Justification by Faith Alone
Dated November, 1734 – Prepared from 2 Sermons
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” — Romans 4:5
Subject: We are justified only by faith in Christ, and not by any manner of goodness of our own.
The following things may be noted in this verse:
1. That justification respects a man as ungodly. This is evident by these words — that justifieth the ungodly, which cannot imply less than that God, in the act of justification, has no regard to anything in the person justified, as godliness or any goodness in him, but that immediately before this act, God beholds him only as an ungodly creature, so that godliness in the person to be justified is not so antecedent to his justification as to be the ground of it.
When it is said that God justifies the ungodly, it is as absurd to suppose that our godliness, taken as some goodness in us, is the ground of our justification, as when it is said that Christ gave sight to the blind to suppose that sight was prior to, and the ground of, that act of mercy in Christ. Or as, if it should be said that such an one by his bounty has made a poor man rich, to suppose that it was the wealth of this poor man that was the ground of this bounty towards him, and was the price by which it was procured. Continue reading
Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake. Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.
1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.
2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new invention and contrivance to promote the aforementioned things.
3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again. Continue reading
A sermon preached July 2, 1676,
At the funeral of Pastor John Wells
“But this I say, brethren, the time is short.” 1 Corinthians 7:29
The blessed Apostle in these words shows us what our station in the world is, and what all our secular enjoyments are. They are short and transient. “But this I say, brethren, the time is short.” The text consists of two parts:
1. A kind address—”Brethren.”
2. A seasonable admonition—”The time is short.”
1. A kind address—”Brethren.” The saints of God are brethren. They are cemented together with the blood of Christ. Then let there be no strife among them, seeing they are brethren (Genesis 13:8). Believers are regenerated by the same Spirit; they suck the same breasts—the promises; and wear the same garment—Christ’s righteousness. They sit at the same board—the table of the Lord; and partake of the same glory—the inheritance in light (Colossians 1:12). Should they not love one another? There ought to be no contending among God’s people—but as to who would love most. Continue reading
THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
“Body of Divinity”
The OMNIPRESENCE of God
God is infinite. All created beings are finite. The Greek word for “infinite” signifies “without bounds or limits.” God is not confined to any place. He is infinite, and so is present in all places at once. His center is everywhere. “In no place is God’s Being either confined or excluded,” Augustine. “Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain you.” The Turks build their temples open at the top, to show that God cannot be confined to them—but is in all places by his presence. God’s essence is not limited either to the regions above, or to the terrestrial globe—but is everywhere.
As philosophers say of the soul, “the soul is in every part of the body,” in the eye, heart, foot; so we may say of God, his essence is everywhere; his circuit is in heaven, and in earth, and sea, and he is in all places of his circuit at once. “This is to be infinite.” God, who bounds everything else, is himself without bounds. He sets bounds to the sea, “Hitherto shall you come, and no further!”
He sets bounds to the angels; they, like the cherubim, move and stand at his appointment, but he is infinite, without bounds. He who can span the heavens, and weigh the earth in scales, must needs be infinite! Continue reading
Neglect Not the Gift
J. C. Ryle
“Neglect not the gift that is in you, which was given you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” 1 Timothy 4:14
Brethren, the leading topics of the subject committed to me appear to be the ministerial office, and the imperative duty of not neglecting it. Paul speaks to Timothy of his office, as “a gift.” And he says of this gift, “neglect it not.” In opening the subject I trust I may be allowed to remind my brethren that the orders of Timothy and Titus ought to be specially interesting to them.
I consider that, strictly speaking, no minister of the Gospel of the present day, whatever may be his church or denomination, has any right to regard himself as a “successor of the apostles.” I believe that, in strict accuracy, the apostles had no successors at all. Their office was a peculiar office. Their order was a peculiar order. Both office and order ceased at their death. The apostles were specially called, and immediately set apart by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. They had the power of speaking with other languages. They were enabled to confirm the doctrines they preached by miracles and signs. They had the power of infallibly declaring God’s truth, and expounding His mind to the world. They were commissioned to bind and loose sins with authority. They could confer gifts upon others. In all these respects they stood alone. We are not their successors. They never had any successors! They were an order intended to continue until the Canon of Scripture was concluded, and no longer. The ministers of the present day are the successors of Timothy and Titus; but not of Paul, Peter, James, and John. I feel that this is a digression, but the importance of the subject must be my apology. Continue reading
The Sword of the Spirit
Delivered on Lord’s-Day Morning, April 19th, 1891,
C. H. SPURGEON,
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
“Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” — Ephesians 6:17
TO BE A CHRISTIAN is to be a warrior. The good soldier of Jesus Christ must not expect to find ease in this world: it is a battle-field. Neither must he reckon upon the friendship of the world; for that would be enmity against God. His occupation is war. As he puts on piece by piece of the panoply provided for him, he may wisely say to himself, “This warns me of danger; this prepares me for warfare; this prophesies opposition.”
Difficulties meet us even in standing our ground; for the apostle, two or three times, bids us — “Stand.”
In the rush of the fight, men are apt to be carried off their legs. If they can keep their footing, they will be victorious; but if they are borne down by the rush of their adversaries, everything is lost. You are to put on the heavenly armor in order that you may stand; and you will need it to maintain the position in which your Captain has placed you. If even to stand requires all this care, judge ye what the warfare must be! Continue reading
All of Grace
Published on Thursday, October 7th, 1915.
C. H. SPURGEON,
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” — Ephesians 2:8
IF THE THINGS which I have spoken unto you these many years, this is the sum. Within the circle of these words my theology is contained, so far as it refers to the salvation of men. I rejoice also to remember that those of my family who were ministers of Christ before me preached this doctrine, and none other. My father, who is still able to bear his personal testimony for his Lord, knows no other doctrine, neither did his father before him.
I am led to remember this by the fact that a somewhat singular circumstance, recorded in my memory, connects this text with myself and my grandfather. It is now long years ago. I was announced to preach in a certain country town in the Eastern Counties. It does not often happen to me to be behind time, for I feel that punctuality is one of those little virtues which may prevent great sins. But we have no control over railway delays, and breakdowns; and so it happened that I reached the appointed place considerably behind the time.
Like sensible people, they had begun their worship, and had proceeded as far as the sermon. As I neared the chapel, I perceived that someone was in the pulpit preaching, and who should the preacher be but my dear and venerable grandfather! He saw me as I came in at the front door and made my way up the aisle, and at once he said, “Here comes my grandson! He may preach the gospel better than I can, but he cannot preach a better gospel; can you, Charles?” Continue reading