Sermons tagged #Spurgeon
This is a simple sermon, probably preached by a very sick man. It was printed at the end of a three-month absence from the pulpit at the Metropolitan Tabernacle by Mr Spurgeon, and includes a brief personal note to the congregation at its end, thanking them for their prayers. Although undated, there are intimate touches in it which at least suggest that it came from the period of his suffering. Indeed, the very simplicity of its structure and substance suggests that it may come from the heart of a man who is struggling to do much more than the basics, but who is finding his own comforts, and offering those same comforts to others, from the most basic of truths. With sweet straightforwardness, then, our preacher simply points out the proprietor of the sheep, the marks of the sheep, and the privileges of the sheep, not forgetting—even as he presses home the favours that believers enjoy in Christ—to remind us of our responsibilities to the Saviour, and the need of those who are not yet in his flock to come to the Shepherd that they might receive life from him. Let us not despair of simple sermons, nor assume that sickness spells the end of usefulness, for the Lord is able to show his strength in the weakness of his servants.
In the evening, our former pastor, Rev. Ted Gray, will show us "Perfect Peace", the comfort we find in God's Word. Be there for the second service as we hear a great sermon!Scripture Reading: Isaiah 26:1-12 Text: Isaiah 26:3 Sermon: "Perfect Peace" You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. - Isaiah 26:3 "Perfect Peace" Isaiah 26:1-12 I. Although Isaiah lived in a wicked and violent culture (10) he wrote about perfect peace (3). The Lord gives perfect peace to those who by His grace trust in Him alone. Through saving faith in Christ we have: Peace with God (Rom. 5:1) and the peace of God (Phil. 4:6, 7) Peace with others (Eph. 2:14; 1 Cor. 12:12ff; Col. 3:13, 15) Peace with circumstances (Rom. 8:28; 2 Cor. 12:9; Phil. 4:12-13) II. Applications: Only the Lord is able to give perfect peace (3, 12) Our minds must remain steadfast on Him (3, 4) We are to obediently wait on Him, with His name and renown the desire of our hearts (8.9)
Musing on the benedictions that drop from the lips of a faithful man, and in anticipation of his own absence from the flock at the Tabernacle, Spurgeon turns to the words with which Paul closes his letter to the Romans: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." With an eye to the affection which underpins the apostolic blessing, he dives into the substance of the particular favour which he enjoins upon God's people, musing upon the grace which is in and through and with Christ, and some of the dimensions of it. This is the bulk of his treatment. More briefly he considers the people who receive the blessing, and how and why we so need the grace of our Lord. Finally, and very warmly, he surveys the sweet results to be anticipated when such a blessing rests upon the beloved of God. Throughout the sermon, and especially having given himself so largely to the first section, one has the sense of a full heart operating under holy constraint, much material and true pastoral affection forced from the heart through the narrow aperture of the preacher's mouth under pressure of time. It helps us to consider not just how we pray, and with what sense and desire, but also what we can anticipate when the servants of God call down the mercies of the Lord's on our needy heads.
Picking up the last episode of the parable of the wedding feast, Spurgeon applies it carefully in his own context, acknowledging that times of spiritual excitement often see false professors joining the visible church. He therefore preaches a sermon intended to provoke heart-searching among his hearers, that they may not be found out in the day of God's testing. With that in mind, he has five simple headings: an enemy at the feast, the king at the feast, who becomes the judge at the feast, making the enemy the criminal at the feast, who is removed by the executioner at the feast. Spurgeon treads through this structure in ever tightening circles, each one built on those preceding. His final charge and plea is to take heed of the gospel sifting that comes through such preaching, before you come to God's sifting in the day when he draws near, and find yourself exposed to his judgement. Spurgeon never lets go of the stark distinction of life and death, heaven and hell. That breeds a fierce honesty and an earnest compassion, both of which are on display in this telling sermon.
This delightful sermon lays hold of Christ in his present power by pointing to the display of that power when, at his coming, he works the transformation of all his redeemed people at their resurrection from the dead. The logic is simple. First, Christ has power to raise all his people and to transform their vile bodies that they may be like his glorious body. The preacher takes some time to describe and explain something of what that display of power must involve. Second, from his text he underscores that the power which he has just described currently belongs to Christ, who exerts that power in raising his people from spiritual death, emphasising something of the parallels between the physical resurrection and the spiritual, and the hope that gives. Finally, and very briefly, he presses home our desire as believers to see Christ subduing sinners, closing with a powerful plea to unbelievers to be subdued, and to find life and peace in so doing. The sermon is remarkable for the way in which Spurgeon is able not only to set before us some of the glories to come, but also to explain the present confidence of those who have such a Saviour.
This sermon is one in which Spurgeon clings very closely to his text. His three-point outline follows the overall arc of the verses from which he preaches, while under each main heading, rather than arranging some thoughts as he so often does, he rather follows the substance of the biblical wording closely, unpacking it, explaining it, applying it. The result is a sermon as logical as any others in its arrangement, but tied to the text in a way that is fairly distinctive. The substance of the sermon is one of Spurgeon's particular concerns: the connection between a saved soul and a holy life, the joy that is found in Christ and the righteousness that is pursued in his strength, the happiness that feeds our desire for holiness, and the holiness that increases our happiness. With his customary care to keep the finished work of Christ at the ground and centre of the whole, Spurgeon urges us to purge out all that is displeasing to him, that without malice and wickedness and in sincerity and in truth, we might keep the feast, always feeding upon Christ for our strength and joy.
Spurgeon is deeply concerned with the prayers of God's people. The Tabernacle, under his care, was a congregation marked by a prayerful spirit, worked out in various opportunities for intercession, and not least a pattern of regular congregational prayer, with particular seasons for pleading God's blessing. Behind that appetite for prayer lies a confidence in the God who hears prayer. This sermon is grounded on beautiful convictions about the goodness of God. Spurgeon uses Christ's comparison between the sinful father who still knows how to give good gifts to his children and the Father in heaven who gives good gifts to those who ask him to assure us that right requests obtain right replies. Then, on the same basis, the best requests are likely to obtain the surest answers. Finally, again on the same foundation, the text itself supplies the best request, and so obtains all needful blessings. The sermon, with its practical applications for a praying people, brims over with confidence in the God whose heart toward his people is full of love, and who will never give a bad thing when a truly good one is pleaded by his beloved children.
We too easily cease to wonder at the marvel of divine love and the splendour of divine blessing. This sermon, as so many, puts on display Spurgeon's persistent joy in the salvation of God, in itself and as bestowed upon others. It is one of the sermons in which, rather than deal with a theme suggested by a verse, he engages in close dealing with the text itself—on this occasion, 1 Peter 1:3–5. He simply, sweetly, works his way through the text, exploring the particular favours which the Lord God has bestowed upon his people, culminating where the verse itself begins, with the blessed God, who himself is the portion of his people and the source of all their good. It is our privilege to be so blessed by the blessed God, the Most Merciful and Most Gracious, and therefore right for us to rise up and bless the God of our salvation.
Simon Magus - in Acts 8:1-24 was an unsaved man, the Scriptures say he was in the gall of bitterness, and his heart was not right with God and he was in the bonds of iniquity, and showing no sign of repentance towards God. Such are the lost men of this world but the Lord saves His people and sets them free.
Congregational Reading: Ezra 1:1-11 * Download Handout Notes from PDF above (includes Charles Spurgeon "Quote of the Week"). Other Scriptures Cited: Prov 16:1; Phil 2:12; Jer 25:11-12; Isa 44:28; Jer 29:10-11; Rom 8:28; Prov 16:9; Deut 29:29; John 5:39; Luke 19:10; John 3:16; Jer 32:36-41; Jer 33:14-16; Isa 6:5; Luke 5:8; Rev 1:17; Heb 13:8; Matt 16:17; Psa 2:11; Isa 48:14; Rom 5:6-10
We ought to have a burning appetite for people to know Christ in salvation. We will do that if we delight in him for ourselves. Spurgeon pre-eminently combines that personal delight and that urgent concern. He therefore sets the Lord Jesus before us in the simplicity of his character as the way from sin and to God, impressing upon us the blessings he brings and constantly persuading his hearers to come to Christ, seeking to attract them with his beauties while also warning them of the dangers of not coming on to the way. The preacher shows his talent for conversational close dealing here—nothing is left in the abstract, nothing is allowed to remain theoretical, but the earthiness of the image lends itself to developing metaphors which call us to come to Christ and keep with Christ in order that we may arrive at heaven at last. As so often, we are left saying, on the one hand, that there is little spectacular in the sermon itself, and yet it is full of Christ Jesus, set forth with a winsome earnestness that we would do well to cultivate.
Congregational Reading: Romans 8:1-39 * Download Handout Notes from PDF above (includes Charles Spurgeon "Quote of the Week"). Other Scriptures Cited: Psa 103:2; Psalm 106:21; Heb 1:3; Heb 10:12; 1 Cor 2:2; John 14:3; Psa 2:11; John 3:16; Jdgs 11:31; 1 Pet 1:18-20; Isa 52:14; Isa 53:3-5; Eph 2:8-9; Col 3:25; 1 Tim 1:15; 1 Cor 1:24; Col 3:11; 1 Cor 1:30
This is a sermon both weighty and cutting. Spurgeon evidently feels it as he preaches it, and it comes across in the plainness of his language and the starkness and roughness of the structure. The sermons barrels along, heaping thought upon thought. There is clarity and order in it, but there is also a sort of relentless around a straightforward assertion that two things are to be followed and two things are to be avoided. The preacher takes no prisoners in pressing upon our consciences the need to take seriously the divine exhortations, holding before us both vigorous encouragements and unblushing warnings about the seriousness of the matter in hand. No pulpit comic here, no casual entertainer, but a man in deep earnest about the souls of his hearers, and determined that they should know the way of everlasting life, and be turned away from the path of death.
Spurgeon's assessment of Martha and Mary is not just a crass comparison between the two women, but is rather used to throw light on a disposition he perceives in the church as a whole. It may not be the kind of sermon that all men are in a position to preach, for not all are exposed to the range of activity, the range of influence, and the range of censure to which Spurgeon was exposed. That opportunity enables him to ask about attitudes he perceives rising in the church of his day, the kinds of critiques perhaps thrown about in the Christian journals and popular newspapers of his day. He responds and instructs by identifying the Martha spirit and its consequences (being careful to acknowledge what is good by desire or intent in her approach) as well as underscoring the important of the Mary spirit. No-one who recognises the kind of labour in which Spurgeon engaged will accuse him of dismissing Martha's activism or of pursuing mere pietism in insisting that Mary's communion with Christ was the foundation of all her usefulness. The warning is still well taken today: that mere activity is not enough; we must be close to Christ.
This simple sermon gives a good example of preaching from the human experience recorded in the Scripture. It is an approach often frowned upon today (almost any preaching of human life can be easily dismissed as mere moralism) and yet to throws light on our own thinking and feeling when we can see and hear through the eyes and ears of those whose histories are recorded in Scripture. Spurgeon does that well here, using Nathanael as an example of someone in whom the Spirit had been at work to prepare his heart before he actually encountered our Lord for himself. He introduced us to Nathanael, before stepping through Nathanael's interaction with and responses to our Lord, with helpful insights into human nature that both flow out of and into what happened to Nathanael. These are not left lying on the surface of our minds, but pressed into our hearts by way of instruction and appeal. Spurgeon is concerned for all kinds of hearers, and Nathanael becomes in this sermon a type of a certain kind, turned to good effect as he pleads with those whose hearts have been awakened to something of a sense of their sin and stirred to desire salvation to come to the Saviour.