Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 151

TO REV. W. J. MAYERS

PARIS, Wednesday.

DEAR MR. MAYERS, —

Mr. B___ tells me you have begun right hopefully. May the Lord grant you a good harvest time. I am very grateful to you, and to the other brethren “which were partners with Simon.”

Tell the people I am praying for a great blessing, and especially that those “not far from the kingdom of God” may be brought in. There are some of the most hopeful people in the world in the congregation. God bless them, and save them from being satisfied with blossoming. Fruit unto God, in repentance and faith is what we want at once. I hope the closing meeting will be so fruitful that there will be a demand for more such gatherings. I cannot ask you to come again — but if you and the others will, I shall be greatly the debtor to you all. With much love to you and the brethren Sawday and Stott, and all my elders and officers,

I am,

Ever your hearty friend,

C. H. SPURGEON.

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The Wednesday Word: Jesus, the Real Bread for the Hungry Soul

In John’s Gospel, we find the seven ‘I Am’ scriptures, spoken by Jesus to declare His Deity. Among them, we find John 6:35,

“I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

Listening to this, we must conclude that, if Jesus is not God, He can hardly be viewed as a repository of deep humility. Here, He declares Himself as the Bread of Life; the one who gives life to the world. What a cheek …that is if He is not God!

Indeed, when we read this discourse, in John 6, we discover that Jesus makes a sevenfold reference to Himself as the Bread of Life (see verses 32-33, 35, 48, 50 -51, 58). According to Jesus, this is the very bread that must be eaten, by faith, to receive everlasting life (see verses 50, 51- 53, 54, 56, 57, 58).

We should note that the Roman Communion makes much of these statements to establish her wretched doctrine of the Mass. They painstakingly fail, however, to point out that this discourse has nothing whatsoever do with the Last Supper… They also fail to note that Christ’s language in this passage is figurative, not literal, the Lord’s Supper not being in existence until about a year later.

The bread to which Christ refers is Christ Himself. He, as our High Priest, offered Himself on the altar of Calvary, redeemed His people and answered the sin question as He satisfied the justice of God. When we receive Him by faith alone, we are figuratively eating His flesh and drinking His blood.

In verse 33 He says, “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and gives life unto the world.”

Notice how Jesus referred to Himself as, “He which cometh down from heaven.” By this term, Jesus is again asserting His deity! In the Old Testament, to “come down from heaven” meant a divine descent from the throne of God to accomplish a task of either grace or judgment.

“In Genesis 11: 4 and 7, for example, God “came down” in Judgment against the Tower of Babel.

In Genesis 18:21, God, regarding Sodom, says “I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me.”

Regarding the people of Israel in Exodus 3:8, the Lord says, “I am come down to deliver them.”

In Exodus 19:20, God “comes down” upon the mount of Sinai to give His law.

In Psalm 18:9 He “… bowed the heavens and came down” in answer to cries of distress.

Since to come down from heaven is God’s work and prerogative, we once more see the Master making the grand declaration that He is God manifest in the flesh.

In summary,

Jesus as the Bread of life is the sustainer of life that means He is God.

Jesus declares He has come down from heaven … again that means He is God.

Jesus claims that union with Him is essential to eternal life … again that means He is God.

Now here’s the question. Have we eaten of the Bread of Life? Have we tasted and seen that the Lord is Good (Psalm 34:8)? Are we still looking anywhere but the Gospel for satisfaction?

In Greek mythology, Tantalus was made to stand in a pool of water, right under the branches of a fruit tree. However, when he tried to reach for fruit, the branches would go higher and out of reach. When he tried to drink a sip of water, the waters of the pool would recede. A symbol of utter frustration, his name is immortalized in the English word “tantalize.” So, too, the world may at times tantalize the Child of God. It promises much but delivers nothing. Only Christ can give us a cleansed conscience. Only Christ can remove our guilt and give genuine peace. He is the Bread of Life.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

A Treatise on Church Order: The Church Universal- Chapter III- Section VII- Relation to Local Churches

CHAPTER III

THE CHURCH UNIVERSAL

SECTION VII.–RELATION TO LOCAL CHURCHES

If none but true believers were admitted into the churches, there would be an exact agreement between the character of the membership in the local churches, and in the church universal. And if all believers professed their faith without delay according to the law of Christ, and united with the local churches, the aggregate membership of the local churches, and that of the universal church, so far as it exists on earth, would be identical. Nothing but disobedience to the law of Christ gives occasion to distinguish between the church universal, and the great body of professing Christians united in the several local churches; and in a pure state of Christianity, the distinction might be overlooked. When the church universal was spoken of in the times of the apostles, the thoughts of men were naturally directed to the great body of professing Christians; and for all the ordinary purposes of speaking and writing, the distinction between this aggregate of professors and the true body of Christ was unnecessary. So when we speak of a wheat-field, we disregard the fact that tares may be here and there intermixed with the wheat. The name does not signify this intermixture, but is applied as if nothing but wheat were in the enclosure. In like manner, the name church was used in some cases for the aggregate of Christian professors, although in its strict signification, false professors are not included.

The fact that the same name ecclesia that is applied to local churches, is also applied to the church universal, is liable to mislead into the opinion that the membership must be strictly homogeneous; and, therefore, the universal church must include false professors as well as the local churches. So the name brass, denotes the same mixture of metals, whether it is applied to a large mass or a small one. The cases, however, are not analogous. The name brass denotes the metal without respect to its quantity, and is as applicable to a particle as to a mass. But the name ecclesia does not denote the material of which a church is composed, and is not applicable to a single member. It signifies the quantity rather than the quality. There may be an ecclesia of wicked men as well as of righteous. It applies to a local church, because the members of it actually assemble; and it applies to the church universal, because the members of it will actually assemble in the presence, and for the everlasting worship of God. The mere fact that the same name is applied, gives no ground for the conclusion that the membership in the two cases is strictly homogeneous. In the epistles to the local churches, the members are addressed as saints and faithful men in Christ. This was their character according to their profession, and what they ought to be according to the law of Christ. False professors who might chance to be among them, were not of them. When excluded, they were not deprived of rights which had belonged to them. Hence, the churches were addressed as if composed entirely of true Christians.

Though unconverted persons are not entitled to membership according to the law of Christ, they nevertheless obtain admittance into local churches through human fallibility. Membership in the church universal is determined by God himself. When Paul described the Hebrew saints as come “to the church of the first born,” he described them as come also “to God, the judge of all.” The infallible judge determines membership in the great ecclesia; but fallible men admit to membership in the local churches. Hence, a corrupt element finds entrance into local churches, and because of it they are not strictly homogeneous with the universal spiritual church. This want of homogeneousness existed in some degree, even in the purest age of Christianity; but it became much more manifest when corruption overspread the churches, and the evils attending it are now painfully felt by the lovers of Zion

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology- Volume 2

Another example of how scripture is set down in an orderly fashion

“And it came to pass, that, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1).

This is one of the passages (see also the Messianic Psalms) which gives us some insight into the nature of His supplications. As they heard Him, the disciples felt they knew nothing about prayer!

“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon…I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not” (Luke 22:31, 32).

There we behold Him as the great High Priest making intercession for one of His own. And He “kneeled down and prayed, saying, Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless, not My will, but Thine, be done” (Luke 22:41, 42).

There is the climax of prayer: complete surrender to and acquiescence in the Divine will.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

A real saving work is the work of God, and God alone

In vain your presumption when God shall come to examine you, you will not pass muster unless you have had a real healing from his hand. It is easy enough to get religious notions and fancy yourselves safe, but a real saving work is the work of God, and God alone. Seek not to the priest, he may console, but it is by deluding you. Seek not to your own self, for you may soothe yourself into the sleep of perdition. See that thine heart be washed in the blood of Jesus, be careful that the Holy Spirit has his temple in it; and may God, of his great and sovereign grace, look to thee that thou deceivest not thyself.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Healing the Wounded” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, November 11, 1855

It is everlasting wrath-It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one moment; but you must suffer it to all eternity

Their foot shall slide in due time (Deut. Xxxii. 35).

The observation from the words that I would now insist upon is this. “There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.” By the mere pleasure of God, I mean his sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation, hindered by no manner of difficulty, any more than if nothing else but God’s mere will had in the least degree, or in any respect whatsoever, any hand in the preservation of wicked men one moment.

The truth of this observation may appear by the following considerations.

APPLICATION

O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment. — And consider here more particularly,

4. It is everlasting wrath. It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one moment; but you must suffer it to all eternity. There will be no end to this exquisite horrible misery. When you look forward, you shall see a long for ever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts, and amaze your soul; and you will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, any end, any mitigation any rest at all. You will know certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions of millions of ages, in wrestling and conflicting with this almighty merciless vengeance; and then when you have so done, when so many ages have actually been spent by you in this manner, you will know that all is but a point to what remains. So that your punishment will indeed be infinite. Oh, who can express what the state of a soul in such circumstances is! All that we can possibly say about it, gives but a very feeble, faint representation of it; it is inexpressible and inconceivable: For “who knows the power of God’s anger?”

Jonathan Edwards- Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 150

TO REV. W. J. MAYERS

WESTWOOD, Mar. 4, 1882.

DEAR MR. MAYERS, —

Your letter and gift cheer me much. God bless you. I love you heartily in the Lord.

I am of your mind as to the supper, but I know that my leading friends would not be. It will come as surely as Xmas. Christian people will one day be ashamed to have these things at their religious gatherings, but I have had proof of late that it must be growth, not force. I have no wine-glasses in the house, so that all who come here must go without, especially as there is no alcohol on the premises: but I do not feel a right to do the same with others. The wave is rising which will bear away our present customs, and I will not be behind it, but neither do I think it wise to precede it.

The supper costs about £200, but three of us pay for it — so that nothing comes from the fund, except certain incidental repairs, etc.

Yours ever heartily,

C. H. SPURGEON.