2466. Unpurchasable Love

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No. 2466-42:241. A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, June 6, 1872, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, May 24, 1896.

If a man would give all the wealth of his house for love, it would utterly be despised. {So 8:7}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 364, “Shulamite’s Choice Prayer, The” 354}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2466, “Unpurchasable Love” 2467}

1. That is a general truth, applying to all forms of real love; you cannot purchase love. If it is true love, it will not run on rails of gold. Many a marriage would have been a very happy one if there had been a tithe as much love as there was wealth; and, sometimes, love will come in at the cottage door, and make the home bright and blest, when it refuses to recline on the downy pillows of the palace. Men may give all the wealth of their house, and form a marriage bond; the bond may be there, but not what will make it sweet to wear. “If a man would give all the wealth of his house for love, it would utterly be despised.”

2. Who, for example, could purchase a mother’s love? She especially loves her own child because he is her own; she watches over him with sedulous care, she denies her eyes the necessary sleep at night if her babe is sick, and she would be ready to part with her own life sooner than that he should die. Bring her another person’s child, and endow her with wealth to induce her to love him; and you shall find that it is not in her power to transfer her affection to the son or daughter of a stranger. Her own child is extremely precious to her, and another infant, who to an unprejudiced eye might be thought to be a far more beautiful babe, shall receive tenderness from her, for the woman is compassionate; but he can never receive the love that belongs to her own offspring.

3. Take, again, even the love of friends; I only give that as an example just to show how true our text is in relationship to all forms of love. Damon loved Pythias; {a} the two friends were so bound together that their names became household words, and their conduct towards each other grew into a proverb. Yet Damon never purchased the heart of Pythias, neither did Pythias think to pay a yearly stipend for the love of Damon. The introduction of the question of cost would have spoiled it all; the very thought of anything mercenary, anything like payment on the one side or receipt on the other, would have been a death-blow to their friendship. No; if a man should give all the wealth of his house even for human love, for the common love that exists between man and man, it would utterly be despised.

4. Rest assured that this is preeminently true when we get into higher regions, when we come to think of the love of Jesus, and when we think of that love which springs up in the human heart towards Jesus when the Spirit of God has renewed the heart, and shed abroad the love of God within the soul. Neither Christ’s love for us nor our love for him can be purchased; neither of those could be bartered for gold, or rubies, or diamonds, or the most precious crystal. If a man should offer to give all the wealth of his house for either of these forms of love, it would utterly be despised.

5. I. We will begin at the highest display of love, and commune together on it. So let me say, first, that THE LOVE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS ALTOGETHER UNPURCHASABLE.

6. This fact will be clear to us if we give it a moment’s careful thought. Indeed, it is so clear that I scarcely like to multiply words on it, and I do so only that you may dive all the deeper into this glorious truth. It must be quite impossible to purchase the love of Christ, because it is inconceivable that he ever could be mercenary. It would be profane, surely, it would amount to blasphemy, and a very high degree of it, to suppose that the love of his heart could be bought with gold, or silver, or earthly possession. No, if he loves, it must be all free, like his own royal self. If he condescends to cast his eyes so far downward as to view the creatures of an hour, and to set his love on them so that his delights are with the sons of men, it is not possible that he could gain anything from them. Indeed, if we were angels, we could not think that he could love us because of some service we could render, or some price we could pay to him. The mere idea runs completely contrary to all we know about Jesus; it is a flat contradiction of all our beliefs and all our knowledge concerning him. He loves us because he has compassion on us, but not because there is a fee when he comes to us as the great Physician. He instructs us because he grieves over our ignorance, and because he knows its sorrow, and would have us learn about him; but his instructions are not given in order that each one of us may bring our school’s tuition to him. He labours, it is true; but no one shall say that he labours for hire; though if he asked for all worlds for his hire, he might well claim them for such labours as those which he has performed. The feats attributed to Hercules are nothing compared with the wonders accomplished by Christ. He has cleansed stables far more filthy than the Augean, {b} and killed monsters far more terrible than the hydra-headed demons of the ancient fables. True, “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied”; there was a joy that was set before him, for which he endured the cross, despising the shame; yet the love that lay behind it all was love unbought, and love unsought for, and love in which not so much as a single atom of anything like selfishness could ever be discovered. The pure stream of his love leaps like the crystal rill, and there is no sediment that can be found in it; it is altogether unmixed love for us.

7. Besides, brethren, there is another point that renders this idea of purchasing Christ’s love as impossible since the first thought shows it to be incredible; for all things are already Christ’s. Therefore, what can be given to him with which his love could be purchased? If he were poor, we might enrich him; but all things are his. “He was rich,” says the apostle; “he is rich,” we also may reply. He could say to us, at this moment, if we were so foolish as to attempt to bribe him to win the love of his heart, “I will take no young bull out of your house, nor he-goats out of your folds. For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountain: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you: for the world is mine, and its fulness.” All things are Christ’s, not only on this speck of a world, but throughout the universe. The things that are seen by us are as nothing compared with the things that we have not seen; yet everything belongs to Christ, and he has the power to create ten thousand times more than ever yet have been formed by him. There is nothing which he conceives in his infinite mind that he could not at once create it by his almighty power; there is nothing he might desire that he could not in an instant command it to appear before him. “Let it be,” he might say, and it would be even as he had said. How, then, could you bribe him, and where is the wealth of your houses that you would give in exchange for his divine love? Oh you who dwell in houses of clay, where is the wealth which you could bring to him who is Lord of heaven and earth? Our possessions? It is only a shadow. Our wealth? It is a child’s plaything in his sight; it is nothing compared with his boundless riches.

8. Let us also notice that, if Christ’s love could be won by us by something we could bring to him or do for him, it would suppose that there was something of ours that was of equal merit and of equal value with his love, or, at any rate, something which he was willing to accept as bearing some proportion to his love. But, indeed, there is nothing of the kind. Gold and silver, — I scarcely like to mention them in the same connection with the love of Christ. I am sure our poet was right when he said, —

    Jewels to thee are gaudy toys,
       And gold is sordid dust.

Think of the difference between gold and the love of Christ in the hour of pain, in the hour of depression of spirit; what can the strong boxes of the merchant do for him then? But one drop of the love of Christ helps him to bear up, however fast the heart may palpitate, or however much the spirits may have been cast down. What is the use of earthly riches when one comes to die? One laid his money-bags close to his heart, to see if they could make a plaster that would give him rest, but they were hard and cold; but the love of Jesus, like the touch of the king’s hand in the old superstition, heals even the disease of death itself, and makes it no longer death to die. There is nothing, then, by way of treasure that could be compared with the love of Christ; I will say it, and every believer here will agree with me, that there is no emotion we have ever felt in our most sanctified moments, there is no holy desire that has ever flashed through our soul in our most hallowed times, there is no seraphic longing that has ever been created in us when the Spirit of God has been most operative in our hearts, that we should dare to put side by side with the love of Christ, and say that it was at all fit to be considered as a fair price for it. Our best is not one-thousandth part as good as Christ’s worst. Our gold is not equal to his clay. There is nothing that can be found in us, or that ever will be in us, that we should dare to say could for a moment stand in comparison with his love.

9. Well, then, since there is no coin of metal, or emotion of mental condition, or power of spiritual grace, that could be counted out or weighed as the purchase price of Christ’s love, we will not dream of having anything of the kind; for there comes, following this thought, the consciousness that, even if we do possess anything that is really valuable, if there is something about us now that is commendable, and pure, and acceptable, yet it all belongs to Christ already. We have nothing with which we can buy anything from him, because all we have belongs to him. Under the righteous law of God, all the good of which we are capable is already due to our Creator. His command is, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” Very comprehensive, very sweeping, are the demands of the law of the Lord. You must not imagine that there is the slightest truth in the idea that man may come to do more for Christ than it is his duty to do; this cannot be, for all that is possible for us to do, is already Christ’s. “You are not your own,” and yet you talk about giving yourself to him. You belong to him now, you Christians, doubly so; and all men are under obligation to Christ even for the temporal favours he has bestowed on them. You, believer, cannot say, “Now I am going to do for Christ something more than, I think, might absolutely be claimed by him.” Why, if you are really what you claim to be, you are his already, body, soul, and spirit! All your time, all your money, all your faculties, all the possibilities that are in you, are all his now; and therefore, how shall you come to purchase his love? No, it cannot be purchased; that is certain for many other reasons besides these which I have given you.

10. But what a blessing it is that we have the love of Christ, though we could not purchase it! The Son of God has loved us; he has bestowed on us what he never would have sold us; and he has given it to us freely, “without money and without price.” And, beloved, this love is no new thing. He loved us long before we were born. When his foreknowledge sketched us in his mind’s eye, he beheld us in love. He proved his love, too. It was not merely contemplative love, but it was practical love, for he died for us before we knew anything about him, or were even here to learn about him. His love is of such a wonderful kind that he always will love us. When heaven and earth have passed away, and like a scroll the universe shall be rolled up, or be put away like a worn-out vesture, he will still love us as he loved us at the first. The greatest wonder to me is that this unpurchasable love, this unending love is mine; and you, my brothers and sisters, can always say, each one of you, if you have been regenerated, “This love is mine; the Lord Jesus Christ loves me with a love I never could have purchased.”

11. Perhaps, someone is saying just now, “I wish I could say that.” Do you really wish it? Then, let the text serve to guide you concerning the way by which you may yet know Christ’s love for you. Do not try to purchase it, abandon that idea at once. Perhaps you say, “I never thought of buying it with money.” Possibly not, but the majority of mankind think of purchasing it in some way or other. They hear from their priests about certain ceremonies, and they attach great importance to them, and offer them as a bribe to Christ; but these things will never buy his love. They then resort to prayers, — not prayers from the heart, but prayers said as a kind of punishment; and it is thought by many that surely these will procure his love, but they never will. We have even known about some who have punished themselves, tortured themselves, thinking they would get Christ’s love in that way. Now, if I knew anyone who tried to win my love by making himself miserable, I should say to him, “My good fellow, you will never make me love you in that way; be as happy as you can, that method is a great deal more likely to touch my heart than the other.” I do not believe that penance and mortification afford any pleasure to God; I think he would be more likely to say, “Poor silly creatures; when I make gnats, I teach them to dance in the summer sunshine; when I make the fish of the sea, they leap up from the waves with intense delight; and when I make birds, I show them how to sing.” God has no delight in the miseries of his creatures, and the flagellations that fools give to themselves they deserve for their folly, but they certainly bring no pleasure to the heart of God. It is vain to think of purchasing the love of Christ in such a way.

12. “But surely, surely, we may do something. We will give up this vice, we will renounce that bad habit, we will be strict in our religiousness, we will be attentive to all moral duties.” So you should; but when you have done all that, do you think you have done enough to win his love? Is the servant, who has only done what he ought to have done, entitled to the love of his master’s heart because of that? You shall not win Christ’s love like that; if you have his love shed abroad in your heart, you have infinitely more than you have ever earned. Suppose any person here were to say, “I feel so resolved to be saved that I will give all I have in this world to some good cause, and then I will give myself to go abroad into foreign lands, to some fever-stricken place, to die in the service of God.” Ah! should you do all that, you would utterly be despised if you thought to purchase the love of God like that. Will he be bartered with? Will he put up his heart to be sold in the market, he whose very temple was defiled by the presence of buyers and sellers? It cannot be. Go, and haggle, and bid, and barter with your fellow men; even they will disdain you if you think that love is to be procured like this, but do not dream that you are to deal with your God like this. I say again, it cannot be. The text does not merely say that the price would be refused, but “it would utterly be despised.” Love would open her bright eyes, and look at the man, and then she would frown, and say, “How can you insult me so? Take back your gold, and begone”; and God’s great love, even when his pity was in the ascendant, would only weep a tear, and then reply, “I pity you, for you do not know what you are doing; and I despise the price you bring to me. How could you think that I was such a one as yourself, and that my love could be purchased with paltry money that you can bring?”

13. We cannot spare more time for that point, but it is one that you may think over for many a day, and your heart may be charmed with it until you love and bless your Saviour with all your heart, and mind, and soul, and strength.


15. If Christ has loved us, or if we are desirous of knowing that he has done so, the one thing necessary and essential is that we have true love for him. God’s demand from each one who professes to be his child is, “My son, give me your heart.” There are many who would like to be thought to be his sons, and therefore every morning they wickedly say, “Our Father who is in heaven,” though God is not their Father. If they were to say, “Our father,” to him who is their father, they would pray to the devil, for God is no father of theirs. Alas! there are many who want to be thought to be God’s children and they will come and bring to him anything but love. Sad, sorrowful truth!

16. If God would only say to men, “I will accept unspiritual service, ” he might be the God of the whole earth at once; or rather, let me more truly say that he would be the demon of the whole earth, for men do not care what the religion is externally as long as it does not trouble their hearts. The last thing some people will do is to think. “Give you a guinea? Oh, certainly! Excellent is the charity for which you are pleading. A guinea for the hospital? Certainly. Five guineas for a new place of worship? Certainly. When I have money, I am always glad to give it; but do not come and bother me with any of your doctrines, for I do not want to hear about them. You religious people are so divided into sects and parties, and you are always controverting and contradicting each other, so I do not want to think about these things.” That is a very poor excuse, is it not? Because this seems to be a matter which requires a great deal of thought, therefore this person will not give it any consideration at all; and because those who do think about it do not exactly agree on all points, therefore this man says, “I shall not think of it at all.” Because all the charts of an intricate portion of the ocean may not happen to be exactly alike, therefore this man will not even study that part of the sea over which his own vessel must go, although all the charts do agree there! He makes an excuse on some trivial matter to neglect altogether the steering of his vessel. He will strike a rock one day, and he will have no one to blame for it but himself.

17. “Oh!” says another person, “I do not mind saying prayers; or I will go to church and listen to the reading of prayers. I do not mind hearing sermons, but do not come and tell me that I have to repent of my sins. I cannot do it; I do not understand what you mean. I join in ‘the General Confession’ every Sunday; I say that I am a miserable sinner though I do not know that I am particularly miserable, and I do not know that I am particularly a sinner either; but still, I always say that, and I do not mind saying it. Yet if you come to me, saying, ‘Repent,’ I cannot do that.” Men will offer to God anything but what has to do with the heart. You may call on them to torment their bodies, as the priests of false religions have done; and they will not object to that. The fakir {c} in India will pierce himself with knives, or lie on a bed of spikes, or swing himself up by a hook in his back, and hang there for hours in all but mortal agony. A man will do almost anything except bow his heart before his God; he will not confess that Jehovah is Lord of all, and that he himself is a poor sinful creature who deserves to be punished; he will not obey a law that is spiritual, and demands the allegiance of the secret thoughts and intents of his heart; and he will not accept a faith which is so superlatively pure that it demands that sin be given up, and tells him that even when given up it must be washed out in the precious blood of Jesus, and that a man must exercise repentance towards God and faith in the Saviour or he cannot be saved.

18. The most unpopular truth in the world is this sentence which fell from the lips of Christ, “You must be born again”; and, consequently, there are all kinds of inventions to get the truth out of those words. “Oh, yes!” some say, “you must be born again, but that means the application of an aqueous fluid to an infant’s brow.” As God is true, that teaching is a lie; there is no grain or shadow of truth within it. “Unless a man is born again” (from above), “he cannot see the kingdom of God.” No operation that can be performed by man can ever regenerate the soul; it is only the work of God the Holy Spirit, who creates us anew in Christ Jesus. Men do not like that truth; the spiritual still displeases the natural man. They will profess to worship God in Jerusalem or at Gerizim, and fight about the place where he ought to be worshipped, to show how little good their religion has done them! They will not speak to each other, the Jew will have no dealings with the Samaritan, to prove how unlike he is to the God who makes his sun to shine both on the just and on the unjust! But when you utter this message, “God is a Spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth,” they are offended, and turn away.

19. Still the truth holds good, whatever men think of it. If you do not give your heart to God you have given him nothing. If you do not give your soul to God, if you do not love him, if you do not serve him because you love him, if you do not come to him, and surrender your inner self to him, you may have been baptized, — immersed or sprinkled, — you may have come to the communion table, you may have bowed your knees until your knees have grown calloused, you may have prayed until you are hoarse, and wept until the fountains of your eyes are dry, you may have given all your gold, and lacerated every member of your body with mortifications, and starved yourself to a skeleton, but you have truly done nothing towards obtaining love for Christ. The wealth of your house is utterly despised if you offer it to the Lord in the place of the love of your heart. Love he must have; this is his lawful demand. His people delight to render it; and if you do not, then you are not his.

20. III. This takes us to a third truth, which is, that THE SAINTS’ LOVE IS NOT PURCHASED BY CHRIST’S GIFTS.

21. The love of saints for their Lord is not given to Christ because of his gifts to them; I must explain what I mean, lest at the very outset I am mistaken or misunderstood. We love our Lord, and we love him all the more because of the many gifts he bestows on us; but his gifts do not win our love. I will show you why. All that he has given me today, he gave me many years ago. The covenant of grace was always mine. I heard the preacher tell about it. He told how Christ had died for me; that he had loved me, and given himself for me. Truly, he had done so; he had poured out his blood for my redemption. I would not believe it to be so, or, believing it, I did not think it was of any consequence. Then the preacher spread out the rare gifts of Christ before me, and I saw that he had given these to such as believed in him; but I did not think them worth examining, and I turned away from them. I should never have loved him if he had not given me much more than the wealth of his house. I needed his blessed Spirit to show me the value of the wealth of his house, and above all, to show me today for what I love my Saviour best of all, namely, himself, HIMSELF.

22. Oh, it is “Jesus Christ himself” who wins the love of our hearts! If he had not given us himself, we should never have given ourselves to him. Everything else that may be supposed to be of the wealth of his house would not have won his people’s hearts, until at last they learned this truth, and the Spirit of God made them feel its force, “He loved me, and gave himself for me.”

23. “My Beloved is mine, and I am his,” is now one of the sweetest stanzas in love’s canticle. The spouse does not say, “His crown is mine, his throne is mine, his breast-plate is mine, his crook is mine”; she delights in everything that Christ has as a King, and a Priest, and a Shepherd; but, above everything else, what wins and charms her heart is this, “He himself is mine, and I am his.”

24. But I meant mainly to say, under this point, that there are some of Christ’s gifts that do not win our hearts, that is to say, our hearts do not depend on them. And they are, first, his temporal gifts. I am very thankful, and I trust that all God’s people are also, for health and strength. I have lost these sometimes, but I did not love my Lord any the less then; neither do I love Christ today because I am free from pain. If I were not free from pain, I would still love him. Christ has given some of you wealth, you have all you want in this world; but is that why you love Christ? Oh, no, beloved! if he were to take it all away, I know that you would love him in your poverty. The devil was a liar when he said of Job, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have you not made a hedge around him, and around his house, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. Only stretch out your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” We do not love God only for what he gives us in this world; ours is not such poor cupboard love as that. We love him because he first loved us, and we do not pretend to have climbed to that high state of selfless love in which there is no gratitude mingled with it. We always must be grateful to him, and love him for that reason; but still, temporal things never win our heart’s love for God. There are numbers of you who have health, and wealth, and many other things that so many desire, but they never make you love God, and they never will. You love them, and make idols of them very readily, but they do not lead you to love the Lord; while the children of God, who love their dear Saviour, can tell you that they do not love him because of what he gives them, for if he takes it from them, they love him all the same. With Job, they say, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” They do not love him simply because he caresses them, for if he chastens them, they still love him, and kiss the rod with which he strikes them.

25. I meant also to say that we do not love Christ because of his temporary indulgence of us in spiritual things. You know, beloved, our Saviour very frequently favours us with revelations of his presence. We are overjoyed when he comes very near to us, and permits us to put our fingers into the prints of the nails. We have our high days and festivals when the Bridegroom is with us, emphatically with us. He takes all the clouds out of our sky, and gives us the bright shining of the sun; or he opens the lattices, and shows us himself in a way only second to that in which we shall see him when we behold him face-to-face. And oh, how we love him then! But, thank God, when he closes the lattice again, and hides his face, we do not stop loving him because of that. Our love for our Lord does not depend on the weather. True, our love is not revealed to him so sweetly when we are in the dark as when he cheers us with his smile, but still it is there all the while. We could not let him go. “Though he kills me,” — though he kills me, — he who loves me, though he turns to be my enemy, and kills me, — “yet I will trust in him.” We will hold onto him still, and love him still, not because of the wealth of his house, but because of what he himself is. There are times when we are half inclined to say with the elder brother, “These many years I have been with you, privileged to serve you, and yet you have not given me so much as a kid that I might make merry with my friends.” Perhaps we have been long without the light of his countenance, and have had no love-tokens from him; but for all that we will remain in his service, and continue in his house; and even if our Father should answer us roughly, we will tell him that he is still our Father. We do not love him merely for the wealth of his house, but for himself, and because his Spirit has made love for him to be an instinct of our new nature, and has put within us such a principle that we cannot help loving him. Even if we should be called to pass through terrible trials and adversities, and should have to walk a long time in clouds and darkness, yet still we would love him and rejoice in him.

26. IV. The last observation I shall have to make on our text is this, THE LOVE OF SAINTS CANNOT BE BOUGHT OFF FROM CHRIST AT ANY PRICE.

27. The love of some people for religion is very cheaply bought, and very speedily sold. It is very lamentable to notice the great numbers of people who are quite content to go and worship God with Christian brethren, and to hear the gospel preached, while they are themselves poor, or in middling circumstances, but who find, as soon as they have accumulated a little wealth, that the world has a church of its own, and they must go there, “because, you see, everyone goes there; and if you are cut off from Society, where are you?” I have been asked that question, sometimes, and I have replied, “Where are you? Why, where Christ would have you to be, — ‘outside the camp, bearing his reproach.’ ” But that place of separation, “outside the camp,” is a position which is not always taken up cheerfully by professedly Christian people. It is very sorrowful to see how, because God has entrusted them with wealth, they get drawn away from the gospel, and from the Church of God; and though they are troubled a little at first, they soon get rid of one scruple after another, and subside altogether into worldliness.

28. Well, now, I am not altogether sorry that there is this test in the world. Every good farmer keeps a winnowing fan; of course, he who is foolish, when he sees a great heap lying on the barn-door, says, “All this is my wheat that I have brought in.” He does not want to have it diminished, for it is the result of his labour; — but if he is a wise farmer, he says, “Though I have brought in a large heap, I know that there is chaff with it,” and he is glad to have the winnowing fan used, and the grain tossed up so that the fresh breeze may blow through it. If the mere professors go, let them go. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us.”

29. There are some who go away from Christ’s people, and renounce religion and love for Christ, because of business. It will pay better in certain lines not to be religious; and therefore, as the main thing with them is to get money, — religiously, if they can, but irreligiously, if needs be, — therefore, eventually they are offended, and they sell Christ Jesus. I am pained to see the numbers of people who go and live in the suburbs of London, and who make that an opportunity for selling their religion, such as it is. It is not long ago that I stood at a death-bed, and a part of what I heard there was, “Oh sir, ten years ago, we used to be members of such a church; we came to live out here, but there was no place of worship handy, so we have not been anywhere.” That person was dying without hope, after selling Christ for the love of a little country air. That was about all it was, and little more was to be gained by it.

30. “Oh, but!” someone asks, “do saints sell Christ like that?” No, not they; these are only the professors who have mingled with the saints. These are like the mixed multitude who came out of Egypt with the children of Israel; however they are not all Israel who are of Israel. The saints sell Christ? No, they are too much like their Master to do that. You remember how Satan took their Master to the top of a high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory, and said, “All these things I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Wicked thief! It was not his to give; yet he tempted Christ in that way, but Jesus answered, “Go away, Satan: for it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’ ” If any of Christ’s followers are tempted in the same way, let them give the same reply. All the wealth of the devil’s house could not win the love of that man who has set his affection on Jesus. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” The cruel Romanists have taken the martyrs into the lone dungeon of the Inquisition, and tormented them there in such a way that it pains us even to read or hear about what they suffered. But did they give up Christ? No, not they; they never would. At other times, they have taken the Christians into a palace, and said, “We will clothe you in scarlet and fine linen; you shall fare sumptuously every day; but you must give up Christ.” Yet they would not. All the wealth of this world has been laid at the feet of holy men, and they have rejected the price with scorn. I know men today, and rejoice to know them, who have sacrificed honour and position among men, who have borne abuse and scorn, and have been glad to bear it, and counted it their privilege that they were not only permitted to have Christ as their Saviour, but also that they were allowed to suffer for his sake. Oh brothers and sisters, may the Lord so clothe us with the whole armour of righteousness that no temptation may ever be able to wound our love for Jesus! Let us feel, “We can let everything else go, but we can never let him go.”

    If on my face for his dear name,
       Shame and reproaches be,

there let them be for his sake. Only give me a vision of the Crucified, let me see that thorn-crowned brow, only let me gaze into his dear languid eyes so full of love for me, and I will then say, “My Master, through floods or flames, if you shall lead, I will follow where you go. When the many turn aside, I will still cling to you, and witness that you have the living Word, and that there is no one on earth that I desire besides you. I will give up the treasures of Egypt, for I have respect for the reward. I will let the ingots of gold go, every one of them, I will cast them into the sea without regret; but if you will remain in the vessel, my soul shall be content. Bind me to your altar, for I am only flesh and blood, and may turn aside in the hour of trial. Throw the links of your love around me; chain me to yourself; indeed, crucify me; nail me to your cross, and let me be dead to the world, for then the world will stop tempting a corpse. Let me be dead with you, for then the world, who cast you out, may cast me out, too, and may be finished with me; and it would be well then to be counted as the offscouring of all things for your dear sake, my Lord!” If a man should give all the wealth of his house to bribe the saints to sell their Lord, it would utterly be despised. By this test shall we prove you, oh professors! By this trial shall it be known whether you can stand firm in the evil day. May God grant that you may, for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — Christ Is All” 792}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — The Strength Of Christ’s Love” 811}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — His Name Is Lovely” 808}

{a} Damon and Pythias: Around the fourth century BC, Pythias and his friend Damon, both followers of the philosopher Pythagoras, travelled to Syracuse. Pythias was accused of plotting against the tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysius I. As punishment for this crime, Pythias was sentenced to death. Accepting his sentence, Pythias asked to be allowed to return home one last time, to settle his affairs and bid his family farewell. Not wanting to be taken for a fool, Dionysius refused, believing that once released, Pythias would flee and never return. Pythias called for Damon and asked him to take his place while he went. Dionysius agreed, on the condition that, should Pythias not return when promised, Damon would be put to death in his place. Damon agreed, and Pythias was released. Dionysius was convinced that Pythias would never return, and as the day Pythias promised to return came and went, Dionysius prepared to execute Damon. But just as the executioner was about to kill Damon, Pythias returned. Apologizing to his friend for his delay, Pythias told of how pirates had captured his ship on the passage back to Syracuse and thrown him overboard. Dionysius listened to Pythias as he described how he swam to shore and made his way back to Syracuse as quickly as possible, arriving just in the nick of time to save his friend. Dionysius was so taken with the friends’ trust and loyalty, that he freed both Damon and Pythias, and kept them on as counsel to his court. See Explorer "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damon_and_Pythias" {b} Augean: Abominably filthy; i.e. resembling the stable of Augeas, a fabulous king of Elis, which contained 3000 oxen, and had been uncleansed for 30 years, when Hercules, by turning the river Alpheus through it, purified it in a single day. OED. {c} Fakir: Properly an indigent person, but specially applied to a Mahommedan religious mendicant, and then loosely, and inaccurately, to Hindu devotees and naked ascetics. OED.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Lu 20:9-16}

9. Then he began to speak to the people this parable: “A certain man planted a vineyard, and leased it out to vinedressors, and went into a far country for a long time.

It is a long time since Jesus left us, and he has not yet returned. Many say that he is coming back very soon; others say, “The Lord delays his coming.”

10-11. Now at the vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressors, so that they should give him the fruit of the vineyard: but the vinedressors beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.

They grow bolder, and more wicked, you see; first beating, and then adding shameful treatment to their former cruelty. Men do not come to ridicule religion, and persecute its advocates, all at once; this is an art which Satan teaches by degrees.

12. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out.

They are more violent this time; it comes to actual wounding, and to casting out the servant.

13. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do?

A strange thing happens when the Lord himself comes to an impasse, and says, “What shall I do?” Here is infinite wisdom, as it were, at a nonplus; and in that extremity this is the Lord’s last expedient: —

13-15. I will send my beloved son. It may be they will respect him when they see him.’ But when the vinedressors saw him, they reasoned among themselves saying, ‘This is the heir: come, let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him.

You know the story how this beloved Son of the Highest was all love and compassion; and yet, with cruel hands, men cast him out of God’s ancient vineyard, and crucified him, hoping that they should be allowed to remain lords of God’s inheritance.

15. What therefore shall the owner of the vineyard do to them?

What punishment can be sufficient to expiate such a crime? What vengeance will be poured out on those who have killed him who came to do them good?

16. He shall come and destroy these vinedressors, and shall give the vineyard to others.”

And he did so; he scattered abroad the Jews, and gave the kingdom, for a while at least, to the Gentiles, and they hear the gospel which the Jews refused.

16. And when they heard it, they said, “Certainly not!”

That is exactly what you and I would say, for we, too, have badly treated the blessed Lord of the vineyard and his beloved Son. Lest we should have the inheritance taken from us, let us yield up the fruit to him who has the best right to it all.

The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus
792 — Christ Is All
1 Comparer with Christ, in all beside
      No comeliness I see;
   The one thing needful, dearest Lord,
      Is to be one with thee.
2 The sense of thy expiring love
      Into my soul convey:
   Thyself bestow; for thee alone
      I absolutely pray.
3 Less than thyself will not suffice,
      My comfort to restore:
   More than thyself I cannot crave,
      And thou canst give no more.
4 Loved of my god, for him again
      With love intense I burn:
   Chosen of thee e’er time began,
      I choose thee in return.
5 Whate’er consists not with thy love,
      Oh teach me to resign:
   I’m rich to all the intents of bliss,
      If thou, oh God, art mine.
                  Augustus M. Toplady, 1772.

The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus
811 — The Strength Of Christ’s Love
1 Oh let my name engraven stand,
   My Jesus, on thy heart and hand:
   Seal me upon thine arm, and wear
   That pledge of love for ever there.
2 Stronger than death thy love is known,
   Which floods of wrath could never drown;
   And hell and earth in vain combine
   To quench a fire so much divine.
3 But I am jealous of my heart,
   Lest it should once from thee depart;
   Then let thy name be well impress’d
   As fair signet on my breast.
4 Till thou hast brought me to thy home,
   Where fears and doubts can never come
   Thy countenance let me often see,
   And often thou shalt hear from me.
5 Come, my Beloved, haste away,
   Cut short the hours of thy delay:
   Fly like a youthful hart or roe
   Over the hills where spices grow.
                           Isaac Watts, 1709.

The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus
808 — His Name Is Lovely <7s.>
1 Other name than my dear Lord’s,
   Never to my heart affords
   Equal influence to move
   Its deep springs of joy and love.
2 He from youth has been my guide,
   He to hoar hairs will provide,
   Every light and every shade,
   On my path his presence made.
3 He hath been my joy in woe,
   Cheer’d my heart when it was low,
   And, with warnings softly sad,
   Calm’d my heart when it was glad.
4 Change or chance could ne’er befall,
   But he proved mine all in all;
   All he asks in answer is,
   That I should be wholly his.
5 Oh that I may ever prove,
   By a life of earnest love,
   How, by right of grace divine,
   I am his, and he is mine.
                  John S. B. Monsell, 1863.

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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Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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