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The Gospel is about Words

February 11, 2016 Leave a comment

by Phil Newton

Paul did not pantomime the gospel to the Corinthians. He declared it in words. “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you” (1 Cor 15:1). The word for “preached” is literally, “to announce the good news.” So he reiterates the gospel and how it consists in a body of truth communicated verbally about the person and work of Jesus Christ: ‘the good news which I announced good news to you.’

Paul’s statement implies that the gospel must be proclaimed in some fashion. It’s not about how we live or what we do that proclaims the gospel, although, no doubt, our faithfulness in living out the gospel gives credibility to what we say about it. That’s why Paul spent so much time throughout this epistle correcting the selfish, prideful behavior of those professing to be followers of Christ!

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Stand Fast-Hold Fast

CharlesSpurgeonAnd now my brethren, stand fast, I beseech you. If my tears, if my bended knees, if my cries, yea, if my blood could prevail with you to lay to heart what I have said this morning, here should be tears, and cries, and blood too—-if I could but make you all hold fast in these evil, perilous times. Hold fast, and with the tenacity of the dying hand of the sinking mariner—-“Hold fast,” I beseech you, “the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

Remember the Importance of Holding Fast that which is Good

Spurgeon 3And now, brethren and sisters, I pray that my Master will enable you to see the importance of what I have uttered. Perhaps you may not think it so important now, especially those of you who are young; but there are some here, the fathers of this church, who will tell you that the older they grow and the longer they live, the more they find truth to be valuable. They may perhaps in their youth have had a little radicalism in them with regard to truth, but they are conservative in their views of it now, for they feel it to be worth conserving. It would be well for us if, with regard to the truth, we began to be conservative as soon as we believed it, and held it fast and never let it go. I think the chief fault of the present day is, that in seeking to be liberal we do not hold the truth firmly enough. I met some time ago, with the case of an eminent minister in the gospel, a brother whom I respect and esteem, who preached a sermon from the text, “Prove all things.” A young man was there who was professedly a believer in Christianity; but such was the style in which the subject was handled, that after hearing that sermon he went home and bought some infidel works, and the consequence is, that he has become entirely apostate even from virtue itself, and has forsaken everything that he once held to be true. I say, send your anchor right down, young Christian, and let whatever may come against you, hold on still by that truth; and you may yet even then prove all things.” But while you are doing it, remember to “hold fast that which is good.” Do not “prove all things” by giving up that which is good to do it.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

Believe the Truth

Spurgeon 3Believe the truth. Do not pretend to believe it, but believe it thoroughly. And he who does believe it, and fixes his faith first in Christ, and then in all Christ says will not be likely to let it go. Why, we do not believe religion, most of us. We pretend to believe it, but we do not believe it with all our heart and all our soul, with all our might and all our strength—-not with that “faith which is in Christ Jesus;” for if we did, come storms, come trials, like Luther of old, we should not flinch because of persecution, but stand fast in the evil day, having our faith fixed upon a rock.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

The Two Great ‘Hold-fasts’ Truths of Scripture

SpurgeonBut the two great hold-fasts are here given—-faith and love. If ye would hold the truth fast, put your faith in Jesus Christ, and have an ardent love towards him.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

In order to hold fast to truth, one must understand the truth

Spurgeon 1IV. And now, in the last place, I am to tell you of THE GREAT HOLDFASTS, WHEREBY YOU ARE TO HOLD FAST THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL.

If I might be allowed to mention one or two before coming to those in the text, I should say, in the first place, if you want to hold fast the truth, seek to get an understanding of it. A man cannot hold a thing fast, unless he has a good understanding of it. I never want you to have the faith of the collier who was asked what he believed; he said he believed what the Church believed. “Well, but what does the Church believe?” He said the Church believed what he believed, and he believed what the Church believed, and so it went all the way round. We do not want you to have that faith. It may be a very pernacious faith, a very obstinate faith, but it is a very foolish faith. We want you to understand things, to get a true knowledge of them. The reason why men forsake truth for error is, that they have not really understood that truth, in nine cases out of ten they have not embraced it with enlightened minds. Let me exhort you, parents as much as lieth in you, to give your children sound instruction in the great doctrines of the gospel of Christ I believe that what Irving once said is a great truth. He said, “In these modern times you boast and glory, and you think yourselves to be in a high and noble condition, because you have your Sabbath-schools and British-schools, and all kinds of schools for teaching youth. I tell you,” he said, “that philanthropic and great as these are they are the ensigns of your disgrace; they show that your land is not a land where parents teach their children at home. They show you there is a want of parental instruction; and though they be blessed things, these Sabbath-schools, they are indications of something wrong, for if we all taught our children there would be no need of strangers to say to our children ‘Know the Lord.’”

I trust you will never give up that excellent puritanical habit of catechising your children at home. Any father or mother who entirely gives up a child to the teaching of another has made a mistake. There is no teacher who wishes to absolve a parent from what he ought to do himself! He is an assistant, but he was never intended to be a substitute. Teach your children; bring up your old catechisms again, for they are after all blessed means of instruction, and the next generation shall outstrip those that have gone before it, for the reason why many of you are weak in the faith is this, you did not receive instruction in your youth in the great things of the gospel of Christ. If you had, you would have been so grounded, and settled, and firm in the faith, that nothing could by any means have moved you. I beseech you, then, understand truth, and then you will be more likely to hold fast by it.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

Two things that will tempt you to give up the form of sound words

SpurgeonIII. And now, very briefly, in the third place, LET ME WARN YOU OF TWO DANGERS.

One is, that you will be very much tempted to give up the form of sound words that you hold, on account of the opposition you will met with. I do not prophesy that you will have corporeal persecution, though I know there are some poor creatures here that have to endure that from ungodly husbands, and such like; but you will all of you, in some measure, if you hold the truth, meet with the persecution of the tongue. You will be laughed at: your doctrine will be held up to ridicule exhibited in a grotesque manner, you will be caricatured in all that you believe and you will be sometimes tempted to say, “No I do not believe that,” though all the while you do. Or if you do not positively say it, you will at times be led to turn a little, because the laughter you cannot stand, and the scoff of the worldly wise is rather too hard for you. Oh! my beloved, let me warn you against being thus drawn aside. “Hold fast the form of sound words” in the midst of all ridicule. But the greatest obstacle you will have is a sort of slight and cunning trying to pervert you to the belief, that your doctrine is the same with one which is just the very opposite. The enemy will try to persuade you that something he holds is quite harmless, though opposed to what you hold; and be will say, “You do not want to be broaching these things, that must bring forth controversy, there is a way of squaring your sentiments with mine.” And you know we all like to be thought so liberal! The greatest pride in the world now is to be thought liberal in sentiment; and some of us would run a hundred miles, rather than be called a bigot or an Antinomian. I beseech you, be not drawn aside by those who are so ready to subvert your faith, not by openly attacking it, but by insidiously undermining every doctrine saying, this does not signify, and that does not signify, while all the while they are trying to pull down every castle and fortress wherewith God has guarded his truth and his Church.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

Do not only hold the same doctrines, but hold them in the same shape

April 20, 2015 1 comment

CharlesSpurgeon“Well, says one “I think we ought to hold the truth firmly, but I do not see the necessity for holding the form of it- I think we might cut and trim a little and then our doctrines would be received better.” Suppose, my friends, we should have some valuable egg, and some one should say, “Well, now, the shell is good for nothing: there will never be a bird produced by the shell certainly, why not break the shell?” I should simply smile in his face and say, “My dear friend, I want the shell to take care of what is inside. I know the vital principle is the most important, but I want the shell to take care of the vital principle.” You say, “Hold fast the principle, but do not be so severe about the form. You are an old Puritan, and want to be too strict in religion, let us just alter a few things, and make it a little palatable.” My dear friends, do not break the shell; you are doing far more damage than you think. We willingly admit the form is but little, but when men attack the form, what is their object? They do not hate the form; they hate the substance. Keep the substance then, and keep the form too. Not only hold the same doctrines, but hold them in the same shape — just as angular, rough and rugged as they were, for if you do not, it is difficult to change the form and yet to keep fast the substance. “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Jesus Christ.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

Keeping to your faith promotes strength in the Church

April 13, 2015 1 comment

Spurgeon 3Keep to your faith, I say again, for the Church’s sake, for so you will promote strength in the Church. I saw lying between Chatham and Sheerness a number of ships that I supposed to be old hulks; and I thought how stupid Government was to let them remain there, and not chop them up for firewood, or something else; but some one said to me, those ships can soon be fitted for service, they look old now, but they only want a little paint, and when the Admiralty requires them, they will be commissioned and made fit for use. So we have heard some people say, “there are those old doctrines — what good are they?” Wait; there is not a doctrine in God’s Bible that has not its use. Those ships that you may think are not wanted, will be useful by-and-bye. So it is with the doctrines of the Bible. Do not say, “Break up those old doctrines, you can do without them.” Nay, we want them, and we must have them. Some people say, “Why do you preach against Arminians? we have not much to fear from them now.” But I like to practice my men against the time comes for action. We are not going to burn our ships; they will be wanted by-and-bye, and when we sail out of harbor, the men will say, “Whence came these old ships?” “Why,” we will reply, “they are just the doctrines you thought good for nothing; now we bring them out, and we will make good use of them.” Now-a-days we are having new and marvellous hymn books, full of perfect nonsense; and we are having new theories, and new systems; and they say, “Why be so stringent? Our Christian brethren may believe what they like on those points just now;” but as certain as there is a church in this land, they will want our old ships to fight their battles; they may do very well in times of peace, but they will not do in the time of war. They will then need our broadside to support the faith of the gospel, though now they laugh at us. For the strength of the church, my brethren, I bid you “hold fast the form of sound words.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856