Thursdays With Spurgeon—Blessed Assurance

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Charles Spurgeon. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Spurgeon” in the search box to read more entries.

Blessed Assurance

     The Holy Spirit, who enabled me to believe, gave me peace through believing. I felt as sure that I was forgiven as before I felt sure of condemnation. I had been certain of my condemnation because the Word of God declared it, and my conscience bore witness to it; but when the Lord Jesus justified me, the same witnesses made me equally certain. The Word of the Lord in the Scripture says, “He who believes in Him is not condemned” (John 3:18), and my conscience bore witness that I believed, and that God in pardoning me was just. Thus I had the witness of the Holy Spirit and also of my own conscience, and these two agreed in one. …  

     I find the apostle Paul speaking by the Holy Spirit and saying, “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God” (Romans 5:1). If I know that my trust is fixed on Jesus only, and that I have faith in Him, were it not ten thousand times more absurd for me not to be at peace than for me to be filled with joy unspeakable? It is but taking God at His Word, when the soul knows as a necessary consequence of its faith that it is saved. …  

     Has Jesus saved me? I dare not speak with any hesitation here; I know He has. His word is true; therefore I am saved. My evidence that I am saved does not lie in the fact that I preach, or that I do this or that. All my hope lies in this, that Jesus Christ came to save sinners. I am a sinner, I trust Him, then He came to save me, and I am saved. I live habitually in the enjoyment of this blessed fact, and it is long since I have doubted the truth of it, for I have His own Word to sustain my faith.

From The Autobiography Of Charles Spurgeon

The joy that Spurgeon recounts in his conversion is the same joy that is available to all who call on Jesus in faith. As Spurgeon was prone to quoting passages of hymns in his sermons and books, these words of his remind me of a favorite hymn as well—

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine;
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! 
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. 
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long!

Thursdays With Spurgeon—Keep The Focus On The Savior

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Charles Spurgeon. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Spurgeon” in the search box to read more entries.

Keep The Focus On The Savior

     I have heard men tell the story of their conversion, and of their spiritual life, in such a way that my heart has loathed them and their story, too, for they have told of their sins as if they did boast in the greatness of their crime, and they have mentioned the love of God, not with a tear of gratitude, not with the simple thanksgiving of the really humble heart, but as if they as much exalted themselves as they exalted God. Oh! When we tell the story of our own conversion, I would have it done with great sorrow, and with great joy and gratitude, remembering how little we deserve these things. … 

     My Master, I cannot understand how You stoop Your awful head to such a death as the death of the Cross, how You could take from Your brow the coronet of stars that from old eternity had shone resplendent there. But how You should permit the thorn-crown to gird Your temples astonishes me far more. That You should cast away the mantle of Your glory, the azure of Your everlasting empire, I cannot comprehend. But how You should have become veiled in the ignominious purple for a while and then be mocked by impious men who bowed to You as a pretended king; and how You should be stripped naked to Your shame, without a single covering, and die a felon’s death. This is still more incomprehensible. But the marvel is that You should have suffered all this for me! … 

     I, a lad, found the Lord of glory. I, a slave to sin, found the great Deliverer. I, the child of darkness, found the Light of Life. I, the uttermost of the lost, found my Savior and my God. I, widowed and desolate, found my Friend, my Beloved, my Husband. Oh, how I wondered that I should be pardoned! It was not the pardon that I wondered at so much; the wonder was that it should come to me. 

From The Autobiography Of Charles Spurgeon

How sad that many times the story of our salvation focuses more on how bad we were, and gives so little glory to how amazing our Savior’s rescue was. 

Just as the Apostle Paul called himself the chief of sinners, and stood in amazement that Christ’s love would reconcile him to God, so Spurgeon stood amazed that Jesus would stoop to die for “the uttermost of the lost.” 

It’s fine to tell people what used to be, but please make sure your story focuses more on how amazing it is that God’s love saved you from those sins. Amazing love! How can it be that You, my King, would die for me? 

Let’s keep the focus on the Savior! 

Poetry Saturday—See How The Patient Jesus Stands

See how the patient Jesus stands,
Insulted in His lowest case!
Sinners have bound the Almighty hands,
And spit in their Creator’s face.

With thorns His temple gored and gashed
Send streams of blood from every part;
His back’s with knotted scourges lashed,
But sharper scourges tear His heart.

Nailed naked to the accursed wood
Exposed to earth and heaven above,
A spectacle of wounds and blood,
A prodigy of injured love!

Hark! how His doleful cries affright
Affected angels, while they view;
His friends forsook Him in the night,
And now His God forsakes Him too!

Behold that pale, that languid face,
That drooping head, those languid eyes!
Behold in sorrow and disgrace
Our conquering Hero hangs, and dies!

Ye that assume His sacred name,
Now tell me, what can all this mean?
What was it bruised God’s harmless Lamb,
What was it pierced His soul but sin?

Blush, Christian, blush: let shame abound:
If sin affects thee not with woe,
Whatever life is in thee found,
The life of Christ thou doest not know. —Joseph Hart

14 Quotes From “Our Brilliant Heritage”

Our Brilliant HeritageAs I said in my book review of Oswald Chambers’ book Our Brilliant Heritage, it’s hard to come up with enough good words to say about this man’s insights! You can read my review of this book by clicking here, and check out my first batch of quotes below.

“The writer to the Hebrews does not tell us to imitate Jesus when we are tempted; he says—‘Come to Jesus, and He will succor [help] you in the nick of time.’ That is, all His perfect overcoming of temptation is ours in Him. … Jesus Christ does not give us power to work up a patience like His own. His patience is manifested if we will let His life dwell in us.”

“Paul does not say, nor does the Spirit of God say anywhere, that after we are born again of the Spirit of God, Jesus Christ is put before us as an Example and we make ourselves holy by drawing from Him. Never! Sanctification is Christ formed in us; not the Christ-life, but Christ Himself. In Jesus Christ is the perfection of everything, and the mystery of sanctification is that we may have in Jesus Christ, not the start of holiness, but the holiness of Jesus Christ.”

“The very spirit that ruled Jesus in His life now rules us. How has it come about? Read Romans 8:10. ‘And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.’ John the Baptist said of Jesus—‘He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.’ The Spirit of God who wrought out that marvelous Life in the Incarnation will baptize us into the very same life, not into a life like it, but into His life until the very holiness of Jesus is gifted to us. It is not something we work out in Him, it is in Him, and He manifests it through us while we abide in Him.” 

“Some of us have never allowed God to make us understand how hopeless we are without Jesus Christ.”

“‘Wherefore if any man is in Christ, there is a new creation’! (2 Corinthians 5:17). … Those of us who are in the experience of God’s mighty salvation do not give ourselves half enough prayerful time, and wondering time, and studying time to allow the Spirit of God to bring this marvelous truth home to us.” 

“We are too free from wonder nowadays, too easy with the Word of God; we do not use it with the breathless amazement Paul does. Think what sanctification means—Christ in me; made like Christ; as He is, so are we.

“Men are apt to cry to God to stop—‘If only God would leave me alone!’ God never will. His passionate, inexorable love never allows Him to leave men alone, and with His children He will shake everything that can be shaken till there is nothing that can be shaken anymore; then will abide the consuming fire of God until the life is changed into the same image from glory to glory, and men see that strong family likeness to Jesus that can never be mistaken.”

“The marvelous thing about the inheritance of the saints in light is that when we take our part of the inheritance, everyone else is blessed in the taking; but if we refused to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, we rob others of its glory and its wonder.”

“We cannot do what God does and God will not do what we can do. We cannot save ourselves or sanctify ourselves; God only can do that; but God does not give us good habits, He does not give us character, He does not make us walk aright; we must do all that.” 

“If, when no one is watching us, we are building ourselves up in the Word of God, then, when a crisis comes, we shall stand; but if we are not building on the Word of God, when a crisis comes we shall go down, no matter what our wills are like.”

“With Jesus it is never ‘Do, do,’ but ‘Be, be and I will do through you.’”

“One strong moral man will form a nucleus around which others will gather; and spiritually, if we put on the armor of God and stand true to Him, a whole army of week-kneed Christians will be strengthened.”

“The surest evidence that the nature of God has come into me is that I know I am a sinner.”

“The deepest repentance is not in the sinner, but in the saint. Repentance means not only sorrow for sin, it involves the possession of a new disposition that will never do the thing again.”

The Ministry Of Reconciliation

Ministry of reconciliationWhen couples are divorcing, their most common complaint is summed up in two words: irreconcilable differences. The couple is saying that things have gotten so bad―and the distance between them has gotten so vast―that there is no hope at all of ever patching things up.

Sometimes we might be able to say that both husband and wife shared some of the blame. But this isn’t true in a spiritual divorce. When we are separated from God, it’s all on us. Paul describes us as powerless sinners, unholy enemies of God (see Romans 5:6, 8, 10). We did the leaving; we are the problem.

But in the desire to bring reconciliation, God puts it all on Himself―more specifically, on the death of His Son Jesus on an old rugged Cross. In Romans 5 Paul says our reconciliation was through Christ five times in just three verses (vv. 9-11).

As if it weren’t amazing enough that Christ’s death on the Cross saved us, justified us, and reconciled us, giving us a brand new start (2 Corinthians 5:16-17), God then gave us the same ministry that He undertook through Jesus: the ministry of reconciliation (vv. 18-19)!

What Jesus purchased for us on an old rugged Cross allows us to “become the righteousness of Christ” (v. 21). Not reflect His righteousness, not talk about His righteousness, but actually become His righteousness!

We have the supreme privilege of being able to bring the message of reconciliation to others who used to be where we were: powerless sinners, unholy enemies of God!

We have the awesome joy of being God’s righteousness to people who think their irreconcilable differences will keep them from God!

The greatest act of serving you could ever do for anyone is telling them that they can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ’s work on an old rugged Cross!

Absolutely amazing!

We’ll continue our look at the Old Rugged Cross next Sunday, and I’d love to have you join me at Calvary Assembly of God.

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some good reading from today…

“The mind may be compared to a garden, which it is as necessary to cultivate as any plot of earth, if order and beauty are to be manifested through it. … Ideas, as well as flowers, in order to attain their full beauty, must be kept free from encumbering influences, whatever tends to weaken or degrade or detract from planned perfection.” —Joyce Mayhew

“I thank my Master that He does not say to the sinner, ‘Come half way and meet Me,’ but He comes ‘where he is.’” —Charles Spurgeon

“On the basis of grace as taught in the Word of God, when God forgives a man, He trusts him as though he had never sinned. God did not have mental reservations about any of us when we became His children by faith. When God forgives a man, He doesn’t think, ‘I will have to watch this fellow because he has a bad record.’ No, He starts with him again as though he had just been created and as if there had been no past at all! That is the basis of our Christian assurance—and God wants us to be happy in it.” —A.W. Tozer

Always keep in contact with those books and those people that enlarge your horizon and make it possible for you to stretch yourself mentally.” —Oswald Chambers

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