Saturday, October 31, 2009

A tale of two sermons

"I was once preaching upon conversion and salvation, and I felt within myself, as preachers often do, that it was but dry work to tell this story, and a dull, dull tale it was to me; but, on a sudden, the thought crossed my mind,'Why, you are a poor, lost, ruined sinner yourself; tell it, tell it as you received it; begin to tell of the grace of God as you trust you feel it yourself.' Why, then, my eyes began to be fountains of tears; those hearers who had nodded their heads began to brighten up, and they listened, because they were hearing something which the speaker himself felt, and which they recognized as being true to him if it was not true to them." ~ Charles Spurgeon

Spurgeon's reverence of Wesley

"Far be it from me even to imagine that Zion contains none but Calvinistic Christians within her walls, or that there are none saved who do not hold our views. Most atrocious things have been spoken about the character and spiritual condition of John Wesley, the modern prince of Arminians. I can only say concerning him that, while I detest many of the doctrines which he preached, yet for the man himself I have a reverence second to no Wesleyan; and if there were wanted two apostles to be added to the number of the twelve, I do not believe that there could be found two men more fit to be so added than George Whitefield and John Wesley. The character of John Wesley stands beyond all imputation for self-sacrifice, zeal, holiness, and communion with God; he lived far above the ordinary level of common Christians." ~ Charles Spurgeon

Spurgeon's Wit

While I disagree with Mr. Spurgeon's view of the doctrine of election, I was greatly amused at his powerful wit:

"I recollect an Arminian brother telling me that he had read the Scriptures through a score or more times, and could never find the doctrine of election in them. He added that he was sure he would have done so if it had been there, for he read the Word on his knees. I said to him, 'I think you read the Bible in a very uncomfortable posture, and if you had read it in your easy chair, you would have been more likely to understand it. Pray, by all means, and the more, the better, but it is a piece of superstition to think there is anything in the posture in which a man puts himself for reading: and as to reading through the Bible twenty times without having found anything about the doctrine of election, the wonder is that you found anything at all: you must have galloped through it at such a rate that you were not likely to have any intelligible idea of the meaning of the Scriptures.'" ~ Charles Spurgeon

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Seeking divine transformation

"What shall I do my suit to gain?
Oh Lamb of God for sinners slain,
I plead what thou hast done!
Didst thou not die the death for me?
Jesu, remember Calvary,
And break my heart of stone.

Oh let thy Spirit shed abroad
The love, the perfect love of God,
In this cold heart of mine!
Oh might he now descend, and rest,
And dwell for ever in my breast,
And make it all divine!"

~ Charles Wesley

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Assurance before confidence

"It is by this faith . . . that we receive Christ . . . But is this the faith of assurance, or faith of adherence? The Scripture mentions no such distinction . . . And it is certain, this faith necessarily implies an assurance . . . that Christ loved me, and gave Himself for me. For 'he that believeth' with the true living faith 'hath the witness in himself': 'the Spirit witnesseth with his spirit that he is a child of God.' 'Because he is a son, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into his heart, crying, Abba, Father'; giving him an assurance that he is so, and a childlike confidence in Him. But let it be observed, that, in the very nature of the thing, the assurance goes before the confidence. For a man cannot have a childlike confidence in God till he knows he is a child of God. Therefore, confidence, trust, reliance, adherence, or whatever else it be called, is not the first, as some have supposed, but the second, branch or act of faith. " ~ John Wesley in "The Scripture Way of Salvation"

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Impossible possibilities

". . . the commandments were given irrespective of human ability or inability to keep them; then when Jesus Christ came, instead of doing what we all too glibly say He did - put something easier before men, He made it a hundredfold more difficult, because He goes behind the law to the disposition." ~ Oswald Chambers

"If the old commandments were difficult, our Lord's principles are unfathomably more difficult. Our Lord goes behind the old law to the disposition. Everything He teaches is impossible unless He can put into us His Spirit and remake us from within." ~ Oswald Chambers

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Contesting for the truth

"In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time." ~ Abraham Lincoln