Grace Gems for March 2000

Aqueous Fluid to an Infant's Brow
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
The most unpopular truth in the world is this sentence which
fell from the lips of Christ--   "You must be born again."

Consequently, there are all sorts of inventions to remove the
truth out of those words. "Oh, yes!" say some, "you must be born
again, but that means the application of aqueous fluid to an
  infant's brow."

As God is true, that teaching is a lie; there is no grain or
shade of truth within it. No operation that can be performed
by man can ever regenerate the soul.  It is the work alone of
God the Holy Spirit, who creates us anew in Christ Jesus.

Men do not like that truth.

Spiritual Truth Still Displeases the Natural Man.

Baptized Infants
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
     "TELL IT ALL"
Little do our friends know how much mischief they do by teaching
infant baptism. I believe it to be the root and pillar of Popery.

It is an invention of man, against which Christians ought to protest
every day, because infant sprinkling is a practical denial of the need
of personal godliness.

It puts into the Church those who are not in the Church.

It gives religious rites to the unconverted.

It teaches men that because their mothers and fathers were good
people, therefore these baptized infants are Christians; whereas
they are not, they are heathens, and as much heathens as if they
were born amidst the Hottentot’s kraals. They are in the gall of
bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity, notwithstanding all their
parents’ excellence.

To give Christian ordinances to unconverted persons is to pervert
the testimony of God’s Church.

(The following is by Spurgeon)

"He sends forth his commandment upon earth:
 His word runs very swiftly" (Psalm 147:15).

No language ever stirs the deeps of my nature like the Word of
God, and none produces such a profound calm within my spirit.

As no other voice can,
  it melts me to tears,
  it humbles me in the dust,
  it fires me with enthusiasm,
  it fills me with pleasure,
  it elevates me to holiness.

Every faculty of my being owns the power of the sacred Word.

It sweetens my memory,
  it brightens my hope,
  it stimulates my imagination,
  it directs my judgment,
  it commands my will, and
  it cheers my heart.

The word of man charms me for the time,
  but I outlive and outgrow its power.

It is altogether the reverse with the Word of the King of kings;
it rules me more sovereignly, more practically, more habitually,
more completely every day. Its power is for all seasons--for
sickness and for health, for solitude and for company, for
personal emergencies and for public assemblies.

I had sooner have the Word of God at my back than all the
armies and navies of all the great powers, aye, than all the
forces of nature; for the Word of the Lord is the source of
all the power in the universe, and within it there is an infinite
supply in reserve.

Look! Gaze! See! Behold!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
The doctrine of the death of Christ for our sins should
  inspire us with greater love for the Lord Jesus.

Can you look at his dear wounds, and
  not be wounded with love for him?

Are not his wounds as mouths which plead
  with you to yield him all your hearts?

Can you gaze upon his face bedewed with bloody
sweat, and then go away and be ensnared with the
world’s painted beauties?

Oh, for the vision of the Crucified!

When shall we see the face that was so marred for us?

When shall we behold the hands and feet which bear the
nail-marks still, and look into the wounded side bejewelled
with the spear-wound?

Oh, when shall we leave all our sins and griefs, for
ever to behold him shine and see him still before us?

Oh, when shall we be —
“Far from a world of grief and sin,
 With God eternally shut in”?

Our hope, our solace, our glory, our victory, are all found in the
blood of the Lamb, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

What do you depend on?
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
O Christian. You are to live expecting nothing
from man, and you shall never be disappointed.

You are to live looking upon the Lord alone, and
there again disappointment shall never come.

Understand that one of God’s objects with you is to
knock away every prop from you, to take away every
buttress, and to make you lean upon God alone.

There is the round world, what bears it up?
God hangs the world upon nothing!

If you are what you should be, you are just like that earth —
you have no visible support — there is nothing upon which
you can depend that the carnal eye can see.

But yet as the earth moves not and falls not from her orbit, so you,
by the power of faith, shall be maintained and kept just where you are.
   “The young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but they
     that wait on the Lord shall not lack any good thing.”

It is a life’s work to learn independence of the creature, and almost
another life’s work to learn dependence upon the Creator.

To wean us from the breasts of this world is a long and painful process;
to get us clean rid of that walking by sight, which is the disease of man,
and to bring us to walk by faith in the Spirit, which is the glory of a
Christian, this is a work well worthy of a God, and blessed is the man
who has this work to a great extent accomplished in himself.

The best Christians are those who are most delivered from confidence
in the creature. In proportion as men become little in self and little in
creature love and creature trust, they become great and mighty in their
doings for the Lord.

I do feel, brethren, more and more, that my soul must wait only
upon the Lord, and that my expectation must be from him alone.

You too, must come here, and learn that the Lord will provide, but
it is only in the mount of the Lord that this sweet truth can be seen.

Live it out!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
   “Confession With The Mouth”
There was a Prince of right royal blood, who once upon a
time left his Father’s palace and journeyed into a distant part
of the king's dominions, where he was little known and
cared for. He was a true Prince, and he had about his face
those princely marks — that strange divinity which do mark
kings — that might have made the onlooker know that he
was right royal.

But when he came into the place, the people said, “This is the
heir to the throne; let us insult him, let us hoot him!” Others said
he was no heir at all.  And they agreed to set him in the pillory.

As he stood there, every man did pelt him with all kinds of filth,
and used all manner of hard words towards him; and they said,
“Who dare acknowledge him for a Prince? Who dare stand by him?”

There stood up one from the crowd, and said, “I dare!”

They set him up in the pillory side by side with the Prince; and
when they threw their filth on the Prince it fell on him, and when
they spoke hard words of the Prince they spoke hard words of
him.  He stood there, smiling, and received it all.

Now and then a tear stole down his cheek; but that was
for them, that they should thus ill-treat their sovereign.

Years went by, the king came into those dominions and subdued
them; and there came a day of triumph over the conquered city.
Streamers hung from every window, and the streets were strewn
with roses. Then came the king's troops dressed in burnished
armor of gold, with plumes upon their glittering helmets. The music
rang right sweetly, for all the trumpets of glory sounded. It was from
heaven they had come. The Prince rode through the streets in his
glorious chariot; and when he came to the gates of the city, there
were the traitors all bound in chains.
They stood before him trembling.

He singled out from among the crowd one man only who stood free
and unfettered, and he said to the traitors, “Do you know this man?
He stood with me in that day when you treated me with scorn and
indignation. He shall stand with me in the day of my glory.
  Come up hither!” said he.

And amidst the sounding of trumpets and the voice of acclamation,
the poor, despised and rejected citizen of that rebellious city rode
through the streets in triumph, side by side with his King, who clothed
him in purple, and set a crown of pure gold upon his head!

There is the parable.    Live it out!

The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,

Fly back as far as you will, until this present world and all the worlds
within the universe slept in the mind of God, like unborn forests in an
acorn-cup, and even then you have not reached the time, before all
time when it was first said —
“I have engraved you upon the palms of my hands.”  Isaiah 49:16

Before the young earth had burst her swaddling bands of mist, yes,
before the globe had been begotten, or yonder sun had darted his
infant arrows, or yon stars had opened their eyes, the Eternal had
fixed his eye of love upon his favorites!

God was always thinking of you; there was never a
period when you were not in his mind and on his heart!
"I have engraved you upon the palms of my hands.”

Child of God, let your cheerful eyes and your joyful heart testify how
great a wonder it is that you, once so vile, so hard of heart, so far
estranged from God, are this day written on the palms of his hands!

There is no sorrow to which our text is not an antidote!
If you are a child of God, though your troubles have been as
innumerable as the waves of the sea, this text, like the depths
of the ocean, can contain them all.

I care not this morning though you have lost everything, though
you came here a penniless bankrupt beggar; so long as you have
this text you are rich beyond a miser's dream!

 “I have engraved you upon the palms of my hands.”

Peace in trouble
"The world can create trouble in peace,
but God can create peace in trouble."
  -Thomas Watson

House or horse?
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
   “Confession With The Mouth”

I am to be a Christian in my actions, my deeds, my thoughts, my words.

When we used to go to school, we would draw houses, and horses,
and trees on our slates, and we remember how we used to write “house”
under the house, and “horse” under the horse, for some persons might
have thought the horse was a house.

So there are some people who need to wear a label round their necks
to show that they are Christians at all, or else we might mistake them for
lost sinners, their actions are so alike.   Avoid that.

Let your profession be manifest by your practice.

Be so clearly a piece of divine painting, that the moment a man puts his
eye upon you, he says, “Yes, that is the work of God; that is a Christian,
 the noblest work of God.”

The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
"Christianity is either an awful deception,
or else deserves to have our whole heart,
our whole spirit, soul and body devoted to it."

Our greatest joy!
"Nothing gives the believer so much joy as fellowship with Christ.
He has enjoyment as others have in the common mercies of life.
He can be glad both in God's gifts and God's works, but in all
these separately, and in all of them added together, he does not
find such substantial delight as in the matchless person of
his Lord Jesus."       -Spurgeon

The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
"Sons of God"

If we are born into God’s family, it is a miracle of mercy!
It is one of the ever-blessed exhibitions of the infinite love
of God which without any cause in us, has set itself upon us.

If you are this day an heir of heaven, remember you were
once the slave of hell.    Once you wallowed in the mire.

If you should adopt a swine to be your child,
you could not then have performed an act of
greater compassion than when God adopted you!

And if an angel could exalt a gnat to equal dignity
with himself, yet the gain would not be such a one
as that which God has conferred on you.

He has taken you from the dunghill,
 and he has set you among princes!

Who chose who?
The following is by Don Fortner-
"The decision is yours... Now it is all up to you... God has
done all He can to save, the rest is up to you... You must
choose Christ for yourself...You must make the final decision."
How often we have all heard statements like those from the
pulpit. I want to raise a question regarding this matter of
eternal salvation: WHOSE CHOICE IS IT? Our Lord
Jesus Christ has answered the question very plainly:
"You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you"
   (John 15:16).

Divine election is a very humbling, and at the same time it
is a very encouraging and blessed doctrine of Scripture.

It is humbling to know that we would never have chosen Christ.
Our needs were so many, our hearts were so hard, that we
would never have sought the lord.

Yet, it is exceedingly comforting to hear our Savior say,
     "I have chosen you."

Our Lord Jesus Christ loved us long before we ever loved him.
He loved us even when we were dead in sin.
Had He not loved us, we would never have loved Him.
Had He not chosen us, we would never have chosen Him.

Language could not be clearer. Our Savior tells us that man,
by nature, will never choose Christ. It is true, in one sense,
that every believer chooses Christ. This is the result, however,
not the cause, of Christ's choosing him.

       The natural ear is so deaf that it cannot hear.
       The natural eye is so blind that it cannot see.
       The natural heart is so hard that it cannot feel.
       Man sees no beauty in Christ.
       He feels no need of Christ.
       He has no desire for Christ.

Only after God by almighty grace opens the blind eye,
unstops the deaf ear, quickens the dead heart, and gives
strength to the withered hand is the sinner made willing to
seek Christ and given the strength of faith to embrace Him.


Accurate statements on this doctrine are essential. No doctrine
in the Bible has suffered so much damage from the erroneous
views of its foes and the inaccurate statements of its friends.

Election may be defined this way: God has been pleased from
all eternity to choose certain men and women, whom He has
determined to save by the righteousness and shed blood of Christ.
None are finally saved except those whom He has chosen.
Therefore, the Word of God calls His people "the elect."
And the choice, or the appointment of them to eternal life,
is called "the election of God."

All those whom God was pleased to choose in eternity were
redeemed by Christ at Calvary. All who were chosen and
redeemed are (in due season) called to salvation and eternal
life by the Holy Spirit.

       He convinces them of sin.
       He leads them to Christ.
       He works repentance and faith in them.
       He keeps them by His grace from falling entirely away.
       He brings them all safely to eternal glory.

In short, election is the first link in the chain of salvation, of which
eternal glory is the end. All who are redeemed, justified, called,
born again, and brought to faith in Christ are elect. The primary and
original cause of the saint's being what he is, is God's eternal election.

What does the Word of God Teach about Election?
God's election of men to salvation is gracious and free, absolute and
sovereign. It is an unconditional act of sovereign mercy. He did not
choose us because he foresaw that we would repent and believe on
Christ. Our repentance and faith is the result of God's election, not
the cause of it (John 10:16, 26; 15:16; Acts 13:48). God's election
is personal: He chose not a mass of nameless faces, but individual
sinners, calling them his sons and daughters. This election of grace
is also eternal and immutable (Eph. 1:4). When the triune Godhead
existed alone in glorious self-sufficiency, we were chosen in
covenant mercy. God chose us because of His eternal love and
sovereign pleasure, simply because he would be gracious.
We were chosen in Christ Jesus.

Behold God's strange choice! He chose not the noble, but the
common. He chose not the wise, but the foolish. He chose
not the righteous, but the wicked. He chose us, "that no flesh
should glory in His presence...that according as it is written,
He that glories, let him glory in the Lord: (I Cor. 1:29,31).
Let all who are born again confess, "By the grace of God,
I am what I am" (I Cor. 15:10).

Let us sing of electing love:
"Tis not that I did choose Thee,
 For, Lord, that could not be;
 This heart would still refuse Thee,
 But Thou hast chosen me.

 My heart owns none before Thee;
 For thy rich grace I thirst;
 This knowing, if I love Thee,
 Thou must have loved me first."
    (Josiah Conder)

Will you do me a little favor?
Will you take a little time alone, perhaps this evening-
Get a paper and pencil, and after you have honestly and fairly
thought on your own spiritual state, and weighed your own condition
before the Lord, will you write down one of these two words.
If you feel that you are not a believer write down this word  “Condemned.”
And if you are a believer in Jesus, and put your trust in him alone,
  write down the word “Forgiven.”
Do it, even though you have to write down the word condemned.

We lately received into Church-fellowship a young man, who said —
Sir, I wrote down the word condemned, and I looked at it; there it was;
I had written it myself — “Condemned.”
As he looked the tears began to flow, and his heart began to break;
and before long he fled to Christ, put that paper in the fire, and wrote
down on another paper, “Forgiven.”

Remember you are either one or the other;
you are either condemned or forgiven.
Do not stand between the two.

Let it be decided, and remember if you are condemned today, yet you are
not in hell. There is hope yet. Blessed be God, still is Christ lifted up, and
whoever believes on him shall not perish but have everlasting life. The
gate of glory is not closed; the proclamation of mercy is not hushed; the
Spirit of God still goes forth to open blind eyes and to unstop deaf ears,
and still is it preached to you, to every creature under heaven —
Whoever believes on the Son of God has everlasting life; he that
believes and is baptized shall be saved; he that be believes not shall be
damned. Believe. God help you to believe. Trust Jesus; trust him now; and
may the Lord grant that your name may be written among the some that
believe, and not among the some that believe not.
(The above is from Spurgeon’s sermon,  “The Minister's Stock-taking”)

Living like hell?
The following is by Don Fortner-
Almost everyone I know makes some kind of religious profession,
has some hope of going to heaven when he dies, and attends church,
at least occasionally. Yet, I know very few people whose religion
has made any radical change in their lives. Most everybody I know
lives like hell, though almost all think, by some strange delusion, that
because they say, "I believe in Jesus,"  they are going to heaven.

Are you such a person. If you are, listen carefully to this preacher--
   If you live like hell, when you die, you will go to hell.

I know you do not want to be told that; but I am not running for
political office. I am trying to help you, to help you eternally.
If you do not want to go to hell when you die, pay attention to
what I have to say. Pay attention to what God says in his
Word. Will you hear the Word of the Lord?

"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?
 Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor
 adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves
 nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit
 the kingdom of God."    1 Cor. 6:9-10

"Do not be deceived", imagining that through doctrinal knowledge
and religious profession you are saved, even though you live contrary
to the righteous character of God.

No one living in sin, under its dominion, has
been made a partaker of the divine nature.

Lest anyone mistake his meaning, Paul plainly describes those people
who shall never inherit the kingdom of God. In the list given in these
verses of Scripture, the Holy Spirit is not talking about isolated acts.
He is describing people whose lives are characterized by these
abominable things. If these things characterize your life, the wrath of
God is upon you. Except you repent, you will perish in hell forever!
   God help you to repent.

It matters not what we profess, or claim to believe.
Those who live like children of wrath are children of wrath.

If these characteristics describe you, Do not be deceived, no matter
what you say, profess, and pretend; no matter what society, religion, and
preachers say to the contrary, you are a child of wrath.
You shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Married to a jealous husband!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
The Lord Jesus Christ is very jealous of your love, O believer.
Did he not choose you? He cannot hear that you should choose
another. Did he not buy you with his own blood? He cannot endure
that you should think you are your own, or that you belong to this world.
He loved you with such a love that he could not stay in heaven without
you; he would sooner die than that you should perish; he stripped himself
to nakedness that he might clothe you with beauty; he bowed his face to
shame and spitting that he might lift you up to honor and glory, and he
cannot endure that you should love the world, and the things of the world.

His love is strong as death towards you, and therefore will be cruel as
the grave. He will be as a cruel one towards you if you do not love him
with a perfect heart. He will take away that husband; he will smite that
child; he will bring you from riches to poverty, from health to sickness,
even to the gates of the grave, because he loves you so much that he
cannot endure that anything should stand between your heart's love and him.

Be careful Christians, you that are married to Christ;
remember, you are married to a jealous husband!

Loved before time!
Jesus loved us before the world was.

He is no new lover of his people's souls, but he
loved them before the day-star knew its place, and
before the planets began their mighty revolutions.

Every soul whom Jesus loves now,
   he loved for ever and ever.

What a wondrous love was that —
    infinite,   unbounded,   everlasting,
which led him to bear our sins, and suffer our penalties,
that he might redeem us from going down into the pit!

A fiery furnace of love!
"If you have a spark of love to Christ, his soul
  is like a fiery furnace of love toward you!"
From Spurgeon's sermon, A PRECIOUS DROP OF HONEY   No. 512
   Isaiah 49:16. “I have engraved you upon the palms of my hands.”

Forgetful of Jesus?
"Do you not find yourselves forgetful of Jesus?
Some creature steals away your heart, and you
are unmindful of him upon whom your affection
ought to be set. Some earthly business engrosses
your attention when you should have your eye
steadily fixed upon the cross.

It is the incessant round of world, world, world;
the constant din of earth, earth, earth, that takes
away the soul from Christ.

Oh! my friends, is it not too sadly true that we can
recollect anything but Christ, and forget nothing
so easy as him whom we ought to remember?

While memory will preserve a poisoned weed,
it allows the Rose of Sharon to wither."

Does God need any of us?
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
What! he who guides the stars, and keeps them revolving in
their orbits by the motions of his fingers, does he need an
insignificant atom like one of ourselves to serve him?

What! he whom all the hosts of angels do worship, and before
whose throne the cherubim do veil their faces with their wings,
does he need a tiny creature like man to give him homage and

If he did need men, he could soon create as many mighty kings
and princes as he pleased to wait upon him, and he could have
crowned heads to bow before his footstool, and emperors to
conduct him through the world in triumph. But he needs not men;
he can do without them if he pleases.

O you stars! you are bright; but you are not the lamps which
  light the way of God; he needs you not.

O sun! you are bright; but your heat warms not Jehovah.

O earth! you are beautiful; but your beauty is not needed to
  gladden his heart; God is glad enough without you.

O you lightnings! though you write his name in fire upon the
  midnight darkness, he needs not your brightness.

And you, wild ocean! you are mighty; but though you hymn
his deep praise in your solemn chorus, your storms do not
add to his glory.

You winds! though you attend the march of God across the
pathless ocean; — you thunders! though you utter God’s
voice in terrible majesty, and track the onward progress of
the God of armies, he needs you not.

He is great without you, great beyond you, great above you;
and, as he needs you not, he needs us not.

Cesspools of iniquity!
"The hearts of all men and women are cesspools of iniquity, in
which the loathsome monster, sin, produces its many offspring."
  -Don Fortner

Walking dunghills!
  The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
Brethren, let us Recollect Our Sins.
They will serve as a black foil on which the
mercy of God shall glisten the more brightly.

That God should be so good is marvellous, but that he should
be so good to you and to I, who are so rebellious, is a miracle
of miracles! I know not a word which can express the surprise
and wonder our souls ought to feel at God's goodness to us!

Our hearts playing the harlot;
our lives far from perfect;
our faith so feeble,
our unbelief often prevailing;
our pride lifting up its accursed head;
our patience a poor sickly plant,
  almost nipped by one night's frost;
our courage little better than cowardice;
our love lukewarmness;
and our ardor but as ice.

Oh, my dear brethren, if we will but think what a mass of Sin
we are, if we will but reflect that we are after all, walking dunghills,
we should indeed be surprised that the sun of  divine grace should
continue so perpetually to shine upon us, and  that the abundance
of heaven's mercy should be revealed in us.

It is the Lord's rule to bring good out of evil,
and so to prove his wisdom and magnify his grace.


The following is from Don Fortner-
The religion of the world, the religion of man, the religion of
antichrist is man-centered, man-exalting, and man-pleasing.

The religion of the Bible is exactly opposite.

Hear the words of God by the Prophet Isaiah, as he describes
what happens in the day God saves a sinner by his almighty grace--
"The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men
 shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day."


Natural men rebel against sovereignty, denounce predestination,
   and ridicule God's immutable purpose of grace.

Proud men can never rejoice in a sovereign God, because the fact
of God's sovereign purpose robs man of all possibility of adulation.


Here is a test, by which you may prove every doctrine and every
preacher you hear-- if the doctrine you hear causes your face
to glow with pride, it is not of God.  Anything that lifts up man,
anything that lowers God, is not of God and is not the gospel.

The gospel of the grace of God abases the flesh and glorifies God.

"Christ came to save everybody except the self-righteous."

If you are not a sinner, there is nothing in the gospel for you.

But if you are a sinner, I have good news for you - Christ died for sinners -
Christ saves sinners.  Your sinfulness will never keep you from Christ.
Only your "goodness" can do that.  Your sin will never keep you out of
heaven.  Only your righteousness can do that.

There is pardon for the guilty!
There is a robe for the naked!
There is bread for the hungry!
There is water for the thirsty!
There is rest for the weary!
There is grace for the needy!
There is cleansing for the dirty!
There is help for the fallen!

But there is nothing in the gospel, not one word of
good news, for the good, the great, and the righteous.

The gospel is addressed to sinners who are spiritually dead!
(Eph. 2:1-3).

Talk about helpless! What is more helpless than death?
Talk about hopeless! What is more hopeless than death?
Talk about obnoxious! What is more obnoxious than death?

There is not a complimentary, dignifying, honorable word
   between the covers of the Bible to fallen man.

If you want a picture of humanity, as the Bible describes man,
you must go to the cemetery, dig up a coffin, open the box,
and look upon the rotten, decayed body of corruption.

The unconverted man's works are dead works.
The unconverted man's religion is dead religion.
The unconverted man's doctrine is dead doctrine.
The unconverted man's faith is dead faith.

The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,  "The
Mighty Power Which Creates and Sustains Faith"

By nature we are spiritually dead.

We were dead in trespasses and sins.

Try to stir the natural man to spiritual action,
  and you cannot do it.

Lift up his hand to good works, he has no power to
perform them. Try to make the feet run in the ways
of righteousness; they will not move an inch.

The fact is that the heart is dead.

Neither can the eye perceive any beauty in Immanuel, nor
can the nostril discover the fragrance of the Lord’s sweet
spices, nor can the ear hear the voice of the Beloved.

The man is absolutely and entirely
dead as to anything like spiritual life.

There he lays in the grave of his corruption,
and must lay there and rot too, unless divine
grace shall interpose.

"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this
world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit
who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us
also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings
of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.
Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But
because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in
transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved."
  Ephesians. 2:1-5

Gaudy words
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
"Benhadad’s Escape — an Encouragement for Sinners"

How does your child come to you when he needs anything?
Does he open a big book, and begin reading, “My dear, esteemed,
and venerated parent in the effulgence of thy parental benificence....”
Nothing of the kind. He says — “Father, my clothes are worn out,
please buy me a new coat,” or else he says — “I am hungry, let me
have something to eat.”

That is the way to pray, and there is no prayer which God accepts
but that kind of prayer — right straight from the heart, and
right straight to God’s heart.

We miss the mark when we go about to gather gaudy words.
What! gaudy words on the lips of a poor sinner!
Fine phrases from a rebel!

There is more true eloquence in “God be merciful to me a sinner,”
than in all the books of devotion which bishops, and archbishops,
and divines ever compiled!

Our poor prayers
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
Is prayer a reality with you, dear friends, or is it a mere mockery?

Is it a sort of religious rite that you feel bound to perform, or has it
become as essential to your spiritual being as breathing is to your natural
being? Is it now to you a matter of course that you should pray? Is it as
natural for you to ask of your Father who is in heaven as it is for your little
children to ask of you who are fathers on earth?

Prayer should be to you an instinct of your new nature, as natural to your
spiritual being as a good appetite is to a man in health. There should be a
holy hunger and thirst to pray, and the soul never prays so well as when it
is reminded, not by the hour of the day or night, but by its real needs; and
when it resorts to its place of private prayer, not because it thinks it ought,
but because it feels that it must, and shall, and will go there, and is
delighted at the privilege of having communion with its God.

Someone perhaps asks, “Why do you pray, when
        everything is settled by the divine decree?”
It is true that everything is so settled, and it is for that very reason that we
do pray. The Spirit of God leads us to desire exactly what God has
decreed, and though we cannot open and read the book of his decrees, the
Holy Spirit can read that book, so he guides us to pray in accordance with
its secret records, and he also makes intercession for us “ according to the
will of God.”  A true prayer is the echo of the eternal purpose.
Our prayers are the shadows before God’s mercies. He who can truly
pray has first read the heart of God, and then spoken out what is there.

Our poor prayers are blotted, and blurred, and stained with sin,
but our great high Priest sprinkles them with his own most
precious blood, and so purifies them, and then, with his own
dear hand, he lays them before the mercy-seat, and for his
sake they are sure to be accepted.

The following is by Jonathan Edwards--
Humility may be defined to be a habit of mind and heart
corresponding to our comparative unworthiness and vileness
before God; or a sense of our own comparative lowness in His
sight, with the disposition to a behavior answerable thereto.

A truly humble man is sensible of the small extent of his
knowledge, and the great extent of his ignorance, and of the
small extent of his understanding, as compared with the
understanding of God.

He is sensible of his weakness, how little his strength is,
  and how little he is able to do.

He is sensible of his natural distance from God,
  of his dependence on Him,
  of the insufficiency of his own power and wisdom;
and that it is by God's power that he is upheld and provided for;
and that he needs God's wisdom to lead and guide him,
and His might to enable him to do what he ought to do for Him.

Humility tends to prevent an aspiring and
  ambitious behavior among men.

The man that is under the influence of a humble spirit is content
with such a situation among men, as God is pleased to allot to
him, and is not greedy of honor, and does not affect to appear
uppermost and exalted above his neighbors.

Humility tends also to prevent an arrogant and assuming behavior.

On the contrary, humility, disposes a person to a condescending
behavior to the meekest and lowest, and to treat inferiors with
courtesy and affability, as being sensible of his own weakness
and despicableness before God.

If we then consider ourselves as the followers of the meek
and lowly and crucified Jesus, we shall walk humbly before
God and man all the days of our life on earth.

Let all be exhorted earnestly to seek much of a humble spirit, and
to endeavor to be humble in all their behavior toward God and men.

Seek for a deep and abiding sense of your
comparative lowness before God and man.

Know God.

Confess your nothingness and ill-desert before Him.

Distrust yourself.

Rely Only On Christ.

Renounce all glory except for Him.

Yield yourself heartily to His will and service.

Avoid an aspiring, ambitious, ostentatious, assuming, arrogant,
scornful, stubborn, willful, leveling, self-justifying behavior;
and strive for more and more of the humble spirit that Christ
manifested while He was on earth.

Humility is a most essential and distinguishing trait
   in all true piety.

Earnestly seek then; and diligently and prayerfully
cherish a humble spirit, and God shall walk with
you here below; and when a few more days shall have
passed, He will receive you to the honors
bestowed on His people at Christ's right hand.

The world’s hope, heaven's joy, hell's terror, eternity's song!
  The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
The substitutionary sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ is
the world’s hope, heaven's joy, hell's terror, and eternity's song!

The time of love!
There is a day appointed by God for the salvation of his elect,
a day fixed from eternity when grace will come to the chosen
sinner, an hour determined before the world began when the
Good Shepherd will seek out and find his lost sheep.

There is a time fixed before time began, called "the time of love,”
when the predestined child, the elect sinner, redeemed by the
blood of Christ, must be saved.   At that hour, salvation must
and shall come to the soul loved of God with an everlasting love.

Only one thing is really important in this matter, only one
question must be answered, only one issue must be settled.
  “Do you believe on the Son of God?”

You will know that God has saved you, that you are chosen,
redeemed, and called by grace, when you find yourself believing
the gospel.  Do you believe?  If you do, the Lord has sought you
out and found you by his grace.
    -Don Fortner

There must be a divorce!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,

Within the egg of sin there sleeps the seed of damnation!

Man, there must be a divorce between you and your sins.
Not a mere separation for a season, but a clear divorce.
Cut off the right arm; pluck out the right eye, and cast
them from you, or else you cannot enter into eternal life.

Is the Saint Still a Sinner?
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
Saints are, without exception, sinners still.
Sinner is my name, sinner my nature, but thanks be to
him who came to save sinners, I am a sinner saved!

But the Christian no longer loves sin; it is the object of his sternest
horror; he no longer regards it as a mere trifle, plays with it, or talks
of it with unconcern.

He looks upon it as a deadly serpent, whose very shadow is to be avoided.

He would no more venture voluntarily to put its cup to his lip, than a
man would drink poison who had once almost lost his life through it.

Sin is dejected in the Christian's heart, though it is not ejected.
Sin may enter the heart, and fight for dominion, but it cannot sit
upon the throne. It haunts the town of Mansoul, and lurks in dens
and corners to do mischief, but it is no longer honored in the streets,
nor pampered in the palace. The head and the hands of Dagon are
broken, although the stump remains.

The Christian never sins with that enormity of boasting of which the
unregenerate are guilty. Others wallow in transgressions, and make their
shame their glory, but if the believer falls he is very quiet, mournful, and
vexed. Sinners go to their sins as children to their own father’s orchard, but
believers slink away like thieves when they have been stealing forbidden
fruit. Shame and sin are always in close company in a Christian. If he be
drunken with evil he will be ashamed of himself; and go to his bed like a
whipped cur. He cannot proclaim his transgressions as some do in the
midst of a ribald crowd, boasting of their exploits of evil. His heart is
broken within him, and when he has sinned he goes with sore bones for
many and many a day.

Nor does he sin with the fullness of deliberation that belongs to other men.
The sinner can sit down by the month together, and think over the iniquity
that he means to perpetrate, until he gets his plans well organized and has
matured his project; but the Christian cannot do this. He may put the sin
into his mouth and swallow it in a moment, but he cannot continue to roll it
under his tongue. He who can carefully arrange and plot a transgression is
still a true child of the old serpent.

And again, he never chews the cud of his sin; for after he has sinned,
however sweet it may have been in his mouth, it becomes bitterness in his
stomach, and glad enough would he be to be rid of it altogether.
The retrospect of sin to a converted man is nothing but blackness
and darkness in his heart.

The Christian, unlike other men, never finds enjoyment in his sin; he is out
of his element in it. Conscience pricks him; he cannot, even if he would, sin
like others. There is a refined taste within him, which all the while revolts
at the apparently dainty morsel of sin. The finger of grace, with its secret
and mysterious touch, turns all the honey of sin into gall, and all the
sweetness of sin into wormwood.

If the Christian shall sin, and sin I grant he will, yet it shall always be with
half-heartedness; still he clings to the right. The evil that he desires not to
do, he does;  while the good that he would do, he fails to perform.

You will notice too, how different the Christian is as to the habit of sin.
The ungodly man is frequent in overt deeds of rebellion, but the Christian,
at least in open acts of crime and folly, rather falls into them, than abides
in them. The swallow dips with his wing the brook, and then he is up
again into the skies, soaring toward the sun; but the duck can swim in the
pool or dive under the water — it is in its element. So the Christian just
touches sometimes with his wing — alas! for him — the streams of earth,
but then he is up again where he should be; it is only the sinner that can
swim in sin and delight therein. You may drive the swine and the sheep
together side by side; they come to some mire, and they both fall into it,
and both stain themselves; but you soon detect the difference in nature
between them, for while the swine lies and wallows with intense gusto, the
sheep is up again, escaping as soon as possible from the filth. So with the
Christian; he falls, God knows how many times, but he rises up again —
it is not his nature to lie in sin; he abhors himself that ever he should fall to
the ground at all: while the ungodly goes on in his wicked way until sin
becomes a habit, and habit like an iron net has entangled him in its meshes.

Why a man is saved?

The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
   "The Minister's Stock-taking”
If you are asked why a man is saved, the only Scriptural answer is-
“Sovereign grace” — grace, unmoved by anything in the creature,
flowing spontaneously from the mighty depths of the divine heart.

The answer is this– because God willed it that way.
 “He will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and he
  will have compassion on whom he will have compassion.”
“It is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs,
   but of God that shows mercy.”

If any man is saved, it is not because he willed to be saved.

If any man be brought to Christ, it is not of any effort of his,
but the root, the cause, the motive of the salvation of any one
human being, and of all the chosen in heaven, is to be found
in the predestinating purpose and sovereign distinguishing
will of the Lord our God.

It is God who quickens the souls of those who believe.

If men be saved all the glory must be unto God from first to last,
and not an atom nor a particle attributed to the goodness, or the
power, or the will of the creature.

This is a doctrine which some people have not learned very fully yet,
but they will have to learn it if they are God’s people. Jonah, you
know, had never learned it from the schools, but when the Lord
got him in the whale's belly, at the bottom of the sea, with the weeds
wrapped about his head, then it was that he said, “Salvation is of
the Lord;” and often some sore trials and terrible afflictions are
necessary schoolmasters to teach us this lesson, that salvation
is of the Lord alone.

It is one of the instinctive apprehensions of every enlightened
man’s mind, that if he is saved, it is because of God’s mercy.