2429. Converts, And Their Confession Of Faith

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No. 2429-41:421. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, September 4, 1887, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, September 8, 1895.

One shall say, “I am the LORD’S”; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall write with his hand, “For the LORD,” and surname himself by the name of Israel. {Isa 44:5}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 564, “Promise for Us and for Our Children, A” 555}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1151, “Revival Promise, A” 1142}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2429, “Converts, and Their Confession of Faith” 2430}
   Exposition on Isa 43:14-44:8 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2908, “Saints’ Heritage and Watchword, The” 2909 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 43:1-7,21-44:5 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2548, “Four Contrasts” 2549 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 43:21-44:23 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2847, “Barriers Obliterated” 2848 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 43:22-44:8 Ps 85 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2426, “Prayer for Revival, A” 2427 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 44:1-22 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2384, “Forget You, I Will Not” 2385 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 44; 45; 2Sa 33:1-5 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2450, “Joy of Redemption, The” 2451 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 44 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2429, “Converts, and Their Confession of Faith” 2430 @@ "Exposition"}

1. This is to take place after the Lord has poured out his Spirit on his people, and on their offspring. The mainspring of everything good and gracious is the Holy Spirit. Where he comes, everything prospers; but when he has gone, nothing but failure and disaster will come. I believe that, at this present moment, God’s people ought to cry to him day and night that there may be a fresh baptism into the Holy Spirit. There are many things that are desirable for the Church of Christ, but one thing is absolutely necessary; and this is the one thing, the power of the Holy Spirit in the midst of his people. You know the very simple imagery, which illustrates this blessing. If you go down to some of our Thames bridges, you will find the barges stuck firmly in the mud, and you cannot budge them. It would be a very difficult thing to provide machinery with which to move them; all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could not do it. But wait until the tide comes in; now every black, heavy old barge “walks the waters like a thing of life.” Everything that can float is movable as soon as the silver flood has returned. So, many of our churches lie in the mud. Everything seems motionless, powerless; but when the Spirit of God comes in like a flood, all is altered. Therefore, let us pray, —

    “Come, Holy Spirit, come.”

I know that, in one sense, he is always with us; but I am sure that, in another sense, he is not. He is present in this gospel age; but he is not with this church or with that; and all the churches have need to cry, “Come, heavenly flood; come with your mighty force, and lift us all out of our spiritual death.”

2. When the Spirit of God comes, converts come, too. If they do not come by the Spirit of God, they are not worth having. I have heard, and sorrowfully heard, of many cases where revivalists have added to churches by the score and by the hundred, and after a couple of years none of the professed converts have been left. If men are brought to say, “I am the Lord’s,” merely as the result of excitement they will generally be saying what is not true; and though they may think it is true, yet time, which tries all things, will prove their profession to have been untrue. We must have the Spirit of God with us for real spiritual work; and if we do not have him, the most powerful revivalist will be only as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. We must have the Spirit of God with us. If we have his presence, even the ordinary minister’s preaching will suffice for great blessing to the hearers; but without that Spirit, the ordinary preaching will become more dull and flat and lifeless than ever, and there will be no increase in the church, and no earnestness among those already in it. I beseech you, therefore, day and night pray for the Spirit of God. We want to have sound doctrine, we want to have great diligence and zeal, we want to have superior holiness; — I will not go on with the list of what we want; but let us have the Holy Spirit, and we shall have all these. This will bring back to the church and to the individual believer all that is necessary for spiritual health and strength.

3. Now, supposing that we have had our prayers answered, and that the Spirit of God has been poured out like floods on the dry ground, then see what is to happen. Converts will come forward to confess their faith. So the text evidently tells us.

4. In considering it, I would have you notice, first, that this confession of faith is personal:“ One shall say, ‘I am the Lord’s,’ ” and so on. Secondly, it is varied; for, while there are some who say it, there are others who write it with their hand. And, thirdly, while this profession is varied, it is also very gracious. There are wells of sweet water within this expression, “I am the Lord’s.” We shall try to draw some of the water out, so that we may drink and be refreshed.

5. I. Concerning the converts we so much desire to see, and the confession which the Spirit of God will lead them to make, let me begin by saying that THIS CONFESSION OF FAITH IS PERSONAL: “One shall say, ‘I am the Lord’s’; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall write with his hand, ‘For the Lord.’ ” You see, it is not a joint confession; but an individual one. It is “one” and “another” and “another.”

6. Notice, first, that all confession of Christ must be personal; anything else is unreal and worthless. All religion that is true is personal; it has to do with the man’s own heart, he is moved to it by his own conscience. His faith must be his own faith. His repentance must be repentance of his own sin. His coming to Christ must be his own coming to Christ. No one can perform your religion for you, it is not possible that anything like sponsorship should be admitted into real, vital godliness. Here is a man who professes that he promised that you should renounce all, the pomps and vanities of this present wicked world. Who dares promise such a thing as that? If I were to promise for an unborn child that it should have red hair and a Roman nose, I should be quite as reasonable as if I promised that any child should become a child of God. I cannot do it, it is not within my power, nor within the power of any man. In every act of religion you yourself must be concerned; the godliest mother can pray for you, but you will not be saved unless you pray for yourself; the most believing father may use his faith on your behalf, but you will not be saved unless you yourself believe. It is useless for one man to think that he can either believe or repent for another. You are born one by one, you will die one by one, you will have to stand at the judgment seat of Christ in your own proper personality. Each one of you must humble yourselves before God, and confess your sin, and personally look to him who was lifted up on the cross for our redemption, and personally yield yourselves up to God. Baptism, of which you have no personal knowledge, in which you have no conscious part, is the mockery and mimicry of baptism; but it is not scriptural baptism, and any profession of faith in which you have no conscious part yourself is the mimicry of a confession, but it is not a scriptural confession. “One shall say, ‘I am the Lord’s,’ ” but he would not speak for another. That other “shall call himself by the name of Jacob”; and the two together cannot speak for number three, for he shall come forward, and “write with his hand, ‘For the Lord.’ ” My dear friends, I charge you, understand that “You must be born again.” You must yield your hearts to Jesus; and this must be a matter of personal concern with you. National religion, and family religion, may be good if rightly understood, but nothing less than personal religion will bring anyone into the kingdom of heaven.

7. This, then, is required of us by the Lord, that our religion should be personal. The gospel comes to us with its urgent call, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” To each convicted sinner who asks, “What must I do to be saved?” the gospel says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” It invites you, my friend, as much as if there were not another person in the world; and the Word of God, if it comes with power to your soul, will come as distinctly to you as if you were the only person in the whole universe. It must be so; nothing but distinct personality will do in religion, and especially in the confession that we make of our being the Lord’s people.

8. This personal confession, dear friends, needs to be carefully attended to when there are many coming forward. I always dread lest any of you should come into the church in a crowd. I have often known people brought into this Tabernacle by the crowd. They somehow mingled with the stream, and they did not and they could not move out of it; they were caught up off their feet, and carried in here. And, sometimes, there are times with churches when individuals seem to be carried into a confession of faith because it is the fashion to do so; others are doing it, so they do the same. Please be very careful about this matter. If your father, your mother, your brothers, or your sisters, make a profession of religion, that is no reason why you should do so unless you can truthfully do it. If you have not repented of sin, do not say that you have done so. If you have not believed in Jesus, do not say that you have. Do not think of coming forward merely because your friends are joining the church. Act for yourselves. One of the lessons I constantly have to teach you is that you are individually responsible to God, and that it is absolutely necessary for you to exercise your own personal judgment about matters of faith and practice. There may be some who say, “Do what your priest tells you”; but we have no priests, because we want all of you to be priests. You are to be a nation of priests. If you are God’s people, you are to act before God for yourselves under the teaching of his Spirit given to you individually; and we beseech you to do this. Do not let custom, either good or bad, sway you; but just as we charge you not to run with a multitude to do evil, so we exhort you not to run with the multitude even professedly doing good when you are not doing it, and when your practice does not go with your profession. In all times of revival, it is very necessary that this truth should be taught.

9. But, next, this individual confession of your faith in Christ is incumbent on you very specially when there are few coming forward. I should say to myself, “If there is no one in this village confessing Christ, then it is all the more urgent on me that I should confess him. If in the church few have come to tell the pastor that they have found Christ by his means, if I have found the Saviour, I will certainly go; I will let him see that he has not quite laboured in vain. I will go for his sake. If there are few added to the church, then I will go so that the church may not be discouraged in its Christian efforts.” Oh, I like to have around me those who feel, “It is no consideration with me whether there are many or few; I have to act as before God on my own account. If there are few who do right, that is all the more reason why I should do it.” One said to me, the other day, “My daughters go to such a place of worship because it is fashionable; and,” he added, “that seems to me a curious reason, for I go to another place because it is not fashionable.” I think that it is a grand thing to learn to be in the right with two or three. Some people say, “Why, you are in such a small minority!” Yes, yes; but as a general rule minorities are right. Up until now, the majority has never been on the side of Christ, the majority has never been for God, the majority has never been with the truth. Oh, dear young fellows, I cannot bear that you should always be trying to jump the way the cat goes! Go the right way; never mind about the cats. Do not be saying, “I must do what the other fellows do”; but be bold, and do exactly what the others do not do when you believe that is the right thing to do. What! is heroism altogether gone? Will Christianity create no more martyrs? I trust in God that it is not so; but that, when there are few confessing Christ, and faith in him, some of you men and women will feel, “I shall take up my cross, and follow Christ; and do it all the more decidedly, and all the more openly, and all the more quickly, because there are so few doing it.” If we do not watch what we are doing, we may go into hell for the sake of company; but I would rather go to heaven alone than go the downward road with all the multitude. Still our Saviour’s words are true, “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there are who find it.” Oh, that you may resolve that the way shall not be too narrow and the gate shall not be too strait for you, and that, by God’s grace, you will find it, and love it none the less, but all the more, because the multitude prefer the broader road!


11. First, one person speaks out for himself: “One shall say, ‘I am the Lord’s.’ ” That is a fine speech. Truthfully made, it is like a clean-cut piece of marble: “I am the Lord’s.” If you, from your very soul, can say this in any company, and not be ashamed to say it before men, angels, or demons, God has taught you a noble piece of eloquence. “I am the Lord’s.” There is a great fulness about these words, as I will try to show you presently; but there are some Christians who have made this distinct affirmation, and they stand by it. Perhaps they have not joined a church yet; they should do so, but they have done well to say, “I am the Lord’s.” Paul said of the Macedonian Christians, “This they did, not as we hoped, but first gave themselves to the Lord, and to us by the will of God.” You have no right to belong to a church until first you belong to the Lord, so that you can truly say, “I am the Lord’s”; but it is most blessed when a man or a woman feels this, and says this, and stands by it until death, “I am the Lord’s.” This is a noble affirmation. I pray God that you may be enabled now to make it for the first time, if you have never made it before.

12. The next person mentioned in our text confessed his faith in a different way, for he called himself by the name of Jacob; that is to say, he took up his position with the people of God under their lowliest title. “There,” he said, “I am prepared to suffer affliction with the people of God, to be reproached when they are reproached, to be shunned when they are shunned, to be ridiculed when they are ridiculed. I belong to Jacob. He is an extraordinary person, cut off from the rest of the world to be the Lord’s, and I go with him.” It is a grand thing when, first of all, a man knows he is the Lord’s; but in some people, this confession takes more prominently the form of feeling that they will be with the people of God, that they are willing to take up their cross, and go with God’s people wherever they go. Their resolution is something like that brave declaration of Ruth to Naomi, “Where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge: your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” I remember speaking with a Christian woman who lay dying. She was under some form of doubt at the time, but she said, “I feel sure that the Lord will never send me among the ungodly, for my tastes and habits do not lie that way. I have always been happiest among the people of God; and surely the Lord will let me be gathered to my own company.” And so he will; there is a story told, — I believe a true one, — of a poor woman who had long been a believer, but, partly through aberration of mind, I think, she grew so despondent that no one could cheer her. Before she died, she came out into bright light; but for a long time she was under a cloud, and her belief was that she would be sent to hell. She feared such a doom above all things, but she prayed this very exceptional prayer, that, although she must suffer for her sins, she might have a place by herself where she might not hear the blasphemies of the wicked against God. She seemed as if she was not afraid of any form of suffering, but she said that she could not bear to hear God’s name blasphemed. Dear soul, there was no fear about her safety, was there? Where there is that holy dread of sin, that hatred of evil, that real love for God, there is no fear whatever of what will become of such people. Now, there are some who, at first, are afraid that they do not belong to the Lord, but they say that they will belong to his people. They wish, somehow or other, to get in among them, and especially when they see them despised. Then they come forward, and stand up for them, and say, “On me also let the reproach fall, for I also am one of them.” This is a grand spirit. I commend it heartily.

13. But here is a third person, who makes his confession in a still different way: “Another shall write with his hand, ‘For the Lord,’ and surname himself by the name of Israel.” I do not know this person; sometimes, I think that he is a friend of mine, who is afraid to speak, but who likes to write. “I could not,” one says, “speak my confession of faith, but I could joyfully sit down and write it.” Yes, you are timid, and trembling, and slow of speech. Do not condemn yourself for that. I have heard of one who came before the church, and could not speak a word; and when the pastor asked her some questions, and almost put the answers into her mouth, she could say nothing. So he was obliged to say, “My dear sister, the church cannot judge at all concerning your faith, for you say nothing”; and then she broke the silence by exclaiming, “I cannot speak for Christ, but I could die for him.” “Oh!” said the minister, “that is the best confession of all.” There are some of that kind who would not be able to speak in public, being so timid and retiring; but they write with their hand, “For the Lord.”

14. Still, I am not sure that this is the person mentioned in the text. I seem to imagine that it is a stronger body, a man who is not content with saying it, but who writes it down in black and white: “I am the Lord’s.” What is written remains; so he writes it down. I have known such people to write out and sign a declaration that they belong to Christ. If they add any promises to that declaration, I am afraid that they will bring themselves into bondage; but if this is all, that they distinctly declare that the transaction is done, and that henceforth they belong to God, I think that it is a very admirable way of confessing faith in him. Possibly, I may be addressing some young people who have done this. Let them be thankful that they have been enabled to make such a declaration of their faith, and let them stand by it, and continue in it all their days.

15. But you will notice, also, that this person who writes like this, or wrote with his hand, “For the Lord,” also went the whole way towards God, and his people at their best, for it is added that he surnamed himself by the name of Israel. Let me put this matter very plainly to you. I believe that there are some who give themselves up to the Church of God in a very complete and unreserved manner, resolving that all the privileges they can enjoy they will have, all the holiness they can ever attain to they will gain, and all the consecration that lies within the region of possibility they will strive after and secure. They surname themselves by the name of Israel; they not only join God’s people at their worst, but they intend to join them at their best. Not only do they take the name of Jacob, but the name of Israel also. There are certain people who have joined this church — I shall not indicate them, but you must know who they are, — they are those who, when they joined the church, joined it with all their heart, and threw their whole soul into it. They give their time, their substance, themselves, to the cause of God for the glory of Christ. On the other hand, there are some who join the church, and we have the distinguished privilege of having their names in our books, but that is all, for they do nothing for Christ. They are a worry to us rather than a help, they are the very first people to find fault if they do not derive benefit; but as for the church’s service, they cannot answer to their names when the roll is read, for they are not there; they are busy in the world, and their whole strength is there; they do not surname themselves by the name of Israel. Happy is the church when the Lord sends into her midst men and women, who are so completely the Lord’s that they give themselves up heart and soul to his service. Years ago, when farming used to pay, I have known farmers have a farm which they worked themselves, and then they had another at a distance which they called their hobby farm, out of which they did not get very much. So I believe that there are some people whose religion is a kind of hobby farm; they do not get much out of it, nor do much with it; but their worldly business is their home farm, and they work that with all their might, the other matter is of secondary importance to them. Such people are not likely to be very happy in the Lord themselves, and they are not likely to be made useful to others.

16. So I think that I have shown you that there are varied ways of making this confession of faith. With some, it is a distinct affirmation of their union with the Lord himself. With others, it is mainly a sense of their union with the church. With others, it is a blending of the two, and a carrying of both to a high degree of perfection. May God give us many converts of this last kind!

17. III. I was going to finish with this observation, that THESE CONFESSIONS OF FAITH ARE ALL GRACIOUS; but I can only deal with one, for our time has gone: “I am the Lord’s.”

18. I wish that I could convey to others the feelings which I have had in thinking over these words. They had been with me many days before I ventured to think of preaching from them: “I am the Lord’s.” You know the order in which they come elsewhere. “My Beloved is mine, and I am his.” “I am his,” follows “my Beloved is mine.” You must have Christ before you say that you belong to Christ. Beloved, have you taken hold on Christ? Have you appropriated him? Is he your all, your everything? Is it so? Well then, you should go on to say, “I am the Lord’s.”

19. This declaration, “I am the Lord’s,” is a very practical confession; for, if I am the Lord’s, then I must not give myself up to be the slave of another. I must not serve the world, the flesh, or the devil, for “I am the Lord’s.” If the Lord has bought me, if the Lord has chosen me, if the Lord has called me, if the Lord has taken me to be his particular portion, I must be reserved for him, and not given to another. This ought to be a check to me in my whole daily life, if I am tempted to do whatever is wrong.

20. It will be also a high incentive to duty to say truly, “I am the Lord’s.” I must live for him; I cannot merely talk about being his, I must prove it to be so in private by my walking with him, and in public by my walking like him. If I am the Lord’s, I must lay myself out to extend his kingdom, and win the souls of others to his sway. I must be zealous for my Lord; it must not be one step today and another tomorrow, for “I am the Lord’s.” I must not be idling and trifling, for “I am the Lord’s.” If this truth shall come with power to your hearts, it will tend to make earnest workers of you, such servants as need not be ashamed even in the day of their Lord’s appearing.

21. But while it has a practical bearing, this confession has a sweet comforting aspect:“ I am the Lord’s.” The devil desires to have me; but “I am the Lord’s,” so he cannot have me. Sin would have me; but “I am the Lord’s,” and he has forgiven me, and delivered me from the guilt of sin. I should fall a thousand times a day, but “I am the Lord’s.” I should fall not only foully but finally, but “I am the Lord’s”; and being the Lord’s, he holds me in his hand, and no one shall pluck me from his gracious grasp.

22. “I am the Lord’s.” This is my hope of safety and of perfection. If I am the Lord’s, then he has begun a good work in me, and he will not stop until he has performed all that he purposed concerning me. He will have respect for the work of his hands. I have heard that, when Gustave Doré fled Paris, before the siege, {a} he hid one of his most beautiful pictures under a heap of stones in a cellar. No one except himself knew where it was; but when the siege was over, Doré hurried to the place, for he valued the work of his hands; and though his picture lay hidden there, you may be sure that he soon disinterred it, and completed it. And, sometimes, the Lord’s people seem to get down under the stones in the cellar; but he will find them. If you are the Lord’s, he will not leave you to perish. He will go on with his work, and finish the task he has begun, until you shall reflect his wisdom and display his power.

23. “I am the Lord’s.” Why, I think I will turn this confession into a hymn! I will not rhyme it; but let it stand as it is, “I am the Lord’s.” Sing it in your souls; let the joy-bells of your heart ring it out, “I am the Lord’s. I shall die in the Lord, I shall rise again at the sounding of the archangel’s trumpet, I shall see my Lord’s face in glory, I shall be for ever with him, for I am the Lord’s.” If you come to the communion table with this sweet reflection in your hearts, and then go from the table with this truth practically worked out in your lives, it shall be well with you.

24. My dear hearers, I wish you could all say, “I am the Lord’s.” I wish you would all come, and put your trust in Christ, and take him to be yours. When you have done that, then do not hesitate to come out and confess him before men. May God help you to do so, for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen.

{a} The Siege of Paris, lasting from September 19, 1870 to January 28, 1871, and the subsequent capture of the city by Prussian forces, led to French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and the establishment of the German Empire as well as the Paris Commune. See Explorer "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Paris_(1870%E2%80%9371)"

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Isa 44}

In this chapter, God encourages his Church by a promise of the visitation of his Spirit. Oh, that it may be fulfilled for us also!

1-3. “Yet now hear, oh Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: thus says the LORD who made you, and formed you from the womb, who will help you; ‘Do not fear, oh Jacob, my servant; and you, Jesurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground: I will pour my Spirit on your seed, and my blessing on your offspring:

That is exactly what we need. Oh, that God would revive his Church like this! A little while ago, you saw the earth become dry and brown and bare, the very pastures were chapped and parched, and opened their mouths to cry for rain. What could we have done if the clouds had still withheld their nourishment? But at last down came the refreshing showers, and all the face of nature was revived. What we have had on our fields, we need on our churches; nothing will do for our souls but a visitation of the Spirit. Let us pray for it. Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly rain, pour out your life-giving treasures on thirsty souls even as the floods have been poured out on the dry ground. Here is a divine promise, let us plead it: “I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground: I will pour my Spirit on your seed, and my blessing on your offspring.”

4. And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the watercourses.’

You must often have noticed how you can trace the course of a brook by the willow trees that grow on its banks. When you cannot see the brook from a distance, you can see the willows. So, wherever the Spirit of God comes, young people are converted, we see our children growing up in God’s fear, and we know that this is the result of the Spirit’s working.

5, 6. One shall say, “I am the LORD’S”; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall write with his hand, “For the LORD,” and surname himself by the name of Israel. Thus says the LORD the King of Israel, and his Redeemer the LORD of hosts; ‘I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God.

This is spoken in the Lord’s usual majestic style; does it not remind you of the words of our Lord Jesus as recorded in the Book of the Revelation? “ ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending,’ says the Lord, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’ ” How can he be less than divine who rightly adopts the same style which Jehovah uses in the Prophets: “I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God?”

7. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? And the things that are coming, and shall come, let them show to them.

The great God challenges all pretended gods to compete with him, and to show that they have ever prophesied or foretold the future. One of the greatest proofs of the inspiration of Scripture, and that our God is the only living and true God, is that the prophecies so far have been literally fulfilled. Go to Bashan, or to Edom, or to Sidon, or to Egypt, and wherever you go, you will see that whatever the Lord said concerning the ancient nations and peoples and cities has been carried out to the very letter.

8. Do not fear, neither be afraid: have I not told you from that time, and have declared it? You are even my witnesses. Is there a God besides me? Indeed, there is no God, I do not know any.’ ”

“There is no God” in the world but Jehovah, the one living and true God whom we adore.

Now follows that very wonderful passage descriptive of the making of idols, which we have often read. If there are any of you who worship crosses, and crucifixes, or any other visible objects, please remember that God’s command is spoken as much to you as to any other idolaters. We may not worship anything that can be seen or handled, for this is the law laid down by God himself: “You shall not make for yourselves any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them.”

Here, then, is God’s description of idol-gods —

9. Those who make a carved image, all of them are vanity;

They must be very empty-headed and foolish people, or they would not worship a thing which they have carved with their own hands.

9. And their precious things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they do not see, nor know; that they may be ashamed.

Idolaters are just as wooden and doltish as their idols, or else they would know better than to worship them.

10-12. Who would form a god, or moulded a carved image that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his companions shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are mere men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together. The smith with the tongs both works in the coals, and fashions it with hammers, and works it with the strength of his arms: yes, he is hungry, and his strength fails: he drinks no water, and is faint.

Here is a god-maker, with his tongs, and his coals, and his hammers; yet this god-maker gets hungry and faint! Here comes another: —

13. The carpenter stretches out his rule; he marks it out with a line; he fashions it with planes, and he marks it out with the compass, and makes it like the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; so that it may remain in the house.

Imagine a god-maker with his rule and his line, his planes and his compasses! What fine irony there is here!

14. He hews down cedars, and takes the cypress and the oak, which he secures for himself among the trees of the forest; he plants an ash, and the rain nourishes it.

The forest is growing stuff to make gods with, from ash, oak, cedar, and cypress.

15. Then it shall be for a man to burn: for he will take some of it and warm himself;

He cuts up part of the tree for fuel, and warms himself with it.

15-17. Yes, he kindles it, and bakes bread; yes, he makes a god, and worships it; he makes it a carved image, and falls down to it. He burns part of it in the fire; with part of it he eats meat; he roasts a roast, and is satisfied: yes, he warms himself, and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire”: and he makes a god with the rest of it, even his carved image: he falls down to it, and worships it, and prays to it, and says, “Deliver me; for you are my god.”

And have we not seen hundreds of people adoring a doll, or a little picture said to be a likeness of the virgin, or something of that kind? Ah, me! that even under the garb of Christianity the lowest kind of idolatry should still be common among our fellow men; may God grant that none of us may ever fall into this deadly evil!

18-20. They have not known nor understood: for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see; and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. And no one considers in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, “I have burned part of it in the fire; yes, also I have baked bread over its coals; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?” He feeds on ashes:

Just as madmen will sometimes devour ashes, so surely men who worship things that they have made or bought must be mad: “He feeds on ashes.”

20. A deceived heart has turned him aside, so that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

If you shall worship the crucifix, or anything else that is visible, you are dishonouring yourself, and you are breaking the law of God. Remember that, “God is a Spirit: and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” He will have no likeness. This he abhors with his whole heart, and will hold no one guiltless who worships an idol of any kind. Even though the man has reverentially and sincerely bowed before it, he is transgressing against God.

These are the false gods; now we shall read of the one true God

21. “Remember these, oh Jacob and Israel; for you are my servant: I have formed you;

“You have not formed me, as these idolaters make their gods; but I have formed you.”

21. You are my servant: oh Israel, you shall not be forgotten by me.

God does not forget his people. If you are trusting in him, you may forget him through your infirmity, but because of his infinite love, he will never forget you.

22. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, your transgressions, and, as a cloud, your sins: return to me; for I have redeemed you.”

First he pardoned their sins, and then he told them to return to him. What a wonder of mercy this is — free grace removing sin, and then the sweet constraints of gratitude drawing the forgiven sinner near his God!

23. Sing, oh you heavens, for the LORD has done it: shout, you lower parts of the earth: break out into singing, you mountains, oh forest, and every tree in it: for the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.

Pardoned sin is enough to make even the rocks sing; mountains, trees, forests, and even the lower parts of the earth, are made to echo with song when sin is blotted out.

24. Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and he who formed you from the womb, “I am the LORD who makes all things; who stretches out the heavens alone; who spreads abroad the earth by myself;

God does everything by his own unaided strength. With whom did he take counsel when he formed the universe? Who instructed the Ever-Blessed when he made the heavens and the earth! He did it all by his own wisdom and power.

25. Who frustrates the signs of the liars, and makes diviners mad: who turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish;

This is what he does to those who boast and think that they know better than he does. But simple hearts, that will believe his Word, shall know his will, and shall grow wise to salvation.

26-28. Who confirms the word of his servant, and performs the counsel of his messengers; who says to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be inhabited’; and to the cities of Judah, ‘You shall be built,’ and I will raise up its waste places: who says to the deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your rivers’: who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure’: even saying to Jerusalem, "You shall be built"; and to the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’ ”

This Book of the prophet Isaiah was written long before the days of Cyrus; yet he is mentioned here by name, and the prophecy of what he would do is given here. We know how completely this prophecy was fulfilled; and the Lord who uttered it, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is our God for ever and ever. He shall be our guide even to death, blessed be his holy name! Amen.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Dedication To God — ‘My Beloved Is Mine And I Am His’ ” 660}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Dedication To God — The Heart Given To God” 658}
 The Sword and the Trowel
 Table of Contents, September, 1895.
 Jesus — Saviour. A Sermon by C. H. Spurgeon, delivered in the Botanic Gardens, Belfast, in August, 1858, to an audience of 7,000 persons.
 Covered “All the Day Long!” Poetry, by E. A. Tydeman.
 Pastor Charles Spurgeon’s Letters. No. VIII.
 “Those Charming Bells.” Digest of a Thursday Evening Discourse, By Thomas Spurgeon.
 A Veteran’s Dying Testimony.
 “Our Own Men” and their Work. XXI. Pastor Charles Welton, Morley, Yorkshire. With Portrait, and View of Morley Baptist Tabernacle.
 The March of the Months. By H. T. S. No. IX.
 Religion, All or Nothing. Written in 1853, by C. H. Spurgeon.
 Some Converted Soldiers.
 Tidings from Dr. Churcher.
 Dr. A. J. Gordon on Worldliness in the Church.
 In Memoriam — Joseph Passmore.
 New Issue of “The Treasury of David.”
 Answered Prayers. By T. G.
 Notices of Books.
 Notes. (Pastor Thomas and Charles Spurgeon. Pastor Hugh D. Brown’s Conference Paper on Calvinism. “Farewell dance to the Rev. Canon and Mrs. ——— .” College. C. H. Spurgeon’s Evangelists. Colportage. Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle and Haddon Hall. Personal Notes, by Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon.)
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The Christian, Dedication To God
660 — “My Beloved Is Mine And I Am His”
1 When I had wander’d from his fold,
      His love the wanderer sought;
   When slave like into bondage sold,
      His blood my freedom bought.
2 Therefore that life, by him redeem’d,
      Is his through all its days;
   And as with blessings it hath teem’d,
      So let it teem with praise.
3 For I am his, and he is mine,
      The God whom I adore!
   My Father, Saviour, Comforter,
      Now and for evermore.
4 When sunk in sorrow, I despair’d,
      And changed my hopes for fears,
   He bore my griefs, my burden shared,
      And wiped away my tears.
5 Therefore the joy by him restored,
      To him by right belongs:
   And to my gracious loving Lord,
      I’ll sing through life my songs:
6 For I am his, and his is mine,
      The God whom I adore!
   My Father, Saviour, Comforter,
      Now and for evermore!
                     John S. B. Monsell, 1863.

The Christian, Dedication To God
658 — The Heart Given To God
1 Oh happy day, that fix’d my choice
   On thee, my Saviour, and my God;
   Well may this glowing heart rejoice,
   And tell its raptures all abroad.
2 ‘Tis done! the great transaction’s done:
   I am my Lord’s, and he is mine:
   He drew me, and I follow’d on,
   Charm’d to confess the voice divine.
3 Now rest, my long divided heart;
   Fix’d on this blissful centre, rest:
   With ashes who would grudge to part,
   When call’d on angels’ bread to feast?
4 High heaven, that heard the solemn vow,
   That vow renew’d shall daily hear:
   Till in life’s latest hour I bow,
   And bless in death a bond so dear.
                     Philip Doddridge, 1755.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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