Posts Tagged ‘Believers’

The Wednesday Word: The Wonderful Priesthood of the Believer!

March 14, 2018 2 comments

1Peter 2:5, “You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood.”

Who better to tell us that all believers are priests than Peter? He, after all, was, according to Rome, the first Pope. So, speak up Peter and tell us what you know about Priests. …. And Peter, pointing to the Scriptures, declares boldly that all believers are now Priests.

The Old priesthood has gone. Our High Priest, Jesus Christ, has made us a kingdom, priests before the Father. Because we are made priests, we, therefore, do not need human priests or so-called holy men to represent us before God. Every believer, without exception, is now a member of the royal priesthood. As priests, we go directly to God through Christ alone.

We, as believers, enjoy direct access into the very presence of God through Christ Jesus!

All believers are now in Christ, and it is in Him that we are a holy priesthood. Since repetition is the price of learning, let’s repeat it… we go straight to the Father because of Christ alone. We do not have to attend seminary, don fancy robes or take the title of Reverend to do this. No indeed! Even if we have recently been converted and know little about the Bible, we are a part of the Holy Priesthood because of the Lord Jesus Christ.

He is our High Priest and,

He is Perfect,

His birth was perfect,

His life was perfect,

His death was perfect,

His suffering was perfect,

His sacrifice was perfect,

His Blood was and is perfect.

And because of Him, we are qualified to bring our petitions and praises to the Father.

In the Old Testament, a Priest was a minister of God who offered sacrifice for sin. However, this kind of priesthood was abolished by the Gospel. Jesus Christ “offered one sacrifice for sins for ever” (Hebrews 10:12), and now, “there remains no more sacrifice for sins.” (Hebrews 10:26)

The office of Priest has disappeared. Consider this, when Christ gave gifts to the Church (Ephesians 4:11), he gave some Apostles, some Prophets some Evangelists some Pastors and Teachers. Notice how in this 5 fold ministry, there is no gift of priest. That’s because every believer is already a priest.

You may feel like a failing believer, but you are a Priest. Worship God in freedom. Let the blood deal with your sins and your conscience.

You may have no education, but you are a priest.

You may never preach from a pulpit or open your mouth at a meeting, but you are a priest unto God!

So away with this sham of professional priests who supposedly bring us to God. We don’t need them! The Gospel is finished. It is complete. The mammoth work of redemption and reconciliation has been accomplished by our High Priest, Christ Jesus, who efficiently and successfully offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sin! In Him, the door to heaven is wide open.

Every believer is a priest, regardless of his or her full-time occupation.

You may be a gardener, but you are a priest.

You may be a Barrister at Law, but you are a priest.

You may be a businessman, sailor, engineer, council worker…whatever! If you are a believer, you are a priest!

As priests, we continue to offer sacrifices. However, these are no longer animal sacrifices but sacrifices such as prayer, praise and thanksgiving. 1 Peter 2:5 spells out this function. Indeed, as priests, we are to offer our lives as “living sacrifices,” (Romans 12:1) and as priests, our lives are to be characterized by praise (Hebrews 13:15).

If we allow our identities to be shaped by this great truth of our priesthood, we will eventually act accordingly.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee 

An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith- Appendix Point 17

17. Believers baptized ought to agree and join together in a constant profession of the same doctrine of the Gospel, and in professed obedience thereunto, and also in fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers, Acts 2:42. And a company of baptized believers so agreeing and joining together, are a Church or Congregation of Christ, Acts 2:47.

Benjamin Cox- An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith

Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 3-Chapter 1-The Definition of the Church


The unity for which Christ prayed seems to be as sadly lacking among His followers with respect to the church question as any other. Christ’s prayer for unity among His people has been for a long time a serious question to the author, in the light of his belief that Christ’s prayers are always effectual. Modern Ecumenicalism is not the answer to the problem since it seeks organic union at the expense of truth. In this chapter we shall try to arrive at a Scriptural definition of the church. Observe:


1a) The meeting house is familiarly spoken of as the church. But this is foreign to any New Testament use of the word. The New Testament Church was not the house, but “in the house.” #Ro 16:5; “The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house” (#1Co 16:19); “Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house” (#Col 4:15).

1b) Christianity is usually referred to as the church to distinguish the followers of Christ from the state and from the world. Church history, therefore, is nothing more than the history of Christianity.

1c) Denominations of Christians are commonly spoken of as churches, embracing believers in various groups without regard to faith and practice.


2a) The Universal Visible Theory, also called the Imperial Theory. This finds expression in the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. The church is a visible empire with a visible human head.

2b) The Universal Invisible Theory. This makes all the saved, members of the church.

2c) The Church Branch Theory. This makes the various denominations mere branches of the main stem which no longer exists.


The word church comes from the Greek word ekklesia, which means to call out for the purpose of assembling. The government of ancient Greek cities was democratic, being administered by duly qualified citizens in a lawful assembly, called together from time to time to transact business for the public good. And this assembly was called an ekklesia. The Greek word ekklesia in itself has no religious connotation. It simply means assembly regardless of the kind. In #Ac 19:39 “But if ye inquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly” it is used of the Greek assembly corresponding somewhat to our city council or board of aldermen. The word ekklesia is also used of the church (congregation) in the wilderness (#Ac 7:38). By accommodation ekklesia is applied to the mob gathered against Paul at Ephesus. In #Ac 19:32, we read that the ekklesia (assembly) “was confused,” referring to the mob or unlawful assembly. The townclerk told Demetrius and his craft to take their complaint against Paul to the lawful ekklesia (assembly). And having restored order, the townclerk dismissed the ekklesia (mob). “And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly” (#Ac 19:41).


The English word church comes from the Greek word kuriakon, which means “of or belonging to the Lord.” Kuriakon occurs only two times in the Greek New Testament. It is used of the Lord’s Supper (#1Co 11:20), and of the Lord’s Day (#Re 1:10). It is never translated church in the New Testament. Kuriakon was used by the early Greek Christians for the Lord’s house or meeting place. The Teutonic tribes, when converted to Christianity, adopted this Greek word for their house of worship. It is found in the German Kirche, the Scottish Kirk, and the Anglo-Saxon Circe. The Greeks never employed kuriakon for the people, but only for the house.

In using the word ekklesia Christ did not coin a new word, but a word in current use and easily understood by both Jew and Greek. He did not employ the word kuriakon, but ekklesia which can only refer to people, a people called out to form an assembly. In response to Peter’s confession of His deity, Christ said, “Thou art Peter (petrol) and upon this rock (petra) I will build MY ekklesia (assembly).” #Mt 16:18. He thus distinguished between His assembly and other assemblies. Paul makes the same distinction in his letter to the Thessalonians. He writes to the ekklesia which is in God the Father (this distinguishes it from the Greek political assembly), and “in the Lord Jesus Christ,” which also distinguishes it from the Jewish synagogue. In this way Paul made sure that his letter would reach the right assembly.

In the Greek New Testament the noun ekklesia occurs 115 times. It is translated church 112 times and assembly three times. The word church actually occurs 113 times in our King James Bible, but in #Ac 19:37 it is not ekklesia but the word for temples. The King James translators tried to use church for ekklesia in all cases, but in #Ac 19:32,39,41 to do so would have been manifestly absurd; and so in these instances they had to give the correct rendering; ASSEMBLY.

Christ Himself set us the pattern for the use of the word ekklesia. In #Mt 16:18 when He said, “I will build my church (ekklesia).” He used the word abstractly of an institution, without defining, particularizing, or locating it. Just as we speak of the American home, the American boy, and other institutions without referring to any particular home or boy. In #Mt 18:17 our Lord used the word ekklesia (assembly) in the concrete sense of a particular assembly to which one might tell his grievances. And so when Christ’s ekklesia, as an institution, becomes concrete and operational it is an actual assembly of His followers in organized capacity. It is a visible organization seems necessary inasmuch as it is composed of visible people. J. W. Porter says, “If there is any other sort of church than that of a visible congregation, revelation and investigation have alike failed to locate its whereabouts or define its functions. Such an inconceivable, intangible, invisible concern as the imaginary invisible church has never been known to convert anybody or to perform any functions of an actual church.”

When Christ said, “Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell (hades) shall not prevail against it,” #Mt 16:18. He was speaking of the church prospectively something to be built “I will build.” The church was a concept in the mind of Christ just as the building is a concept in the mind of the architect before it is erected. Christ saw all the material that was to make up this holy sanctuary, every living stone that would go into it, before it had been quarried from the hard rock of sinful humanity. “Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (#Eph 5:25-27). And so the church Christ founded to build the church for which He died, is promised perpetuity and glory.

The church of Christ as an institution finds expression in two kinds of assemblies: the local assembly here on earth; and the general assembly of Firstborn ones, now enrolled in heaven and to be gathered there as a glorious church. #Heb 12:23.


Whenever the word church is used in the New Testament of something larger than a particular, visible, assembly here on earth the word is always plural, like the churches of Galatia, Asia, and Judaea. The church of Christ here on earth finds expression in many particular assemblies of visible people in process of salvation; the church of Christ in heaven will find expression in one universal assembly of visible people whose salvation has been completed. But there is no such thing as an invisible church here on earth or in heaven.

To a man in Florida who would not unite with any church or particular congregation, and who insisted that he belonged to the big church of Christ, the writer said something like this: In the New Testament the churches could be located and written to. I would like to write to your church; please give me its address and the name of its pastor. Needless to say, he was shut up.

In his commentary on Matthew, Dr. Broadus says: “The word church is not used in the New Testament to denote a congregation, actual or imaginary, of all professed Christians, unless it be in #Ac 9:31 (correct text), and in #1Ti 3:15. In the former the word probably denotes the original church at Jerusalem, whose members were widely scattered throughout Judaea and Galilee and Samaria by the persecution and held meetings wherever they were, but still belonged to the one original organization. When Paul wrote to the Galatians nearly twenty years later, these separate meetings had been organized into distinct churches; and so he speaks (#Ga 1:22) in reference to that same period, of “the churches of Judaea which were in Christ.” In #1Ti 3:15, the church is naturally the particular local church with which one is connected.

The New Testament never speaks of one particular assembly or church as a part of the whole, but of each assembly as “the whole church.” In #1Co 14:23, Paul says, “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place…” Writing to the Romans from Corinth, in his closing salutation, Paul says, “Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you” (#Ro 16:23). Speaking of the church under the metaphor of the human body, #1Co 12:27, Paul says “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” The article is absent in the Greek. The same is true when the church is represented under the figure of a temple. The church at Corinth is called “the temple of God” in #1Co 3:16 and also in #2Co 6:16. In the second chapter of Ephesians the church is in view under the figure of a building or temple. Local congregations are in view in #Eph 2:21; “In whom (Christ) all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple (sanctuary) in the Lord.” In #Eph 2:22 the church at Ephesus is referred to: “In whom (Christ) ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” We have given the correct text in these quotations. In #Eph 3:21 “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” His redeemed people, making up the glory church, will be Christ’s eternal monument as Savior. “When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day” (#2Th 1:10).

The ekklesia or church in glory will be the one real temple, body, flock, and bride of Christ. In glory the church will have been built and be forever to His glory. And because each local particular assembly on earth is a representative of His institution called the church, all the figures applied to the future church in glory are also applied to each and every local assembly of saints. (Note: See introduction of this volume as to the belief of the publisher about Bride of Christ.)

A man once said to B. H. Carroll, “How dare you apply such broad terms as ‘the house of God,’ ‘the body of Christ’, and ‘the temple of God,’ to your little fragment of a denomination!” Carroll replied: “I do not apply them to any denomination, nor to any aggregate of particular churches, but the scriptures do apply every one of them to the particular congregations of Christ’s disciples.”

In the Scriptural sense there is no such thing as the Methodist Church, or the Presbyterian Church, or the Baptist Church, etc. We should never speak of The American Baptist Church, or the Southern Baptist Church, for there is no such thing. The Southern Baptist Convention is made up of individual messengers sent to it from thousands of Baptist churches, and these messengers have no delegated authority. Naturally, we Baptists believe that our form of church government conforms more nearly to the New Testament pattern. There is no hierarchy or grades of ministry among us. All members are equal in authority and this authority is expressed by vote. One may have more influence than another, but all have the same authority.

There is more and more being said today about “One church in one world.” This means one big church made up of the churches of all denominations. But such a thing is utterly foreign to scripture, so far as Christ’s church is concerned. Such an idea is retrogression rather than progress. It reverses the missionary program. In the early days Christ’s church as an institution found expression in one church, the church at Jerusalem. Under persecution the church was scattered, and the members went everywhere preaching the word. And wherever disciples were made a church was organized. And some years later, we read of the churches of Judaea. And when the church at Antioch sent Paul and Barnabas as missionaries, we soon read of churches in Galatia and other provinces.

If and when we have one church in one world, who is to be the head of this one big church? Will the head be Christ or Anti-Christ? The writer ventures the prediction that the head of this one big church will be a man living in a big house in the city of Rome, the City of Seven Hills, on the banks of the Tiber. Let no Protestant ever suppose that the Roman system of a graded ministry culminating in the supremacy of the pope will ever be relinquished or compromised. Yet with a sad heart we fear that Christendom is headed in that direction.

Suppose history repeats itself, and there again becomes one big world church: such as the Roman Catholic Church before the reformation; suppose the reformation under Luther and others reverse itself and the Protestant denominations return to Rome; will this mean that the perpetuity promised by Christ will be repealed? Perish the thought! Just as in the past, the true churches of Christ will not be a part of the big world church, which will really be the Roman Catholic Church. The institution Christ promised perpetuity to will not perish from the earth, and this institution will always find expression in particular assemblies; which will not be swallowed up by the big ecumenical body.

C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 3

God rules wicked spirits and permits them to test believers and to rule over unbelievers

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015God so overrules wicked spirits as to permit them to try the faithful, and rule over the wicked.

18. God thus turning the unclean spirits hither and thither at his pleasure, employs them in exercising believers by warring against them, assailing them with wiles, urging them with solicitations, pressing close upon them, disturbing, alarming, and occasionally wounding, but never conquering or oppressing them; whereas they hold the wicked in thraldom, exercise dominion over their minds and bodies, and employ them as bond-slaves in all kinds of iniquity. Because believers are disturbed by such enemies, they are addressed in such exhortations as these: “Neither give place to the devil;” “Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour; whom resist steadfast in the faith,” (Ephesians 4:27; 1 Peter 5:8.) Paul acknowledges that he was not exempt from this species of contest when he says, that for the purpose of subduing his pride, a messenger of Satan was sent to buffet him, (2 Corinthians 12:7.) This trial, therefore, is common to all the children of God. But as the promise of bruising Satan’s head (Genesis 3:15) applies alike to Christ and to all his members, I deny that believers can ever be oppressed or vanquished by him. They are often, indeed, thrown into alarm, but never so thoroughly as not to recover themselves. They fall by the violence of the blows, but they get up again; they are wounded, but not mortally. In fine, they labor on through the whole course of their lives, so as ultimately to gain the victory, though they meet with occasional defeats. We know how David, through the just anger of God, was left for a time to Satan, and by his instigation numbered the people, (2 Samuel 24:1;) nor without cause does Paul hold out a hope of pardon in case any should have become ensnared by the wiles of the devil, (2 Timothy 2:26.) Accordingly, he elsewhere shows that the promise above quoted commences in this life where the struggle is carried on, and that it is completed after the struggle is ended. His words are, “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly,” (Romans 16:20.) In our Head, indeed, this victory was always perfect, because the prince of the world “had nothing” in him, (John 14:30;) but in us, who are his members, it is now partially obtained, and will be perfected when we shall have put off our mortal flesh, through which we are liable to infirmity, and shall have been filled with the energy of the Holy Spirit. In this way, when the kingdom of Christ is raised up and established, that of Satan falls, as our Lord himself expresses it, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven,” (Luke 10:18.) By these words, he confirmed the report which the apostles gave of the efficacy of their preaching. In like manner he says, “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils,” (Luke 11:21, 22.) And to this end, Christ, by dying, overcame Satan, who had the power of death, (Hebrews 2:14,) and triumphed over all his hosts that they might not injure the Church, which otherwise would suffer from them every moment. For, (such bein our weakness, and such his raging fury,) how could we withstand his manifold and unintermitted assaults for any period, however short, if we did not trust to the victory of our leader? God, therefore, does not allow Satan to have dominion over the souls of believers, but only gives over to his sway the impious and unbelieving, whom he deigns not to number among his flock. For the devil is said to have undisputed possession of this world until he is dispossessed by Christ. In like manner, he is said to blind all who do not believe the Gospel, and to do his own work in the children of disobedience. And justly; for all the wicked are vessels of wrath, and, accordingly, to whom should they be subjected but to the minister of the divine vengeance? In fine, they are said to be of their father the devil. For as believers are recognized to be the sons of God by bearing his image, so the wicked are properly regarded as the children of Satan, from having degenerated into his image.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 14-Henry Beveridge Translation

Be content to be here a little for thou art not of the world

January 12, 2015 3 comments

Spurgeon 1And Christian, lastly, by way of practice, let me comfort thee with this. Thou art not of the world for thy home is in heaven. Be content to be here a little for thou art not of the world, and thou shalt go up to thine own bright inheritance by-and-bye. A man in travelling goes into an inn; it is rather uncomfortable, “Well,” says he, “I shall not have to stay here many nights; I have only to sleep here to night, I shall be at home in the morning, so that I don’t care much about one night’s lodging being a little uncomfortable.” So, Christian, this world is never a very comfortable one; but recollect, you are not of the world. This world is like an inn; you are only lodging here a little while. Put up with a little inconvenience, because you are not of the world, even as Christ is not of the world; and by-andbye, up yonder, you shall be gathered into your father’s house, and there you will find that there is a new heaven and a new earth provided for those who are “not of the world.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Character of Christ’s People-Delivered on Sabbath Morning, November 22, 1855

At certain times many Christians talk like they are of the world

January 5, 2015 2 comments

CharlesSpurgeonAnd now we want to apply this to many true children of God who are here, by way of caution. I say, my brother Christian, you are not of the world. I am not going to speak hardly to you, because you are my brother, and in speaking to you I speak to myself also, for I am as guilty as thou art. Brother, have we not often been too much like the world? Do we not sometimes in our conversation, talk too much like the world? Come, let me ask myself, are there not too many idle words that I say? Ay, that there are. And do I not sometimes give occasion to the enemy to blaspheme, because I am not so different from the world as I ought to be? Come, brother; let us confess our sins together. Have we not been too worldly? Ah! we have. Oh! let this solemn thought cross our minds: suppose that after all we should not be his! for it is written, “Ye are not of the world.” O God! if we are not right, make us so; where we are a little right, make us still more right; and where we are wrong, amend us! Allow me to tell a story to you; I told it when I was preaching last Tuesday morning, but it is worth telling again. There is a great evil in many of us being too light and frothy in our conversation. A very strange thing once happened. A minister had been preaching in a country village, very earnestly and fervently. In the midst of his congregation there was a young man who was deeply impressed with a sense of sin under the sermon; he therefore sought the minister as he went out, in hopes of walking home with him. They walked till they came to a friend’s house. On the road the minister had talked about anything except the subject on which he had preached, though he preached very earnestly, and even with tears in his eyes. The young man thought within himself, “Oh! I wish I could unburden my heart and speak to him; but cannot. He does not say anything now about what he spoke of in the pulpit.” When they were at supper that evening, the conversation was very far from what it should be, and the minister indulged in all kinds of jokes and light sayings. The young man had gone into the house with eyes filled with tears, feeling like a sinner should feel; but as soon as he got outside, after the conversation, he stamped his foot and said, “It is a lie from beginning to end. That man has preached like an angel and now he has talked like a devil.” Some years after the young man was taken ill and sent for this same minister. The minister did not know him. “Do you remember preaching at such-end-such a village?” asked the young man. “I do.” “You text was very deeply laid to my heart.” “Thank God for that,” said the minister. “Do not be so quick about thanking God,” said the young man. “Do you know what you talked of that evening afterwards, when I went to supper with you. Sir I shall be damned! And I will charge you before God’s throne with being the author of my damnation. On that night I did feel my sin; but you were the means of scattering all my impressions.” That is a solemn thought, brother, and teaches you how we should curb our tongues, especially those who are so light hearted, after solemn services and earnest preachings, that we should not betray levity. Oh! let us take heed that we are not of the world, even as Christ was not of the world.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Character of Christ’s People-Delivered on Sabbath Morning, November 22, 1855

Many profess religion, but they are really of this world

December 29, 2014 Leave a comment

Spurgeon 3IV. And now, lastly, we must briefly apply this in PRACTICE. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” And, first, allow me, man or woman, to apply this to thee. Thou who art of the world, whose maxims, whose habits, whose behavior, whose feelings, whose everything is worldly and carnal, list thee to this. Perhaps thou makest some profession of religion. Hear me, then. Thy boasting of religion is empty as a phantom, and shall pass away when the sun rises, as the ghosts sleep in their grave at the crowing of the cock. Thou hast some pleasure in that professioned religion of thine wherewith thou art arrayed, and which thou carriest about thee as a cloak, and usest as a stalking-horse to thy business, and a net to catch the honor in the world, and yet thou art worldly, like other men. Then I tell thee if there be no distinction between thyself and the worldly, the doom of the worldly shall be thy doom. If thou wert marked and watched, thy next door tradesman would act as thou dost, and thou actest as he does; there is no distinction between thee and the world. Hear me, then; it is God’s solemn truth. Thou art none of his. If thou art like the rest of the world, thou art of the world. Thou art a goat, and with goats thou shalt be cursed; for the sheep can always be distinguished from the goats by their appearance. O ye worldly men of the world! ye carnal professors, ye who crowd our churches, and fill our places of worship, this is God’s truth I let me say it solemnly. If I should say it as I ought, it would be weeping tears of blood. Ye are, with all your profession, “in the gall of bitterness;” with all your boastings, ye are “in bonds of iniquity;” for ye act as others, and ye shall come where others come; and it shall be done with you as with more notorious heirs of hell. There is an old story which was once told of a Dissenting minister. The old custom was, that a minister might stop at an inn, and not pay anything for his bed or his board; and when he went to preach, from place to place, he was charged nothing for the conveyance in which he rode. But on one occasion, a certain minister stopped at an inn and went to bed. The landlord listened and heard no prayer; so when he came down in the morning, he presented his bill. “Oh! I am not going to pay that, for I am a minister.” “Ah!” said the landlord, “you went to bed last night like a sinner, and you shall pay this morning like a sinner; I will not let you go.” Now, it strikes me, that this will be the case with some of you when you come to God’s bar. Though you pretended to be a Christian, you acted like a sinner, and you shall fare like a sinner too. Your actions were unrighteous; they were far from God; and you shall have a portion with those whose character was the same as yours. “Be not deceived;” it is easy to be so. God is not mocked,” though we often are, both minister and people. “God is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Character of Christ’s People-Delivered on Sabbath Morning, November 22, 1855

Christians are tested in solitude and when around other people

December 22, 2014 2 comments

Spurgeon 1Again: you may test yourselves in this way in solitude and in company. In solitude you may tell whether you are not of the world. I sit me down, throw the window up, look out on the stars, and think of them as the eyes of God looking down upon me! And oh! does it not seem glorious at times to consider the heavers when we can say, “Ah! beyond those stars is my house not made with hands; those stars are mile-stones on the road to glory, and I shall soon tread the glittering way, or be carried by seraphs far beyond them, and be there!” Have you felt in solitude that you are not of the world? And so again in company. Ah! beloved, believe me, company is one of the best tests for a Christian. You are invited to an evening party. Sundry amusements are provided which are not considered exactly sinful, but which certainly cannot come under the name of pious amusements. You sit there with the rest; there is a deal of idle chat going on, you would be thought puritanical to protest against it. Have you not come away — and notwithstanding all has been very pleasant, and friends have been very agreeable — have you not been inclined to say, “Ah! that does not do for me; I would rather be in a prayer meeting; I would rather be in an old broken down cow-lodge, with six old women, so long as I could be with the people of God, than in fine rooms with all the dainties and delicacies that could be provided without the company of Jesus. By God’s grace I will seek to shun all these places as much as possible.” That is a good test. You will prove in this way that you are not of the world. And you may do so in a great many other ways, which I have no time to mention. Have you felt this experimentally, so that you can say, “I know that I am not of the world, I see it; I experience it.” Don’t talk of doctrine. Give me doctrine ground into experience. Doctrine is good; but experience is better. Experimental doctrine is the true doctrine which comforts and which edifies.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Character of Christ’s People-Delivered on Sabbath Morning, November 22, 1855

Many Christians are tried in the fires of prosperity and not adversity

December 15, 2014 1 comment

Spurgeon 3But another testing moment is prosperity. Oh! there have been some of God’s people, who have been more tried by prosperity than by adversity. Of the two trials, the trial of adversity is less severe to the spiritual man than that of prosperity. “As the fining pot for silver, so is a man to his praise.” It is a terrible thing to be prosperous. You had need to pray to God, not only to help you in your troubles, but to help you in your blessings. Mr. Whitfield once had a petition to put up for a young man who had — stop, you will think it was for a young man who had lost his father or his property. No! “The prayers of the congregation are desired for a young man who has become heir to an immense fortune, and who feels he has need of much grace to keep him humble in the midst of riches.” That is the kind of prayer that ought to be put up; for prosperity is a hard thing to bear. Now, perhaps you have become almost intoxicated with worldly delights, even as a Christian. Everything goes well with you; you have loved, and you are loved. Your affairs are prosperous; your heart rejoices, your eyes sparkle; you tread the earth with a happy soul and a joyous countenance; you are a happy man, for you have found that even in worldly things, “godliness with contentment is great gain.” Did you ever feel, —

“These can never satisfy;
Give me Christ, or else I die.”

Did you feel that these comforts were nothing but the leaves of the tree, and not the fruit, and that you could not live upon mere leaves? Did you feel they were after all nothing but husks? Or did you not sit down and say, “Now, soul, take thine ease; thou hast goods laid up for many years; eat, drink, and be merry?” If you did imitate the rich fool, then you were of the world; but if your spirit went up above your prosperity so that you still lived near to God, then you proved that you were a chill of God, for you were not of the world. These are testing points; both prosperity and adversity.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Character of Christ’s People-Delivered on Sabbath Morning, November 22, 1855

Trials and afflictions will prove whether or not you are of this world

December 8, 2014 1 comment

Spurgeon 1II. But now for treating this text EXPERIMENTALLY.

Do we, dearly beloved, feel this truth? Has it ever been laid to our souls, so that we can feel it is ours? “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” Have we ever felt that we are not of the world? Perhaps there is a believer sitting in a pew to-night, who says, “Well, sir, I can’t say that I feel as if I was not of the world, for I have just come from my shop, and worldliness is still hanging about me.” Another says, “I have been in trouble and my mind is very much harassed — I can’t feel that I am different from the world; I am afraid that I am of the world.” But, beloved, we must not judge ourselves rashly, because just at this moment we discern not the spot of God’s children. Let me tell you, there are always certain testing moments when you can tell of what kind of stuff a man is made. Two men are walking, part of the way their road lies side by side. How do you tell which man is going to the right, and which to the left? Why, when they come to the turning point. Now, to-night is not a turning point, for you are sitting with worldly people here, but at other times we may distinguish.

Let me tell you one or two turning points, when every Christian will feel that he is not of the world. One is, when he gets into very deep trouble. I do believe and protest, that we never feel so unearthly as when we get plunged down into trouble. Ah! when some creature comfort hath been swept away, when some precious blessing hath withered in our sight, like the fair lily, snapped at the stalk; when some mercy has been withered, like Jonah’s gourd in the night — then it is that the Christian feels, “I am not of the world.” His cloak is torn from him, and the cold wind whistles almost through him; and then he says, “I am a stranger in the world, as all my fathers were. Lord, thou hast been my dwelling-place in all generations.” You have had at times deep sorrows. Thank God for them! They are testing moments. When the furnace is hot, it is then that the gold is tried best. Have you felt at such a time that you were not of the world? Or, have you rather sat down, and said, ‘Oh! I do not deserve this trouble?” Did you break under it? Did you bow down before it and let it crush you while you cursed your Maker? Or did your spirit, even under its load, still lift itself unto him, like a man all dislocated on the battle-field, whose limbs are cut away, but who still lifts himself up as best he can, and looks over the field to see if there be a friend approaching. Did you do so? Or did you lie down in desperation and despair? If you did that, methinks you are no Christian; but if there was a rising up, it was a testing moment, and it proved that you were “not of the world,” because you could master affliction; because you could tread it under foot, and say —

“When all created streams are dry,
His goodness is the same;
With this I well am satisfied,
And glory in his name.”


Charles H. Spurgeon-The Character of Christ’s People-Delivered on Sabbath Morning, November 22, 1855