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Posts Tagged ‘Pride’

3 Ways Spurgeon Conquered His Secret Sin

September 19, 2016 4 comments

For the past century, Charles Spurgeon’s strengths have often overshadowed his weaknesses. His biographers are largely to blame, painting the preacher as a superhero incapable of vice or vulnerability.

Yet warts reveal as much as dimples do.

Spurgeon had both. He experienced seasons of success, but he also harbored hidden faults — secret sins that sought to undermine his ministry.

Spurgeon’s private life is as worthy of examination as his public life.

“Beloved, make your lives clear. Be you as the brook wherein you may see every stone at the bottom — not as the muddy creek” (MTP 11:455).

What was Spurgeon’s secret sin?

It wasn’t sex.

It wasn’t money.

It wasn’t power.

Spurgeon’s secret sin — his “darling” sin — was pride.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

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God teaches us the truth that He alone is God by cutting down the pride of man

Spurgeon 3But, lastly, mark how God has cut down the pride of man, and has exalted himself by the persons whom he has called to look. “Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” When the Jew heard Isaiah say that, “Ah!” he exclaimed “you ought to have said, Look unto me, O Jerusalem and be saved. That would have been right. But those Gentile dogs are they to look and be saved?” “Yes,” says God, I will show you, Jews, that though I have given you many privileges, I will exalt others above you, I can do as I will with my own.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Sovereignty and Salvation-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, January 6

Keep thine eye wholly on God and on nothing

December 28, 2015 Leave a comment

Spurgeon 6Lastly, I bid thee once more to keep thine eye wholly on God, and on nothing in thy self, because what art thou now, and what wast thou ever, but a poor damned sinner if thou wert out of Christ! I had been preaching the other day all the former part of the sermon, as a minister; presently I thought I was a poor sinner, and then, how differently I began to speak! The best sermons I ever preach are those I preach, not in my ministerial capacity, but as a poor sinner preaching to sinners, I find there is nothing like a minister recollecting that he is nothing but a poor sinner, after all. It is said of the peacock, that although he has fine feathers he is ashamed of his black feet: I am sure that we ought to be ashamed of ours. However gay our feathers may appear at times, we ought to think of what we should be if grace did not help us. Oh! Christian keep thine eye on Christ, for out of him thou art no better than the damned in hell; there is not a demon in the pit but might put thee to the blush, if thou art out of Christ. Oh that thou wouldest be humble! Recollect what an evil heart thou hast within thee, even when grace is there. Thou hast grace — God loves thee, but recollect, thou hast a foul cancer in thy heart still. God has removed much of thy sin, but still the corruption remains. We feel that though the old man is somewhat choked, and the fire some what damped by the sweet waters of the Holy Spirit’s influence, yet it would blaze up worse than before, if God did not keep it under. Let us not glory in ourselves, then. The slave need not be proud of his descent: he has the brand-mark upon his hand. Out upon pride! Away with it! Let us rest wholly and solely upon Jesus Christ.

Charles H. Spurgeon-God Alone the Salvation of His People-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 18, 1856

Objections to Election-Objection 4

July 25, 2014 1 comment

Four: It inspires pride in those who think they are elect.

Answer: This is possible only in the case of those who pervert the doctrine. On the contrary, its proper influence is to humble men. Those who exalt themselves above others, upon the ground that they are special favorites of God, have reason to question their salvation. Such people know nothing of sovereign grace.

Christian hymnology witnesses the effect that believing election has on a humbled heart:

Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
and enter while there’s room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
and rather starve than come.
Twas the same love that spread the feast,
That sweetly forced me in;
Else I had still refused to taste,
And perished in my sin.
Pity the nations, O our God!
Constrain the earth to come;
Send thy victorious word abroad,
And bring the wanderers home. Issac Watts

Tis not that I did choose Thee,
For, Lord, that could not be:
This heart would still refuse Thee;
But thou hast chosen me;
Hast, from the sin that stained me,
Washed me and set me free,
And to this end ordained me
That I should live for Thee.
Twas sovereign mercy called me,
And taught my opening mind;
The world had else enthralled me,
To heavenly glories blind. J. Conder

William Sasser-Objections to Election

Heart Corruptions

O God, may Thy Spirit speak in me that I may speak to thee. I have no merit, let the merit of Jesus stand for me. I am undeserving, but I look to Thy tender mercy. I am full of infirmities, wants, sin; Thou art full of grace.

I confess my sin, my frequent sin, my wilful sin; all my powers of body and soul are defiled: a fountain of pollution is deep within my nature. There are chambers of foul images within my being; I have gone from one odious room to another, walked in a no-man’s-land of dangerous imaginations, pried into the secrets of my fallen nature.

I am utterly ashamed that I am what I am in myself; I have no green shoot in me nor fruit, but thorns and thistles; I am a fading leaf that the wind drives away; I live bare and barren as a winter tree, unprofitable, fit to be hewn down and burnt. Lord, dost Thou have mercy on me?

Thou hast struck a heavy blow at my pride, at the false god of self, and I lie in pieces before Thee. But Thou hast given me another master and lord, Thy Son, Jesus, and now my heart is turned towards holiness, my life speeds as an arrow from a bow towards complete obedience to Thee. Help me in all my doings to put down sin and to humble pride. Save me from the love of the world and the pride of life, from everything that is natural to fallen man, and let Christ’s nature be seen in me day by day. Grant me grace to bear Thy will without repining, and delight to be not only chiselled, squared, or fashioned, but separated from the old rock where I have been embedded so long, and lifted from the quarry to the upper air, where I may be built in Christ for ever.

 

Taken from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett. Reformatted by Eternal Life Ministries.

Confession and Petition

December 11, 2013 2 comments

Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Thy mind in Thy Word, of neglect to seek Thee in my daily life. My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations, but I bless Thee that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue my corruptions, and grant me grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring my spirit into subjection, but do Thou rule over me in liberty and power.

I thank Thee that many of my prayers have been refused. I have asked amiss and do not have, I have prayed from lusts and been rejected, I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness. Go on with Thy patient work, answering ‘no’ to my wrongful prayers, and fitting me to accept it. Purge me from every false desire, every base aspiration, everything contrary to Thy rule. I thank Thee for Thy wisdom and Thy love, for all the acts of discipline to which I am subject, for sometimes putting me into the furnace to refine my gold and remove my dross.

No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin. If Thou shouldst give me choice to live in pleasure and keep my sins, or to have them burnt away with trial, give me sanctified affliction. Deliver me from every evil habit, every accretion of former sins, everything that dims the brightness of Thy grace in me, everything that prevents me taking delight in Thee. Then I shall bless Thee, God of jeshurun, for helping me to be upright.

Taken from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett. Reformatted by Eternal Life Ministries.

 

Many worship according to their own devisings

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015The knowledge of God suppressed by ignorance, many falling away into superstition. Such persons, however, inexcusable, because their error is accompanied with pride and stubbornness.

1. But though experience testifies that a seed of religion is divinely sown in all, scarcely one in a hundred is found who cherishes it in his heart, and not one in whom it grows to maturity so far is it from yielding fruit in its season. Moreover, while some lose themselves in superstitious observances, and others, of set purpose, wickedly revolt from God, the result is, that, in reward to the true knowledge of him, all are so degenerate, that in no part of the world can genuine godliness be found. In saying that some fall away into superstition, I mean not to insinuate that their excessive absurdity frees them from guilt; for the blindness under which they labor is almost invariably accompanied with vain pride and stubbornness. Mingled vanity and pride appear in this, that when miserable men do seek after God, instead of ascending higher than themselves as they ought to do, they measure him by their own carnal stupidity, and neglecting solid inquiry, fly off to indulge their curiosity in vain speculation. Hence, they do not conceive of him in the character in which he is manifested, but imagine him to be whatever their own rashness has devised. This abyss standing open, they cannot move one footstep without rushing headlong to destruction. With such an idea of God, nothing which they may attempt to offer in the way of worship or obedience can have any value in his sight, because it is not him they worship, but, instead of him, the dream and figment of their own heart. This corrupt procedure is admirably described by Paul, when he says, that “thinking to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22.) He had previously said that “they became vain in their imaginations,” but lest any should suppose them blameless, he afterwards adds that they were deservedly blinded, because, not contented with sober inquiry, because, arrogating to themselves more than they have any title to do, they of their own accord court darkness, nay, bewitch themselves with perverse, empty show. Hence it is that their folly, the result not only of vain curiosity, but of licentious desire and overweening confidence in the pursuit of forbidden knowledge, cannot be excused.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Henry Beveridge Translation

Beware of self reformation through personal convictions

April 22, 2013 4 comments

fullerConsider, and beware, I say again, as you regard your eternal salvation, that you take up your rest in nothing short of Christ! Particularly,

2. Beware of dwelling in a way of self complacency, on those reformations which may have been produced by the power of conviction This is another of those workings of unbelief, by which many have come short of believing, and so of entering into rest. There is no doubt but your convictions have driven you from the commission of grosser vices, and probably have frightened you into a compliance with various religious duties: but these are only the loppings off of the branched of sin; the root remains unmortified. It is not the breaking off of your sins that will turn to any account, unless they be broken off by righteousness; and this will not-be the case but by believing in Christ. The power of corruption may have only retired into its strong holds, from whence, if you embrace not the Gospel way of salvation, it will soon come forth with increased energy and sweep away all your fancied reformations. Nay, it is very possible that while the lusts of the flesh have seemed to recede, those of the mind, particularly spiritual pride, may have already increased in strength. If, indeed, you dwell on your reformations, and draw comfort from them, it is an undoubted proof that it is so; and then, instead of being reformed, or nearer the kingdom of heaven than you were before your character is more offensive to God than ever. Publicans and harlots are more likely to enter into it than you.

Besides if your reformations were ever so virtuous–which they are not, in his sight by whom actions are weighed–yet while you are an unbeliever, they cannot be accepted. You yourself must first be accepted in the Beloved, ere any thing that you offer can be received. “It does not consist with the honor of the majesty of the King of heaven and earth to accept of any thing from a condemned malefactor condemned by the justice of his own holy law, till that condemnation be removed.”

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered

Beware of thinking your sins are so great that you can’t be forgiven

April 15, 2013 4 comments

fullerConsider, and beware, I say again, as you regard your eternal salvation, that you take up your rest in nothing short of Christ! Particularly,

1. Beware of brooding over your guilt in a way of unbelieving despondence; and so of standing aloof from the hope of mercy. Say not, ” My sins have been too great, too numerous, or too aggravated to be forgiven.” “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth from all sin,” Believest thou this? You are not straitened in him, but in your own bowels. God’s thoughts are not as your thoughts, nor his ways as your ways: as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are his thoughts higher than your thoughts, and his ways than your ways. On the sinner that returneth to our God he bestoweth abundant pardon. It is not, “if thou canst do any thing, help me;” but, “If thou canst believe–all things are possible to him that believeth.” Of what dost thou doubt? Of his all-sufficiency? He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him. Of his willingness? Ought not his gracious invitations to satisfy thee on this head? Can you imagine that he would proclaim, saying, ” Whosoever thirsteth, let him come unto me and drink,” and yet be reluctant to gratify the desires of those that come to him? Objections, on the ground of the greatness of guilt and unworthiness, may seem to wear the face of modesty and humility; but, after all, it becomes you to consider whether they be any other than the workings of a self-righteous spirit. If you could find in your heart to accept of mercy as one of the chief of sinners, all your objections would vanish in a moment.

One sees, in your very tears of despondency, a pining after acceptance with God by something in yourself. Were they put into words, they would amount to something like this: “If I bad but somewhat to recommend me to the Saviour, I could go to him with assurance; or, if I had been less wicked, I might hope for acceptance.” And what is this but making good the complaint of our Saviour? “Ye will not come unto me, that ye may have life!” Such longings after something to recommend you to the Saviour, are no other than “going about to establish your own righteousness;” and while this is the case, there is great danger of your being given up to imagine that you find the worthiness in yourself which your soul desireth.

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered

Effects of the Knowledge of God

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015Effects of the knowledge of God, in humbling our pride, unveiling our hypocrisy, demonstrating the absolute perfections of God, and our own utter helplessness.

On the other hand, it is evident that man never attains to a true self-knowledge until he have previously contemplated the face of God, and come down after such contemplation to look into himself. For (such is our innate pride) we always seem to ourselves just, and upright, and wise, and holy, until we are convinced, by clear evidence, of our injustice, vileness, folly, and impurity. Convinced, however, we are not, if we look to ourselves only, and not to the Lord also — He being the only standard by the application of which this conviction can be produced. For, since we are all naturally prone to hypocrisy, any empty semblance of righteousness is quite enough to satisfy us instead of righteousness itself. And since nothing appears within us or around us that is not tainted with very great impurity, so long as we keep our mind within the confines of human pollution, anything which is in some small degree less defiled delights us as if it were most pure just as an eye, to which nothing but black had been previously presented, deems an object of a whitish, or even of a brownish hue, to be perfectly white. Nay, the bodily sense may furnish a still stronger illustration of the extent to which we are deluded in estimating the powers of the mind. If, at mid-day, we either look down to the ground, or on the surrounding objects which lie open to our view, we think ourselves endued with a very strong and piercing eyesight; but when we look up to the sun, and gaze at it unveiled, the sight which did excellently well for the earth is instantly so dazzled and confounded by the refulgence, as to oblige us to confess that our acuteness in discerning terrestrial objects is mere dimness when applied to the sun. Thus too, it happens in estimating our spiritual qualities. So long as we do not look beyond the earth, we are quite pleased with our own righteousness, wisdom, and virtue; we address ourselves in the most flattering terms, and seem only less than demigods. But should we once begin to raise our thoughts to God, and reflect what kind of Being he is, and how absolute the perfection of that righteousness, and wisdom, and virtue, to which, as a standard, we are bound to be conformed, what formerly delighted us by its false show of righteousness will become polluted with the greatest iniquity; what strangely imposed upon us under the name of wisdom will disgust by its extreme folly; and what presented the appearance of virtuous energy will be condemned as the most miserable impotence. So far are those qualities in us, which seem most perfect, from corresponding to the divine purity.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Henry Beveridge Translation