Spurgeon Thursday


NO. 1356




“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell from where it comes, and where it goes:

so is everyone that is born of the Spirit.John 3:8.

spurgeon5 THE Holy Spirit is to be admired, not only for the great Truths of God which He teaches us in Holy Scripture, but also for the wonderful manner in which those Truths are balanced. The Word of God never gives us too much of one thing or too little of another. It never carries a doctrine to an extreme, but tempers it with its corresponding doctrine. Truth seems to run at least in two parallel lines, if not in three, and when the Holy Spirit sets before us one line He wisely points out to us the other. The truth of Divine Sovereignty is qualified by human responsibility and the teaching of abounding Grace is seasoned by a remembrance of unflinching Justice. Scripture gives us, as it were, the acid and the alkali—the rock and the oil which flows from it—the sword which cuts and the balm which heals.

As our Lord sent forth His Evangelists two and two so does He seem to send out His Truths two and two, that each may help the other for the blessing of those who hear them. Now in this most notable third of John you have two Truths of God taught as plainly as if they were written with a sunbeam and taught side by side. The one is the necessity of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the fact that whoever believes in Him is not condemned. This is a vital doctrine, but there is a possibility of preaching it so baldly and so out of relation to the rest of God’s Word that men may be led into serious error. Justification by faith is a most precious Truth of God. It is the very pith and heart of the Gospel and yet you can dwell so exclusively upon it that you cause many to forget other important practical and experimental Truths and so do them serious mischief.

Salt is good, but it is not all that a man needs to live upon, and even if people are fed on the best of dry bread and nothing  else they do not thrive. Every part of Divine teaching is of practical value and must not be neglected. Therefore, the Holy Spirit, in this chapter, lays equal stress upon the necessity of the new birth or the work of the Holy Spirit and He states it quite as plainly as the other grand Truth of God. See how they blend—“You must be born again,” but, “whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” “Except a man is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” but, “He that believes on Him is not condemned.”

Two great Truths are written in letters of light over the gate of Heaven as the requisites of all who enter there— Reconciliation by the blood of Jesus Christ and Regeneration by the work of the Holy Spirit. We must not put one of these Truths of God before the other, nor allow one to obliterate or hide the other. They are of equal importance, for they are revealed by the same Divine Spirit and are both necessary to eternal salvation. He who cares to preach either of these ought, also, diligently to teach the other, lest he be found guilty of violating that salutary precept, “What God has joined together let no man put asunder.”

Avoid all neglect of faith and equally shun all undervaluing of the work of the Holy Spirit and so shall you find that Continue reading

Spurgeon Thursday

NO. 2971

Happy is the man who fears always.” Proverbs 28:14.

BUT did not John say that “fear has torment”?  Then how can he be happy who has fear—and  especially he who has it always? Did not John also say that “perfect love casts out fear”? How is it, then, that he is happy in whom love is not made perfect, if it true that the fear which John meant is left in it? Dear Friends, the explanation is that the word, “fear,” is used in different senses—and both Solomon and John are right! Neither  is there  any conflict between their two statements. There is a fear which perfect love casts out because it has torment.  That is the slavish fear which trembles before God as a criminal trembles before the judge—the  fear which mistrusts, suspects and has no confidence in God— the fear which, therefore, keeps us away from God, causes us to dread the thought of drawing near to Him and makes us say, like the fool to whom the Psalmist refers, “No God.” Many of you know what this kind of fear is, for you once suffered from it—though I trust you are now delivespurgeon 2red from it by faith in Christ Jesus and by the love which the Spirit of God has worked in your hearts.

There is also another sort of fear which springs out of this slavish fear—and which is to be equally shunned, namely a fear which leads to the apprehension that something evil is about to happen. There are many persons who have so little faith in God that they fear that the trials which will sooner or later overtake them, will also overthrow them. They are afraid of a certain form of suffering that threatens them—they fear that they will not have patience enough to bear up under it. They feel sure that their spirit will sink in their sickness. Above all, they are dreadfully afraid to die. They have not yet believed that God will be with them when they pass through  the Valley of Death and, because they cannot trust Him, they are all their lifetime subject to bondage! They cannot say that all things work together for good to them. And they often say, as poor old Jacob mistakenly said, “All these things are against me.” And so they go on, fearing this and fearing that, and fearing the other, and their life is spent,  to a great extent, in sorrow and sighing.  May the Lord graciously deliver any of you who are in that condition!

That is a kind of fear from which the true Believer is free. He knows that whatever happens, God will overrule it for the good of His chosen. “He shall not to afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.”  Resignation to the Divine will has made him feel that whatever the Lord wills is right—he  does not seek to have his own will, but he is glad to make God’s will his will—and so he is perfectly satisfied with all that comes. God save you, my Brothers  and Sisters in Christ, from all fear of a slavish sort! Above all, no Christian ought to have any fear which would bring dishonor upon the truthfulness, the goodness, the Immutability, or the power of God. To doubt His promise—to suppose that He will not make it good—this is, indeed, a fear which has torment. To doubt God’s faithfulness—to suppose that He can ever forget His children, that His mercy can be withdrawn  from them, or that He will be favorable to them no more—this also is wrong. To doubt the perseverance of the saints, when God’s Word has so plainly declared that He will keep their feet and will perfect the work which He has begun in them—indeed, to doubt anything that has the Inspired Scriptures to support it—and to tremble in any way when your trembling arises out of a suspicion that God may change, or cease to be faithful to His promises and faithful to His Son—all that kind of fearing is to be cast far from us!

But, dear Friends, there is another fear that ought to be cultivated—the reverential fear which the holy angels feel when they worship God and behold His Glory—that  gracious fear which makes them veil their faces with their wings as they adore the Majesty on high! There is also the loving  fear which every true, right-hearted  child has towards its father—a  fear of grieving so tender a parent—a proper feeling of dread which makes it watch its every footstep, lest, in the slightest degree, it should deviate from the path of absolute obedience. May God graciously grant to us much of this kind of fear!

Then there is a holy fear of ourselves which makes us shun the very thought  of self-reliance—which weans us equally from self-righteousness and self-confidence—and  which makes us feel that we shall surely fall unless the Lord shall continually hold us up and that we shall  certainly  die unless He shall sustain our spiritual life. This  fear  of our ourselves—the fear of sinning against God—is a fear which we ought always to cherish and, concerning which the text says, “Happy is the man who fears always.”

I have taken this topic for a special reason. You know that we have recently  had a great deal of preaching  of “Believe! Believe! Believe!” and I have very heartily  joined in the evangelistic services which have been held. We have also had a great deal of singing about full assurance—and we have had a little chattering about perfection, or something wonderfully like it. As far as I can make it out and as I put all Continue reading

Spurgeon Thursday

NO. 3556
“Will you also go away?” John 6:67.

No mischief that ever befalls our Christian  communities is more lamentable  than that which comes from the defection of the members. The heaviest sorrow that can wring a pastor’s heart is such as comes from the treachery of his most familiar friend. The direst calamity the Church can dread is not such as will arise from the assault of enemies outside, but from false Brothers and Sisters within the camp. My eminent predecessor, Benjamin Keach, though arrested, brought  before the magistrates, imprisoned, pilloried and otherwise made to suffer by the Government of the times for the Gospel Doctrines that he preached and published, found it easier to brook the rough usage of open foes than to bear the griefs of wounded love, or sustain the shock of outraged confidence. I should not think his experience was very exceptional. Other saints would have preferred the rotten eggs of the villagers to the rooted animosities of slanderers! Troy could never be taken by the assaults of the Greeks outside her walls. Only when, by stratagem,  the enemy had been admitted  within the citadel, was that brave city compelled to yield. The devil, himself, is not such a subtle foe to the Church as Judas, when, after the supper, Satan entered into him. Judas was a friend of Jesus. Jesus addressed him as such. And Judas said, “Hail, Master,” and kissed Him. And it was Judas who betrayed Him! That is a picture which may well appall you—that  is a peril which may well admonish you! In all our churches, among the many who enlist, there are some who desert. They continue awhile, and then they go back to the world. The radical reason why they retract is an obvious disagreement. “They went out from us because they were not of us, for if they had been of us, doubtless they would have continued with us.” The unconverted adherents to our fellowship are no loss to the Church when they depart. They are not a real loss, any more than the scattering of the chaff from the threshing floor is a detriment to the wheat. Christ keeps the winnow- ing fan always going. His own preaching constantly sifted His hearers. Some were blown away because they were chaff. They did not really believe. By the ministry of the Gospel, by the order of Providence, by all the arrangements of Divine Government, the precious are separated from the vile, the dross is purged away from the silver that the good seed and the pure metal may remain and be preserved! The process is always painful. It causes great searching of heart among those who abide faithful—and occasions deep anxiety to gentle spirits of tender, sympathetic mold.

I trust, dear Friends, that you will not think I harbor  any ungenerous suspicions of your fidelity because my text contains so pointed and so personal an appeal to your conscience. There is more of pathos than of pardon in the question as our Lord put it, “Will you also go away?” He addressed the favored twelve. I put it to myself. I put it to those who are the officers of the Church. I put it to every member without exception—Will you also go away? But should there be one to whom it is peculiarly applicable,  I do not desire to flinch from putting  the question most personally to that one, “What? Are you going? Do you mean to turn back? Do you mean to go away?”

Let us approach the enquiry sideways. Will you also go away? “Also” means as well as other people. Why do others go? If they have any good reason,  perhaps  we may see cause to follow their example. Look narrowly, then, at the various causes or excuses for defection.  Why do they renounce the religious  profession they once espoused? The fundamental  reason is lack of Grace, a lack of true faith, an absence of vital godliness. It is, however, the outward reasons which expose the inward apostasy of the heart from Christ of which I am anxious to treat.


Some there are in these days, as there were in our Lord’s own day, who depart from Christ because they cannot bear His Doctrine. Our Lord had more explicitly than on any former occasion declared the necessity of the soul’s feeding upon Himself. They probably  misunderstood  His language,  but they certainly  took offense at His statement. Hence there were those who said, “This is a hard saying; who can hear it?” So they walked no more with Him.

There are many points and particulars in which the Gospel is offensive to human nature and revolting to the pride of the creature. It was not intended to please man. How can we attribute  such a purpose to God? Why should He devise a Gospel to suit the whims of our poor fallen human nature? He intended to save men, but He never intended to gratify their depraved tastes. Rather does He lay the axe to the root of the tree and cut down human pride. When God’s servants are led to set forth some humbling Doctrine, there are those who say, “Ah, I will not assent to that!” Continue reading