Worldly wisdom talks of “the universal fatherhood of God,” and babbles for ever about that mere dream, that fiction of folly, against which the Bible is a plain and pointed protest. Universal Fatherhood indeed, when our Lord Jesus said, “If God were your Father ye would love me, for I proceeded forth and came from God. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” Is it not described as a special wonder of love that we should be called the sons of God? (1 John 3:1.) Did not the Holy Ghost say by his servant John, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil; whoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”
The philosophic Christian world knows an effeminate, indiscriminate fatherhood, but not “the righteous Father.” It will not bow before the majesty of his justice. According to the tenor of its teaching sin is a misfortune, transgression, a mere trifle, and the souls that suffer for wilful guilt are objects to be pitied rather than to be blamed. The world’s “thinkers” are continually drawing upon our feelings to make us pity those who are punished, but they have little to say in order to make us hate the evil which deserved the doom. Sin according to them does not of itself demand punishment, but penalties are to be exacted or remitted for the general good, if indeed they are to be executed at all. All necessary and inevitable connection between guilt and its punishment is denied. They dare to call justice revenge, and speak of atonement as if were a solatium for private pique. The Christian world does not seem to have learned the truth that “a God all mercy were a God unjust,” and that a God unjust would soon be discovered to be a God without love, in fact, no God whatever. “Righteous Father!” This is the peculiar revelation which is received by those who have been taught of the Holy Spirit, and to this day Jesus Christ may say, “O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee.”
Men kick against the doctrine of the atonement, they quarrel with substitution, they are fierce in their sarcasms against the mention of the precious blood of Christ, and sneer superciliously at those who hold fast the old truth. They stumble at this stumbling stone, and strive evermore to overthrow this rock of truth; and yet, depend upon it, this is the test question by which we shall know whether a man knoweth God aright or knoweth him not.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Righteous Father Known And Loved," delivered October 14, 1877. Image by Jeff Pang on Flickr under Creative Commons License.
In the present age if any man can talk well he will get a following, whatever he may teach. I am astounded at some professors, who can hear this man to-day and that man the next, though the two are diametrically opposed. Surely there is some difference between truth and error, and mere cleverness cannot neutralize false doctrine. Our forefathers discerned between things that differed, and when false doctrine came before them they cast it out, notwithstanding the eloquence of its advocate. I do not want you to be bigots. God deliver us from their bitter spirit, but I do want you to be sound believers. There is a great difference between obstinate bigotry and a decided maintenance of that which we have believed. After all, what is the chaff to the wheat? There is a difference between the doctrines of men and the teachings of the Lord. No lie is of the truth. Garnish it as you may, it is still a lie. Oh to be rooted and grounded and built up in Christ! One of the most desirable things in this fickle age is to see around the minister of Christ a people who know the truth, and feel that the truth binds them fast to their God.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Taking Hold Upon God," delivered October 7, 1877. Image by Jeff Pang on Flickr under Creative Commons License.
God’s temple does not build itself, neither does man build it, but it is the sole work of God. The Spirit of God quarries out of the pit of nature the stones which are as yet dead, separating them from the mass to which they adhered; he gives them life, amid then he fashions, squares, polishes them, and they, without sound of axe or hammer, are brought each one to its appointed place, amid built up into Christ Jesus. The old heathen fabled of the music of Orpheus that it was so sweet that as he poured forth the mellifluous sounds the rocks began to dance around him, and as he continued still to play they piled themselves up into a temple at his bidding. This is true of our Lord Jesus, the music of whose divine word by the Spirit brings us stones from different parts of the fields in which we lay, and fits us together, stone to his stone, till a holy temple in the Lord arises to his praise. May the Holy Ghost work among us in this manner, and may we all become indwelt by the ever-blessed Spirit.
As you and I, who have long been brought into the church, think of how we became built upon the foundation, let us praise the hand which laid us in our place; and as we cling closer and closer to the great corner stone to whom we are always coming, let us bless him that the same love which in the beginning cemented us to the corner stone still holds us in our place so firmly that none shall separate us.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The True Priesthood, Temple And Sacrifice," delivered September 30, 1877. Image by Jeff Pang on Flickr under Creative Commons License.
It is impossible to serve sin and to serve Christ. Favourite and constitutional sins must be relinquished. I know many persons who say that they are under concern of soul whose sincerity I more than question, because they continue in known sin, and yet they complain that they cannot find peace. How can they? If you meet with a person who drinks upon the sly and is frequently half intoxicated, if you hear him say that he cannot find rest in Christ, do you wonder? Do you not feel that he is a hypocrite?... Talk about having a Savior and continue to get drunk; I marvel that you do not perish like Ananias and Sapphira. Another man is carrying on his trade in a way which is dishonest, and yet he whines amid cants about not finding peace with God. Do not his own words condemn him? What has he to do with peace? How can he continue in sin and yet be saved from sin?
Oh, sirs, be not deceived; your sins and you must part or Jesus will have nothing to do with you. Do you think so badly of my Lord as to dream that he will pander to your passions by giving you liberty to live in sin and yet go to heaven? For shame! Has Christ come to play the lackey to your lusts and let you do the work of Satan and then receive the wages of the godly? Oh no, there must be a clean sweep of the false to make room for the true; we must have no Ishbosheth* if David is to be king. Though you may not attain perfection, yet in your desires you must be perfect; you must from your heart put away every single sin, be it of what shape it may, however pleasurable or painful it may appear. Off must come the right arms, and out must go the right eyes. It were better for you to enter into life maimed and blind than that you should perish in your transgressions.
* - See 2 Samuel chs. 2 & 3
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Now Then Do It," delivered September 23, 1877. Image by Adrian Dreßler on Flickr under Creative Commons License.
Oh, how loftily is he lifted up to sit upon a glorious high throne for ever! But you shall sit upon his throne with him and share his exaltation as you have shared his humiliation. Oh, the delight of thus being joint heirs with Christ, and with him in the possession of all that he possesses. What is heaven? It is the place which his love suggested, which his genius invented, which his bounty provided, which his royalty has adorned, which his wisdom has prepared, which he himself glorifies; in that heaven you are to be with him for ever. You shall dwell in the King’s own palace. Its gates of pearl and streets of gold shall not be too good for you. You who love him are to abide for ever with him, not near him in a secondary place, as a servant lives at the lodge gate of his master’s mansion, but with him in the self-same palace in the metropolis of the universe.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Forever With The Lord," delivered September 16, 1877. Image by Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ on Flickr under Creative Commons License.
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