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30 June, 2013

Covenanting to serve the Lord - A Poem


By Montgomery, James (1771-1854

Come, ye that fear the Lord,
And love Him while ye fear;
Come, and with heart and hand record
Your vow and covenant here.

Vow to be His alone
Who bought you with a price;
Now render back to God His own,
By free-will sacrifice.

Here to His altar brought,
Your covenant renew,
To be in word, and deed, and thought,
 Faithful to Him and true.

And true and faithful He
To you will ever prove,
Though hills were swept into the sea,
And mountains should remove.

Then be His law our choice,
The joy of young and old,
As sheep that hear their shepherd's voice,
And follow to the fold.

So shall His staff and rod
Conduct us and defend:
God is a covenant-keeping God,
And loves unto the end.

Final Perseverance - Part 2


 March 23, 1856, by C. H. Spurgeon
At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark

Hebrews 6:4-6

Then the Apostle gives a further description, a higher state of grace: sanctification by participation of the Holy Ghost. It is a peculiar privilege to believers, after their first tasting of the heavenly gift, to be made partakers of the Holy Ghost. He is an indwelling Spirit; he dwells in the hearts, and souls, and minds of men; he makes this mortal flesh his home; he makes our soul his palace, and there he rests; and we do assert (and we think, on the authority of Scripture), that no man can be a partaker of the Holy Ghost, and yet be unregenerate. Where the Holy Ghost dwells there must be life; and if I have participation with the Holy Ghost, and fellowship with him, then I may rest assured that my salvation has been purchased by the blood of the Saviour. 

Thou need'st not fear, beloved; if thou has the Holy Ghost, thou hast that which ensures thy salvation; if thou, by an inward communion, canst participate in his Spirit, and if by a perpetual indwelling the Holy Ghost rests in thee, thou art not only a Christian, but thou hast arrived at some maturity in and by grace. Thou hast gone beyond mere enlightenment: thou hast passed from the bare taste—thou hast attained to a positive feast, and a partaking of the Holy Ghost.

Lest there should be any mistake, however, about the persons being children of God, the Apostle goes to a further stage of grace. They "have tasted the good word of God." Now, I will venture to say there are some good Christian people here who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have never "tasted the good word of God." I mean by that, that they are really converted, have tasted the heavenly gift, but have not grown so strong in grace as to know the sweetness, the richness, and fatness of the very word that saves them. 

They have been saved by the word, but they have not come yet to realize, and love, and feed upon the word as many others have. It is one thing for God to work a work of grace in the soul, it is quite another thing for God to show us that work; it is one thing for the word to work in us—it is another thing for us really and habitually to relish, and taste, and rejoice in that word. Some of my hearers are true Christians; but they have not got to that stage wherein they can love election, and suck it down as a sweet morsel, wherein they can take the great doctrines of grace, and feed upon them. But these people had. They had tasted the good word of God, as well as received the good gift: they had attained to such a state, that they had loved the word, had tasted, and feasted upon it. It was the man of their right hand; they had counted it sweeter than honey—ay, sweeter than the droppings of the honeycomb. They had "tasted the good word of God." I say again, if these people be not believers—who are?

And they had gone further still. They had attained the summit of piety. They had received "the powers of the world to come." Not miraculous gifts, which are denied us in these days, but all those powers with which the Holy Ghost endows a Christian. And what are they? Why, there is the power of faith, which commands even the heavens themselves to rain, and they rain, or stop the bottles of heaven, that they rain not. There is the power of prayer, which puts a ladder between earth and heaven, and bids angels walk up and down, to convey our wants to God, and bring down blessings from above. 

There is the power with which God girds his servant when he speaks by inspiration, which enables him to instruct others, and lead them to Jesus; and whatever other power there may be—the power of holding communion with God, or the power of patient waiting for the Son of Man—they were possessed by these individuals. They were not simply children, but they were men; they were not merely alive, but they were endued with power; they were men, whose muscles were firmly set, whose bones were strong; they had become giants in grace, and had received not only the light, but the power also of the world to come. These, we say, whatever may be the meaning of the text, must have been, beyond a doubt, none other than true and real Christians.

II. And now we answer the second question, WHAT IS MEANT BY FALLING

We must remind our friends, that there is a vast distinction between falling away and falling. It is nowhere said in Scripture, that if a man fall he cannot be renewed; on the contrary, "the righteous falleth seven times, but he riseth up again;" and however many times the child of God doth fall, the Lord still holdeth the righteous; yea, when our bones are broken, he bindeth up our bones again, and setteth us once more upon a rock. He saith, "Return, ye backsliding children of men; for I am married unto you;" and if the Christian do backslide ever so far, still Almighty mercy cries, "Return, return, return, and seek an injured Father's heart." He still calls his children back again. Falling is not falling away. 

Let me explain the difference; for a man who falls may behave just like a man who falls away; and yet there is a great distinction between the two. I can use no better illustration than the distinction between fainting and dying. There lies a young creature; she can scarcely breathe; she cannot herself, lift up her hand, and if lifted up by any one else, it falls. She is cold and stiff; she is faint, but not dead. There is another one, just as cold and stiff as she is, but there is this difference—she is dead. The Christian may faint, and may fall down in a faint too, and some may pick him up, and say he is dead; but he is not. If he fall, God will lift him up again; but if he fall away, God himself cannot save him. For it is impossible, if the righteous fall away, "to renew them again unto repentance."

Moreover, to fall away is not to commit sin. under a temporary surprise and temptation. Abraham goes to Egypt; he is afraid that his wife will be taken away from him, and he says, "She is my sister." That was a sin under a temporary surprise—a sin, of which, by-and-by, he repented, and God forgave him. Now that is falling; but it is not falling away. Even Noah might commit a sin, which has degraded his memory even till now, and shall disgrace it to the latest time; but doubtless, Noah repented, and was saved by sovereign grace. Noah fell, but Noah did not fall away.

A Christian may go astray once, and speedily return again; and though it is a sad, and woeful, and evil thing to be surprised into a sin, yet there is a great difference between this and the sin which would be occasioned by a total falling away from grace. 

29 June, 2013

Final Perseverance

 March 23, 1856, by C. H. Spurgeon
At New
Park Street Chapel, Southwark

Hebrews 6:4-6 "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."

A child like attitude is imperative to have if we want the Holy Spirit to teach us the things of the Bible, especially those things that do not quite seem to make sense. When we have a childlike attitude we are able to go to the Holy Spirit, completely destitute, waiting to be taught. Without this child like attitude, we go to Him with what we think we know, and in our own way we basically  tell Him,” here I am impress me.”

I found out at my own expenses what Oswald Chambers means in the July 29 devotional. He said It is not true to say that God wants to teach us something in our trials; through every cloud He brings, He wants us to unlearn something. God’s purpose in the cloud is to simplify our belief until our relationship to Him is exactly that of a child—God and my own soul, other people are shadows.”

Until the Spirit taught me exactly what Oswald Chambers meant, during the time I was in the wilderness, I had some doubts about Oswald. While in the wilderness you will find the biggest stumbling block in your way is no one else but yourself. You have no idea how hard it is to unlearn what we think we know and let Christ takeover. Yet, it is a process we have to go through with each trial. In a sense, in our trials He is teaching us, but He is teaching us to learn to let Him empty us of all the garbage’s we have acquired on the way, —those garbage’s are about doctrines, religions and theologyand fills us up with His true teaching. And unless we learn to be emptied by Him to take on His standards and understanding, all we have is some kind of enjoyment of Him but it is a whole different story to go on possessing Christ.

Just before I leave you, what Oswald meant by “other people are shadows” comes from the fact that you are aware you are being so separated unto the Gospel, that other people, even in the Church, are fading away” this does not mean you do not care. On the contrary, you care much more than you want to. But, I am going to stop here and perhaps I will continue this issue another day, another post.


There are some spots in Europe which have been the scenes of frequent warfare, as for instance, the kingdom of Belgium, which might be called the battlefield of Europe. War has raged over the whole of Europe, but in some unhappy spots, battle after battle has been fought.

So there is scarce a passage of Scripture which has not been disputed between the enemies of truth and the upholders of it; but this passage, with one or two others, has been the special subject of attack. This is one of the texts which have been trodden under the feet of controversy; and there are opinions upon it as adverse as the poles, some asserting that it means one thing, and some declaring that it means another. We think that some of them approach somewhat near the truth; but others of them desperately err from the mind of the Spirit. 

We come to this passage ourselves with the intention to read it with the simplicity of a child, and whatever we find therein to state it; and if it may not seem to agree with something we have hitherto held, we are prepared to cast away every doctrine of our own, rather than one passage of Scripture.
Looking at the scope of the whole passage, it appears to us that the Apostle wished to push the disciples on. There is a tendency in the human mind to stop short of the heavenly mark. As soon as ever we have attained to the first principles of religion, have passed through baptism, and understand the resurrection of the dead, there is a tendency in us to sit still; to say, "I have passed from death unto life; here I may take my stand and rest;" whereas, the Christian life was intended not to be a sitting still, but a race, a perpetual motion. The Apostle, therefore endeavours to urge the disciples forward, and make them run with diligence the heavenly race, looking unto Jesus. 

He tells them that it is not enough to have on a certain day, passed through a glorious change—to have experienced at a certain time, a wonderful operation of the Spirit; but he teaches them it is absolutely necessary that they should have the Spirit all their lives—that they should, as long as they live, be progressing in the truth of God. In order to make them persevere, if possible, he shows them that if they do not, they must, most certainly be lost; for there is no other salvation but that which God has already bestowed on them, and if that does not keep them, carry them forward, and present them spotless before God, there cannot be any other. For it is impossible, he says, if ye be once enlightened, and then fall away, that ye should ever be renewed again unto repentance.

We shall, this morning, answer one or two questions. The first question will be, Who are the people here spoken? Are they true Christians or not? Secondly, What is meant by falling away? And thirdly, What is intended, when it is asserted, that it is impossible to renew them to repentance?

I. First, then, we answer the question, WHO ARE THE PEOPLE HERE SPOKEN OF? If you read Dr. Gill, Dr. Owen, and almost all the eminent Calvinistic writers, they all of them assert that these persons are not Christians. They say, that enough is said here to represent a man who is a Christian externally, but not enough to give the portrait of a true believer. Now, it strikes me they would not have said this if they had had some doctrine to uphold; for a child, reading this passage, would say, that the persons intended by it must be Christians. 

If the Holy Spirit intended to describe Christians, I do not see that he could have used more explicit terms than there are here. How can a man be said to be enlightened, and to taste of the heavenly gift, and to be made partaker of the Holy Ghost, without being a child of God? With all deference to these learned doctors, and I admire and love them all, I humbly conceive that they allowed their judgments to be a little warped when they said that; and I think I shall be able to show that none but true believers are here described.
First, they are spoken of as having been once enlightened. This refers to the enlightening influence of God's Spirit, poured into the soul at the time of conviction, when man is enlightened with regard to his spiritual state, shown how evil and bitter a thing it is to sin against God, made to feel how utterly powerless he is to rise from the grave of his corruption, and is further enlightened to see, that "by the deeds of the law shall no flesh living be justified," and to behold Christ on the cross, as the sinner's only hope. 

The first work of grace is to enlighten the soul. By nature we are entirely dark; the Spirit, like a lamp, sheds light into the dark heart, revealing its corruption, displaying its sad state of destitution, and, in due time, revealing also Jesus Christ, so that in his light we may see light. I cannot consider a man truly enlightened unless he is a child of God. Does not the term indicate a person taught of God? It is not the whole of Christian experience; but is it not a part?
Having enlightened us, as the text says, the next thing that God grants to us is a taste of the heavenly gift, by which we understand, the heavenly gift of salvation, including the pardon of sin, justification by the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, regeneration by the Holy Ghost, and all those gifts and graces, which in the earlier dawn of spiritual life convey salvation. All true believers have tasted of the heavenly gift. It is not enough for a man to be enlightened; the light may glare upon his eyeballs, and yet he may die; he must taste, as well as see that the Lord is good. 

It is not enough to see that I am corrupt; I must taste that Christ is able to remove my corruption. It is not enough for me to know that he is the only Saviour; I must taste of his flesh and of his blood, and have a vital union with him. We do think that when a man has been enlightened and has had an experience of grace, he is a Christian; and whatever those great divines might hold, we cannot think that the Holy Spirit would describe an unregenerate man as having been enlightened, and as having tasted of the heavenly gift. 

No, my brethren, if I have tasted of the heavenly gift, then that heavenly gift is mine; if I have had ever so short an experience of my Saviour's love, I am one of his; if he has brought me into the green pastures, and made me taste of the still waters and the tender grass, I need not fear as to whether I am really a child of God.

28 June, 2013

A Warning To Believers-Part 4

"Let no man beguile you of your reward."
 Colossians 2:18

By Charles Spurgeon

Let no man domineer over you, again, by judging your motives. Men will always give as bad a reason as they can for a good man's actions. It seems to be innate in human nature never to give a man credit for being right if you can help it, and often tender minds have been greatly wounded when they have been misrepresented, and their actions have been imputed to sinister and selfish motives, when they have really desired to serve Christ. But do not let your heart be broken about that. You will appear before the judgment-seat of Christ: do not care about these petty judgments-seats of men. Go on with your Master's work dauntlessly and fearlessly. 

Let them say, as David's brethren said of him, "Because of thy pride and the naughtiness of thy heart to see the battle, art thou come." Go you and get Goliath's head, and bring it back, and that shall be the best answer to these sneering ones. When they see that God is with you, and that he has given you the triumph, you shall have honour, even in the eyes of those who now ridicule you. 

I think sometimes the Christian should have very much the same bravado against the judgment of men as David had when Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out and said, "How glorious was the king of Israel today, who uncovered himself today in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants," and he said, "It was before the Lord, and I will yet be more vile than thus." Let your eye be to God, and forget the eyes of men. Live so that, whether they know what you do, or do not know, you will not care, for your conduct will bear the blaze of the great Judgment Day, and, therefore, the criticisms of earth do not affect you. Let no man domineer over you.

So may I put it in another light--let no man sway your conscience so as to lead you. I am always anxious, my dear hearers, that, whatever respect I may ever win from you--and I trust I may have your esteem and your affection--yet that you will never believe a doctrine simply because I utter it, but unless I can confirm it from the Word of God, away with it. 

If it be not according to the teaching of the Lord and Master, I beseech you follow me not. Follow me only as far as I follow Christ. And so with every other man. Let it be God's truth, God's Word, the Holy Spirit's witness to that Word in your soul, that you are seeking after, but rest, I pray you, never short of that, for if you do your faith must stand merely in the wisdom of men, and when the man who helped you to believe is gone, perhaps your faith may be gone too, when most you need its comforting power. No; let no man domineer over you, but press forward in the Christian race, looking unto Jesus, and looking unto Jesus only.

But now a third meaning belongs to the text. A happy circumstance it is, this dark night, that the preacher does not need to use his manuscript, for if he did his sermon must certainly come to an end now. But here is this point, "Let no man beguile you of your reward." It may mean this:--


Let no man deprive you of the present comfort which your faith should bring to you. Let me just for a few minutes have your attention while I speak upon this. Dear brethren, you and I, if we are believers in Christ, are this day completely pardoned. There is no sin in God's book against us. We are wholly and completely justified. The righteousness of Jesus Christ covers us from head to foot, and we stand before God as if we had never sinned. Now let no man rob you of this reward. Do not be tempted by anything that is said to doubt the completeness of a believer in Christ. Hold this, and, as you hold it, enjoy it. Do not let the man, yourself, whom you have most to fear, beguile you. 

Even though conscience should upbraid you, and you should have many grave reasons for doubt, as you imagine, yet if you believe in Jesus, stand to it--"There is, therefore, now no condemnation to me, for I am in Christ Jesus; he that believeth on him is not condemned; I have believed,and I am not condemned, neither will he permit condemnation to be thundered against me, for Christ has borne my sin for me, and I am clear in him." Let no man beguile you of the reward of feeling that you are complete in Christ.

Further, you who have believed in Jesus Christ are safe in Christ. Because he lives, you shall live also. Who shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord? He has said, "I give unto my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand." Now there are some who will tell you that you are not safe, and that it is dangerous for you to believe that you are. Let no man beguile you of this reward. You are saved. If you are believing on him, he will keep you, and you may sing, "Now unto him that is able to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before his presence with exceeding great joy, unto him be glory." Hold to that blessed truth that you are in Jesus--safe in Jesus Christ.

There is a third blessed truth, that not only are you pardoned and safe in Christ, but you are accepted at this moment, in the Beloved. Your acceptance with God does not rest upon anything in you. You are accepted because you are in Christ, accepted for Christ's sake. Now sometimes you will get robbed of this reward if you listen to the voice which says, "Why, there is sin in you still; your prayers are imperfect; your actions are stained." Yes, but let no man beguile you of this conviction that, sinner as you are, you are still accepted in Christ Jesus.

The Lord grant that you may feel this within, and let no man beguile you of your reward as long as you live. May you live and die in the enjoyment of it, beloved, for Christ's sake. Amen.

27 June, 2013


Holiness is not a myth. It is real and it is the most beautiful thing The Spirit of God could work in us.

Today, after my quiet time with Him, I wanted to post my blog as fast as I could so that I could continue to write my next book. Even though I already posted my blog, I felt relentless and the Holy Spirit kept telling me to post on holiness. He reminded me the work He has done in me. It felt as if He was telling me to share it, now. Then I reasoned how can I share this when I am keeping it for a book that I intend to write a few years down the road? So I tried to ignore Him.  (You think by now I would know better?)

I made myself a beverage and sat down to write my book, all of the sudden I was sobbing uncontrollably. (this sobbing is the result of my prayer: Lord break my heart with what breaks your heart)  The pain I was feeling, was for those who are going about their lives without having a clue how important it is to go on with Him through the sanctification process that brings Holiness. At one point it also felt like I was sobbing because the pain that led to holiness is still so vivid within me. In a way it is a bittersweet memory.  It was a time in the wilderness where I thought I was going to die. All my bones were being wasted away. Anyone who would look at me would have said that on the outside I looked like hell. (pardon my language)

One morning I wake up still feeling like I was one with the death sentence that was on me. I did not even come out of bed yet, when I had one of the most beautiful experiences with the Holy Spirit when He told me that I was now holy and showed me the holiness inside me. Without Him saying anything, I knew the holiness inside me was the same as God's Holiness because He showed me God's Holiness which was so  bright it penetrated the darkness. But, not only that, the beauty of the light was mesmerizing  like nothing on earth can be compare to it. Then I said to myself, Oh! there is no such thing as "nights" where God lives, because His presence penetrate the darkness more ways than one. 

Somehow, I had the same light inside me from my stomach all the way up. I could not help feeling worthless, and so undeserving and in my mind, I kept saying how can that be possible? Two reasons I felt this way. First, because of the teaching I was exposed to and second, I knew I was too much of a sinner to be holy. Somehow, in my mind I recalled my previous teaching and I expected to be holy only after I die. So, I had a hard time to reconcile man's teaching with the Holy Spirit's. 

 I even rejected the idea that I could be made holy now on earth and thought to myself, maybe it is Satan dressing as an angel of light playing tricks on me. Even though I was sure the experience was of God. Then I was so ashamed I did not want to talk about it. Once again, it was the teaching that I was exposed to, that has become a stumbling block for me. But God is good. The Holy Spirit knew of my ignorance and He kept working with me. He knew I was not trying to defy Him. It was sheer ignorance of His word at a spiritual level. One of the things He did to help me get used to the idea, was to keep this light with me for three days. The light was so bright that I tried to avoid going out because I was so sure I was leaking light and other people would see it coming out of me. This happened around my fourth years in the wilderness.

Later on, I learned that God had so much He needs to work in me and I have such a long way to go. I learned to understand with His help what holiness means and the importance of it. I realized as we become holy, it is just the beginning of our walk. so, If you do not want to go forward with Him to die to self, then you are making a mistake. Christianity is serious business. Brethren, we need to Let go of the niceties we call Christianity. Holiness is not imaginary. It is not done in us just because we said the sinner's prayer, got baptized, read our Bible. It cuts deep through us. It is a path that hurts very much in your soul as you experience what God means in Hebrews 4:12.

Yesterday I was reading a pastor who has a very popular blog, he said “those who believe in the higher life, ends up finding out that it is an illusion.” It was sad to read that from him, because he understands the word of God. What this pastor does not realize is that he is the one who is limited, blind and ignorant. the limitation has been put there, with his own understanding, that is flawed, because he is relying on his intellect. He does not know what it means spiritually to die to self and he has not put into practice in his life to accept God's invitation in James 4:8 to "draw near to God and He will draw near to you". As you accept this invitation, you will find out two things for sure. First, He keeps inviting you to come up higher. 

The second thing is that He removes the limitation of the path before you which looks like a wall. As time went by, I learned there will always be more walls behind the wall I can see with my spiritual eyes.  The invitation to come up higher and higher with Him, simply means, a life of abandonment at His feet, total devotion,  obedience and willingness to be His at any cost, and to live out His will for your life. These things cannot be negotiated if you want to know the higher life. Yes, it is grace, as the Holy Spirit gives you that yearning to want to go higher. Like the deer panteth for the water, your soul longs after Him too.  And, as you get to know Him deeper, you have that disposition in you, to want to go where He is. It is only through the higher life you get to experience the reality of John 7:38 "Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them."  After awhile  all I could say to the Holy Spirit was " Are you serious? You mean even this verse is available to me now, not when I am dead?"

I am not saying you will experience Him in the same way I did. God is God, He alone decides that. What I know for sure is that I am not the only one experiencing Him so much, nor that I will be the last. I know, the Holy Spirit has the power to show all of us this life. We need to pray for Him to put a hunger within that compel us forward. We need to stop letting man put a limit on how far you can go with God. Eight years ago, if you had told me there was a higher life, I would have called you a dreamer too. In fact I learned from my last Church that most of what is written in the Bible will be mine, after I die. Little did I know I could go on with Him, to experience most of the Bible now, and even go as far as taking a peek behind the veil and see what is awaiting me in this marvelous life. It is something to look forward to. It is something that is worth giving up this worldly life behind and cling onto Him. No man on earth will ever be able to contain me. I give this right to my God alone.

Please go to Him, do not delay any longer. Do not let someone else rob you of your true inheritance. Do not be impressed by anyone but be impressed with Him. and like Peter said in Acts 5:29We must obey God rather than human being!”

Brethren, you have a choice to make, you could die now or later, choose wisely!

Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
 I am sorry about the length of the post.

I love you guys!

I will leave you with J. C. Ryle

You may say, “It was never meant that all Christians should be holy, and that holiness, such as I have described, is only for great saints, and people of uncommon gifts.” I answer, “I cannot see that in Scripture. I read that every man who hath hope in Christ purifieth himself.” (1 John 3:3)—“Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.”
You may say, “It is impossible to be so holy and to do our duty in this life at the same time: the thing cannot be done.” I answer, “You are mistaken. It can be done. With Christ on your side nothing is impossible. It has been done by many. David, and Obadiah, and Daniel, and the servants of Nero’s household, are all examples that go to prove it.”
You may say, “If I were so holy I would be unlike other people.” I answer, “I know it well. It is just what you ought to be. Christ’s true servants always were unlike the world around them—a separate nation, a peculiar people;—and you must be so too, if you would be saved!”

You may say, “At this rate very few will be saved.” I answer, “I know it. It is precisely what we are told in the Sermon on the Mount.” The Lord Jesus said so 1,900 years ago. “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:14.) Few will be saved, because few will take the trouble to seek salvation. Men will not deny themselves the pleasures of sin and their own way for a little season. They turn their backs on an “inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away.” “Ye will not come unto Me,” says Jesus, “that ye might have life.” (John 5:40.)

You may say, “These are hard sayings: the way is very narrow.” I answer, “I know it. So says the Sermon on the Mount.” The Lord Jesus said so 1,900 years ago. He always said that men must take up the cross daily, and that they must be ready to cut off hand or foot, if they would be His disciples. It is in religion as it is in other things, “there are no gains without pains.” That which costs nothing is worth nothing.

Whatever we may think fit to say, we must be holy, if we would see the Lord. Where is our Christianity if we are not? We must not merely have a Christian name, and Christian knowledge, we must have a Christian character also. We must be saints on earth, if ever we mean to be saints in heaven. God has said it, and He will not go back: “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.”..............................................

Other foundation of holiness can no man lay, than that which Paul laid — even Christ Jesus. Without Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5). It is a strong but true saying of Traill's: 
"Wisdom out of Christ is damning folly; 
righteousness out of Christ is guilt and condemnation; 
sanctification out of Christ is filth and sin; 
redemption out of Christ is bondage and slavery!"

Do you want to attain holiness? Do you feel this day a real hearty desire to be holy? Would you be a partaker of the divine nature? Then go to Christ! Wait for nothing. Wait for nobody. Linger not. Do not think to make yourself ready. Go and say to Him, 
in the words of that beautiful hymn,
"Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Your cross I cling;
Naked, flee to You for dress;
Helpless, look to You for grace."

There is not a brick nor a stone laid in the work of our sanctification — until we go to Christ. Holiness is His special gift to His believing people. Holiness is the work He carries on in their hearts by the Spirit whom He puts within them. He is appointed a "Prince and a Savior, to give repentance" as well as remission of sins. To as many as receive Him, He gives power to become sons of God (Acts 5:31; John 9:12, 13). Holiness comes not by blood — parents cannot give it to their children; nor of the will of the flesh — man cannot produce it in himself; nor of the will of man — ministers cannot give it to you by baptism. Holiness comes from Christ. It is the result of vital union with Him. It is the fruit of being a living branch of the true Vine. Go then to Christ and say, "Lord, not only save me from the guilt of sin — but send the Spirit, whom You promised, and save me from its power. Make me holy. Teach me to do Your will."

Would you continue holy? Then abide in Christ. (John 15:4, 5). It pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell — a full supply for all a believer's needs. He is the Physician to whom you must daily go — if you would keep well. He is the Manna which you must daily eat, and the Rock from which you must daily drink. His arm is the arm on which you must daily lean, as you come up out of the wilderness of this world. You must not only be rooted — you must also be built up in Him.

Paul was a man of God indeed, a holy man, a growing thriving Christian — and what was the secret of it all? He was one to whom Christ was all in all. He was ever looking unto Jesus. "I can do all things," he says, "through Christ who strengthens me." "I live; yet not I — but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live, I live by the faith in the Son of God." Let us go and do likewise (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 4:13; Galatians 2:20).

May all who read these pages, know these things by experience — and not by hearsay only! May we all feel the importance of holiness far more than we have ever done yet! May our years be holy years with our souls — and then they will be happy ones! Whether we live — may we live unto the Lord; or whether we die — may we die unto the Lord. And if He comes for us — may we be found in peace, without spot, and blameless!

A Warning To Believers-Part 3

"Let no man beguile you of your reward."

By Charles Spurgeon

The Apostle gives us this warning, "Let no man beguile you of your reward," reminding us that these persons are very likely to beguile us. They will beguile us by their character. Have I not often heard young people say of such and such a preacher who preaches error? "But he is so good a man." That is nothing to the point. "Though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." If the life of the man should be blameless as the life of Christ, yet if he preach to you other than the gospel of Jesus Christ, take no heed of him; he weareth but the sheep's clothing, and is a wolf after all. Some will plead, "But such and such a man is so eloquent." Ah! Brethren, may the day never come when your faith shall stand in the words of men. 

What is a ready orator, after all, that he should convince your hearts? Are there not ready orators caught any day for everything? Men speak, speak fluently, and speak well in the cause of evil, and there are some that can speak much more fluently and more eloquently for evil than any of our poor tongues are ever likely to do for the right. But words, words, words, flowers of rhetoric, oratory--are these the things that saved you? Are ye so foolish that having begun in the spirit by being convinced of your sins, having begun by being led simply to Christ, and putting your trust in him--are you now to be led astray by these poetic utterances and flowery periods of men? God forbid! Let nothing of this kind beguile you.

Then there will be added to these remarks that the man is not only very good and very eloquent, but that he is very earnest--he seems very humble-minded. Yes, and of old they wore rough garments to deceive, and in the connection of the text we find that those persons were noted for their voluntary humility and their worship of angels. Satan knows very well that if he comes in black he will be discovered, but if he puts on the garb of an angel of light, then men will think he comes from God, and so will be deceived. "By their fruits ye shall know them." 

If they give you not the gospel, if they exalt not Christ, if they bear not witness to salvation through the precious blood, if they do not lift up Jesus Christ as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, have nothing to do with them, speak as they may. "Let no man beguile you of your reward." Though it should happen to be your relative, one whom you love, one who may have many claims on your respect otherwise--let no man, let no man, however plausible may be his speech, or eminent his character, beguile you of your reward.

Recollect, you professors, you lose the reward if you lose the road to the reward. He that runs may run very fast, but if he does not run in the course, he wins not the prize. You may believe false doctrine with great earnestness, but you will find it false for all that. You may give yourself up indefatigably to the pursuit of the wrong religion, but it will ruin your souls. A notion is abroad that if you are but earnest and sincere, you will be all right. Permit me to remind you that if you travel never so earnestly to the north, you will never reach the south, and if you earnestly take prussic acid you will die, and if you earnestly cut off a limb you will be wounded. 

You must not only be earnest, but you must be right in it. Hence is it necessary to say, "Let no man beguile you of your reward." "I bear them witness," said the Apostle, "that they had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge, but went about to establish their own righteousness, and have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God." Oh! may we not be beguiled, then, so as to miss the reward of heaven at the last!

But I must pass on, especially as the light fails us this evening; I hope it is prognostic of a coming shower. Here is a second rendering which may be given to the text:-

This rendering, or something analogous to it, is in the French translation. One of the great expositors in his commentary upon this passage refers it to the judges at the end of the course, who sometime would give the reward to the wrong person, and the person who had really run well might thus be deprived of his reward. Now, however close a man may be to Christ, the world, instead of honouring him for it, will, on the contrary, censure and condemn him, and hence the Apostle's exhortation is, "Let no man domineer over you."

And, my brethren, I would earnestly ask you to remember this first as to your course of action. If you conscientiously believe that you are right in what you are doing, study very little who is pleased or who is displeased. If you are persuaded in your own soul that what you believe and what you do are acceptable to God, whether they are acceptable to man or not is of very small consequence. You are not man's servant, you do not look to man for your reward, and, therefore, you need not care what man's opinion may be in this matter. Be just and fear not. Tread in the footsteps of Christ, follow what may. Live not on the breath of men. Let not their applause make you feel great, for perhaps then their censure will make you faint. Let no man in this respect domineer over you, but let Christ be your Master, and look to his smile.

So not only with regard to your course of action, but also with reference to your confidence, let no man domineer over you. If you put your trust in Jesus Christ, there are some who will say it is presumption. Let them say it is presumption. "Wisdom is justified of all her children," and so shall faith be. If you take the promise of God and rest upon it, there will be some who will say that you are hare-brained fanatics. Let them say it. They that trust in him shall never be confounded. The result will honour your faith. You have but to wait a little while, and, perhaps, they that now censure you will have to hold up their hands in astonishment, and say with you, "What hath God wrought?" Your confidence in Christ, especially, my dear young friend, I trust does not depend upon the smile of your relatives. If it did, then their frown might crush it. Walk with your Saviour in the lowly walk of holy confidence, and let not your faith rest in man, but in the smile of God.

26 June, 2013

A Warning To Believers-Part 2

"Let no man beguile you of your reward."

By Charles Spurgeon

And nowadays you will meet with men who will say, "That bread upon the Table--why, it represents the body of Jesus Christ to you when you come to the Lord's Supper; therefore, you ought to treat that bread with great respect." By and bye they will get a little bolder, and then they say, "As it represents Christ, you may worship it, pay it respect as if it were Christ." By and bye it will come to this, that you must have a napkin under your chin, lest you should drop a crumb; or it will be very wicked if a drop of the sacred wine should cling to your moustache when you drink; and there will be the directions which are given in some of the papers coming out from the High Church party--absurdities which are only worthy of the nursery--about the way in which the holy bread is to be eaten, and the holy wine is to be drunk--bringing in idolatry, sheer, clear idolatry, under the pretence of improving upon the too bare simplicity of the worship of Christ. Have a care of the very first step, I pray you.

Or, perhaps, it may come to you in another shape. One will say to you, "The place in which you worship--is it not very dear to you? That seat where you have been accustomed to sit and listen, is it not dear?"; and your natural instincts will say, "Yes." Then it will go a little farther. "That place is holy; it ought never to be used for anything but worship." Then a little farther it will be, "Oh! that is the house of God," and you will come to believe that, contrary to the words which you know are given to you of the Holy Ghost, that God dwells not in temples made with hands; that is to say, in these buildings, and you will get by degrees to have a worship of places, and a worship of days, and a worship of bread, and a worship of wine. And then it will be said to you, "Your minister, has he not often cheered you? Well then, you should reverence him; call him 'Reverend.'" 

Go a little farther, and you will call him "Father"; yet a little farther, and he will be your confessor; get a little farther and he will be your infallible Pope. It is all step by step it is done. The first step seems to be very harmless indeed. Indeed, it is a kind of voluntary humility. You look as if you were humbling yourselves, and were paying reverence to these things for God's sake, whereas the object is to get you to pay reverence to them, instead of to God, and here the Apostle's words come in, "Let no man beguile you of your reward." They will often attack you in that insidious manner by setting up other objects of reverence besides those which spiritual men worship.
So, too, they will by slow degrees try to insinuate a different way of living from that which is the true life of the Christian. You who have believed in Jesus are saved; your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. You are accustomed to go to Jesus Christ constantly to receive that washing of the feet of which he spake to Peter when he said, "He that is washed needeth not except to wash his feet, for he is clean every whit." You go to him with "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us."

 But there will be some who will come in and tell you that to live in that way by a simple faith in Jesus Christ is not, perhaps, the best way. Could you not get a little farther? Could you not lead the life of those recluses who mortify the flesh in such a way that at last they come to have no sins, but commence to be perfect in themselves? Could you not begin, at least in some degree, to commit your soul's care to some priest, or to some friend, and instead of making every place holy and every day a holy day, would it not be well to fast on such and such days in the week, to scrupulously observe this rule and the other rule, and walk by the general opinion of the ancient Church, or by some one of those books which profess to show how they used to do it a thousand years ago? 

All this may have a great show of wisdom, and antiquity, and beauty; there may be a semblance of everything that is holy about it, and names that should never be mentioned without reverence may be appended to it all, but listen to the Apostle as he saith, "Beware lest any man beguile you of your reward," for if they get you away from living upon Christ as a poor sinner from day to day by simple confidence in him, they will beguile you of your reward.

There is another party who will seek to beguile you of your reward by bringing in speculative notions, instead of the simple truths of God's Word. There is a certain class of persons who think that a sermon must be a good one when they cannot understand it, and who are always impressed with a man whose words are long; and if his sentences are involved they feel, poor souls, that because they do not know what he is talking about, there is no doubt that he is a very wise and learned man; and after a while when he does propound something that they can catch at, though it may be quite contrary to what they have learned at their mother's knee or from their father's Bible, yet they are ready to be led off by it. 

There are many men nowadays who seem to spend their time in nothing else but in spinning new theories, and inventing new systems, gutting the gospel, taking the very soul and bowels out of it, and leaving there nothing but the mere skin and outward bones. The life and marrow of the gospel is being taken away by their learning, by their philosophies, by their refinements, by their bringing everything down to the test of this wonderfully enlightened nineteenth century, to which we are all, I suppose, bound to defer. But a voice comes to us, "Let no man beguile you of your reward." Stand fast to the old truths; they will outlast all these philosophies. Stand fast to the old way of living; it will outlast all the inventions of men. Stand fast by Christ, for you want no other object of worship but himself

25 June, 2013

A Warning To Believers

"Let no man beguile you of your reward."
 Colossians 2:18 - By Spurgeon

There is an allusion here to the prize which was offered to the runners in the Olympic games, and at the outset it is well for us to remark how very frequently the Apostle Paul conducts us by his metaphors to the racecourse. Over and over again he is telling us so to run that we may obtain, bidding us to strive, and at other times to agonize, and speaking of wrestling and contending. Ought not this to make us feel what an intense thing the Christian life is-not a thing of sleepiness or haphazard, not a thing to be left now and then to a little superficial consideration? It must be a matter which demands all our strength, so that when we are saved there is a living principle put within us which demands all our energies, and gives us energy over and above any that we ever had before. Those who dream that carelessness will find its way to heaven have made a great mistake. The way to hell is neglect, but the way to heaven is very different. "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" 

A little matter of neglect brings you to ruin, but our Master's words are "Strive to enter in at the straight gate, for many, I say unto you, shall seek"-merely seek-"to enter in, and shall not be able." Striving is wanted more than seeking. Let us pray that God the Holy Spirit would always enable us to be in downright, awful earnest about the salvation of our souls. May we never count this a matter of secondary importance, but may we seek first, and beyond everything else, the kingdom of God and his righteousness. May we lay hold on eternal life; may we so run that we may obtain.
I would press this upon your memories because I do observe, observe it in myself as well as in my fellow-Christians, that we are often more earnest about the things of this life than we are about the things of the life to come. 

We are all impressed with the fact that in these days of competition, if a man would not be run over and crushed beneath the wheels of the Juggernaut of poverty, he must exert himself. No man seems now able to keep his head above water with the faint-swimmer strokes which our forefathers used to give. We have to strive, and the bread that perisheth hath to be laboured for. Shall it be that this poor world shall engross our earliest thoughts and our latest cares, and shall the world to come have only now and then a consideration? No; may we love our God with all our heart, and all our soul, and all our strength, and may we lay our body, soul, and spirit upon the altar of Christ's service, for these are but our reasonable sacrifice to him.

Now the Apostle in the text before us gives us a warning, which comes to the same thing, however it is interpreted; but the passage is somewhat difficult of rendering, and there have been several meanings given to it. Out of these there are three meanings which have been given of the text before us which are worthy of notice. "Let no man beguile you of your reward." The Apostle, in the first place, may mean here:

I. Let No Man Beguile Any Of You who profess to be followers of Christ of the great reward that will await the faithful at the last.Now, my brethren, we have, many of us, commenced the Christian race, or we profess to have done so, but the number of the starters is far greater than the number of the winners. "They that run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize." "Many are called, but few are chosen." Many commence, apparently, in the Christian career, but after a while, though they did run well, something hinders them that they do not obey the truth, and they go out from us because they were not of us, for if they had been of us, doubtless they would have continued with us. Now we may expect, now that we have commenced to run, that some will come and try to turn us out of the race course openly-not plausibly and with sophistry, but with an open and honest wickedness. 

Some will tell us plainly that there is no reward to run for, that our religion is all a mistake, that the pleasures of this world are the only things worth seeking, that there are delights of the flesh and the lusts thereof, and that we should do well to enjoy them. We shall meet the Atheist with his sneer and with his ringing laugh. We shall meet with all kinds of persons who will to our faces tell us to turn back, for there is no heaven, there is no Christ, or, if there be, it is not worth our while to take so much trouble to find him. Take heed of these people.

Meet them face to face with dauntless courage. Mind not their sneers. If they persecute you only, reckon this to be an honour to you, for what is persecution but the tribute which wickedness pays to righteousness, and what is it, indeed, but the recognition of the seed of the woman when the seed of the serpent would fain bite his heel? But the Apostle does not warn you so much against those people who openly come to you in this way. He knows that you will be on the alert against them. He gives a special warning against some others who would beguile you; that is to say, who will try to turn you out of the right road, but who will not tell you that they mean to do so.

They pretend that they are going to show you something that you knew not before, some improvement upon what you have hitherto learned. In Paul's day there were some who took off the attention of the Christian from the worship of God to the worship of angels. "Angels," said they, "these are holy beings; they keep watch over you; you should speak of them with great respect"; and then when they grew bolder, they said, "You should ask their protection"; and then after a little while they said, "You should worship them; you should make them intermediate intercessors"; and so, step by step, they went on and established an old heresy which lasted for many years in the Christian church, and which is not dead even now, and thus the worship of angels crept in.