2580. Partnership With Christ

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No. 2580-44:349. A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, March 29, 1883, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, July 24, 1898.

God is faithful, by whom you were called to the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. {1Co 1:9}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 616, “Special Call and the Unfailing Result, The” 607}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2580, “Partnership with Christ” 2581}
   Exposition on 1Co 1:1-24 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3363, “Witnessing at the Cross” 3365 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on 1Co 1:1-9 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2580, “Partnership with Christ” 2581 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on 1Co 1 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2610, “Witness and a Partaker, A” 2611 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on 1Co 1 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3218, “Preaching Christ Crucified” 3219 @@ "Exposition"}

1. Here Paul is arguing for the safety, the perseverance, and the ultimate perfection of the saints to whom he is writing. He thanks God for what he has done for them, and is assured that he will do even more, — that he will certainly confirm them to the end, so that they may be blameless in the day of Jesus Christ; and the apostle bases his argument on this truth: “God is faithful, by whom you were called to the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” And, brethren, this is a good argument, — to reason concerning the future from the present and the past.

2. What God has done is a prophecy of what he will do, for God is unchangeable. He never takes up a purpose for a while, and then drops it; but he carries it out to the end. He never speaks a word, and then reneges on it. “Has he said, and shall he not do it?” He never performs an action which is intended to produce a certain result without following it up until the result aimed at is fully accomplished. If you and I were dealing with a changeable God, it would be indeed very bad for us; but he has said, “I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.” So, from the immutability of God, we argue that, if he has begun to bless us, he will continue to bless us; and if he has begun a work of grace in our souls, he will certainly carry it on until it is absolutely complete.

3. We argue like this, partly from our own experience, because everything that is gracious within us has been God’s work so far. What have you and I done towards our own salvation? Put together all that we may even think we have done, and what does it come to? “Without me,” said Christ to his disciples, “you can do nothing”; and, truly, without him we have done nothing; therefore, all that has been done in us is to be ascribed to his working in us to will and to do his good pleasure. When the Lord has begun any work of grace in us, do we not find that he has carried it on? Has he forsaken us yet? Has he turned from his purpose so far? In the day of trouble, has he deserted us? When he has sent us to war, has he left us to fall through our own weakness? Up until now it has not been so; and we may sing, “His mercy endures for ever.” He has been a faithful God until now, and it is therefore right for us to conclude that he will still be the same.

    Determined to save, he watched o’er my path
    When, Satan’s blind slave, I sported with death:
    And can he have taught me to trust in his name,
    And thus far have brought me to put me to shame?

If he had meant to put us to shame, he has had ten thousand opportunities of doing so; but until now we have found the promise good: “Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.”

4. And, dear friends, if you will think this matter over, the argument will seem to be even more clear. The Lord called us when we were quite undeserving of his grace. I am sure that I can remember nothing, before my conversion, that could be used as a reason why I should have been called by the grace of God any more than other lads of my own age. True, I did not go into any gross sin; but then I had so much light, and so much tenderness of conscience, and I lived in such a godly atmosphere in my home, that every sin I did commit was worse than the sins of those who never had such advantages; and I have often looked on myself as having been, under certain aspects, the very chief of sinners; and every child of God, when he is in his right mind, will look on himself in the same way.

    What was there in you that could merit esteem,
       Or give the Creator delight?
    “’Twas even so, Father,” you ever must sing,
       “Because it seem’d good in thy sight.”

5. Let us think of his great love with which he loved us even when we were dead in trespasses and sins, and say, “If his love freely flowed to us when we were in that sad state, what is to hinder its continuing to flow to us? If the Lord loved us from no cause within ourselves, why should he not continue to love us?” And if it is said that we are now in an altered condition, — and blessed be God it is so! — that very alteration is an argument that he will still love us: “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.” He who brought us out of our horrible state and condition by nature, without any reason in us for doing it, but simply because of his own sweet love, how could he cast us away? We are, at our worst, only what we were then, even if it were possible for us to be still dead; and should not he who began the work still carry it on, since he began with us on the footing and basis of grace alone?

6. And think yet further, dear friends, at that time we were not simply undeserving, but we were also unwilling. There is in the natural heart of man an unwillingness to yield unconditionally to God and Christ; the ways of free grace are not palatable to human pride. Even when we were religiously inclined, our religion consisted of our own prayers, our own repentance, or our own faith. You know how long we ran from one way to another, but it was always the same kind of way; we were to do something by which we were to get right with God, or to feel something, or to know something; everything was from self and for self. But the grace of God at last weaned us from this folly, and took us off the breasts of self-righteousness, which had always been dry. Then we were prepared to go to God, and as one whom his mother comforts, so he comforted us. We found in our Father God and in his well-beloved Son all that we wanted, even wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. Well, my brothers, if God brought us to himself when we were stray sheep without any willingness to return, how much more will he continue to keep us now that, at any rate, the will is present with us, though often how to perform what is good we do not find! He who loved the undeserving, he who loved the unwilling, will not forsake us now. “God is faithful, by whom you were called to the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”

7. Imagine for a moment, — it is only another form of the same argument, — imagine what could be the motive of God for bringing us where we are, if he intended after all to leave us. What shameful cruelty it would be for some prince or millionaire to take a poor man from his poverty, and change his clothing, and alter his mode of living, and put him among the princes, and make him have luxurious tastes and elevated desires, and then afterwards send him back to the slum from where he came to the palace, and tell him to live just as he formerly did in all his dirt and misery! Would that not be cruelty of the most refined kind? Surely, such treatment would cause the iron to enter into the man’s soul, for he would say, “Why was I not left where I was? Why was I taught desires that I never had before? Why was I instructed in the use of luxuries which had never fallen to my lot before, and which therefore I never missed? It would have been better for me never to have seen this pretended benefactor than that he should bring me here again, and, after lifting me up so high, leave me to fall back to where I was before.” It cannot be that my Lord has made me sick of this world, and yet will not give me another. It cannot be that he has torn away the righteousness which was some kind of comfort to me, tore it off like filthy rags, and made me stand naked to my own shame, if he does not intend to clothe me with the righteousness of Christ. He cannot have taught me to trust in his name, and made me to rejoice in him, and given me sips of sweetness that have made me understand something of what heaven must be, if he does not intend to bring me, at the end, to see his face. I cannot — I will not — believe that he has done all that he has done, and yet that he will not complete the work. No, “God is faithful, by whom you were called to the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” Because he has done that, he intends to keep us there; he will preserve us even to the end.

8. I imagine I hear someone say, “I do not quite see how that can be; to some extent, our salvation must depend on ourselves.” Well, my brother, if you think so, I will not quarrel with you; if you can get any sweetness out of that thought, it is such a dry old bone that I will willingly leave you to it. As for me, I should never be happy again if I thought that my eternal salvation hung on myself, for that poor nail would soon come out of the wall; but I can hang my soul for time and for eternity on this truth, “I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep what I have committed to him against that day.” I will not quarrel with you about this matter, for what pleases you does not please me; so you may have your bone all to yourself, and much good may it do you! I am prepared to hang all my hopes on the finished work of Jesus Christ my Lord.

9. “But,” one asks, “may you then do as you like?” Brother, I wish I might do as I like; for if I could live as I liked, I would live entirely free from sin; I would live like Christ himself. “Well,” one says, “I do not understand it.” May the Lord teach you, then! I cannot; but if he ever brings you right away from all the bondage of the law, and the slavery of dependence on yourself, to rest entirely on his fixed, unchanging grace, it will be a new era in your life. You will rise from being a slave to be a son; and from being under the lash of the bondslave, you will come to look up into your Father’s face with unutterable joy, blessing and praising and magnifying his name as long as you live.

10. But that is not the subject on which I especially wish to speak at this time; I want to talk about the great blessing which is the basis of our argument. What is it that God has done for his people? “By whom you were called to the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” Why did the apostle not simply say, “called to the fellowship of his Son,” or, at most, “of his Son Jesus?” We should have known who was meant, would we not? Ah! but this enhances its glory; to make us see how great he is to whose fellowship we have come, and consequently how grand an exaltation it is which God has given to us, even us, the apostle says that we have been called by God “to the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”

11. Among many things which the text teaches us, — and I do not pretend to exhaust its meaning, but merely to give a hint or two concerning it, — it means, first, that believers are called by God into the presence of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and, secondly, called into partnership with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

12. I. First then, beloved, all who truly believe are CALLED INTO THE PRESENCE OF JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.

13. We enjoy that presence when we draw near to God in prayer; and, indeed, whenever we draw near to God at all. We dare not come to God without Jesus Christ; that dear name should begin and end all our prayers. He is the one Mediator between God and men; he is our great High Priest and Intercessor. “No man comes to the Father but by me.” “I am the door,” — the way of access to God. He is the mercy seat, the propitiatory, where God meets with us, and hears our prayers, so that we always pray in the presence of Christ. There is no true praying without it.

14. And, next, we always praise God in the presence of Jesus Christ. There is no hymn, or psalm, or spiritual song that could be accepted by God unless our Lord Jesus Christ was with us when it was sung. Both prayers and praises must ascend to God through the merit of his atoning sacrifice.

15. More than this, we have been called into the presence of Christ in this high sense, that we are always regarded by God as being with Christ and in Christ. We stand before God in Christ. I — I, alone, dare not stand before God. Indeed, my brother, a sinner cannot stand there, he would be swept away; but Christ stands before God, and we stand there in Christ, and so we are “accepted in the Beloved.” That is a beautiful picture which the poet puts into words when he prays that God will look through Christ’s wounds, as through a window, —

    Him, and then the sinner see:
    Look through Jesus’ wounds on me.

We are accepted before God, not as we are in ourselves, but as we are in Christ; in Christ’s life made to live, — in Christ’s righteousness beautified, — in Christ’s blood cleansed, — in Christ’s perfection made perfect, for “you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power.” Is it not beautiful that we should be so associated with Christ that God thinks of us always in connection with his Son? God does not simply look at you and me, but at Christ covering you, and me, and all his people, and so his chosen ones are thought of as being in him, their covenant and federal Head. They are so completely in him that he, as it were, robes them before God. This is being brought into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, standing before God in Christ.

16. But there is more than that in this expression. We are brought, beloved, not only to have Christ with us in our approaches to God, and to stand before God in Christ, but also to be in Christ by virtue of a living union with him. The Spirit of God quickens our spirit, and gives us life; but, more than that, Christ says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” The life of the believer is not in himself, but in his Lord: “He who has the Son has life; and he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” “I live,” says the apostle Paul; “yet not I, but Christ lives in me”; and, writing to the Colossians, he says, “For you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Just as this finger of mine lives because of its union with the head, and with the heart, and with the rest of my being where the life is to be found, so you and I live because we have been joined to Christ. If there were no life in the stem, there would be no life in the branch. If the branch is severed from the vine, it has no life in itself; and you and I, dear friends, are living branches because Christ lives, and we live in him, and his life flows into us. Is this not a very wonderful thing? Do you see that man, who once was in the habit of going in and out of the tavern? His speech, in those evil days, was foul, filthy, abominable; his poor wife was bruised and battered by his cruelty, his children were starved and shoeless; he is now with us in this house of prayer, and he is a member of Christ’s mystical body. If I were to ask him to stand up, and tell us about the great change that has been accomplished in him, we should all rejoice to hear him testify that the Lord has forgiven him, washed him, cleansed him, and renewed his heart. Did that man, in his unregenerate state, ever think that the life of Christ would be in him quickening his mortal body, and changing his whole nature? Such a thought never occurred to him. Is he not a wonder of grace? Why, I truly believe that, if the devil were to be converted, and become a holy angel again, it would not be more amazing than the conversion of some who are now present. The Lord has done strange things, marvellous things for them, of which our hearts are glad as we think of what he has done. With his mighty arm, he reaches even to the ends of the earth those who have gone far into sin, and he brings them to his heart, and to his house, and to his throne, and into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Oh, the wonders of God’s grace! Let us bless and praise him now and for ever.

17. Then, dear friends, there is this amazing thing also, that we are so called into the presence of Christ that, if we live as we ought to live, the Lord Jesus Christ is the closest acquaintance we have in all the world. The most loving husband often has to go out to business during the day, and he can only get back to his spouse in the evening; but the Bridegroom of our souls is with us all day long. Whether we are at home or out in the world, he is still with us. You have a dear friend somewhere, and you love to be in his company; but you cannot always be with him, so you sometimes have the sorrow of parting with him; but your best Friend is never far away from you, day or night. “When I awake,” says David, “I am still with you.” Perhaps, one of these days, we may have to go out to the utmost ends of the earth, but our Friend will be with us in the vessel as we cross the sea, he will be with us when we land on the distant shore, he will be with us everywhere and at all times. He is the “Friend who sticks closer than a brother,” whose company need never be lost. He never gets tired of his beloved ones; his delights are with the sons of men. If we would only walk by faith, and carefully observe his laws, we should find him abiding with us, and we should be abiding with him. Did I not speak truly when I said that, to his people, he is the closest Friend that they have? He dwells in them, and they dwell in him. “I in them, and you in me,” said Christ to his Father; — a wonderful union; and our union with Christ ought to be, in its enjoyment, as perpetual as Christ’s union with the Father, for he speaks of it in the same terms: “I in them, and you in me.” Yes, beloved, we are indeed brought into fellowship with Jesus Christ our Lord, since we are permitted to have him for our constant Companion and Friend.

18. And now, we are so called into the presence of Christ that, if we are living as we ought to live, where we go, Christ goes. We are to represent Christ among men. Most of them do not know much about Christ; but what they do know about him, they will mostly learn from us. I am grieved to say that Christ has had a bad name sometimes because of the conduct of those who have professed to be his friends: “Ah!” men say, “so this is your Christianity, is it?” But the man who really is in the presence of Christ lives in such a way that men take knowledge of him that he has been with Jesus, and has learned from him. We are Christ’s representatives in the world, and he trusts his honour and his cause in our hands. We are so much in his presence that we compromise his dignity if we do wrong; but we adorn his doctrine in all things if, by his grace, we are enabled to do what is right. May you and I know to the full what it is to be in the presence of Christ, and walk worthy of the vocation to which we are called!

19. II. Now I want to turn to my second point, which is this: WE ARE CALLED INTO PARTNERSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.

20. I do not know when I have felt so utterly unable to express my own thoughts as now that I have reached this part of my subject. If I could only make you enjoy a hundredth part of what I have enjoyed in looking into this subject, I should be perfectly satisfied; but I am afraid that I cannot. However, I will just tell you as well as I can how thoroughly and how perfectly every true Christian is brought into partnership with Christ.

21. For, first, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has given to every true believer all that he possesses. That is a splendid partnership when he, who is Lord of all, to whom the Father has committed all power in heaven and on earth, has been pleased to hand over to his poor partners full right and title to all that he has. If we are heirs of God, we are joint-heirs with Jesus Christ; Christ is heir to nothing to which his people are not also heirs.

22. He has given us his life. That is a wonderful partnership of which he says, “Because I live, you shall live also.” He actually laid down his life for us: “Who loved me, and gave himself for me.” His very self, his life, he brought into the partnership; it was the biggest asset in the whole concern, the costliest thing that could be contributed to this wonderful joint-stock company, — Christ & Co. We without Christ would be poor worthless things; but Christ is ours, and Christ is all, so we have all. Oh, what a wonderful partnership is this in which he gave us his life!

23. He has also given us his Father. Hear his message to his disciples after his resurrection: “I ascend to my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” Christ does not have a Father if I do not have one; Christ does not have a God if I do not have one; for he says, “my Father, and your Father; my God, and your God.” Oh, but what a wonderful Father Christ has! The Only-Begotten, who has always kept his Father’s commandments perfectly, who is eternally and essentially one with him, — what a Father he has! That Father is the Father of all the saints. What a God Christ has! Who can imagine the wealth of the Godhead? But all that Godhead’s fulness and glory belong to every soul that is in Christ. God has given himself to Christ, so that all fulness might dwell in him: “and from his fulness we have all received, and grace for grace.” So, he has given us his life, and he has given us his Father.

24. Notice, next, he has given us his kingdom. This makes me almost stagger as I say it, yet here are his own words to his disciples: “I appoint to you a kingdom, as my Father has appointed to me.” If Christ is King, you are kings. If he reigns, you must reign, too. When men crown the king, they also crown the queen; and if she is crowned, she is queen. And when Christ is King, his Church is queen, and she shall reign with him for ever and ever. Oh, that the great marriage day were come, and that the bride had made herself ready to glory and rejoice with her adorable Bridegroom!

25. Notice, too, that Christ has given us his throne: “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and am seated with my Father on his throne.” It is the throne of God, and Christ occupies it with his Father; but not alone, for he shares it with all his people. What a wonderful partnership this is! Christ gives us his life, his Father, his kingdom, and his throne, as part and parcel of the joint-stock company he shares with us. This is one meaning of our being brought into fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ.

26. But there is something more which is quite as wonderful, namely, that, inasmuch as Christ gave us his all, he took our all. “Of course he did,” you say. Ah! but what did we have to bring into the partnership? All that we had to bring was rags, beggary, poverty, sin, curse, death, hell; that was all we could contribute to the joint-stock.

27. Yet Christ was willing to become a partner with us, for, first, he took our nature: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same.” He would not let his chosen ones be men without himself being a man, too; and if they were to be encompassed with infirmities, he must be encompassed with infirmities, too; and if they had to suffer hunger, cold, and nakedness, he would suffer them, too, so that he could say, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” This all came because he took on himself our nature.

28. Then, even more wonderful, he took our sin on himself. Though in him was no sin, yet the Lord made to meet on him the iniquity of us all. He was the scapegoat on whose head the sin of Israel was by imputation laid, and he carried our sin away into the wilderness where it could never be found again. He willingly bore all the consequences of our sin, and so, he became a partaker of our curse. It seems amazing that the Son of God ever should be in any sense cursed; yet it was so: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one who hangs on a tree’ ”; and he hung on the tree, and bled and died for us.

29. Among other things, which Christ took on our behalf, it always astounds me that he endured even a sense of his Father’s deserting him until he cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” God must turn away his eyes from sinners, and if Christ occupies the place of sinners, the Father leaves him to die in the dark. Is this not a wonderful partnership, that Christ should take on himself all that pertained to us, even to sorrow and broken-heartedness, and, at last, death itself? That blessed body, though it saw no corruption, yet was as truly dead as that of anyone else who ever died. Christ took everything that belonged to us into that wonderful partnership.

30. Now see the result of this union; so Christ meets all our needs. For example, I bring my sin; but against that he sets his atonement. I bring my bondage; but against that he sets his redemption. I bring him death; but he brings his resurrection. I bring him my weakness, and he meets it with his strength. I bring him my wickedness, and he is made by God to me righteousness. I bring him my evil nature, and he is made by God to me sanctification. Whatever there is of evil that I have to contribute to the partnership, he covers it all with a splendour of goodness that blots it out, and makes my soul much richer than it was before. Oh, what a wonderful thing it is to be brought into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord!

31. Now, brothers and sisters, if it is so with us, we must make this fellowship real on our part; we must yield to Christ all that we have if we are brought into this partnership with him. What little we have we must bring. He has already taken all the bad we have, and if we have any good thing he has given it to us, so let us bring it all to him. I have something inside here, for which he has done much by his grace, — something which was black as night, but which he has washed and changed. Here it is, my Lord, — my heart. You say, “My son, give me your heart.” I deposit it with you, with all the love, and all the ardour, and all the zeal that I have, and place it entirely at your disposal. Seal my heart against all intruders, so that it may be entirely for yourself. Will you not, also, my brothers and sisters, bring your hearts to him who loved you, and gave himself for you?

32. Well, what else do you have? Do you have a tongue? Then give your tongue to him, and speak for him as best you can. But perhaps you cannot say much; do you have a purse? Then, give it to him all the substance that you have, use as his steward, for his glory. Do you have time? Spend some of that in caring for one of Christ’s friends, — I mean, yourself; and in caring for others of his friends, your wife, your children, your neighbours, for he tells you to do that for him. All the rest of your time is his; therefore waste none of it, but give it all to him. It is only a few farthings you can ever put into the treasury by the side of his great masses of gold bullion; but put in what you have, and feel a pleasure in saying, “Yes, I have contributed something to the partnership, little as it is.” Do you have any kind of ability? Do you have prayers? Do you have tears? Come, put them all in. Are you so poor, and so obscure, that this is all you have to bring? Then be much in prayer; for my Lord will accept your cries, and tears, and sighs, and groans, and they shall all go into the joint-stock account, for he is so condescending that, when he takes us into fellowship, he is willing to take our little share, and put it with his.

33. But, next, if we are partners with Christ, we must share with him in all that he has. Are you willing? “Oh, yes!” you say. Ah! but there is something which Christ carries which is ugly for some eyes, and heavy for some shoulders; I mean, his cross. And, you know, his cross goes with his crown; there is no separating them. As we say in the old proverb, “No sweat, no sweet”; so, depend on it, it is, “No cross, no crown.” You were laughed at, yesterday, were you not, for Christ’s sake? Brother, did you stick to your partnership? Did you say, “Thank you; I am glad to receive a share of what the world gives my Lord, thankful that I am counted worthy to share with him even in that?” If you are reproached for Christ’s sake, happy are you; in that way, you are proving the reality of your partnership. It must have been a glorious thing for the martyrs that they had the high privilege of dying for their Lord. He sustained and cheered them; but the grand thought that made them patient in the midst of agony, and triumphant in the hour of cruel death, was that they could say, “Now we are partakers of his sufferings; we are filling up what is behind of the sufferings of Christ for his body’s sake, which is the Church.” They were such thorough partners with Christ, that they took all that came; and if we go in to be partners, we must be partners. We must take the rough as well as the smooth. If you marry a wife, it must be for better or worse; and if you enter into fellowship with Christ, there can be no “worse” to those who are one with him, but if it seems to be worse, you must cleave to him all the more closely. There is no true fellowship with Christ if we are not willing to go with him wherever he goes, into any measure of shame, or scorn, or loss, or suffering, or even to death by martyrdom itself, for his dear sake.

34. I told you that, in this partnership, the Lord Jesus Christ supplies our needs; when we put the need down, he puts the supply down. Now, I want you who have been called into this fellowship to do the same with Christ, for we are to supply his need. What does he need? Well, he has gone away to heaven, he is not here in bodily presence, so Christ needs a voice with which to go and call in the other sheep that are not yet in the fold. Christ needs a voice in your house to speak to the children about their souls; will you lend Christ your voice? There is someone, — a neighbour of yours, — who never goes to any place of worship, and Christ needs a voice to speak to that Sabbath breaker. Will you lend Christ your voice? Perhaps, in the pew with you, there is someone who only needs just a word, and he or she would be decided for Christ. Will you lend — no, it is not a case of lending, — will you give Christ your voice? Our tongues should be so consecrated to Christ that they are entirely his.

35. There is a story, which will be in the Magazine next month, {a} which you will read, I daresay, with pleasure. I was delighted with it when I read it. It was to the effect that some people’s blunders seem to be more in the line of doing good than are other people’s best efforts. A young girl, belonging to the Normal College in New York, went home and said, “Oh, father, young Mr. Spurgeon, Mr. Spurgeon’s son, has been and addressed us today, and instead of trying to make us laugh, as most visitors do, or to give us the ‘good advice’ that we have heard a hundred times, he gave us something new. He spoke about Jesus, and he invited us all to Christ, and did it so naturally, and simply, and affectionately, that all the girls seemed interested. Oh, how much good it did me, father! I wish you had been there to hear him.” Now, notice that, it was a great blunder on “Son Charlie’s” part, because that Normal College is not only a nonsectarian institution, but many of the girls are daughters of Jews, and infidels; and, according to the rules, he had no business to say anything about religion at all, but he blundered by firing the gospel gun right into the middle of them. I rejoiced when I heard about it, and I wish that you and I would always make such blunders as that, so that, if people got us to speak to them, somehow or other, we will tell them about Jesus Christ because we cannot help it. What a man is full of, will come out of him; and if a man is full of Christ, he may make grand mistakes, but they will be to the glory of God. So I do not say, lend Christ your tongues, but give him your voices which belong to him.

36. Many of you, I trust, will be ready enough to give him your tongues; but does he not want anything else? Yes. Christ wants our personal service. He wants men and women who will be, among men, what he would be if he were here in bodily presence. He wants some of you to take little children like lambs to his fold, and teach them on the Sabbath day; the Sunday Schools need you; indeed, rather let me say that Christ needs you in the Sunday School. He wants men and women to live in the midst of this great London, as he would have lived if he were multiplied ten thousand times, and lived among our fellow citizens.

37. Sometimes, Jesus needs you to act as a foot-washer, to wash his feet. If you see a brother going wrong, backsliding, and getting his feet dirty, your Lord does not want you to go and call out so that everyone can hear you, “Here is a brother who has dirty feet.” No, no; go and get a basin of water, and a towel, and wash the man all by himself, and set your fallen brother right again. Then Christ has some very poor members of his family, perhaps in the workhouse; and he wants you to go and relieve them. There are some who are sick; he wants you to visit them. There are some of his loved ones, it may be, who are cast down, and ready to sink in utter despair; he wants you to go and comfort them. Since it is a joint-stock concern in which you are a partner, look out for Christ’s poor people, and say to yourself, “If I cannot give anything to him, I will give it to them, for they are a part of him; and he will accept it as given to himself.” May God help you to do so, — you who love his dear name; and thus may we have fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ, to whom, with the ever-blessed Spirit, be glory for ever and ever! Amen.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {1Co 1:1-9}

1. Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

Paul could never have sustained the great weight of responsibility and tribulation which fell on him if he had not felt that he was “called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God.” No man will ever be fit for the ministry of the Word unless he is called to it by God. This also will be your strength in every other position of life; if God has called you to your particular work and warfare, he will not send you at your own expense, but he will be behind you, and support you even to the end. I think it is for this reason that Paul so constantly dwells on his own calling when he is about to write to the churches, so that he may remind other believers that they have similar privileges in their spheres of labour.

2, 3. To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and our’s: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

A church should be made up of sanctified people, those who have been set apart in Christ from before the foundation of the world, those who have been called by the Spirit of God to holiness of life. We sometimes sing, —

    With them number’d may we be
    Now, and through eternity; —

but if we are not holy, if we are not truly sanctified, how can we expect to be numbered with the Church of Christ? Where there is no true holiness, there is no work of the Spirit of God. For all the holy ones Paul desires grace and peace, for they still need these blessings. The holiest of men still have spots on them, and they require that grace and peace should be given to them from day to day through Jesus Christ our Lord.

4. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given to you by Jesus Christ;

It is something to be thankful for God’s goodness to you, but it is a higher virtue to be thankful for God’s goodness to others. How grateful we might be all day long if we had a keen eye to see the grace of God in our fellow Christians, and if we blessed God for it whenever we saw it! There are some whose eye is much more keen to see imperfections than to see graces; it is a pity to have such a jaundiced eye as that; may we have a good, sound, clear, gracious eye, which will see all the good there is in our fellow believers; and may we then ascribe it all to God, and bless and praise him for it!

5-8. That in everything you are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that you come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall also confirm you to the end, so that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It was very wise of Paul to praise these Corinthians where they could be praised, for he was about to upbraid them and reprove them for many things which were not pleasing to God. If you have the unpleasant duty of rebuking those who deserve it, always take care that you begin by saying all that you can, and all that you ought, in their favour; it will prepare the way for what you have to say to them afterwards. The Corinthians were a highly-gifted church; they probably had more knowledge and more of the gifts of utterance than any other church of their day; but, alas! they fell into greater sins than their sister churches did. Great gifts are not great graces; but great gifts require great graces to go with them, or else they become a temptation and a snare. Yet Paul felt quite sure that God would keep even these Corinthians with all their imperfections, and confirm them to the end; and what was true of them, is also true of all the Lord’s people, God will preserve them to the very end.

9. God is faithful, by whom you were called to the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — God My Exceeding Joy” 775}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Union to Christ — The Reign Of Grace” 760}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Union to Christ — Union To Christ” 763}

{a} See the Sword And The Trowel, April 1883, page 194.

The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus
775 — God My Exceeding Joy
1 Where God doth dwell, sure heaven is there,
      And singing there must be:
   Since, Lord, thy presence my heaven,
      Whom should I sing but thee?
2 My God, my reconciled God,
      Creator of my peace:
   Thee will I love, and praise, and sing,
      Till life and breath shall cease.
3 My soul doth magnify the Lord,
      My spirit doth rejoice;
   To thee, my Saviour and my God,
      I lift my joyful voice;
4 I need not go abroad for joys,
      I have a feast at home;
   My sighs are turned into songs,
      My heart has ceased to roam.
5 Down from above the blessed Dove
      Is come into my breast,
   To witness thine eternal love,
      And give my spirit rest.
6 My God, I’ll praise thee while I live,
      And praise thee when I die,
   And praise thee when I rise again,
      And to eternity.
                        John Mason, 1683, a.

The Christian, Privileges, Union to Christ
760 — The Reign Of Grace <8.7.4.>
1 Sovereign grace o’er sin abounding,
      Ransom’d souls the tidings swell;
   ‘Tis a deep that knows no sounding,
      Who its breadth or length can tell?
         On its glories
      Let my soul for ever dwell.
2 What from Christ my soul shall sever,
      Bound by everlasting bands?
   Once in him, in him for ever;
      Thus thewy’ eternal covenant stands;
         None shall pluck me
      From the Strength of Israel’s hands.
3 Heirs of God, joint heirs with Jesus,
      Long ere time its race begun;
   To his name eternal praises!
      Oh! what wonders love hath done!
         One with Jesus,
      By eternal union one.
4 On such love, my soul, still ponder,
      Love so great, so rich, so free;
   Say, whilst lost in holy wonder,
      Why, oh Lord, such love to me?
      Grace shall reign eternally.
                              John Kent, 1827.

The Christian, Privileges, Union to Christ
763 — Union To Christ
1 Dear Saviour, I am thine
      By everlasting bands;
   My name, my heart, I would resign;
      My soul is in thy hands.
2 To thee I still would cleave
      With ever-growing zeal:
   If millions tempt me Christ to leave,
      They never shall prevail.
3 His Spirit shall unite
      My soul to him my Head;
   Shall form me to his image bright,
      And teach his path to tread.
4 Death may my soul divide
      From this abode of clay;
   But love shall keep me near thy side
      Through all the gloomy way.
5 Since Christ and we are one,
      Why should we doubt or fear?
   If he in heaven hath fix’d his throne,
      He’ll fix his members there.
                     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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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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