2544. The One And The Many

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No. 2544-43:553. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, August 3, 1884, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, November 21, 1897.

For the judgment which came from one offence resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offences resulted in justification. {Ro 5:16}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2544, “One and the Many, The” 2545}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2744, “Lost Through One; Saved Through One” 2745}
   Exposition on Jon 3:1-4:2 Ro 5 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2544, “One and the Many, The” 2545 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ps 116:1-6 Ro 5:10-21 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3413, “God’s Mercy Going Before” 3415 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ro 5:6-21 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2744, “Lost Through One; Saved Through One” 2745 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ro 5 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2341, “Undying Gospel for the Dying Year, The” 2342 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ro 5 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2587, “Much More” 2588 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ro 5 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3115, “Sin and Grace” 3116 @@ "Exposition"}

1. I am not going to speak at length about the doctrine of the federal headship of the first Adam and of the second Adam, which is to my mind indisputably taught in this chapter. I have heard a great many objections to that truth which appears to me to be plainly revealed in Scripture, namely, that we were all represented by Adam in the Garden of Eden, and that, when he sinned, he so sinned as to sin representatively, and we fell by virtue of his disobedience. It is certain that we all come into a world that is adapted to sinners, — where the babe is no sooner born than he begins to suffer pain, — where winter’s frosts, and summer’s heats, and changes of all kinds, constantly try us, — a world not at all adapted for perfect beings. God regards us from our very birth as sinful, and he treats us as such. Now, whatever objections there may be about that doctrine of representation and federal headship, it is a fact, and I would remind objectors that it is, under many aspects, a very blessed fact. When the angels fell, not keeping their first estate, there was never any proposal to ransom them, for each of those spiritual beings fell in his own individual capacity, and fell hopelessly. But the human race was a unit, represented by the one head, Adam; and though to us it is a most unhappy thing that we should all have fallen by virtue of our being represented by Adam, yet here is the mercy of it, — it left a way open by which we might be restored; for, if we fell by one Adam, there remained a possibility of our rising by another Adam. If the disobedience of one representative was the first cause of our being regarded as sinners, then it became possible that the obedience of another and still greater Representative might enable God to regard us as righteous, and treat us as such. I shall not criticize what is so greatly to my own personal advantage; I rather bow before what I cannot understand, and accept it, because I see how it is possible now for me to be saved for ever and ever. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” I dare not question the perfect justice of my fall in Adam; I should be most unwise if I did, for by doing so I might cast some doubt on the justice of my rising in the second Adam; and what other way of rising is there possible for me, or possible for any one of us? Not entering, however, into any of the disputes that have arisen around this truth, I simply allude to the fact, most dreadful and terrible, that in Adam we died, because in Adam’s sin we were regarded as sinners; and I rejoice in that second fact which covers and handles the first, that in Christ we live, inasmuch as Christ’s righteousness is the property of all who are truly in him. He was righteous on their behalf, and they find in him wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.

2. Our text alludes to certain differences between the consequences of Adam’s representation and that of Christ: “For the judgment which came from one offence resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offences resulted in justification.” I shall speak about four things as the Holy Spirit shall graciously guide me.

3. I. The first is, THE VENOM OF SIN: “The judgment which came from one offence resulted in condemnation.” By one man, by one sin, by one act of transgression, “the judgment which came from one offence resulted in condemnation.”

4. Notice, dear friends, that Adam’s offence was one. True, there were a great many sins wrapped up in that one; it would be almost impossible to mention any sin which did not lie asleep, or which was not found in embryo, within that one act of tasting the forbidden fruit. Yet it was only one offence. It is looked at by those who have no spiritual understanding as a very small matter, just as at this day men still make light of sin, and regard disobedience to the will of God as being a mere trifle; yet that one offence has ruined us all. When he, who committed it, fell, —

    “Then I, and you, and all of us fell down.”

Inasmuch as he was the parent of us all, he infected all his offspring with a tendency to sin, and all his descendants became subject to the weary woes of life, and to the sure penalty of death. Think of the mischief that one sin can do; Adam’s disobedience was only one offence, yet some of its consequences will remain for ever.

5. Note, next, that one offence brought with it condemnation. Such is the law of God, — that it does not need to be broken many times to bring condemnation; one breakage of it, and the dread sentence is passed. Had you and I committed only one solitary sin, — I scarcely like to utter the supposition, for it is so far remote from the truth, — but if it were so, he who breaks the law in any one point has broken it all. It is like a chain, and if you file through a single link, you have broken the whole chain. It is like a vase of purest alabaster, of matchless workmanship; and if you break it anywhere, you have spoiled it, and it can never be offered to God. One offence brings condemnation; the verdict of “Guilty” on one solitary count of the indictment brings on the convicted criminal the death sentence from the throne of God. Let no man complain about this; if he does, his complaining will not alter the fact. It still stands as a necessary consequence of the righteous law of God that he will by no means spare the guilty, and even one offence brings judgment to condemnation.

6. But what I want you to especially think of is, that this one sin has such venom in it that it has brought condemnation and suffering and death on the whole race of mankind. Oh, what myriads of men there are in the world! When I traverse this city of five million, it appalls me; it can scarcely be called a city, it is a province, it is a nation. There are two or three nations which, if put together, would not make up as many inhabitants as the population of this wonderful city; yet, over all this vast population the taint of sin has spread. But what is London compared with all the nations of the globe, the almost innumerable hosts that populate this round world? Yet there is not one who bears the countenance of a man on whom the shadow of the curse has not fallen. Each man must toil for his bread with the sweat on his brow, and in due time it must be said to each one of us, “Dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” What has caused all this? It is the one offence which has brought judgment to condemnation on everyone.

7. Just think, for a moment, that this has been the case, not merely with the populations of today, but with all who have ever lived on this earth. Can you count them? As well you might try to number the drops of the morning dew. The world is one vast cemetery; — in many places, an Aceldama, a field of blood, where men have slaughtered each other even by thousands. But in peaceful times the people have still died. As surely as the leaves fall from the trees in autumn when no rough wind or frost drives them from the bough, so men die in due season. “Man goes to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets.” My imagination would aid my understanding; but, together, they fail to comprehend the many hosts of men and women and children who have died, and whose bodies lie buried in the earth, or cover the bottom of the sea. “Who slew all these?” The answer is, “Sin, which brought death into the world.” It was only a woman’s finger that lifted the latch, but in came what cannot be expelled until the greater Man shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the trump of the archangel, and with the voice of God. Death, with all his train of sickness, and disease, and woe, came in among us by the sin of our first parents. Oh, the venom that there must be in sin! Oh, do not think little of it! Children of God, by the blood of the atonement, I beseech you, do not think lightly of sin; and, by the terror of that curse which came by one act of rebellion, I entreat you, never trifle with sin. There is a ship lying outside a certain harbour; it has come from Marseilles, but it must not enter the port. There is a panic on the land, the whole town is up in arms, the people will not let the cargo be landed, nor allow the mariners to tread our English shore. Why? Because there is cholera on board! And what is that? Can it be seen with a microscope? I do not know; perhaps, one day, its germ may be discovered, and it may be sufficiently large to reach the human perception. It may be only a puff of putrid air, — something unseen, which lingers in a bale of dirty rags; yet will you bring it on shore? No, unless you hate your fellow men, and wish to murder them. And every sin contains within it a pest, a plague, an evil a thousand times more terrible than the black death of olden times, and more awful than the cholera of today. Oh, flee from sin, as from a cobra, lest a single look at it should fascinate you, and its sting should have poisoned your veins before you are aware of it! Oh young men and fathers, you who have children, I beseech you especially to remember how your sins will be transmitted from generation to generation!

8. Before I leave this point, I must also remind you that the sin of a single moment is the sin of eternity. Note that well. A man drops a stone into the ocean, and by wondrous perceptive organs the effect might be discovered on every shore and in every sea; such is the power of mechanical motion, that the least movement in one place must affect the entire world. But sin has an all but boundless influence. There may be some erroneous teaching, it may be spoken to only half-a-dozen people; but you can never recall it. It has gone out for ever, and by that one sin you may have impregnated one person with evil, that one may pass on the error to another, and that one to a thousand, and so mischief is done which only a miracle of grace can undo. Oh, the horrible nature of sin! Please, let your horror at sin make you love that Redeemer who bore its curse in his own body on the tree, and who has saved from it you who are believers in him. It is no trifle from which Christ has saved you. Sin is a worse disease than leprosy, it is something more than death, for it brings the death that never dies. Oh sirs, with tears of penitence, turn your backs on sin; but turn those eyes, still filled with tears, on your Saviour’s bleeding body, and adore and magnify him that he has delivered you from sin!

9. II. The second truth in our text, which I want to bring before you, is concerning THE FREENESS OF SALVATION: “For the judgment which came from one offence resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offences resulted in justification.”

10. I like that expression, “the free gift.” Someone asked, the other day, why we talk about “free grace.” Of course, that is a redundant expression, for grace must be free; but there are so many people around, nowadays, who will not understand us if they can help it, so we like to speak, not only so that they can understand us, but so that they cannot misunderstand us if they try. It is for this reason that we say “free grace,” so that they may have it twice over, and hear it with both their ears. If we only speak to one of their ears, it may, as men say, go in at one and out at the other; but if we speak to both their ears at once, perhaps the truth may meet somewhere in the centre of their brain, and remain there. We delight to speak of salvation as Paul puts it here, “the free gift.” nothing can be freer than a gift; but, lest there should be any mistake about the freeness, it is spoken of as “the free gift.”

11. What is this free gift? It is, first, the original gift of Jesus, God’s unspeakable gift. Surely, no one can ever be so foolish as to dream that men deserve to have Jesus Christ as their Saviour. That is a notion which, I should think, would be repudiated by every man who gave it half a thought, — that fallen men could ever deserve that God should give up his only-begotten Son to bleed and die for them. No, Jesus must be a gift, and he must be a free gift.

12. And when our Lord Jesus Christ came into the world, and gave himself for us, this also was a free and undeserved gift of grace. Does any man think that he has any merit by which he could claim that Christ should assume the human form, and should live and suffer and at last die for him? You must be mad, man, if you harbour such a thought for a single instant! Your pride must have made you insane if you can think that you do deserve you cross and all that it meant to the glorious Victim who was nailed to it. What! can you see his hands and feet pierced with the cruel iron, and his heart ruptured by the soldier’s spear, and then talk of your own merit? It cannot be thought of; you could not merit Christ; that must be quite impossible. His death must be a free gift, for no one could ever deserve it. So that, on the part of the Father, and of the Son, salvation is a free gift.

13. It is also as a free gift that the Holy Spirit applies this salvation to the hearts of men. You dream, perhaps, that you are to pay to God so much prayer, so much repentance, so much faith, so much promise and resolve, so much reformation, and so much future holiness. I tell you, sirs, you do not know God, nor his ways, while you entertain such a foolish notion. Until such talk as that is driven far from you, you do not stand on ground where God can meet you. He does not come to sell the priceless blessing of his love for your paltry pence of supposed merit and obedience; it must be a free gift if it is to be yours at all.

14. Salvation is a free gift bestowed on men without anything on their part to deserve it. When God saves a sinner, it is simply as a sinner that he is saved, and not as one who has any point about him that can commend him to God’s love. He is just a lost, ruined, undone, condemned soul, apart from the mercy of God. When the Lord comes to deal with a sinner, it is not on conditions and terms. If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, God saves you, — and saves you wholly, completely, and unconditionally. I have read that Queen Elizabeth I was once asked to pardon a person who had made an attempt on her life, but who had done it out of loyalty to the Queen of Scots; she felt that she could forgive the man, but she said to him, “Now, if I pardon you, must it not be on certain conditions?” He answered, quoting from a good, sound divine, “Grace on conditions, your Majesty, is no grace at all.” He spoke well, and the Queen recognised that it was so, for she said to him, “I pardon you at once without any condition”; and by it she made a loyal subject of him for the rest of his life. So the Lord forgives you, poor trembling but trusting soul, without exacting anything from you of any kind whatever.

15. Further, if you do come just as you are, empty-handed and foul, and receive what he is prepared to give, he does not ask you to give anything of your own in return for his free gift. “But I must be holy,” one says. You shall be holy, and that very holiness will be God’s gift to you. “But I must repent.” Yes, and you will repent; but that penitence will be God’s gift to you. “But I must leave my sin.” Yes, and you will leave your sin, and be glad to leave it; yet that also will be God’s gift to you, not your gift to God. You are simply to be a receiver all the way along. You are a prisoner at the judgment bar, you do not have any plea to urge why the judge should not put on the black cap, and condemn you to death. If you should search through heaven, and earth, and hell, you could not find one valid reason why God should save you, except this one, — that he wills to do it by a free gift of his pure, unmerited grace. He can justly do it through the atonement of Jesus Christ; for he is both “just and the Justifier of him who believes.”

16. If any of you desire to know how you are to be saved, I tell you again that there is nothing for you to do in order to merit salvation; you have rather to stop your own doing, and to rest in what Christ has done. Have I put the matter plainly enough? No, I have not; for who can make it so plain that a blind man can see it? God must open the blind man’s eyes, and then he will see it. Yet there it stands, clear and plain, salvation is the free gift of God. It is all of grace from first to last.

17. III. Now, in the third place, I must speak on THE LARGENESS OF GOD’S PARDON: “the free gift which came from many offences.”

18. I would like to stand here, and preach, not merely for seven days, or seven weeks, but for seven years, on those words which I have just repeated: “the free gift which came from many offences.” You would be worn out, I daresay, with listening; but I would let you go home, and invite another congregation to fill the house to hear this wonderful story, which never can be fully told.

19. Think of the many people whom free grace has saved, — the many who are still on the earth; but, if you are heavy-hearted, I ask you to look up beyond that gate of pearl, and gaze by faith into glory. Oh, the myriads, the innumerable myriads, whom my spirit-eye beholds clustering around the eternal throne, — as bees that throng around the hive, and hang in clusters around the queen bee, — or stars that stud the firmament of heaven, or as the drops of spray that leap from the innumerable waves in the hour of a great Atlantic storm. Of things impossible to count, I speak no longer. Who shall count the thousandth part of the stars of heaven that once were darkness, or of the children of God who once were heirs of wrath?

20. Think, next, of the many offences which all of these saved sinners must have committed; yet the free gift has blotted them all out. Turn your mind to contemplate the many kinds of sin that there are in the world, and then remember the text: “the free gift which came from many offences.” I will not try to go through the black list; I will not begin with the least, and mount up to the highest; but I will say this, if you have been a blasphemer, if you have prostituted your body, if you have defiled your soul, if you are covered with scarlet sin from head to foot until not a spot is left clean on you, my text is still true: “the free gift which came from many offences resulted in justification.” “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men”; for “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.” That is a wonderfully sweet “all.” It includes many kinds of sin: yes, every kind of offence against God.

21. Think, dear friends, of the number of times that you have committed any of these sins; I will not ask you to count them, for they are greater in number than the hairs of your head, or the sands on the sea-shore. You have sinned once, twice, thrice; — begin with millions, and you will be nearer the mark. There are men who seem to make every breath a sin; they breathe out iniquity, and every pulse beats in rebellion against the Most High; they are always sinning, and yet they are never satisfied with it, their appetite grows with what it feeds on. Yet in this text there is hope even for such sinners as they are: “the free gift which came from many offences.” Poor sinner, where are you? This message is meant for you, — for you who drip with filth as you go along, you whose speech would make the cheek of modesty to blush, you whose hearts must be a very graveyard, a reeking sepulchre of iniquity. Yet even to such as you is my text sent to declare that “the free gift which came from many offences resulted in justification.”

22. IV. There is sufficient sea-room there for us to sail on as long as we please, but I must come to my last point, which is, THE PERFECTION OF GOD’S GRACE: “the free gift which came from many offences resulted in justification.” I have time only to say a very little on that wonderful theme; may the Holy Spirit himself teach you what it means!

23. What is justification? You have, perhaps, heard of “justification by faith” until you scarcely attach any meaning to that familiar phrase. Well, first, justification is the opposite of condemnation. Do you know what condemnation is? I suppose that you never were condemned in a court of law; but were you ever condemned in the court of conscience? Did all your thoughts sit, like a jury, to try your whole life, and did they, with one consent, by the mouth of the foreman, say, “Guilty.” I tell you, sirs, you do not know how to spell “justification” until every letter of the word “condemnation” has burned itself into your soul. These two things must go together, — the condemnation, like a harrow, tearing up the earth, or, like a great subsoil plough, cutting up everything as it runs along; and then comes justification, like a sweet, gentle shower, softening the clods, and preparing for the precious grain that shall produce a harvest of glory. Condemnation on account of sin is a very real thing; those who have felt it know that it is. Many a man has been ready to commit suicide when he has been under the sentence of condemnation; but justification is quite as real.

24. Justification further means, actual acquittal. I want you to get that truth into your mind now, dear child of God. If you ever were as I was for five long years as a child, condemnation was very real to you; it was no dream, it was an awful reality. You knew that you were condemned, and your own conscience said that it was so. Well, now, if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you may just as certainly and as truly know that you are acquitted and justified; and conscience, taught by the Spirit of God, will confirm the verdict. You are not guilty now; God regards you, in Christ, as righteous. He pronounces you just; and if God says you are just, do not let the devil be listened to when he declares that you are unjust. The great work of salvation is fully accomplished; your chastisement has been borne by another, and your sin is put away for ever. “It is finished,” is Christ’s own declaration. The righteousness that God required of you is perfected by Another, even by your great Substitute; and he has wrapped that robe around you, and you may wear it. If you are a believer in Jesus, what we sang just now is true concerning you, —

    In thy Surety thou art free,
    His dear hands were pierced for thee;
    With his spotless vesture on,
    Holy as the Holy One.

“The free gift which came from many offences resulted in justification.” If you were as guilty as the greatest sinner outside of hell, believing in the Lord Jesus Christ that guilt is all gone, the righteousness of Christ is yours, you are justified before God, and therefore you are in perfect security and safety now, and for ever and for ever you shall adore the grace that has saved such a sinner as you feel yourself to be. May God bless you all, for Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Jon 3:1-4:2 Ro 5}

Jonah 3:1,2. And the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it what I tell you to.”

There is no preaching like what God tell us to. The preaching that comes out of our own heads will never go into other men’s hearts. If we will keep to the preaching that the Lord tells us to, we shall not fail in our ministry.

3. So Jonah arose, and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was a very great city of three days’ journey.

For those times, Nineveh was “a very great city,” but it is far exceeded in size by this modern Nineveh of London.

4. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”

His message was short and sharp, there was not a word of mercy in it. There was nothing to distract the attention of the hearers from the one point and the one subject; and there is a great deal in that. We may sometimes say too much in a single sermon, and give our hearers a field of wheat instead of a loaf of bread. But Jonah said what he was told to say, no more and no less: “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”

5-9. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came to the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, “Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything: do not let them feed, nor drink water: but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God: yes, let every one turn from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish?”

Note that the only message they had heard was a prophecy of impending judgment. God had sent his servant to warn them of the coming destruction; and, since he had warned them that he meant to destroy them, they could infer that he might possibly intend pity towards them should they repent, but there was as yet no verbal declaration of mercy or hope. These people went to God with nothing better to sustain them than this, “Who can tell?” How much more guilty than these Ninevites are those who refuse to humble themselves before God, even when they have distinct injunctions from God, and explicit promises that whoever shall confess and forsake his sins shall find mercy! These men of Nineveh will rise up in judgment against the men of London, and the men of this generation, and condemn them, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now men do not repent even at the testimony of Jesus Christ the Son of God, to despise the prophet Jonah, would have involved these people in certain destruction; of how much more severe punishment shall they be thought worthy of who despise the Christ of God, and do despite to the Spirit of grace.

10. And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do to them; and he did not do it.

There is no change in God, absolutely considered, but there is often an apparent change. What he threatens, while men remain in sin, is not executed on them when they repent and turn to him. He is always the same God. From the beginning, he has been “the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” If he did not pardon sin, when men turn from it with sincere repentance, he would have changed his method of dealing with the penitent; but when he does forgive, it is according to his way from the beginning, for he has always been a tender, and compassionate, and gracious God.

4:1. But it displeased Jonah greatly, and he was very angry.

A nice prophet this! Jonah was a man of a somewhat ugly disposition, yet I think he has been misunderstood. He was the true child of Elijah, the prophet of fire. Elijah was a rough, stern servant of the Lord, who felt that the indignities which had been done to Jehovah deserved instant and terrible punishment; and he seemed almost to wish to see that punishment inflicted, as he accused the people to God, saying, “The children of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” He was bravely stern for God, and Jonah was cast in a similar mould. He seemed to feel, “I have been sent by God to tell these people that they will be destroyed for their sin. Now, if they are not destroyed, it will be thought that I have not preached the truth, and, what is far more serious, it will be thought that God does not keep his word.” His whole thought was taken up with the honour of God, and his own honour as involved in that of the Lord. There are many people, nowadays, who seem to think everything of man, and very little of God; and, consequently, they fall into grievous errors. Jonah, on the contrary, thought everything of God, and very little of men. He fell into an error by doing so, and there was a lack of balance of judgment, yet Jonah’s error is so very seldom committed that I am half inclined to admire it in contrast with the error on the other side. He felt that it would be better for Nineveh to be destroyed than for God’s truthfulness to be jeopardized even for a single moment. God would not have us push even concern for his honour too far; but we are such poor creatures that, very often, when we are within an inch of the right course, we fall into a snare of the enemy. It was so with Jonah, when he was extremely displeased and very angry at what God had done in sparing the repentant people of Nineveh.

2. And he prayed to the LORD, and said, “I pray you, oh LORD, was not this my saying, when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled before to Tarshish: for I knew that you are a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and relents from doing harm.”

This was as much as if he had said to the Lord, “I went and did your bidding, and told the Ninevites that they would be destroyed; but I knew in my heart that, if they repented, you would not carry out your threat, and now you are too gracious, too kind, to these wicked people.” It is a strange thing, is it not, that Jonah was angry because his message was blessed to his hearers? As a good commentator says, “When Christ sees the travail of his soul, he is satisfied; but when Jonah saw the travail of his soul, he was dissatisfied.”

There are some men who stop preaching because they do not succeed; but here was one who was ready to give up because he did succeed. It is strange that such a good man as Jonah was, should fall into such a foolish state of mind; but God still has a great many unwise children. Any of you can find one if you look in the right place; I mean, in a mirror. We are all foolish at times; and it should be remembered that, although Jonah was foolish, and wrong in certain respects, there is this redeeming trait in his character, — we might never have known the story of his folly if he had not written it himself. It shows what a true-hearted man the prophet was, that he just unveiled his real character in this Book. Biographies of men are seldom truthful, because the writers cannot read the hearts of those whom they describe; and if they could read them, they would not like to print what they would see there. But here is a man, inspired by God to write his own biography, and he tells us about this sad piece of folly, and does not attempt in the least degree to mitigate its evil. Now turn to a very different portion of Scripture, Romans 5.

5:1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

These are matters of fact; not of fanatical delusion, but of logical conclusion, for Paul begins with a “therefore.” God’s people are justified on solid grounds, on reasonable grounds, on grounds that will bear the test even of the last great judgment day. “Therefore, being” — now, at the present time, this very moment, — “justified by faith, we have peace”: not only do we hope to have it, and trust we shall have it, but we do have it. “We have peace,” — not only peace of conscience, and peace with our fellow men, but “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Note that; we have it. Oh dear people of God, do not be satisfied unless you can talk in this confident fashion: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2. By whom also —

What! is not that first verse all? Oh, no! there is more to follow. When you get a hold of one golden link of the blessed chain of grace, it pulls up another, and then another, and then another: “By whom also” —

2. We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand,

We come into this grace by Jesus Christ, and to this heavenly standing, this justified condition, through Jesus Christ who is the door.

2. And rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Our joy is in the past and the present in some measure, but it is still more in the future: “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” We have three windows, — the one out of which we look back with gratitude on the past, the one out of which we look with joy in the present, and the one out of which we look with expectation on the future.

3. And not only so, —

There is for every child of God grace after grace; every line of the apostle’s writing tells of more blessing: “And not only so.” Is that not enough? Justified, enjoying peace, having access into grace, rejoicing in hope of the glory of God; what more can there be? Why, there is something on the road as well as at the end of it: “And not only so,” —

3. But we glory in tribulations also: —

We are not only acquiescent in the divine will; but, tutored by the Spirit of God, we come even to “glory in tribulations also”: —

3. Knowing that tribulation works patience; —

Knowing.” Paul was no agnostic, he was a “knowing” man, and all God’s people ought to be the same. They are a very dogmatic people when they are what they ought to be; they have nothing to do with “ifs, ” and “ands, ” and “buts, ” and “perhapses”; but they believe and are sure: “Knowing that tribulation works patience.” the natural tendency of tribulation is to work impatience, it produces peevishness in many; but where the Spirit of God is, there is a heavenly counteraction of natural tendencies, and “tribulation works patience”; —

4. And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

Again I cannot help observing how we seem to go through one door just to pass through another. We get into a silver chamber so that we may go into a golden one; and before we can take stock of all the gold, we are ushered into a gorgeous palace of pearls and rubies and diamonds of priceless value.

5. And hope does not make ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us.

If you have the Holy Spirit given to you, then the love of God fills your nature like a sweet perfume. Just as when the woman broke the alabaster box, and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment, so, when the Spirit of God comes, and brings the broken alabaster of the Saviour’s sacrifice, and we feel the love of God poured out among us, what a delightful perfume there is! “Your name is as ointment poured out, therefore the virgins love you.” The way to make us love God is for the love of God to be shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

6. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Are not these very wonderful words? “Christ died for the ungodly.” Pick out all those who are the naturally good people, and this text has nothing to do with them; but find the ungodly, the sinful, the wicked, and here is a text exactly suitable for them: “Christ died for the ungodly.”

7. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die:

He is very righteous, but he is very stern; no one cares much about him.

7. Yet perhaps for a good man some would even dare to die.

He is “a good man” — benevolent, kind, and tender.

8. But God commends his love towards us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

While we were neither righteous nor good, “while we were still sinners, Christ” did the most he ever could, or ever can do for us, he “died for us.” This is the best gift for the worst of men, and that best gift given to them when they are at their worst state: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

9. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

“Much more.” Paul has been giving us “alsos” and “ands”; now he takes an even bigger leap, for he says, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” If he saved us when we were sinners, he will certainly save us now that we are justified. If he called us when we were dead, he will not leave us now that we are alive.

10. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, how much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

You see, there are three points here. When we were enemies, he blessed us; how much more, now that we are reconciled, will he do so. If, in the second place, when we were enemies he reconciled us, how much more, after he has reconciled us, will he save us! And, thirdly, if he did all this for us by the death of his Son, how much more will he do for us by his life; reconciled by his death, we shall be saved by his life.

11. And not only so, —

There is no end to the blessing, dear brothers and sisters. The apostle seems to be always going up, and up, and up. This Paul, calm and cool and logical as he is, makes the fire burn most wondrously: “And not only so,” —

11. But we also rejoice in God —

We are glad that he is God, glad that he is such a God as he is; we would not wish to have him altered. The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, — the God of the Old Testament, and the God of the New Testament, — we love him altogether just as he is, and “we rejoice in God” —

11-21. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed on all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of Adam’s transgression, who is the type of him who was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many are dead, how much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, has abounded to many. And not as it was by one who sinned, so is the gift: For the judgment which came from one offence resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offences resulted in justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; how much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore just as by the offence of one judgment came on all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came on all men to justification of life, for just as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, so that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that just as sin has reigned to death, even so might grace reign through righteousness to eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

I have not expounded the latter part of the chapter, since time fails me, and I shall dwell on it somewhat in the sermon.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Gospel, Received by Faith — Grace Exalted” 563}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, Names and Titles — Surety” 406}

Gospel, Received by Faith
563 — Grace Exalted <8.8.6.>
1 Let Zion in her songs record
   The honours of her dying Lord,
      Triumphant over sin;
   How sweet the song there’s none can say,
   But those whose sins are wash’d away
      Who feel the same within.
2 We claim no merit of our own,
   But, self-condemn’d before thy throne,
      Our hopes on Jesus place;
   Though once in heart and life depraved,
   We now can sing as sinners saved,
      And praise redeeming grace.
3 We’ll sing the same while life shall last,
   And when, at the archangel’s blast,
      Our sleeping dust shall rise,
   Then in a song for ever new,
   The glorious these we’ll still pursue
      Throughout the azure skies.
4 Prepared of old, at God’s right hand
   Bright everlasting mansions stand
      For all the blood-bought race;
   And till we reach those seats of bliss,
   We’ll sing no other song but this —
      Salvation all of grace.
                           John Kent, 1803, a.

Jesus Christ, Names and Titles
406 — Surety <7s.>
1 Christ exalted is our song,
   Hymn’d by all the blood bought throng;
   To his throne our shouts shall rise,
   God with us by sacred ties.
2 Shout, believer, to thy God,
   He hath once the winepress trod;
   Peace procured by blood divine,
   Cancell’d all thy sins and mine.
3 Here thy bleeding wounds are heal’d,
   Sin condemn’d, and pardon seal’d;
   Grace her empire still maintains;
   Love without a rival reigns.
4 In thy Surety thou art free,
   His dear hands were pierced for thee;
   With his spotless vesture on,
   Holy as the Holy One.
5 Oh the heights and depths of grace!
   Shining with meridian blaze;
   Here the sacred records show
   Sinners black, but comely too.
6 Saints dejected, cease to mourn,
   Faith shall soon to vision turn;
   Ye the kingdom shall obtain,
   And with Christ exalted reign.
                           John Kent, 1803.

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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