Grace? If it is wisdom, it is Hell’s wisdom! If it is wisdom, it is a wisdom which is folly with God! Oh, may God grant that you may turn unto Jesus with full purpose of heart! He is the Ambassador. He it is who can make peace through His blood. And though you came in here an enemy, it is possible you may go out through that door a friend yet—if you can but look to Jesus Christ, the brazen serpent which was lifted up! And now, it may be, some of you are convinced of sin by the Holy Spirit. I will now proclaim to you the way of salvation. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up—that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Behold, O trembling penitent, the means of your deliverance! Turn your tearing eyes to yonder Mount of Calvary. I see the Victim of Justice—the Sacrifice of Atonement for your transgression! View the Savior in His agonies, with streams of blood purchasing your soul and with most intense agonies enduring your punishment. He died for you , if now you confess your guilt! O come, you condemned one, self-condemned—turn your eyes this way, for one look will save! Sinner, you are bitten. Look! It is nothing but, “Look!” It is simply, “Look!” If you can but look to Jesus you are safe! Hear the voice of the Redeemer—“Look unto Me and be you saved.” Look! Look! Look! O guilty souls— “Venture on Him, venture wholly, Let no other trust intrude! None but Jesus Can do helpless sinners good!” May my blessed Master help you to come to Him and draw you to His Son, for Jesus’ sake. Amen and Amen

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BURDEN-BEARING

JOHN 3:16

JOHN 3:16

Sermon #2831 Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 1
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BURDEN-BEARING
NO. 2831
A SERMON
INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD’S-DAY, MAY 17, 1903.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON,
ON THURSDAY EVENING, AUGUST 26, 1886.
“Bear you one another ’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ…Every man shall bear his own burden.”
Galatians 6:2, 5.
OBSERVE, dear Friends, that the Apostle says in the second verse of this chapter, “Bear you one another’s burdens,
and so fulfill the law of Christ.” These Galatians had been trying to bear the heavy burden of the Law of Moses. They
had, as far as they could, put themselves, again, under the old Ceremonial Law. They had forsaken the Gospel way of
justification by faith and had sought to be made perfect by their personal obedience to the Law of God. Now, the Apostle,
as though he would expel one affection by another, says, “You want a law? You wish to be under a law? Well, here is
the law of Christ—yield yourselves to it! Instead of observing the outward ceremonies of the Levitical law, here is a living
law which touches the heart and influences the life—obey that law. You are Christians. You have come under law to
Christ by the very fact that you are not your own, but have been bought with a price by Him—now see to it that you
yield implicit obedience to the law of Christ.”
It is somewhat remarkable, I think, that many of those who are self-righteous and apparently pay much regard to the
Law of Moses are usually quite forgetful of that which is the very essence and spirit of that Law. They are so righteous
that they become stern, severe, censorious—which is being unrighteous—for the righteousness even of the Law of God is
a righteousness of love, “for all the law is fulfilled in one word,” that is, “love.” A self-righteous man is not generally a
man with a tender spirit. He looks at that which is hard and stern in the Law and he begins to be hard and stern himself—
there is none of the softness, sweetness, gentleness and graciousness which even the Law, itself, required when it
said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with
all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Paul did well, in the mood in which the Galatians were—as they wanted
to be under law, to remind them of what is the essence of the Law of God and he did still better by reminding them that
they were under law—to Christ, whose law emphasizes the love which even Moses, himself, had taught under the old dispensation!
These Galatians had most foolishly sought to burden themselves with a load which neither they nor their fathers
were able to bear. After being set free by the Gospel, they had gone back to the yoke of bondage, so the Apostle, in effect
said to them, “As you have been so bewitched and fascinated that you want burdens to rest upon you, here are burdens
for you—‘Bear you one another’s burdens.’ And, as you want law, here is law for you—so fulfill the law of Christ.” It
was characteristic of that sacred craftiness, that holy ingenuity, which was so conspicuous in the Apostle Paul that he
worded his argument thus, that he might draw the attention of these Galatians to it, fix it upon their memories and, if
possible, reach and influence their consciences.
Should there be any of you here who desire to come under the yoke of bondage, or who wish to be burden-bearers, or
who find great music in the word, “law,” I hope you will discover all these things in the text. I see in it, first of all, community—“
Bear you one another’s burdens.” Then the latter part of the text teaches us immunity. You are not bound to
consider other people’s burdens so much as your own, that you become responsible for them. No, “every man shall bear
his own burden.” Then the third point, which will be a further opening up of the fifth verse, will be personality: “Every
man shall bear his own burden.”

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I. First, I see, in the text, A MARVELOUS COMMUNITY. “Bear you one another’s burdens.” What does this
mean?
Well, dealing with it first, negatively, it does not mean that we are to burden one another. There are some whose religion
consists in laying heavy burdens upon other men’s shoulders while they, themselves, will not carry them for a single
yard. You recollect that sect of Pharisees with whom our Master was always in conflict—they have their representatives
in these modern times. Why, even this text, itself, is twisted by some into a reason for burdening others. “‘Bear you
one another’s burdens,’” they say —“do you not see, Friend, that you have to help me?” Yes, friend number one, but do
you not see that you are not to go and burden that other friend? It is true that you have to bear his burdens. Let the first
application of this passage be to yourself, and be not eager to apply it to your neighbor from whom you want to draw
something. You have begun by violating the spirit of the text, not only by not bearing your brother’s burden, but also
by thrusting upon him your own burden without taking his in exchange! I say this because I have often found that men
naturally draw this inference—“We are to help one another, therefore, please help me.” The proper inference would be,
“We are to help one another—where is the man whom I am to help?” Is not that the most logical conclusion from the
text? Yet such is the selfishness of our nature that we begin straightway to say, “This text is a cow, I will milk it,” not,
“this text gives me something to do, so I will do it,” but, “This text gives me a chance of getting something and I am
going to get it.” If you talk like that, it proves that you are out of gear with the text and have not entered into the spirit
of it at all.
The text does not mean that we are to spy out our brother’s faults. Its context shows that the word, “burdens,” here
means, “faults.” “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in a fault, you who are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of
meekness; considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. Bear you one another’s burdens.” To a good man, a fault is a
burden. The worst burden that he has to carry is the fact that he is not perfect—that is what troubles him. Now, you and
I are not to go about the world spying out everybody else’s faults. “He is an excellent man,” says one, “but.” Now stop
there! You have said already quite enough, you will spoil it if you say another word. “Ah,” says another, concerning
someone else, “she is an admirable woman, an earnest worker for the Savior.” Stop there! I know what you are going to
say something that might make it seem that you are about as good as she is and perhaps a little better, and you are afraid
that the light of your star would not be seen unless you first covered up that other star! But it must not be so! “Bear you
one another’s burdens.” Bear with one another’s faults, but spy not out one another’s faults.
I think I have heard a story of Mr. Wesley going several times to a certain town where he thought that there was a
band of earnest Christian people, but he was met by a Brother who told him how dead they all were, what little life there
was in their Prayer Meetings and how much of inconsistency there was among them. When he got there, he did not notice
anything of this sort, so, the third time he went, he said to this Brother, “How is it that you always meet me and tell me
of these things about the Brethren! Nobody else ever seems to say it.” “Well, you see,” he said, “Mr. Wesley, I have a rare
gift of discerning spirits.” “Oh,” said the good man, “then wrap that talent up in a napkin and bury it, and you will have
done the best thing possible with it. The Lord will never ask you what you have done with it if you will only keep it to
yourself.” I believe that there was great wisdom in that advice. There are still some who have only that gift of spying out
other men’s faults. That is shocking, dreadful, horrible! So, after all that, my Brother, shut your eyes and bend your
back. If you know that the burden is there, bow down to help bear it, but do not stand and point at it, and seem as if you
wished to do that Brother a discredit.
Further, the text does not mean that we are to despise those who have heavy burdens to bear. For instance, those
who have the grievous burden of poverty. “Oh,” some say, “there is a large number of persons attending at such-andsuch
a place, but they are all poor people.” So you think little of poor people, do you? Then what poor souls you must
be! “Oh, but,” says one, “such-and-such a person is always afflicted and very sad.” And do you despise the afflicted, especially
the mentally afflicted, the desponding, the sorrowful among God’s people? Do you turn away from them and say,
“I cannot endure talking with persons of that sort—they are so sad in temperament and disposition”? But the Apostle
says, “Bear you one another’s burdens,” which means—do not run away from other people because you see that they are
burdened. If you say, “I like to be with the cheerful and the happy, I cannot go and spend my life in comforting the
mourners in Zion”—is that mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who was meek and lowly, and who did not break
the bruised reed, or quench the smoking flax? O Brothers and Sisters, we need to be schooled in this matter of showing

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sympathy with the sorrowful! No doubt it will drag our own spirits down if we really have fellowship with those whom
God has sorely afflicted in mind, but we must be willing to be dragged down—it will do us good! If the Lord sees that we
are willing to stoop to the very least of His people, He will be sure to bless us. I sometimes like to sing that verse that Dr.
Doddridge wrote, and I hope I can sing it truly—
“Have You a lamb in all Your flock
I would disdain to feed?
Have You a foe, before whose face
I fear Your cause to plead?”
The second half of the verse is much easier than the first half. You might be able to stand up like young David before
Goliath, himself, for there is something grand and noble in such an action as that. But to go looking after the poor little
lambs of the flock that scarcely seem as if they are alive, is quite another matter. Yet that is what the text means—“Bear
you one another’s burdens.” Carry the lambs in your bosom, be tender to such as are afflicted. Be, as your Master was, of
a gentle, loving spirit, seeking to bear the infirmities of the weak, especially you who are strong, for, if you are like those
fat cattle described by the Lord in the prophecy of Ezekiel that thrust the lean cattle with side and with shoulder, and
pushed with their horns those of the herd that were sickly, then the Lord will order you to be taken to the slaughterhouse,
for that is the lot of the fed beasts that are so big and brutal! The tall tree is uprooted in the breeze which only
bends the lowly willow. Blessed are they who never exalt themselves over the weak and afflicted among the children of
God!
Nor do I think, dear Friends, that our text could be made to mean that any of us may dare to live as if all things existed
for our own use. Are there not some people who seem to feel that they are the center of all creation and that all
things were created for their honor and glory? The working people round about them are so many “hands” to be employed
by them at the lowest possible rate. The whole stream of trade must be so directed as to conduct the golden liquid
into their capacious reservoirs. Politics and everything else must be so arranged that they shall prosper, whoever else may
suffer loss. As they go through the world, their great concern is to mind the main chance. “Every man for himself,” is the
motto of their lives and they try to get as much as they can—and to keep as much as they can. Perhaps even their benevolence
is only self-indulgence thinly veiled, for they give alms that they may be seen of men.
There are some Christian people—at least, I call them Christians by courtesy—whose main thought is about saving
their own souls. Their favorite hymn is not in “Our Own Hymn Book”—
“A change to keep I have,
A God to glorify—
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.”
That is nothing but a kind of spiritual selfishness—living unto yourself! There is something that you want to get and
that something is what you strive after. Blessed is that man who is saved beyond all fear and who, for the love he bears his
Lord, lives wholly and only to prove the power of the Grace of God that has been bestowed upon him—and earnestly
seeks to be the means of saving the souls of others. The Doctrines of Grace do this for us, by delivering us from all fear
with regard to the future and fixing us firmly upon the Rock of Ages. They turn our thoughts away from self to the service
and the glory of our God. I delight to sing—
“‘Tis done! The great transaction ’s done.
I am my Lord ’s, and He is mine”
and to feel that as He will never lose me, nor permit me to lose Him, I can turn all my thoughts to the rescue of my fellowsinners
who are going down into the Pit. If God shall grant us Grace to enter into the true spirit of the Gospel, having
been delivered from every burden—both of this life and of that which is to come—we shall be prepared to bear one
another’s burdens and so to fulfill the law of that Christ who has set us free from the law of sin and death which was in
our members.
I have thus shown you, negatively, what the text does not mean.
But, dear Friends, to take our text positively, we can see that it must mean, first, that we are to have great compassion
upon those who are bearing the burden of sin. You cannot bear the burden of their sins for them—only Christ can
do that—but you can help them to bear their burden. I mean this. Here is a troubled soul who has begun to seek the

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Lord and the poor creature is in great sorrow of heart. Get alongside that burdened one and say, “Now, dear Friend, I
am very sorry for you. I feel as burdened about you as if it were my own soul, not yours, that was in trouble.” Ask the
Lord to help you when you have left that person—after speaking with much prayer and many tears, go home so grieved
that you cannot sleep and keep on crying to God in secret about that soul. Then, when you get up in the morning with no
burden concerning your own soul, because God has saved you, still feel that you have to carry the burden of this poor
soul who does not know the Lord and, at last, you get to feel as if you could not live if that soul did not also live! If it will
not repent, you seem to feel the burden of its guilt. If it will not believe in Christ, you wish you could believe for it. Of
course you cannot repent and believe for it, but you can believe about it and you can, by faith and prayer, bring it to Jesus’
feet and lay it there! The Holy Spirit often draws sinners to the Savior by means of the love of Christians. We can love
them to Christ and if we love them as the Apostle Paul did when he travailed in birth for them until Christ was formed in
them, it will not be long before we shall see them converted. I am sure that it is so—and that one great secret of soulwinning
lies in the bearing of the burdens of the unconverted.
But we must take special care, dear Friends, that we do this in the case of backsliders because the text, in its context,
alludes to them most particularly—“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in a fault, you who are spiritual, restore such an one
in the spirit of meekness; considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. Bear you one another’s burdens.” If that backslider
has been awakened to a sense of his true condition, he will feel very unhappy—so be very sympathetic towards him.
He may be afraid to come back into membership with the church—if so, go after him and encourage him to return. If he
says, “I have brought disgrace upon the name of Christ,” try to bear part of the shame that he feels. If he says, “I cannot
face So-and-So,” say to him, “I will stand between you. Or I will go and plead for you.” Take to yourself, as far as you
can, the shame and the disgrace which belong to the backslider. Try to get right into his place. I am sure that there is no
other way of setting broken bones that is equal to this. There is no way of bringing back the wandering sheep like that
which the good shepherd took when he lifted the poor creature right up on his own shoulders. It was too worn and weak,
and weary for him to lead it back, or drive it back, so he carried it all the way! And, Brothers and Sisters, let us carry the
backsliders on our own shoulders in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. As far as it is possible, let us compel them to come
in once more that God’s House may be filled—and let us take the burden of their grief and of their shame, upon ourselves.
Thus shall we carry out the injunction of the text—“Bear you one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Next, the text seems to me to mean, “Be very patient with the infirmities of your brethren.” “Oh, but, So-and-So is
very quick tempered!” I hope that it is a burden to him to be quick tempered and if so, that is an additional reason why
you should bear with him. “But So-and-So is really very bitter in spirit.” Yes, alas, there are still some people of that
sort, but you are to bear with them. I hope it is a burden to them if they have even a tinge of bitterness in their nature, so
bear with it. “I do not see why I should,” says one. Well, then, open your eyes and read the text! “And so fulfill the law of
Christ.” If the Lord Jesus Christ can put up with you, you ought to be able to put up with anybody! “Oh, but some
people are so exacting!” Yes, some of you know that I am sometimes very exacting. When I am suffering very greatly from
gout, if anybody walks heavily and noisily across the room, it gives me pain. Well, then, what do you think happens?
Why, they go across the room on tiptoe—they do not say to one another, “We cannot help it that he is ill and that our
noise gives him pain. We shall walk just as we always do—we have a right to walk like that.” No, no, they do not need
even to be asked to move about quietly, but they say, “Poor man, he is so ill that we must be as gentle as we can with
him.” Could not you look in that kind of spirit upon Brothers and Sisters who are not quite all that you would like them
to be, and say, “They are not well spiritually,” and deal very gently with them, “and so fulfill the law of Christ”? We
who are Christians are to live together in Heaven forever, so do not let us fall out by the way. Come, my Brother, I have
to bear a great deal from you and you have to bear a great deal from me, so let it be give and take all the way through.
“Bear you one another’s burdens,” not I bear yours without you bearing mine, but I bear yours and you bear mine—you
put up with me, and I put up with you. And in that way we shall both “fulfill the law of Christ.”
Does not the text also mean that we are to bear one another’s burdens by having a deep sympathy with one another
in times of sorrow? Oh, for a sympathetic heart! Seek after it, beloved Christians! Seek to have large hearts and tender
hearts, for the world is full of sorrow and one of the sweetest balms to sorrow is the sympathy of Christ flowing through
the hearts of His own redeemed ones. Be tender, be full of pity, be full of compassion.

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But this sympathy must show itself by actual assistance, rendered wherever it is possible. “Bear you one another’s
burdens.” Let the burden of poverty be borne by those of you who have no poverty of your own. Succor your brethren in
their times of need. Light their candle when their house grows dark. Blessed are those men and women who addict themselves
to the ministry of the saints and who seek, wherever they can, to lighten the burdens of life for their fellow-
Christians, lending their shoulders whenever they can give support to the weak.
Brothers and Sisters, we should also bear one another’s spiritual burdens by helping one another in our soulstruggles.
I am afraid that in some places of worship Christian men and women come up to the House of Prayer and go
home again without ever speaking to one another! I do not think that is the case, here, but it is the case in many places,
especially in very respectable places of worship. There they go in and out as if they were all self-contained and could not
speak to one another, especially if they happen to be half-sovereign people and a half-crown person is anywhere near—
they cannot speak to him at all. This is all contrary to the mind of Christ. In our Church fellowship, there should be real
fellowship and we should converse with one another. In the olden times, “They that feared the Lord spoke often, one to
another,” and Christian people should do the same today—and you who are elders in the church might often say a word
that would help a poor young friend who is struggling to do right. You who are joyous might often lend some of your
sunbeams to those who are in the dark. And you ought to do so—it would be to your own profit as well as to the profit
of others. Trade produces wealth and the inter-trading of Christians, exchanging their good things, one with the other,
would tend to the spiritual enrichment of the entire body. God help you to do so by fellowship with one another!
“Bear you one another’s burdens” also by much prayer for the other. When you have prayed for yourself, do not end
your supplication. Keep a little list of people to be prayed for and try to put down, on your list, certain things which you
know trouble them and which also trouble you—and bring them before the Lord. In some way or other, bear you those
burdens which God lays upon your brethren!
II. The time flies so quickly that I can only speak very briefly upon the second point, that is, IMMUNITY. “For
every man shall bear his own burden.”
Let us always, for our comfort, remember that there is a point beyond which we cannot go in bearing one another’s
burdens. After you have prayed for anyone and conversed with him—and he still continues in sin, you are ready to break
your heart about him. Yes, it is right to feel like that, but do not be so unwise as to take his sin actually to yourself. If
you have warned, prayed, instructed and set a godly example—and men will still sin—their sin is their own and their
blood will be upon their own head.
And, next, do not take the shame of other people’s sins upon yourself beyond a certain point. I have known a good
man ashamed to come to the House of God because his son had disgraced himself. Well, his sin does dishonor his father,
but, still, as you did not commit the sin and you did not do anything to contribute to it, do not feel ashamed as that! I
have known some Christian people very seriously injured by the shame which they have felt because some distant relative
or some near relative has misbehaved himself. Go to God with it, but recollect that it is not your sin and it is not your
shame, either. Bear it so as to sympathize and pray about it, but not so as to be, yourself, ashamed and depressed because
of it!
Remember, also, that we cannot take other people’s responsibilities upon ourselves. I am responsible for faithfully
preaching the Gospel, but I am not responsible for your reception of it. If I preach the Truth of God and there is not a
soul saved by it, I am not responsible for that. And if you, dear teacher in the Sunday school or if any of you Christian
workers have labored in vain, if you have been faithful to God, I do not think that will happen—but if it does and it may
happen in some measure—do not seem to bear that responsibility, for the text says, “Every man shall bear his own burden.”
I find it difficult to make young Brothers, when they begin to preach, feel sufficiently the burden of souls. But
every now and then, I have met with a Brother who has felt the burden of souls so much that he has scarcely been able to
preach at all! That is a pity, because, after all, the salvation of souls lies not with us, but with God. And if we have faithfully
declared the whole counsel of God and can call God to witness that we have not kept back anything of His Truth
that we knew, or failed in faithfulness or earnestness, we must leave the matter there and fall back upon the eternal purpose
of God and throw the responsibility of the result upon our unbelieving hearers.
III. I have not time to speak as I would like upon the last point. That is, PERSONALITY. “Every man shall bear his
own burden.”

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That is to say, every man, if he has any religion at all, must have personal religion. You cannot get to Heaven by
your mother’s godliness, or by your father’s graciousness—there must be a work of Grace in your own souls. No man
can be a sponsor for another in spiritual things. There is no more gigantic lie than that one person should promise that
another shall do this and that, which he cannot even do himself! No, “every man shall bear his own burden.” Everyone
must come, with his own sin, to his own Savior and, by his own act of faith, must find peace through the blood of Jesus
Christ. Do not trust to any national religion, for it is utterly worthless. It is only personal religion that can save you. If
the blood of saints is flowing in your veins, it brings you nothing except greater responsibility, for salvation is not of
blood, nor of the will of man, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God, and of God alone.
And every man should bear his own burden by personal self-examination. I would never think of asking another man
to give me his opinion of me and I hope you will not do so. Search your own souls, “examine yourselves, whether you are
in the faith.” “Oh, I do not like self-examination!” says one. So the bankrupt said—he did not like casting up his accounts.
But when a man in business does not cast his accounts up, his accounts will soon cast him up—and when a man
does not like to examine his own heart, depend upon it, the time will come when Another will examine him and he will be
found lacking and be cast away as worthless!
Next, this text means that there must be personal service. “Every man shall bear his own burden.” That is, if you and
I are saved, we must, each one, have a work of his own and we must set to work and do it personally. The Lord has put
each one of us into a position where there is something we can do which nobody else can do—and we are bound to do it
and not to begin thinking of how little others do, or how much others do, but to say to our Lord, “What will You have
me do?” Let each Christian Levite bow his shoulder and carry some burden for the Lord’s House.
And every man should make a personal effort to bear his own burden. We have a certain number of persons about
who seem as if they never can do anything for themselves—they have to be carried wherever they go. I think I have told
you of a set of portraits that I have at home—they represent my two sons, taken on their birthdays while they were quite
little boys, and then taken every birthday till they had grown to be young men. Well, at first, they are in a baby carriage
and it is very interesting to see how they have grown every year. But there are some of you who have been in baby carriages
ever since I knew you—and you are still in baby carriages—and I have to keep wheeling you about! Oh, I wish
you would grow up! We are all pleased to have dear little children and we do not mind how little they are at first. But if,
after they were fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, or 20 years old, our boys were the same size as they were when they were a year
old, we should feel that we were the parents of poor little dwarfs and it would be a great trial to us. And it is a great trial
to us spiritual parents when we are the fathers of dwarfs! Oh, that you would grow up, Brothers and Sisters! God help
you to grow out of yourselves, your inactivity and your listlessness, that every man and woman shall say, “I am big
enough to bear my own burden. By the goodness of God, I will get so much Grace and so much help that I will do some
work for the Lord, and do it thoroughly. I will bear my own burden—not sit on the top of it and fret and cry, and ask
somebody else to bear it for me—but I will bear my own burden.”
I will finish by saying that the text indicates that everybody has own burden. “Every man shall bear his own burden.”
You look at somebody else and you say, “Ah, I wish I had his load to carry!” I do not think that I ever met with
more than one person in the world with whom, upon mature consideration, I would change places in all respects. I have
thought, once or twice, that I might do so, but soon there has been a hitch somewhere, and I have said, “No, I will go
back into my own shell, after all.” I think, sometimes, that I would not mind changing places with George Muller for
time and for eternity, but I do not know anybody else of whom I would say as much as that. But I daresay that even he has
his own burden, though he has not told me about it when I have talked with him.
And that good woman who always looks so smiling, God bless her! She has a skeleton at home in the closet. And that
good Brother who is always so bright and cheery—yes, he has a burden, too. There is a cross for everyone and I want you
to feel that it is so, because it would take away all thought of envy whenever you meet with another who seems so much
happier than yourself! That Bother has the sense to turn the smooth side of his coat outside—he wears the rough side of
it inwards—a very sensible thing to do. Do not, therefore, begin to say, “Oh, but I am so much worse off than he is!”
You do not know what he has to endure, “for every man shall bear his own burden.” Let us end the whole matter by not
envying others, or caring or wishing to be other people, but just saying, “What can I do to help somebody else? What I
can do to help anybody? I will do it by the Grace of God.”

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But what can some of you do in carrying burdens for other people? Why, even while I have been talking, you have
said, “I do not care to do that. What have I to do with other people?” You are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds
of iniquity while you talk like that! Any man who is selfish is an unsaved man, for the chief point in salvation is to save us
from ourselves. As long as you live simply within your own ribs, you live in a dungeon. You will never come into the palace
where the many mansions are—the liberty of our great Father’s House—until you can say, “I love others more than
I love myself. Above all, I love the great Burden-Bearer who took my burden of sin upon His shoulders and carried it up
to the Cross and away from the Cross and now, through love to Him, the love of self is gone and I will live to glorify His
name forever and forever.”
God bless you, for Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON:
GALATIANS 5:13-26; 6:1, 2.
Galatians 5:13. For, brethren, you have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh,
but by love, serve one another. Do not turn your liberty into license. The Apostle, in this Epistle, had began urging the
Christians of Galatia to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ had made them free, and never to be, again, entangled
with the yoke of legal bondage. He warned them against that error into which many have fallen. But you know that it is
often our tendency, if we escape from one error, to rush into another. So the Apostle guards these Christian against that
Antinomian spirit which teaches us that freedom from the law allows indulgence in sin—“Use not your liberty for an
occasion to the flesh, but by love, serve one another.”
14. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this—You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Oh, if that “one
word” were so engraved on our hearts as to influence all our lives, what blessed lives of love to God and love to men we
should lead!
15. But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you be not consumed one of another. When dogs and
wolves bite one another, it is according to their nature, but it is indeed bad when sheep take to biting one another. If I
must be bitten at all, let me be bitten by a dog rather than by a sheep. That is to say, the wounds inflicted by the godly
are far more painful to bear and last much longer than those caused by wicked men. Besides, we can say with the Psalmist,
“It was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it.” It is natural that the serpent’s seed should
nibble at our heel and seek to do us injury, but when the bite comes from a Brother—from a child of God—then it is
peculiarly painful. Well might the Apostle write, “If you bite and devour one another, take heed that you be not consumed
one of another.” I have lived long enough to see churches absolutely destroyed, not by any external attacks, but by
internal contention.
16. This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. If your life is guided by the Spirit
of God—if you are spiritual men and women, and your actions are worked in the power of the Spirit, “you shall not fulfill
the lust of the flesh.”
17. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. They will never agree—these two powers
are always contrary, one to the other. If you think that you can help God by getting angry, you make a great mistake.
You cannot fight God’s battles with the devil’s weapons. It is not possible that the power of the flesh should help the
power of the Spirit!
17, 18. And these are contrary, the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would. But if you are
led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The Law of God is always to you the blessed rule by which you judge your
conduct, but it is not a law of condemnation to you—neither are you seeking salvation by it.
19-21. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these—Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings
and such like. The list is always too long to be completed! We are obliged to sum up with a kind of et cetera—“and
such like.”

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21. Of which I tell you beforehand, as I have also told you in times past, that they which do such things shall not inherit
the Kingdom of God. A very solemn, searching, sweeping declaration! Let each man judge himself by this test! “The
fruit of the Spirit” is equally manifest, as the Apostle goes on to say.
22, 23. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law. Neither human nor Divine! Good men make no law against these things, nor does
God, for He approves of them. What a wonderful cluster of the grapes of Eshcol we have here! “The fruit of the Spirit”—
as if all this were but one, after all—many luscious berries forming one great cluster. Oh, that all these things may
be in us and abound, that we may be neither barren nor unfruitful!
24. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. It is not yet dead, but it is crucified.
It hangs up on the cross, straining to break away from the iron hold, but it cannot, for it is doomed to die. Happy,
indeed, shall that day be when it shall be wholly dead.
25, 26. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain-glory, provoking one
another, envying one another. Do Christian people need to be talked to like this? Yes, they do, for the best of men are but
men at their best—and the godliest saint is liable to fall into the foulest sin unless the Grace of God prevents it. Oh, that
we could expel from the Church of Christ all vain-glorying, all provoking of one another and all envying of one another!
How often, if one Christian Brother does a little more than his fellow workers, they begin to find fault with him! And if
one is blessed with greater success than others are, how frequently that success is disparaged and spoken of slightingly!
This spirit of envy is, more or less, in all of us, and though, perhaps, we are not exhibiting it just now, it only needs a
suitable opportunity for its display and it would be manifested. No man here has any idea of how bad he really is. You do
not know how good the Grace of God can make you, nor how bad you are by nature, nor how bad you might become if
that nature were left to itself!
Galatians 6:1. Brethren, if a man is overtaken in a fault. If he travels so slowly that his faults catch up with him and
knock him down. “If a man is overtaken in a fault.”
1. You who are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness. Set his bones for him if they have been broken.
Put him in his proper place again.
1. Considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. What would you wish others to do to you if you were in the position
of this fallen one? The Apostle does not say, “Considering yourself lest you also be overtaken in a fault.” No, but,
“lest you also be tempted”—as much as to say, “It only needs the temptation to come to you and you will yield to it.”
2. Bear you one another’s burdens, and fulfill the law of Christ.
—Adapted from The C. H. Spurgeon Collection, Version 1.0, Ages Software, 1.800.297.4307
PRAY THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL USE THIS SERMON
TO BRING MANY TO A SAVING KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST.

 

SERMON WITH CHARLES SPURGEON

Morning

“Therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious unto you.”
Isaiah 30:18

God often delays in answering prayer. We have several instances of this in sacred Scripture. Jacob did not get the blessing from the angel until near the dawn of day–he had to wrestle all night for it. The poor woman of Syrophoenicia was answered not a word for a long while. Paul besought the Lord thrice that “the thorn in the flesh” might be taken from him, and he received no assurance that it should be taken away, but instead thereof a promise that God’s grace should be sufficient for him. If thou hast been knocking at the gate of mercy, and hast received no answer, shall I tell thee why the mighty Maker hath not opened the door and let thee in? Our Father has reasons peculiar to himself for thus keeping us waiting. Sometimes it is to show his power and his sovereignty, that men may know that Jehovah has a right to give or to withhold. More frequently the delay is for our profit. Thou art perhaps kept waiting in order that thy desires may be more fervent. God knows that delay will quicken and increase desire, and that if he keeps thee waiting thou wilt see thy necessity more clearly, and wilt seek more earnestly; and that thou wilt prize the mercy all the more for its long tarrying. There may also be something wrong in thee which has need to be removed, before the joy of the Lord is given. Perhaps thy views of the Gospel plan are confused, or thou mayest be placing some little reliance on thyself, instead of trusting simply and entirely to the Lord Jesus. Or, God makes thee tarry awhile that he may the more fully display the riches of his grace to thee at last. Thy prayers are all filed in heaven, and if not immediately answered they are certainly not forgotten, but in a little while shall be fulfilled to thy delight and satisfaction. Let not despair make thee silent, but continue instant in earnest supplication.

Evening

“My people shall dwell in quiet resting places.”
Isaiah 32:18

Peace and rest belong not to the unregenerate, they are the peculiar possession of the Lord’s people, and of them only. The God of Peace gives perfect peace to those whose hearts are stayed upon him. When man was unfallen, his God gave him the flowery bowers of Eden as his quiet resting places; alas! how soon sin blighted the fair abode of innocence. In the day of universal wrath when the flood swept away a guilty race, the chosen family were quietly secured in the resting-place of the ark, which floated them from the old condemned world into the new earth of the rainbow and the covenant, herein typifying Jesus, the ark of our salvation. Israel rested safely beneath the blood-besprinkled habitations of Egypt when the destroying angel smote the first-born; and in the wilderness the shadow of the pillar of cloud, and the flowing rock, gave the weary pilgrims sweet repose. At this hour we rest in the promises of our faithful God, knowing that his words are full of truth and power; we rest in the doctrines of his word, which are consolation itself; we rest in the covenant of his grace, which is a haven of delight. More highly favoured are we than David in Adullam, or Jonah beneath his gourd, for none can invade or destroy our shelter. The person of Jesus is the quiet resting-place of his people, and when we draw near to him in the breaking of the bread, in the hearing of the word, the searching of the Scriptures, prayer, or praise, we find any form of approach to him to be the return of peace to our spirits.

“I hear the words of love, I gaze upon the blood,

I see the mighty sacrifice, and I have peace with God.

‘Tis everlasting peace, sure as Jehovah’s name,

‘Tis stable as his steadfast throne, for evermore the same:

The clouds may go and come, and storms may sweep my sky,

This blood-sealed friendship changes not, the cross is ever nigh.”