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THE TABLE OF THE PROFLIGATE

TAKE a warning glance at the House of Feasting which Satan hath builded; for as wisdom hath builded her house, and hewn out her seven pillars, so hath folly its temple and its tavern of feasting, into which it continually tempts the unwary. Look within the banqueting-house, and I will show you four tables and the guests that sit thereat; and as you look at those tables you shall see the courses brought in.

At the first table to which I shall invite your attention, though I beseech you never to sit down and drink thereat, sit the profligate. The table of the profligate is a gay table; it is covered over with a gaudy crimson, and all the vessels upon it look exceedingly bright and glistening. Many there be that sit thereat; but they know not that they are the guests of hell, and that the end of all the feast shall be in the depths of perdition. See ye now the great governor of the feast, as he comes in? He has a bland smile upon his face; his garments are not black, but he is girded with a robe of many colors; he hath a honeyed word on his lip, and a tempting witchery in the sparkle of his eye. He brings in the cup, and says, “Hey, young man, drink hereto, it sparkleth in the cup, it moveth itself aright. Do you see it? It is the wine-cup of pleasure.” This is the first cup at the banqueting-house of Satan. The young man takes it, and sips the liquor. At first it is a cautious sip; it is but a little he will take, and then he will restrain himself. He does not intend to indulge much in lust, he means not to plunge headlong into perdition. There is a flower there on the edge of that cliff: he will reach forward a little and pluck it; but it is not his intention to dash himself from that beetling crag and destroy himself. Not he! He thinks it easy to put away the cup when he has tested its flavor! He has no design to abandon himself to its intoxication. He takes a shallow draught. But oh how sweet it is! How it makes his blood tingle within him! What a fool I was not to have tasted this before! He thinks. Was ever joy like this? Could it be thought that bodies could be capable of such ecstasy as this? He drinks again; this time he takes a deeper draught, and the wine is hot in his veins. Oh, how blest is he! What would he not say now in the praise of Bacchus, or Venus, or whatever shape Beelzebub chooses to assume? He becomes a very orator in praise of sin! It is fair, it is pleasant; the deep damnation of lust appeareth as joyous as the transports of heaven. He drinks, he drinks, he drinks again, till his brain begins to reel with the intoxication of his sinful delight. This is the first course. Drink, O ye drunkards of Ephraim, and bind the crown of pride about your head, and call us fools because we put your cup from us. Drink with the harlot, and sup with the lustful; ye may think yourselves wise for so doing, but we know that after these things there cometh something worse; for your vine is the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah; your grapes are grapes of gall, the clusters are bitter; your wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.

Now, with a leer upon his brow, the subtle governor of the feast riseth from his seat. His victim has had enough of the best wine. He takes away that cup, and he brings in another, not quite so sparkling. Look into the liquor; it is not beaded over with the sparkling bubbles of rapture; it is all flat, and dull, and insipid: it is called the cup of satiety. The man has had enough of pleasure, and like a dog he vomits, though like a dog he will return to his vomit yet again. Who hath woe? Who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine. I am now speaking figuratively of wine, as well as literally. The wine of lust bringeth the same redness of the eyes; the profligate soon discovers that all the rounds of pleasure end in satiety.

What,” says he, “what more can I do? There, I have committed every wickedness that can be imagined, and I have drained every cup of pleasure.

Give me something fresh! I have tried the theaters all round: there, I don’t care so much as one single farthing for them all. I have gone to every kind of pleasure that I can conceive. It is all over. Gaiety itself grows flat and dull. What am I to do?” And this is the devil’s second course — the course of satiety — a fitful drowsiness, the result of the previous excess.

Thousands there are who are drinking of the tasteless cup of satiety every day; and some novel invention whereby they may kill time, some new discovery whereby they may give a fresh vent to their iniquity would be a wonderful thing to them; and if some man should rise up who could find out for them some new fashion of wickedness, some deeper depths in the deeps of the nethermost hell of lasciviousness, they would bless his name for having given them something fresh to excite them. That is the devil’s second course. And do you see them partaking of it? There are some of you that are having a deep draught of it. You are the jaded horses of the fiend of lust, the disappointed followers of the will-o’-the-wisp of pleasure.

God knows, if you were to speak your heart out you would be obliged to say, “There! I have tried pleasure, and I do not find it pleasure; I have gone the round, and I am just like the blind horse at the mill, I have to go round again. I am spell-bound to the sin, but I cannot take delight in it now as I once did, for all the glory of it is as a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer.”

Awhile the feaster remains in the putrid sea of his infatuation: but another scene is opening. The governor of the feast commandeth another liquor to be broached. This time the fiend bears a black goblet, and he presents it with eyes full of hell-fire, flashing with fierce damnation. “Drink of that, sir,” says he, and the man sips it, and starts back, and shrieks, “O God, that ever I must come to this!” You must drink, sir. He that quaffs the first cup, must drink the second, and the third. Drink, though it be like fire down your throat! Drink it, though it be as the lava of Etna in your bowels! Drink! You must drink! He that sins must suffer; he that is a profligate in his youth must have rottenness in his bones, and disease within his loins.

He who rebels against the laws of God must reap the harvest in his own body here. Oh! There are some dreadful things that I might tell you of this third course. Satan’s house has a front chamber full of everything that is enticing to the eye and bewitching to the sensual taste; but there is a back chamber, and no one knoweth, no one hath seen the whole of its horrors.

There is a secret chamber, where he shovels out the creatures whom he hath himself destroyed — a chamber, beneath whose floor is the blazing of hell, and above whose boards the heat of that horrible pit is felt. It may be a physician’s place, rather than mine, to tell of the horrors that some have to suffer as the result of their iniquity. I leave that; but let me tell the profligate spendthrift that the poverty which he will endure is the result of his sin of extravagant spend thrifty; let him know also that the remorse of conscience that will overtake him is not an accidental thing that drops by chance from heaven, it is the result of his own iniquity; for, depend upon it, men and brethren, sin carries an infant misery in its bowels, and sooner or later it must be delivered of its terrible child. If we sow the seed we must reap the harvest. Thus the law of hell’s house stands — “first, the good wine, then afterwards, that which is worse.”

The last course remains to be presented. And now, ye strong men, who mock at the warning, which I would fain deliver to you with a brother’s voice and with an affectionate heart, though with rough language. Come ye here, and drink of this last cup. The sinner has at the end brought himself to the grave. His hopes and joys were like gold put into a bag full of holes, and they have all vanished — vanished for ever, and now he has come to the last, his sins haunt him, his transgressions perplex him; he is taken like a bull in a net, and how shall he escape? He dies, and descends from disease to damnation. Shall mortal language attempt to tell you the horrors of that last tremendous cup of which the profligate must drink, and drink for ever? Look at it: ye cannot see its depths, but cast an eye upon its seething surface. I hear the noise of rushing to and fro, and a sound as of gnashing of teeth and the wailing of despairing souls. I look into that cup, and I hear a voice coming up from its depths — “These shall go away into everlasting punishment:” for “Tophet is prepared of old, the pile thereof is wood and much smoke, the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, shall kindle it.” And what say ye to this last course of Satan? “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?” Profligate, I beseech thee, in the name of God, start from this table! Oh, be not so careless at thy cups; be not so asleep, secure in the peace which thou now enjoyest! Man’s death is at the door, and at his heels is swift destruction! As for you, who as yet have been restrained by a careful father and the watchfulness of an anxious mother, I beseech you shun the house of sin and folly. Let the wise man’s words be written on thine heart, and be thou mindful of them in the hour of temptation — “Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: for the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Words of Wisdom for Daily Life- Article ‘The Banquet of Evil’

A DRAMA IN FIVE ACTS

August 12, 2021 2 comments

(1 CORINTHIANS 7:29-31.)

THE first act introduces those that have wives. It opens with a wedding.

The bride and bridegroom advance to the altar in bridal attire. The bells are ringing; crowds are cheering at the door, white overflowing mirth is supreme within. In another scene we observe domestic happiness and prosperity, a loving husband and a happy wife. Yet, further on in the performance, rosy children are climbing the father’s knee; the little prattlers are lisping their mother’s name. “Now,” says our companion as he gazes with rapture, “This is real and enduring, I know it is; this wilt satisfy me; I crave for nothing more than this. Home is a word as sweet as heaven, and a healthy, happy race of children is as fine a possession as even angels can desire. On this rock wilt I build all my hope; secure me this portion, and I cheerfully renounce the dreamy joys of religion.” We whisper in his ear that all this is but a changing scene, and will by-and-by pass away; for time is short, and wife and children are dying creatures. The man laughs at us, and says, “Fanatics and enthusiasts may seek eternal joys, but these are enough for me.” He believes that if there be anything permanent in the universe it is marrying and being given in marriage, educating and bringing up a family, and seeing them all comfortably settled. He is right in valuing the blessing, but wrong in making it his all. Will he see his error before the curtain falls? Or will he continue to found the hopes of an immortal spirit upon dying joys? See the green mounds in the cemetery, and the headstone with “Here he lies.” Alas for thee, poor deluded worldling, where is thy soul now? Doth it console thee that the dust of thine offspring shalt mingle with thine ashes? Where hast thou now a home? What family hast thou now to care for? The first act is over; take breath and say, “This also is vanity.” The tenor of the drama changes, alas, how soon! Household joys are linked with household sorrows. They that weep are now before us in the second act. The cloudy and dark days have come. There are parents wringing their hands; a beloved child has died, and they are following its corpse to the tomb. Anon, the merchant has suffered a tremendous loss; he puts his hand to his aching head and mourns, for he knows not what will be the end of his troubles. The wife is smitten by the hand of death; she lies on her bed, blanched with sickness and wan with pain; there is a weeping husband at her side, and then there is another funeral, and in the dim distance I see the black horses again and again. The woes of men are frequent, and sorrow’s visits are not like those of angels, few and far between. Our man of the world, who is much moved at this second act, foreseeing his own sorrows therein, weeps, until he fairly sobs out his feelings, clutches us with earnestness, and cries, “Surely this is awfully real; you cannot call this a fleeting sorrow or a light affliction. I will wring my hands for ever; the delight of my eyes has been taken from me; I have lost all my joys now; my beloved in whom I trusted has withered like a leaf in autumn before my face; now shall I despair; I shall never look up again!” “I have lost my fortune,” says the afflicted merchant, “and distress overwhelms me; this world is indeed a wilderness to me; all its flowers are withered. I would not give a snap of my finger to live now, for everything worth living for is gone!”

Sympathizing deeply with our friend, we nevertheless venture to tell him that these trials to the Christian, because they are so short and produce such lasting good, are not killing sorrows. “Ah!” says he, “you men of faith may talk in that way, but I cannot; I tell you these are real things.” Like an English sailor, who, seeing a play, sprung upon the stage to help a lady in distress, believing that the whole was real, so do such men weep and sigh, as if they were to mourn for ever, because some earthly good has been removed. Oh, that they knew that the depths of sorrow were never yet explored by a mortal mourner! Oh that they would escape from those lower deeps where immortal spirits weep and wail amidst an emphasis of misery! The sorrows of time are trifles indeed when compared with the pains of everlasting punishment; and on the other hand we reckon that they are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

They are but light afflictions, which are but for a moment, a mere pin’s prick to the man of faith. Happy is the man whose eyes are open to see that heirs of heaven sorrow not as those who are without hope. A real joy of heavenly origin is ever with believers, and it is but the shadow of sorrow which fails upon them. There let the curtain drop — let us enter into an eternal state, and what and where are these temporary griefs? But the third act comes on, and presents us with a view of those who rejoice. It may be that the first-born son has come of age, and there are great festivities. They are eating and drinking in the servants’ hall, and in the master’s banquet-chamber; there are high notes of joy, and many compliments, and the smiling sire is as glad as man can be. Or it is the daughter’s wedding, and kind friends implore a thousand blessings on her head, and the father smiles and shares the joy. Or it is a gain in business, a fortunate speculation; or the profits of industry have come flowing in, slowly perhaps, but still surely, and the mart is full of rejoicing; he has a house, and home, and friends, and reputation, and honor, and he is, in the eyes of all who know him, happy; those who do not know him, think he has no cares, that he can have no sorrows, that his life must be one perpetual feast, and that, surely there can be no spot in his sun, no winter in his year, no ebb to follow his floods. Our friend by our side is smiling at this sunny picture. “There,” says he, “is not that real? Why, there must be something in that! What more do you want? Only let me get the same, and I will leave you the joys of faith, and heaven, and immortality, to yourselves; these are the things for me; only let me laugh and make merry, and you may pray as you will fill high the bowl for me; put the roast and the viands on the table, and let me eat and drink, for to-morrow I die.” If we gently hint to our friend that all this passes away like a vision of the night, and that we have learned to look on it as though it were not, he laughs us to scorn, and accounts us mad when he is most mad himself. As for ourselves, so far from resting upon the softest couch that earth can give us, we spurn its vain delights.

But the fourth act of the drama is before us, and they that buy demand our attention. The merchant is neither a mourner nor a man of mirth; in the eyes of certain Mammonites he is attending to the one thing needful, the most substantial of all concerns. Here feast your eyes, ye hard, practical, earth-scrapers. There are his money-bags; hear how they thump on the table! There are the rolls of bonds, the banker’s books, the title-deeds of estates, mortgages and securities, and the solid investment in his country’s own consoles. He has made a good thing of life, and still he adheres to business, as he should do; and, like a painstaking man, he is accumulating still, and piling up his heap, meanwhile adding field to field and estate to estate, till soon he will possess a whole county. He has just new been buying a large and very fine house, where he intends to spend the remainder of his days, for he is about to retire from business; the lawyer is busy making out the transfer; the sum of money is waiting to be paid, and the whole thing is as good as settled. “Ah! Now,” says our friend, who is looking on at the play, “you are not going to tell me that this is all a shadow? It is not; there is something very solid and real here, at least, something that will perfectly satisfy me.” We tell him we dare say there is something that will satisfy him, but our desires are of a larger span, and nothing but the infinite can fill them. Alas for the man who can find satisfaction in earthly things! It will be only for a time; for when he comes to lie upon his dying-bed, he will find his buyings and his sellings poor things wherewithal to stuff a dying pillow; he will find that his gainings and his acquisitions bring but little comfort to an aching heart, and no peace to a conscience exercised with the fear of the wrath to come. “Ah, ah!” he cries, and sneers sarcastically, putting us aside as only fit for Bedlam, “Let me trade and make a fortune, and that is enough for me; with that I shall be well content!” Alas, poor fool, the snow melts not sooner than the joy of wealth, and the smoke of the chimney is as solid as the comfort of riches! But we must not miss the fifth act. See the rich man, our friend whom lately we saw married, whom we then saw in trouble, afterwards rejoicing and then prospering in business, has entered upon a. green old age; he has retired, and has now come to use the world. The world says he has been a wise man and has done well, for all men will praise thee when thou doest well for thyself. Now he keeps a liberal table, a fine garden, excellent horses, and many servants; he has all the comforts in fact that: wealth can command, and as you look around his noble park, as you gaze at his avenue of fine old trees, or stay a day or two at the family mansion and notice all its luxuries, you hear your friend, saying, “Ay, there is something very real here; what do you think of this?” When we hint that the grey hairs of the owner of all these riches betoken that his time is short, and that if this be all he has, he is a very poor man, for he will soon have to leave it, and that his regrets in leaving will make his death more pitiable than that of a pauper, our friend replies, “Ah! Ah! You are always talking in this way. I tell you this is not a play. I believe it is all real and substantial, and I am not, by any talking of yours, to be made to think that it is unsubstantial and will soon be gone.”

O world, thou hast fine actors, to cheat men so well, or else mortal man is an easy fool, taken in thy net like the fishes of the sea. The whole matter is most palpably a show, but yet men give their souls to win it. Wherefore, O sons of men, are ye thus beside yourselves? “Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labor for that which satisfieth not?”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Words of Wisdom for Daily Life- Article ‘A Drama in Five Acts’

Let all see that the covenant of grace

Lastly, have a practical respect for it. Let all see that the covenant of grace, while it is your reliance, is also your delight. Be ready to speak of it to others. Be ready to show that the effect of its grace upon you is one that is worthy of God, since it has a purifying effect upon your life. He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure. Have respect unto the covenant by walking as such people should who can say that God is to them a God, and they are to him a people. The covenant says, “From all their idols will I cleanse them.” Don’t love idols then. The covenant says, “I will sprinkle pure water upon them, and they shall be clean.” Be ye clean then, ye covenanted ones, and may the Lord preserve you and make his covenant to be your boast on earth and your song for ever in heaven. Oh that the Lord may bring -us into the bonds of his covenant, and give us a simple faith in his dear Son, for that is the mark of the covenanted ones.

Amen and Amen.

PORTION OF SCRIPTURE READ BEFORE SERMON — Psalm 74.

HYMNS FROM “OUR OWN HYMN BOOK.” — 237, 228, 742.

Charles H. Spurgeon- ‘The Covenant Pleaded,’ at the Metropolitan Tabernacle Newington

Hate that preaching which does not discriminate between the covenant of works and the covenant of grace

Then have a jealous respect for it. Never suffer the covenant of works to be mixed with it. Hate that preaching — I say not less than that — hate that preaching which does not discriminate between the covenant of works and the covenant of grace, for it is deadly preaching and damning preaching. You must always have a straight, clear line here between what is of man and what is of God, for cursed is he that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm; and if you have begun with the Spirit under this covenant do not think of being made perfect in the flesh under another covenant. Be ye holy under the precepts of the heavenly Father; but be ye not legal under the taskmaster’s lash. Return not to the bondage of the law, for ye are not under law, but under grace.

Charles H. Spurgeon- ‘The Covenant Pleaded,’ at the Metropolitan Tabernacle Newington

What are the practical inferences from all this?

IV. And so I close with this last question, WHAT ARE THE PRACTICAL INFERENCES FROM ALL THIS? “Have respect unto the covenant.” Why, that if we ask God to have respect unto it we ought to have respect unto it ourselves, and in this way.

Have a grateful respect for it. Bless the Lord that he ever condescended to enter into covenant with you. What could he see in you even to give you a promise, much more to make a covenant with you? Blessed be his dear name, this is the sweet theme of our hymns on earth, and shall be the subject of our songs in heaven.

Next, have a believing respect for it. It’ it is God’s covenant, do not dishonor it. It stands sure. Why do you stagger at it through unbelief?

His every work of grace is strong

As that which built the skies;

The voice that rolls the stars along

Speaks all the promises.”

Next, have a joyful respect for it, Wake your harps, and join in praise with David: “Although my house be not so with God, yet hath he made with me an everlasting covenant.” Here is enough to make a heaven in our hearts while yet we are below — the Lord hath entered into a covenant of grace and peace with us, and he will bless us for ever.

Charles H. Spurgeon- ‘The Covenant Pleaded,’ at the Metropolitan Tabernacle Newington

Take the covenant as you find it in Jeremiah at the thirty-second chapter at the fortieth verse

Or suppose you desire to be upheld under strong temptation, lest you should go back and return to your old ways. Take the covenant as you find it in Jeremiah at the thirty-second chapter at the fortieth verse. Note these verses and learn them by heart, for they may be a great help to you some of these days. Read the fortieth verse of the thirty-second chapter of Jeremiah. “And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.” Blow go and say, “O Lord, I am almost gone, and they tell me I shall finally fall, but O, my Lord and Master, there stands thy word. Put thy fear in my heart and fulfill thy promise, that I shall not depart from thee.” This is the sure road to final perseverance.

Thus I might take you through all the various needs of God’s people. And show that in seeking to have them supplied they may fitly cry, “Have respect unto the covenant.” For instance, suppose you were in great distress of mind and needed comfort, you could go to him with that covenant promise, “As a mother comforteth her children, even so will I Comfort thee, — out of Zion will I comfort thee.” Go to him with that and say, “Lord, comfort thy servant.” Or if there should happen to be a trouble upon us, not for yourselves, but for the church; how sweet it is to go to the Lord and say, “Thy covenant runs thus — ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against her.’ O Lord, it seems as though they would prevail. Interpose thy strength and save thy church.” If it ever should happen that you are looking for the conversion of the ungodly, and desiring to see sinners saved, and the world seems so dark, look at our text again — the whole verse — “Have respect unto the covenant, for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty, to which you may add, but thou hast said that thy glory shall cover the earth, and that all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Lord, have respect unto thy covenant. Help our missionaries, speed thy gospel, bid the mighty angel fly through the midst of heaven to preach the everlasting gospel to every creature. Why, it is a grand missionary prayer. “Have respect unto the covenant.” Beloved, it is a two-edged sword, to be used in all conditions of strife, and it is a holy balm of Gilead, that will heal in all conditions of suffering.

Charles H. Spurgeon- ‘The Covenant Pleaded,’ at the Metropolitan Tabernacle Newington

Then read the covenant again as you find it in the thirty-first chapter of Jeremiah at the thirty-third verse

But suppose, beloved brother or sister, you are laboring to overcome inward corruption with intense desire that holiness should be wrought in you. Then read the covenant again as you find it in the thirty-first chapter of Jeremiah at the thirty-third verse. It is the same covenant, only we are reading another version of it. “This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts. Now, can you not plead that and say, “Lord, thy commandments upon stone are holy, but I forget them, and break them; but, O my God, write them on the fleshy tablets of my heart. Come now and make me holy; transform me; write thy will upon my very soul, that I may live it out, and from the warm impulses of my heart serve thee as thou wouldst be served. Have respect unto thy covenant and sanctify thy servant.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- ‘The Covenant Pleaded,’ at the Metropolitan Tabernacle Newington

How and when that Covenant may be pleaded

III. Having thus shown you, dear friends, the meaning of the plea, and whence it derives its force, we will now pause a minute and observe How AND WHEN THAT COVENANT MAY BE PLEADED.

First, it may be pleaded under a sense of sin — when the soul feels its guiltiness. Let me read to you the words of our apostle, in the eighth chapter of the Hebrews, where he is speaking of this covenant at the tenth verse. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” Now, dear hearer, suppose that thou art under a sense of sin; something has revived in thee a recollection of past guilt, or it may be that thou hast sadly stumbled this very day, and Satan whispers, “Then wilt surely be destroyed, for thou hast sinned.” Now go to the great Father, and open this page, putting thy finger on that twelfth verse, and say, “Lord, thou hast in infinite, boundless, inconceivable mercy entered into covenant with me, a poor sinner, seeing I believe in the name of Jesus, and now I beseech thee have respect unto thy covenant. Thou hast said, I will be merciful to their unrighteousness: — O God be merciful to mine. Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more: Lord, remember no more my sins: forget for ever my iniquity.” That is the way to use the covenant: when under a sense of sin, run to that clause which meets your case.

Charles H. Spurgeon- ‘The Covenant Pleaded,’ at the Metropolitan Tabernacle Newington

God has taught many of us to trust in his name

Only one more reflection here. Our God has taught many of us to trust in his name. We were long in learning the lesson, and nothing but Omnipotence could have made us willing to walk by faith, and not by sight; but with much patience the Lord has brought us at last to have no reliance but on himself, and now we are depending on his faithfulness and his truth. Is that thy case, brother? What then? Thinkest thou that God has given thee this faith to mock thee? Believest thou that he has taught thee to trust in his name, and thus far has brought thee to put thee to shame? Has his Holy Spirit given thee confidence in a lie? And has he wrought in thee faith in a fiction? God forbid! Our God is no demon who would delight in the misery which a groundless confidence would be sure to bring to us. If then hast faith, he gave it to thee, and he that gave it to thee knows his own gift, and will honor it. He was never false yet, even to the feeblest faith, and if thy faith is great, thou shalt find him greater than thy faith, even when thy faith is at its greatest; therefore be of good cheer. The fact that thou believest should encourage thee to say, “Now, O Lord, I have come to rest upon thee, canst thou fail me? I, a poor worm, know no confidence but thy dear name, wilt thou forsake me? I have no refuge but thy wounds, O Jesus, no hope but in thy atoning sacrifice, no light but in thy light: canst thou cast. Me off?” It is not possible that the Lord should cast off one who thus trusts him. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Can any of us forget our children when they fondly trust us in the days of their weakness? No, the Lord is no monster: he is tender and full of compassion, faithful and true; and Jesus is a friend which sticketh closer than a brother. The very fact that he has given us faith in his covenant should help us to plead, — “Have respect unto the covenant.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- ‘The Covenant Pleaded,’ at the Metropolitan Tabernacle Newington

The Wednesday Word: The Gospel Truth About Faith (Part 2)

March 31, 2021 3 comments

Faith is dynamic and continues to grow as it is bathed in the gospel.

Romans 10:16 says, “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our report? So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Notice how the “WORD of GOD” and the “GOSPEL” are equated

in this passage. They are one and the same! Faith will grow, therefore, as the gospel is expounded! The preaching of the good news of the person, work and offices of Christ always brings and generates faith. Therefore, we must get away from the notion that the message of Christ is exclusively for evangelistic meetings! The gospel is every bit as much for the believer as it is for the lost!

What a wonderful gift of God faith really is! It enables us to take hold of the ‘so great salvation’ that has already been accomplished in Christ Jesus. When faith comes to our lives, it agrees with God’s verdict that our human righteousness is no cleaner than a filthy rag. In the light of the gospel, faith causes us to abandon all hope of ever being saved by our own goodness.

The more we are bathed and washed in the gospel the more we will realize it is not because we have been filled with the Spirit or have had some new blessing that we are fully accepted and welcome in heaven. Faith’s vision is not foggy! Faith sees clearly that we are not made more welcome in heaven because of our experiences. Faith does not rest on experiences … no matter how intense they have been. Faith sees that our full acceptance and welcome before God rests entirely upon Christ’s experience for us and not on our experience of God.

Faith also sees that we are not saved because we are being good and are

trying to be obedient to God: Faith sees, however, that the obedience of

Jesus Christ is entirely superior to our faulty attempts at obedience and totally sufficient to satisfy all the demands of God’s holy and righteous character.

But surely this is a dangerous teaching! Are there not those who will twist

this kind of thing and live like the Devil? Of course, there are! But does

that mean we should hold back from proclaiming the applications of the gospel because some people may pervert them? God forbid!

When the person of Christ and His doing and dying are preached, faith is created, and the believer is reduced to nothing. It is the preaching and application of the gospel which produces true humility in that it brings us to an end of ourselves. Faith will cause us to continually hold truth like this,

Nothing in my hand I bring

Simply to thy cross I cling,

Naked come to Thee for dress

Helpless look to Thee for Grace,

Foul I to the fountain fly,

Wash me Saviour or I die.

Because gospel faith will cause us to see our bankruptcy and destitution, the gospel and its applications, when properly expounded to the church, will cause us to take up our cross and follow Christ. A truly destitute man has nowhere else to go but to Christ and nowhere else to look but up. He sees his spiritual poverty and it humbles him. He must now turn in reliance and trust to Christ Jesus who alone can do for him that which he cannot do for himself.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com