Posts Tagged ‘Spurgeon’
One of the many things I love about studying the Bible in community is hearing excellent questions that spur me to turn to scholars for helpful answers. Thursday, the question was raised – did God know Adam and Eve would sin? This is a crucial question, and answering it shows even more of the glory of God. I really liked Charles Spurgeon’s sermon, God’s Foreknowledge of Sin and have pasted several paragraphs here. If you want to read the whole argument, click here.
“Let us here again recall to our minds the fact that all our sinfulness and the development of it, and all the thoughts and evil imagination that went with that development—and all and sundry the aggravations of our sin, whatever they may have been—must clearly have been known to God. Nothing has come out of us which God did not know would come out of us. We have never surprised the Most High! We have never brought Him to such a position that He could say, “I did not know this.” We have never gone into any sin of which it could be said concerning God that He did not know that it would so be worked by us.
Now I think I hear impatient minds enquiring clamorously, “what purpose is there in the preacher’s repeating to us this statement? He puts it over and over again in very simple terms. What is he aiming at? Where is the edification to the people of God?” In the first place, here is the edification. Seeing that this is most certain and sure, I want you to adore the amazing Grace of God! Do you see, then, that knowing and foreknowing, God nevertheless chose us, elected us— though He saw us covered from head to foot with sin! When election’s eye fell upon us we were regarded as the helpless infant in Ezekiel, cast out unwashed and unswaddled to perish in our filth! But then, viewing us as such, the Divine heart loved us! “His great love,” says the Apostle, “wherewith He loved us even when we were dead in trespasses and sins.” We were, as Kent puts it—
“Loved when a wretch defiled with sin, At war with Heaven, in league with Hell, A slave to every lust obscene,
Who, living, lived but to rebel.”
Do you not admire the marvelous Sovereign Grace which could have chosen you in the sight of all this? I can understand God’s choosing me if He had not known my sinfulness, or if He had known only a part of it. But that He should choose me when He had an infinitely clearer sense of my sin than I ever can have is, indeed, wonderful! I do know something of my sins at times, and am horrified at them. Yet I never have had such a clear estimate of my sinfulness as God has, for the least sin is hateful to God and He looks upon it as worthy of the eternal fires of Hell! Yet we, in whom there is not only to be found little sin, but multitudes of great iniquities were chosen from before the foundation of the world!”
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 lin which you once walked, following the course of this world, following mthe prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in nthe sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in othe passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and pwere by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 ButGod, being rrich in mercy, sbecause of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even twhen we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved athrough faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ” Ephesians 2:1-10
“Wherein you greatly rejoice, even though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations.”1 Peter 1:6
Charles Spurgeon’s remarks:
“THIS VERSE TO A WORLDLY MAN looks amazingly like a contradiction; and even to a Christian man, when he understands it best, it will still be a paradox. “Ye greatly rejoice,” and yet “ye are in heaviness.” Is that possible? Can there be in the same heart great rejoicing, and yet a temporary heaviness? Most assuredly. This paradox has been known and felt by many of the Lord’s children, and it is far from being the greatest paradox of the Christian life. Men who live within themselves, and mark their own feelings as Christians, will often stand and wonder at themselves. Of all riddles, the greatest riddle is a Christian man. As to his pedigree, what a riddle he is! He is a child of the first Adam, “an heir of wrath, even as others.” He is a child of the second Adam: he was born free; there is therefore now no condemnation unto him. He is a riddle in his own existence. “As dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and not killed.” He is a riddle as to the component parts of his own spiritual frame. He finds that which makes him akin to the devil—depravity, corruption, binding him still to the earth, and causing him to cry out, “O wretched man that I am;” and yet he finds that he has within himself that which exalts him, not merely to the rank of an angel, but higher still—a something which raises him up together, and makes him “sit together with Christ Jesus in heavenly places.” He finds that he has that within him which must ripen into heaven, and yet that about him which would inevitably ripen into hell, if grace did not forbid. What wonder, then, beloved, if the Christian man be a paradox himself, that his condition should be a paradox too? Why marvel ye, when ye see a creature corrupt and yet purified, mortal and yet immortal, fallen but yet exalted far above principalities and powers—why marvel ye, that ye should find that creature also possessed of mingled experience, greatly rejoicing, and yet at the same time, “in heaviness through manifold temptations.” Charles Spurgeon, sermon on 1 Peter 1:6
Read the whole sermon here
Saturday I spent a rich time reflecting with other women what it means to live in faith in difficult seasons. I opened Spurgeon to find his timely words on stormy seasons.
Thou art my hope in the day of evil.”
— Jeremiah 17:17
“The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine; he has his seasons of darkness and of storm. True, it is written in God’s Word, “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace;” and it is a great truth, that religion is calculated to give a man happiness below as well as bliss above; but experience tells us that if the course of the just be “As the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day,” yet sometimes that light is eclipsed. At certain periods clouds cover the believer’s sun, and he walks in darkness and sees no light. There are many who have rejoiced in the presence of God for a season; they have basked in the sunshine in the earlier stages of their Christian career; they have walked along the “green pastures” by the side of the “still waters,” but suddenly they find the glorious sky is clouded; instead of the Land of Goshen they have to tread the sandy desert; in the place of sweet waters, they find troubled streams, bitter to their taste, and they say, “Surely, if I were a child of God, this would not happen.” Oh! say not so, thou who art walking in darkness. The best of God’s saints must drink the wormwood; the dearest of his children must bear the cross. No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always keep his harp from the willows. Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He tempered the wind to the shorn lamb, but now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God’s full-grown children. We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ. The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.”
C H Spurgeon
3. What is the real reason we obey God?
a. HE IS OUR KING…WE ARE HIS SUBJECTS…
We’ve lost touch with this. Kingdoms were NOT democracies. No one voted on the King. The King conquered and ruled and you had to bow down before him.
Christ is our King who conquered death and sin and we bow down before him in deep gratitude that he saved us. Our hearts overflow with joy at the freedom he won for us. And oddly, in that freedom, we happily become his servants.
Obedience is how we bow before our King, to worship Him. Disobedience is really just obedience to our own will or someone else’s. It is saying, I REALLY WANT TO DO WHAT I WANT TO DO. IT IS MAKING OUR OWN RULES.
b. It reveals our love for him. It shows that we KNOW him.
I John 2:3-6: 3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4 The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s lovec is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
Listen to what C.H. Spurgeon says about “walking in Christ” because he abides in us.
The first thing about a Christian is initiation, initiation into Christ: the next thing is imitation, the imitation of Christ. We cannot be Christians unless we are in Christ; and we are not truly in Christ unless in him we live and move and have our being, and the life of Christ is lived over again by us according to our measure.
“Be ye imitators of God, as dear children.” It is the nature of children to imitate their parents. Be ye imitators; of Christ as good soldiers, who cannot have a better model for their soldierly life than their Captain and Lord. Ought we not to be very grateful to Christ that he deigns to be our example? If he were not perfectly able to meet all our other wants, if he were an expiation and nothing else, we should glory in him as our atoning sacrifice, for we always put that to the front, and magnify the virtue of his precious blood beyond everything: but at the same time we need an example, and it is delightful to find it where we find our pardon and justification.
They that are saved from the death of sin need to be guided in the life of holiness, and it is infinitely condescending on the part of Christ that he becomes an example to such poor creatures as we are. It is said to have been the distinguishing mark of Caesar as a soldier that he never said to his followers “Go!” but he always said “Come!” Of Alexander, also, it was noted that in weary marches he was sure to be on foot with his warriors, and in fierce attack’s he always was in the van. The most persuasive sermon is the example which leads the way. This certainly is one trait in the Good Shepherd’s character, “when he putteth forth his own sheep he goeth before them.” If Jesus bids us do anything, he first does it himself. He would have us wash one another’s feet; and this is the argument—“Ye call me Master and Lord, and ye say well; for so I am. If I, then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.”
Shall we not do as he does whom we profess to follow? He has left his footprints that we may set our feet in them.Will we not joyfully fix our feet upon this royal road?