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BEHOLD! What a change divine grace will work in a man

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned And ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of Shem, that the: had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13.

BEHOLD! What a change divine grace will work in a man, and in how short a time! That same Peter, who so lately followed his Master afar off and with oaths and curses denied that he knew his name, is now to be found side by side with the loving John, boldly declaring that there is salvation in none other name save that of Jesus Christ, and preaching the resurrection of the dead, through the sacrifice of his dying Lord. The Scribes and Pharisees soon discover the reason of his boldness. Rightly did they guess that it rested not in his learning or his talents, for neither Peter nor John had been educated, they had been trained as fishermen, their education was a knowledge of the sea-of the fisherman’s craft: none other had they; their boldness could not therefore spring from the self-sufficiency of knowledge, but from the Spirit of the living God. Nor did they acquire their courage from their station; for rank will confer a sort of dignity upon a man, and make him speak with a feigned authority even when he has no talent or genius; but these men were, as it says in the original text, “idiotai” private men, who stood in no official capacity; men without rank or station. When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and private individuals, they marvelled, and they came to a right conclusion as to the-source of their power-they had been dwelling with Jesus. Their conversation with the Prince of light and glory, backed up, as they might also have known, by the influence of the Holy Spirit, without which even that eminently holy example would have been in vain, had made them bold for their Master’s cause. Oh! My brethren, it were well if this commendation, so forced from the lips of enemies, could also be compelled by our own example. If we could live like Peter and John; if our lives were “living epistles of God, known and read of all men;” if, whenever we were seen, men would take knowledge of us, that we had been with Jesus, it would be a happy thing for this world, and a blessed thing for us. It is concerning that I am to speak to you this morning; and as God gives me grace, I will endeavor to stir up your minds by way of remembrance, and urge you so to imitate Jesus Christ, our heavenly pattern, that men may perceive that you are disciples of the holy Son of God.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Christ’s People Imitators of Him, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, at Exerter Hall Strand, April 29, 1855

I will now proclaim to you the way of salvation

December 28, 2020 Leave a comment

 

And now, it may be, some of you are convinced of sin, by the Holy Spirit. I will now proclaim to you the way of salvation. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Behold, O trembling penitent the means of thy deliverance. Turn thy tearing eye to yonder Mount of Calvary! See the victim of justice-the sacrifice of atonement for your transgression. View the Savior in his agonies, with streams of blood purchasing thy soul, and with intensest agonies enduring thy punishment. He died for thee, if now thou dost confess thy guilt. O come thou condemned one, self-condemned, and turn thine eye this way, for one look will save. Sinner, thou art bitten. Look! It is nought but “Look!” It is simply “Look!” If thou canst but look to Jesus thou art safe. Hear the voice of the Redeemer: “Look unto me, and be ye saved.” Look! Look! Look! O guilty souls.

Venture on him, venture wholly,

Let no other trust intrude

None but Jesus

Can do helpless sinners good,”

May my blessed Master help you to come to him, and draw you to his Son, for Jesus’ sake. Amen and Amen.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Carnal Mind Enmity Against God,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 22, 1855

This change must be worked by a power beyond your own

December 21, 2020 Leave a comment

And to conclude, let me remind you-and it is in the text after all-that this change must be worked by a power beyond your own. An enemy may possibly make himself a friend; but enmity cannot. If it be but an adjunct of his nature to be an enemy he may change himself into a friend; but if it is the very essence of his existence to be enmity, positive enmity, enmity cannot change itself. No, there must be something done more than we can accomplish. This is just what is forgotten in these days. We must have more preaching of the Holy Spirit, if we are to have more conversion work. I tell you, sirs, if you change yourselves, and make yourselves better, and better, and better, a thousand times, you will never be good enough for heaven, till God’s Spirit has laid his hand upon you; till he has renewed the heart, till he has purified the soul, till he has changed the entire spirit and new-made the man, there can be no entering heaven. How seriously, then, should each stand and think. Here am I, a creature of a day, a mortal born to die, but yet an immortal! At present I am at enmity with God. What shall I do? Is it not my duty, as well as my happiness, to ask, whether there be a way to be reconciled to God?

Oh! weary slaves of sin, are not your ways the paths of folly? Is it wisdom, O my fellow creatures, is it wisdom to hate your Creator? Is it wisdom to stand in opposition against him? Is it prudent to despise the riches of his grace? If it be wisdom, it is hell’s wisdom; if it be wisdom, it is a wisdom which is folly with God. Oh! May God grant that you may turn unto Jesus with full purpose of heart! He is the ambassador; he it is who can make peace through his blood; and though you came in here an enemy, it is possible you may go out through that door a friend yet, if you can but look to Jesus Christ, the brazen serpent which was lifted up.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Carnal Mind Enmity Against God,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 22, 1855

The necessity of an entire change of our nature

December 14, 2020 Leave a comment

Another doctrine we gather from this is, the necessity of an entire change of our nature. It is true that by birth we are at enmity with God. How necessary then it is, that our nature should be changed there are few people who sincerely believe this. They think that if they cry “Lord, have mercy upon me,” when they lie a-dying, They shall go to heaven directly. Let me suppose an impossible case for a moment. Let me imagine a man entering heaven without a change of heart. He comes within the gates. He hears a sonnet. He starts! It is to the praise of his enemy. He sees a throne, and on it sits one who is glorious; but it is his enemy. He walks streets of gold, but those streets belong to his enemy. He sees hosts of angels; but those hosts are the servants of his enemy. He is in an enemy’s house; for he is at enmity with God. He could not join the song, for he would not know the tune. There he would stand; silent, motionless; till Christ should say, with a voice louder than ten thousand thunders, “What dost thou here? Enemies at a marriage banquet? Enemies in the children’s house? Enemies in heaven? Get thee gone! Depart ye cursed, into everlasting fire in hell!” Oh! Sirs, if the unregenerate man could enter heaven, I mention once more the oftrepeated saying of Whitfield, he would be so unhappy in heaven, that he would ask God to let him run down into hell for shelter. There must be a change, if ye consider the future state; for how can enemies to God ever sit down at the banquet of the Lamb?

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Carnal Mind Enmity Against God,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 22, 1855

Is the carnal mind at “enmity against God?” Then salvation cannot be by merit

December 7, 2020 3 comments

IV. But there are one or two doctrines which we will try to deduce from this. Is the carnal mind at “enmity against God?” Then salvation cannot be by merit, it must be by grace. If we are at enmity with God, what merit can we have? How can we deserve anything from the being we hate? Even if we were pure as Adam, we could not have any merit; for I do not think Adam had any desert before his Creator. When he had kept all his Master’s law, he was but an unprofitable servant; he had done no more than he ought to have done, he had no surplus-no balance. But since we have become enemies, how much less can we hope to be saved by works! Oh, no; the whole Bible tells us, from beginning to end, that salvation is not by the works of the law, but by the deeds of grace. Martin Luther declared that he constantly preached justification by faith alone, “because,” said he, “the people would forget it; so that I was obliged almost to knock my Bible against their heads, to send it into their hearts.” So it is true we constantly forget that salvation is by grace alone. We always want to be putting in some little scrap of our own virtue; we want to be doing something. I remember a saying of old Matthew Wilkes: “Saved by your works! You might as well try to go to America in a paper boat!” Saved by your works! It is impossible! Oh no; the poor legalist is like a blind horse going round and round the mill, or like the prisoner going up the treadmill, and finding himself no higher after all he has done; he has no solid confidence, no firm ground to rest upon. He has not done enough-”never enough.” Conscience always says, “this is not perfection; it ought to have been better.” Salvation for enemies must be by an ambassador-by an atonement-yea, by Christ.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Carnal Mind Enmity Against God,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 22, 1855

But the crime may be seen to be worse when we think of ‘what God is’

November 30, 2020 Leave a comment

But the crime may be seen to be worse when we think of what God is. Let me appeal personally to you in an interrogatory style for this has weight with it. Sinner! Why art thou at enmity with God? God is the God of love, he is kind to his creatures; he regards you with his love of benevolence; for this very day his sun hath shone upon you, this day you have had food and raiment, and you have come up here in health and strength. Do you hate God because he loves you? Is that the reason? Consider how many mercies you have received at his hands all your lives long! You are born with a body not deformed, you have had a tolerable share of health; you have been recovered many times from sickness; when lying at the gates of death; his arm has held back your soul from the last step to destruction. Do you hate God for all this? Do you hate him because he spared your life by his tender mercy? Behold his goodness that he hath spread before you! He might have sent you to hell; but you are here. Now, do you hate God for sparing you? Oh, wherefore art thou at enmity with him? My fellow creature, dost thou not know that God sent his Son from his bosom, hung him on the tree, and there suffered him to die for sinners, the just for the unjust? And dost thou hate God for that? Oh, sinner, is this the cause of thine enmity? Art thou so estranged that thou givest enmity for love? And when he surroundeth thee with favors, girdeth thee with mercies, encircleth thee with lovingkindness, dost thou hate him for this? He might say as Jesus did to the Jews: “For which of these works do ye stone me?” For which of these works do ye hate God? Did an earthly benefactor feed you, would you hate him? Did he clothe you, would you abuse him to his face? Did he give you talents, would you turn those powers against him? Oh, speak! Would you forge the iron and strike the dagger into the heart of your best friend? Do you hate your mother who nursed you on her knee? Do you curse your father who so wisely watched over you? Nay, ye say, we have some little gratitude towards earthly relatives. Where are your hearts, then? Where are your hearts, that ye can still despise God, and be at enmity with him? Oh! Diabolical crime! Oh! Satanic enormity! Oh! Iniquity for which words fail in description! To hate the all-lovely-to despise the essentially good-to abhor the constantly merciful-to spurn the everbeneficent- to scorn the kind the gracious one, above all, to hate the God who sent his Son to die for man! Ah! In that thought-”the carnal mind is enmity against God,”-there is something which may make us shake; for it is a terrible sin to be at enmity with God. I would I could speak more powerfully, but my Master alone can impress upon you the enormous evil of this horrid state of heart.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Carnal Mind Enmity Against God,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 22, 1855

What is God to us?

November 23, 2020 4 comments

What is God to us? He is the creator of the heavens and the earth; he bears up the pillars of the universe, his breath perfumes the flowers; his pencil paints them; he is the author of this fair creation; “we are the sheep of his pasture, he hath made us, and not we ourselves.” He stands to us in the relationship of a Maker and Creator, and from that fact he claims to be our King. He is our legislator our law-maker; and then, to make our crime still worse and worse, he is the ruler of providence; for it is he who keeps us from day to day. He supplies our wants; he keeps the breath within our nostrils; he bids the blood still pursue its course through the veins; he holdeth us in life, and preventeth us from death, he standeth before us, our creator, our king our sustainer, our benefactor, and I ask, is it not a sin of enormous magnitude-is it not high treason against the emperor of heaven-is it not an awful sin, the depth of which we cannot fathom with the line of all our judgment-that we, his creatures, dependent upon him, should be at enmity with God?

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Carnal Mind Enmity Against God,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 22, 1855

To show the great enormity of this guilt

November 16, 2020 Leave a comment

III. I have said that I would endeavor, in the third place, to show the great enormity of this guilt. I do fear, my brethren, that very often when we consider our state, we think not so much of the guilt as of the misery. I have sometimes read sermons upon the inclination of the sinner to evil, in which it has been very powerfully proved, and certainly the pride of human nature has been well humbled and brought low; but one thing always strikes me, if it is left out, as being a very great omission, viz.-the doctrine that man is guilty in all these things. If his heart is against God, we ought to tell him it is his sin; and if he cannot repent, we ought to show him that sin is the sole cause of his disability-that all his alienation from God is sinthat as long as he keeps from God it is sin. I fear many of us here must acknowledge that we do not charge the sin of it to our own consciences. Yes say we, we have many corruptions. Oh! Yes. But we sit down very contented. My brethren we ought not to do so. The having those corruptions is our crime which should be confessed as an enormous evil; and if I, as a minister of the Gospel, do not press home the sin of the thing, I have missed what is the very virus of it. I have left out the very essence, if I have not shown that it is a crime. Now, “the carnal mind is enmity against God.” What a sin it is! This will appear in two ways. Consider the relation in which we stand to God, and then remember what God is; and after I have spoken of these two things, I hope, you will see, indeed, that it is a sin to be at enmity with God.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Carnal Mind Enmity Against God,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 22, 1855

Original Sin standth not in the following of Adam; but it is the fault and corruption of the nature of every man

Now, my hearers, “the Bible alone is the religion of Protestants:” but whenever I find a certain book much held in reverence by our episcopalian brethren, entirely on my side, I always feel the greatest delight in quoting from it. Do you know I am one of the best Churchmen in the world, the very best, if you will judge me by the Articles, and the very worst if you measure me in any other way. Measure me by the Articles of the Church of England, and I will not stand second to any man under heaven’s blue sky in preaching the gospel contained in them; for if there be an excellent epitome of the Gospel, it is to be found in the Articles of the Church of England. Let me show you that you have not been hearing strange doctrine. Here is the 9th Article, upon Original or Birth Sin “Original Sin standth not in the following of Adam; (as the Pelagians do vainly talk;) but it is the fault and corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit; and, therefore, in every person born into this world, it deserveth God’s wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea, in them that are regenerated; whereby the lust of the flesh, called in the Greek, phronema sarkos which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire, of the flesh, is not subject to the Law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin.” I want nothing more. Will any one who believes in the Prayer Book dissent from the doctrine that “the carnal mind is enmity against God?”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Carnal Mind Enmity Against God,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 22, 1855

The whole of the mind is enmity against God

Another thought concerning the universality of this statement. The whole of the mind is enmity against God. The text says, “The carnal mind is enmity against God,” that is, the entire man, every part of him-every power, every passion. It is a question often asked, “What part of man was injured by the fall?” Some think that the fall was only felt by the affections, and that the intellect was unimpaired; this they argue from the wisdom of man, and the mighty discoveries he has made, such as the law of gravitation, the steam engine and the sciences. Now, I consider these things as being a very mean display of wisdom, compared with what is to come in a hundred years, and very small compared with what might have been, if man’s intellect had continued in its pristine condition. I believe that fall crushed man entirely; albeit, when it rolled like an avalanche upon the mighty temple of human nature some shafts were still left undestroyed, and amidst the ruins you find here and there, a flute a pedestal, a cornice, a column, not quite broken, yet the entire structure fell, and its most glorious relics are fallen ones, levelled in the dust. The whole of man is defaced. Look at our memory, is it not true that the memory is fallen? I can recollect evil things far better than those which savor of piety. I hear a ribald song, that music of hell shall jar in my ear when grey hairs shall be upon my head. I hear a note of holy praise: alas! It is forgotten! For memory graspeth with an iron hand ill things, but the good she holdeth with feeble fingers. She suffereth the glorious timbers from the forest of Lebanon to swim down the stream of oblivion, but she stoppeth all the draff that floateth from the foul city of Sodom. She will retain evil, she will lose good. Memory is fallen. So are the affections. We love everything earthly better than we ought; we soon fix our heart upon a creature, but very seldom upon the Creator; and when the heart is given to Jesus it is prone to wander. Look at the imagination too. Oh! How can the imagination revel, when the body is in an ill condition? Only give man something that shall well nigh intoxicate him drug him with opium, and how will his imagination dance with joy! Like a bird uncaged, how will it mount with more than eagles’ wings! He sees things he had not dreamed of even in the shades of night. Why did not his imagination work when his body was in a normal state -when it was healthy? Simply because it is depraved; and until he had entered a foul element-until the body had begun to quiver with a kind of intoxication-the fancy would not hold its carnival. We have some splendid specimens of what men could write, when they have been under the accursed influence of ardent spirits. It is because the mind is so depraved that it loves something which puts the body into an abnormal condition; and here we have a proof that the imagination itself’ has gone astray. So with the judgment-I might prove how ill it decides. So might I accuse the conscience, and tell you how blind it is, and how it winks at the greatest follies. I might review all our powers, and write upon the brow of each one, “Traitor against heaven! Traitor against God!” The whole “carnal mind is enmity against God.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Carnal Mind Enmity Against God,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 22, 1855