Archive

Author Archive

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 226

GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE

To [Subscribers].

METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, April 6, 1886.

DEAR FRIEND, —

Time has speedily brought round the annual occasion upon which I trouble you about the Pastors’ College. You never treat it as a trouble, but respond cheerfully, and therefore I do very earnestly invite you to the Annual Supper, which is appointed for Wednesday, May 5, at the College.

I give my daily thoughts to this work of aiding my Master’s young servants to know the way of God more perfectly, and to preach it with greater clearness. As the result of years of this work, we have sent out more than 700 men into the field at home and abroad. Among these have been some of the most successful soul-winners of the period; and we are not ashamed of the larger number who make up the rank and file. The Lord has very signally blessed this service, and He continues to do so, although it is not without its trials and disappointments.

Friends have so often rallied at the Supper to help me that I feel already overwhelmed with gratitude; but I must remind them that each year brings new necessities, and that we shall be glad of the same help as we received last year, namely, some £2,000.

When times are bad, they will not be improved by stinting our gifts to the cause of God. When we have great losses, it is wise to make sure of something by laying it up where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt. But I will not plead; but only say, DO COME. George Palmer, Esq., of Reading, has most cheerfully consented to be our chairman, and he will be glad to be well supported. Do not give the tickets to others if you cannot come yourself, unless it be to generous friends who will really help the object.

Yours ever heartily,

C. H. SPURGEON.

Advertisements

The Wednesday Word: Eight Wonderful Facts about Jesus

´´ God… has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: Hebrews 1:2-3.

In these verses we are told eight wonderful facts about the Lord Jesus

1. God´s final word to us is in Jesus.

Jesus is the full and final revelation from Heaven. There are no new Gurus or Messiahs to come. There are no new divine revelators. God has already spoken in the full and final manner in Christ.

2. Christ Jesus has been appointed heir of all things.

Everything belongs to him; everything in the world, every part of our lives is subject to him. Jesus “knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands” (John 13:3) and knowing that all things that the Father had were His (John 16:15) declared that “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).

3. By Christ Jesus, God made the world.

In the beginning God created the world by the word of his power. Jesus Christ is the WORD. ‘All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made’ (John 1:3). Spurgeon said, ´¨I love to think that He who created all things is also our Saviour, for then He can create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. If I need a completely new creation—as I certainly do—He is equal to the task. ¨

4. Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory.

No Prophet could claim this. The Glory that is in God is the Glory that is in Christ. No wonder that His name is above every name (Philippians 2:9). One day every knee shall bow at the name of Jesus and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10–11).

5. Jesus is the express image of His (God’s) person.

There is but one God. When Philip asked Jesus to show him the Father, Jesus told him that whoever had seen him had seen the Father (John 14:9). He also said, ‘Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me’ (John 14:11). As Spurgeon remarked, ’ ’Whatever God is, Christ is. The very likeness of God, the very Godhead of Godhead, the very Deity of Deity, is in Christ Jesus. ¨

6. Jesus is upholding all things by the word of his power.

Not only was the world created by him, but the forces of nature are upheld by him. The wind, the ocean, the rain are all are under his control. The small details of our lives are under His control too. He is carrying us along, bearing us toward that great and final day.

7. Jesus has purged our sins.

Notice how the writer moves effortlessly from Christ´s power to His purging. “The Creator and the Sustainer became the Sin-bearer. In order to create the universe, He only had to speak. In order to maintain and guide the universe, He only has to speak… but in order to put away our sin once for all, He had to die on the cross. It is staggering to think that the sovereign Lord would stoop to become the sacrificial Lamb. (Believer’s Bible Commentary)

8. Jesus is now sitting in cosmic authority.

Christ Jesus is now exalted—He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and is now seated in highest honour. The seated posture is one of rest. Redemption has been accomplished. We are saved by His precious blood.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XV- That it is Fatalism

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XV

That It Is Fatalism

Much misunderstanding arises through confusing the Christian Doctrine of Predestination with the heathen doctrine of Fatalism. There is, in reality, only one point of agreement between the two, which is, that both assume the absolute certainty of all future events. The essential difference between them is that Fatalism has no place for a personal God. Predestination holds that events come to pass because an infinitely wise, powerful, and holy God has so appointed them. Fatalism holds that all events come to pass through the working of a blind, unintelligent, impersonal, non-moral force which cannot be distinguished from physical necessity, and which carries us helplessly within its grasp as mighty river carries a piece of wood.

Predestination teaches that from eternity God has had one unified plan or purpose which He is bringing to perfection through this world order of events. It holds that all of His decrees are rational determinations founded on sufficient reason, and that He has fixed one great goal “toward which the whole creation moves.” Predestination holds that the ends designed in this plan are first, the glory of God; and second, the good of His people. On the other hand Fatalism excludes the idea of final causes. It snatches the reins of universal empire from the hands of infinite wisdom and love, and gives them into the hands of a blind necessity. It attributes the course of nature and the experiences of man-kind to an unknown, irresistible force, against which it is vain to struggle and childish to repine.

According to the doctrine of Predestination the freedom and responsibility of man are fully preserved. In the midst of certainty God has ordained human liberty. But Fatalism allows no power of choice, no self-determination. It makes the acts of man to be as utterly beyond his control as are the laws of nature. personal, abstract power, has no room for moral ideas, while Predestination makes these the rule of action for God and man. Fatalism has no place for and offers no incentives to religion, love, mercy, holiness, justice, or wisdom, while Predestination gives these the strongest conceivable basis. And lastly, Fatalism leads to skepticism and despair, while Predestination sets forth the glories of God and of His kingdom in all their splendor and gives an assurance which nothing can shake.

Predestination therefore differs from Fatalism as much as the acts of a man differ from those of a machine, or as much as the unfailing love of the heavenly Father differs from the force of gravitation. “It reveals to us,” says Smith, “the glorious truth that our lives and our sensitive hearts are held, not in the iron cog-wheels of a vast and pitiless Fate, nor in the whirling loom of a crazy Chance, but in the almighty hands of an infinitely good and wise God.”1

Calvin emphatically repudiated the charge that his doctrine was Fatalism. “Fate,” says he, “is a term given by the Stoics to their doctrine of necessity, which they had formed out of a labyrinth of contradictory reasonings; a doctrine calculated to call God Himself to order, and to set Him laws whereby to work. Predestination I define to be, according to the Holy Scriptures, that free and unfettered counsel of God by which He rules all mankind, and all men and things, and also all parts and particles of the world by His infinite wisdom and incomprehensible justice.” And again, ”.., had you but been willing to look into my books, you would have been convinced at once how offensive to me is the profane term fate: nay, you would have learned that this same abhorrent term was cast in the teeth of Augustine by his opponents.”2

Luther says that the doctrine of Fatalism among the heathen is a proof that “the knowledge of Predestination and of the prescience of God, was no less left in the world than the notion of divinity itself.” 3 In the history of philosophy Materialism has proven itself essentially fatalistic. Pan theism also has been strongly tinged with it.

No man can be a consistent fatalist. For to be consistent he would have to reason something like this: “If I am to die today, it will do me no good to eat, for I shall die anyway. Nor do I need to eat if I am to live many years yet, for I shall live anyway. Therefore I will not eat.” Needless to say, if God has foreordained that a man shall live, He has also foreordained that he shall be kept from the suicidal folly of refusing to eat.

This doctrine,” says Hamilton, “is only superficially like the pagan ‘fate.’ The Christian is in the hands not of a cold, immutable determinism, but of a warm, loving heavenly Father, who loved us and gave His Son to die for us on Calvary! The Christian knows that ‘all things work together for good to them that love God, even to them that are called according to His purpose.’ The Christian can trust God because he knows He is all-wise, loving, just and holy. He sees the end from the beginning, so that there is no reason to become panicky when things seem to be going against us.”

Hence, only a person who has not examined this doctrine of Predestination, or one who is maliciously inclined, will rashly charge that it is Fatalism. There is no excuse for anyone making this mistake who knows what Predestination is and what Fatalism is.

Since the universe is one systematized unit we must choose between Fatalism, which ultimately does away with mind and purpose, and this biblical doctrine of Predestination, which holds that God created all things, that His providence extends to all His works, and that while free Himself He has also provided that we shall be free within the limits of our natures. Instead of our doctrine of Predestination being the same with the heathen doctrine of Fatalism, it is its absolute opposite and only alternative.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

There is no one chapter in the Bible in which all the truth is found on any subject

There is no one plot of ground on earth on which will be found growing all varieties of flowers or trees, nor is there any part of the world in which may be secured representatives of every variety of butterflies. Yet by expense, industry, and perseverance, the horticulturist and the natural historian may gradually assemble specimens of every variety until they possess a complete collection. In like manner, there is no one chapter in the Bible in which all the truth is found on any subject. It is the part of the theologian to diligently attend unto the various hints and more defined contributions scattered throughout Scripture on any given theme, and carefully classify and coordinate them. Alas, those genuine and independent theologians (those unfettered by any human system) have well-nigh disappeared from the earth.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part One-The Everlasting Covenant

Liberty from the Penalty of Sin.-What is it?

2. Liberty from the Penalty of Sin.-What is it? Eternal death-torment for ever-that is the sad penalty of sin. It is no sweet thing to fear that if I died now I might be in hell. It is no pleasant thought for me to stand here and believe that if I dropped down I must sink into the arms of Satan and have him for my tormentor. Why, sirs, it is a thought that would plague me; it is a thought that would be the bitterest curse of my existence. I would fain be dead and rotting in the tomb rather than walk the earth with the thought that I might suffer such a penalty as this. There are some of you here who know right well that if you die hell is your portion. You don’t attempt to deny it, you believe the Bible, and there you read your doom, “He that believeth not shall be damned.” You cannot put yourselves among believers. You are still without Christ. Have any of you been brought into such a condition that you believe yourself so full of sin that God could not be just if he did not punish you? Have you not felt that you have so rebelled against God by secret crimes, ay, I say, by secret crimes, and by open transgression, that if he did not punish you he must cease to be God and lay aside his scepter? And then you have trembled, and groaned, and cried out under the fear of the penalty of sin. You thought when you dreamed, that you saw that burning lake whose waves are fire, and whose billows are ever blazing brimstone, and each day you walked the earth it was with fear and dred lest the next step should let you into the pit which is without a bottom. But Christian, Christian, you are free from the penalty of sin. Do you know it? Can you recognize the fact? You are free at this moment from the penalty of sin. Not only are you forgiven; but you never can be punished on account of your sins however great and enormous they may have been.

The moment a sinner believes,

And trusts in his crucified God;

His pardon at once he receives

Salvation in full through his blood,”

and he never can be punished on account of sin. Talk of the punishment of a believer! there is not such a thing. The afflictions of this mortal life are not punishments for sin to Christians, they are fatherly chastisements, and not the punishments of a judge. For me there is no hell; let it smoke and burn, if I am a believer I shall never have my portion there. For me there are no eternal racks, no torments, for if I am justified, I cannot be condemned. Jesus hath suffered the punishment in my stead, and God would be unjust if he were to punish me again, for Christ has suffered once, and satisfied justice for ever. When conscience tells me I am a sinner, I tell conscience I stand in Christ’s place, and Christ stands in mine. True, I am a sinner, but Christ died for sinners. True, I deserve punishment, but if my ransom died, will God ask for the debt twice? Impossible! He has cancelled it. There never was, and never shall be one believer in hell. We are free from punishment, and we never need quake on account of it. However horrible it may be-if it is eternal, as we know it is-it is nothing to us, for we never can suffer it. Heaven shall open its pearly portals to admit us; but hell’s iron gates are barred for ever against every believer. Glorious liberty of the children of God!

Charles H. Spurgeon- Spiritual Liberty, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 18, 1855

The Covenants-Chapter 8- The Old Covenant and the New Covenant

The two classes of covenants, resolved into two covenants; their

nature, and contrast; old covenant fulfilled, and superseded by

the new; preparation of the Gentile world for Messiah’s coming;

nature and excellence of the gospel.

In addition to the covenant of works, which, as has been said, is peculiar in its character, and stands by itself, we have traced in the preceding chapters, two classes of covenants, of three each, and seen their nature, their purpose, their mutual relations, and their true interpretation. To all who study them attentively and intelligently, it must be apparent that they resolve themselves into substantially, two covenants; the one relating to Christ directly, and the other relating to him indirectly, being embodied in the circumstances which preceded his coming, and prepared the minds of men to receive him. You turn to the teachings of the evangelists and apostles, and your convictions on this subject are established and confirmed. Everywhere they speak of the one class (that which embraces all the covenants of the law) as the old covenant; and of the other class (that which includes all the covenants of the gospel) as the new covenant; and which to us are more familiarly known, as the Old Testament and the New Testament. The three covenants which composed the law, and which are therefore, one in effect, fixed the circumstances of which I have spoken, which preceded and prepared for the coming of Messiah. They grew naturally out of the promise to Abraham, that the Saviour should spring, according to the flesh, from his family. This promise of God in Christ to him, bore, consequently, the same relation to the covenants of the law, or the old covenant, that a constitution does to legislative enactments; the latter being designed to carry out in the best possible manner, the provisions of the former. With these facts before us, the reasons are obvious, why the whole dispensation of Moses is so often, and so appropriately denominated “the law;” not eminently the “moral law,” but especially that law which was contained in “ordinances,” and which the Saviour removed, “nailing it to his cross.” In like manner, the three covenants that comprise the gospel, and which, also, in substance, are one, form the new covenant in the blood of Christ ;” “the everlasting gospel;” older than the law, but not visibly administered until after the law had been perfectly fulfilled, and had consequently passed away. As previously determined, “All the prophets, and the law, prophecied until John “the Baptist.” “Since that time the kingdom of God [the gospel] is preached, and every man presseth into it.”

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 225

GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE

To [His Students].

MENTONE, Saturday evening. [Undated.]

BELOVED BRETHREN, —

In my absence, I never cease to remember you, because I have you all in my heart, as the hope of the church, and the future benefactors of the world. I trust every man is conscientiously laboring at his studies, never wasting an hour. Your time for study is so short, and so much will be required and expected of you, that I beseech you to quit yourselves like men. Every moment with you is worth a Jew’s eye, and its profiting will be a hundredfold in the future. We have to cope with no mean adversaries. Our antagonists are well equipped and well trained. Our trust is in the Lord alone, and we go forth armed only with a sling and a stone; but we must practice slinging till we can throw to a hair’s-breadth, and not miss. It was no unpracticed hand which smote so small a target as Goliath’s brow. Do not let the devil make fools of you by suggesting that, because the Lord works, you may be idle. I do not believe it of the least among you.

Brethren, for our Lord’s sake, maintain a high degree of spirituality; may the Holy Spirit enable you so to do! Live in God that you may live for God. Let the church see that her students are her picked men. I rely upon you, in my absence, to help in all meetings for prayer or revival to the utmost of your ability. Nothing would give me greater joy than to hear that, while I am away, the Lord was moving some of you to make up for my lack of service.

I am much better. Here, “everlasting spring abides;” and though flower wither, there are always fresh ones to fill their places. The balmy summer air is as oil to my bones.

I send my sincere love to you all, and especially to your honored tutors, and the venerable Principal, to whom be long life, and the same to you all! My dear brother will be to you all that I could have been and you will pray for him, and also for,

Your loving friend,

C. H. SPURGEON.