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Posts Tagged ‘Church Body’

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 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

Christ was not of the world in office

November 24, 2014 1 comment

Spurgeon 62. Again: you are not of the world in your office. Christ’s office had nothing to do with worldly things. “Art thou a king then?” Yes; I am a king; but my kingdom is not of this world. “Art thou a priest?” Yes; I am a priest; but my priesthood is not the priesthood which I shall soon lay aside, or which shall be discontinued as that of others has been. “Art thou a teacher?” Yes; but my doctrines are not the doctrines of morality, doctrines that concern earthly dealings between man and man simply; my doctrine cometh down from heaven. So Jesus Christ, we say, is “not of the world.” He had no office that could be termed a worldly one, and he had no aim which was in the least worldly. He did not seek his own applause, his own fame, his own honor; his very office was not of the world. And, O believer! what is thy office? Hast thou none at all? Why, yes, man! Thou art a priest unto the Lord thy God; thy office is to offer a sacrifice of prayer and praise each day. Ask a Christian what he is. Say to him: “What is your official standing? What are you by office?” Well, if he answers you properly, he will not say, “I am a draper, or druggist,” or anything of that sort. No; he will say, “I am a priest unto my God. The office unto which I am called, is to be the salt of the earth. I am a city set on a hill, a light that cannot be hid. That is my office. My office is not a worldly one.” Whether yours be the office of the minister, or the deacon, or the church member, ye are not of this world in your office, even as Christ was not of the world; your occupation is not a worldly one.

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

Christ prayed for a special people

November 3, 2014 2 comments

Spurgeon 6“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” — John 17:16.

Christ’s prayer was for a special people. He declared that he did not offer an universal intercession. “I pray for them,” said he. “I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine.” In reading this beautiful prayer through, only one question arises to our minds; Who are the people that are described as “them,” or as “they?” Who are these favored individuals, who share a Savior’s prayers, are recognized by a Savior’s love, have their names written on the stones of his precious breastplate, and have their character and their circumstances mentioned by the lips of the High Priest before the throne on high? The answer to that question is supplied by the words of our text. The people for whom Christ prays are an unearthly people. They are a people somewhat above the world, distinguished altogether from it. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”

I shall treat my text, first of all, doctrinally; secondly, experimentally; and thirdly, practically.

 

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

Confession statement 42

September 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Published in 1646

The Text used: There has been some updating of Old English words but otherwise no changes have been made to the original texts.

CONFESSION OF FAITH of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London. which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno 1646.

XLII CHRIST hath likewise given power to His Church to receive in, and cast out, any member that deserves it; and this power is given to every congregation, and not to one particular person, either member or officer, but in relation to the whole body, in reference to their faith and fellowship.

Rom.16:2; Matt.18:17; 1 Cor.5:4,11,13;12:6;2:3; 2 Cor.2:6,7.

The First London Baptist Confession 1644/46

The threats and warnings in scripture are addressed to the church body

December 19, 2012 Leave a comment

The threatenings, cautions, and warnings, with which the word of God every where abounds, imply, it is alleged, if they do not aver, the probability that some true christians will apostatise, and forever perish. They are therefore presented as a second objection to the doctrine it is my purpose to establish.

That such threatenings and cautions, and warnings, are of constant recurrence in the divine word, and that they are in their character, appalling, is most true. The premises are therefore cheerfully conceded, but the conclusion from thence, does not appear to me, by any means natural, or a matter of course. The reasoning is illogical, as I shall presently fully demonstrate. Let two important facts be here fixed carefully in the mind. The Church of Christ is composed, not of the regenerate alone, but of the unregenerate also. This is the first fact. The second is, that all these threatenings, and cautions, and warnings, are addressed to the members of the Church as a body. Both these truths will, I suppose, be readily admitted by all.

But I would be fully understood, and therefore, will refer you to testimony. I do not admit that the unconverted have any right to a place in the Churches. The word of God, we very well know, does not approve their admission. On the contrary, it is strictly prohibited. But those who administer the affairs of the kingdom of Christ upon earth, are men. They are imperfect; their administration also must therefore be imperfect. Our best efforts may be exerted to preserve the body pure from unworthy members, but we cannot read men’s hearts, and in despite of all our vigilance, very many find their way into the Church, who are strangers to repentance and faith; some probably, for some reasons, seeking to appear what they know they are not; and others candid, and sincere, but misled, and deceived. I state the simple fact that there are unconverted men in the Churches. So it has been in every age―-in apostolic as well as in our own times. A Judas, and a Simon Magus, were then members of the Churches, and stood side by side, with a James, and a John. So now, the converted and the unconverted, the eminently holy, and the profoundly depraved, meet and mingle in the sanctuary, and at the very table of the Lord. Such, to a greater or less extent, are all the Churches. This we know to be true, by the institution in the word of God of disciplinary measures to exclude the unworthy when discovered, and by our own personal observation.

R. B. C. Howell—Perseverance of the Saints