2626. “Peace In Believing”

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No. 2626-45:277. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, February 19, 1882, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. 1/14/2016*1/14/2016

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, June 11, 1899.

Peace in believing. {Ro 15:13}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 30, “Power of the Holy Spirit, The” 30}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 692, “Joy and Peace in Believing” 683}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1332, “Our Urgent Need of the Holy Spirit” 1323}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1384, “Round of Delights, A” 1375}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2626, “Peace in Believing” 2627}
   Exposition on Ro 15:1-16 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2753, “Patience, Comfort, and Hope from the Scriptures” 2754 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ro 15:13-33 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2768, “Debtors and Debtors” 2769 @@ "Exposition"}

1. On whatever subjects I may be called to preach, I feel it to be a duty which I dare not neglect to be continually going back to the doctrine of the cross, — the fundamental truth of justification by faith which is in Christ Jesus. This topic is essential for the life of the soul. Men are not saved, otherwise than by faith in Jesus; and, therefore, to this great central point we must return again and again and again, hoping that God will bless his own Word to those who hear it proclaimed. I notice that some of our friends, who are bakers, have in their shop windows various articles of confectionery, and I suppose they have their set days for making their various kinds of cake and deserts; but one thing I know they never forget to do, and that is, to bake a batch of bread every day; because, if their customers do not want this or that confectionery, they always want bread; and what is the good of a baker if he has no bread? I wish that every preacher felt that, albeit there are certain things which are sweet and delectable, which some mouths are always craving, yet the chief business of the minister, like that of the baker, is to have a constant supply of good bread. It may be a very ordinary kind of food; some may even call it commonplace; and what a mercy it is when bread is a commonplace thing! I have known some people who would have been glad if they could place it in common on their tables; but they have not been able to get it, and the necessity has grown into a luxury. And what a mercy it is when the gospel is a commonplace thing, — when you have so much of it that you really understand it, and enjoy it, and feed on it! It is then as it ought always to be with the true ministry of the gospel. So, preacher, whatever you do choose to neglect, never neglect to preach Christ crucified, and the simple, soul-saving precept, “Look and live.” What if there are some prophetic passages which you cannot understand? The day shall declare them. What if there are certain deep doctrines that are too profound for you? You and your people shall learn them in eternity, if you do not learn them in time. But as for this doctrine, that “he who believes in the Son has everlasting life,” it must be learned now or never; and if it is not learned now, men will be shut out of heaven eternally. Therefore, let this truth be proclaimed again and again and again. Let it still be preached, even though some who have itching ears weary of it, for there is an urgent necessity that it should be made known whether men will hear or whether they will forbear. Better that the sun should not rise than that Christ should not be preached. Better that the wheels of time should stand still than that the name of Jesus should not be sounded out. Better that the dews are withheld, and the rain does not fall again on the earth, than that the glorious gospel of the blessed God is hidden from the sons of men.

2. So, then, this is my reason for coming to you again, as I have come so many hundreds of times before, with the same old message, “Believe and live.” I am comforted by the persuasion that all who are saved by believing are the most ready to hear this story over and over again. It is not what I do not know so much as what I do know that I delight to hear, and many others are of the same opinion as I am in that matter. It is a curious phase of human nature, but it is true. You may talk to a congregation about discoveries in the centre of Africa, and yet you may lose the attention of your hearers; but if you speak about the village, or hamlet, or street in which one of them was born or lived, he will prick up his ears at once. The very thing that he knows best is what, somehow, holds his attention most. So I have often seen it in the highest affairs; those who understand the gospel best are the readiest to hear of it again and yet again. If I were to take Luther on the Galatians, intending to give it as a present to someone who would be sure to appreciate it, I should not bestow it on a man who was not a believer in Jesus, or give it to one who did not understand the doctrine of salvation by faith; but I should hand it over to the man who has long believed in Christ, and found rest in him; for I should be certain that the strong and absorbing utterances of the great Reformer would be appreciated by him. They love the gospel most who know it best.

3. Another thing comforts me, too, namely, that in such a congregation as this there are always some people who are just ready to believe. I throw the fly with confidence because there are always fish rising to it. God is ploughing the hearts of many, and so preparing the soul for the good seed of the kingdom. Little children die; aged mothers are carried away; there is sickness in the body; or loss in the business, or suffering of various kinds, — all this is the passing of God’s great plough up and down these furrows; and when I scatter the good seed, I know that the furrows are gaping for it, they are hungry for it, so they gladly receive it. Here are many of those who are ordained to eternal life to whom the truth concerning “peace in believing” comes as the very message of God to their soul, the good news that they are most glad to hear. So they receive it, and go on their way rejoicing. Doubtless, there are some hearers of that kind here now; oh, that we may very soon hear of their conversion, for it would gladden our heart to have such good news. Therefore, by the help of God, let us at once get to our work.

4. I. And, first, having to talk about faith, and one of its sweet results, — for our subject is that faith brings peace to the soul, — “peace in believing”; — the first point shall be, that IT IS A FILLING PEACE.

5. In the verse from which our text is taken, the apostle says, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,” so that the peace which arises from faith is a filling peace. There is, in the heart of an awakened man, a great vacuum caused by sin. He is like some of those great artificial harbours which I have seen, in various places, out of which they sometimes allow all the water to run, and there remains a dreary expanse of mud. What is the use of it? What is needed in order to make it of service once more? Why, simply that the tide should come into it, and fill it, and cover up all that mud. As I look on some of you, dear friends, I know that your heart is just like that great harbour full of mire. What is to be done for you? What is to be done with you? Well, the grace of God can come in, and cover all your transgressions and your iniquities, until they shall never be mentioned against you any more for ever. What a blessed peace that is which quiets the conscience, — which takes away the sense of guiltiness, and puts, in its place, consciousness of perfect pardon, of justification, and of acceptance before God. This is “peace in believing.” It fills the vacuum that sin has made.

6. Then this divine flood, when it has covered that part of our distress, flows in over our sinfulness as well as our sins, for, in addition to our actual transgression, there is the defilement of our nature; and when a man is awakened, it is a cause of moaning and unrest for him that he not only has sin, but that he is sin, — that his very nature is a fountain of evil, containing much that is adverse to God, and in alienation from him. But, by believing, there flows into the heart a flood of life which removes our death, — a purifying stream which takes away our corruption, and we have peace with God, for “we who have believed enter into rest” about that matter, too; and though we sometimes have to cry, “Oh wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” yet we “thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord,” that we are delivered from the dominion of sin, and that we shall, eventually, be delivered from the very existence of it, and shall be like God in purity and true holiness. That is, indeed, a blessed peace, — a peace that comes from a changed nature, from a renewed heart, and from reconciliation to God.

7. You will tell me that those blessings are enough to fill a man with peace; and, truly, I think they are. But just as, when the tide comes in, it not only rolls up the main stream of the Thames, but it flows also into every creek, and fills every tiny streamlet, so it is with the grace of God. There is a black stream that sometimes runs into the river of a man’s life, and makes it turbid; that is, the fear of death. But, oh! I have seen the great flood of eternal life come rolling up, and drive the black stream back, until all was pure, and all was quiet and calm. Is it not so with the man who believes in Jesus? He loses the fear of death. Sometimes, instead of fearing it, he almost longs for it. As Mr. Flavel, when living in sweetest communion with Christ, said, “I never saw a face more beautiful than that of death when I saw the light from the face of Christ fall on it; then I longed to die much more than to live.” And good Dr. Watts sang, —

    Oh, if my Lord would come and meet,
    My soul should stretch her wings in haste,
    Fly fearless through death’s iron gate,
    Nor feel the terrors as she pass’d.

Yes, this “peace in believing” will fill your soul so as to drown the fear of death.

8. Perhaps another says, “The fear of life is what plagues me, — the fear of the troubles incident to my condition, and my position among my fellow men, the fear which arises out of those three questions, ‘What shall we eat? What shall we drink? And with what shall we be clothed?’ ” Beloved, the peace which comes through believing will put these fears away, and fill your soul with perfect rest concerning them. Indeed, these things will seem to you to be only trifles after which the Gentiles seek, and you will scorn to be troubled by them, for you will remember that “your Heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things,” and he will supply your need in his own good time and way.

9. Then, sometimes to break our peace, the cravings of desire will come on us. A man is never perfectly at peace if he is ambitious, and craving for this or that which as yet is beyond his reach. “Peace in believing” makes us say of Christ, “He is all my salvation and all my desire.” He loves us to know that all things are ours; and, therefore, that there is nothing left in the region of desire, for —

    All things are ours; the gift of God,
    The purchase of a Saviour’s blood;
    While the good Spirit shows us how
    To use and to improve them too.

Oh, what a blessed, blessed rest occurs when a man’s desires are satisfied with the favour of God!

10. One very natural cause of disturbance of mind is solicitude about our families, — anxiety concerning how we shall bring them up in the fear of God, earnest longing that they may become believers in Christ, honourable Christian men and women; but faith learns to bear even this without having her peace broken, for she pleads the promise, “To you, and to your children, and to all who are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Faith falls back on the inspired Word: “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children; to such as keep his covenant, and to those who remember his commandments to do them.” I know of no cause for unrest which faith will not remove. I know of no ground-swell disturbing the mind which faith cannot quiet. I know of nothing in earth, in heaven, in hell, in time, in eternity, in life, in death, which is not fully met by the covenant blessings which are within reach of faith, and which faith learns to appropriate. This “peace in believing” is a sea that has no bottom nor shore; it is a peace of intense restfulness; oh, that we were all plunged into it this very hour!

11. II. Now, very briefly, let me remind you that, according to the text, IT IS FAITH’S PEACE that is such a filling peace as I have tried to describe.

12. I may be addressing some people who are wanting to find peace for their souls, but they have never sought faith’s peace. There is a false peace that some get, — the peace of carelessness; they do not even think about eternity. They “consider it one of the wisest things to drive dull care away.” They scarcely think of what will happen even a month ahead, but they say that they are content to live by the day. This is the way in which the man protects himself when, after the thief has broken into his house, he covers up his head, and lies in bed, and thinks that he himself and his property must be safe, because he cannot hear the burglar at work. This is the kind of philosophy of men who, when they are ready to fail in business, shut up their books, and never take stock because they would be so disturbed if they knew their real condition. It is a beggarly, cowardly kind of peace that is fit for fools and madmen, but is not fit for you who are reasonable, responsible beings. Oh, I would scorn to have a peace in my heart which consisted in shutting my eyes! The truth ought to be faced; and, the more dangerous the truth, the more urgently does it call on us to look at it; and he is the wise man who can stand before the truth that frightens most men, and, having looked it in the face, can say, “Now I am not afraid; I am, rather, all the more established in my conviction of my safety, now that I have seen what would have destroyed me if it had not been for faith in Christ.” Please shun the safety which is only in appearance, and only thinly films the deadly ulcer that needs to be eradicated from your body.

13. Some others seek a peace which comes from hardihood. They do not merely shut their eyes, but they lie against the truth. “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God,’ ” and, he gets peace out of that foolish and false declaration. Men deny the immortality of the soul; they deny the divinity of Christ; they deny the inspiration of the Bible; and so they think that they shall sew pillows together that shall make it easy for their heads to rest on. Let those do this who dare; but, as for some of you, you cannot do it, for you know too much, and you have felt too much, ever to be self-deceived in such a way as that. Can he ever be an infidel who has seen his mother die joyfully triumphant? Is it possible for me, for example, to find a shelter from my sins by denying that there is any hereafter, when I have stood by the bedside of saints, and seen their ecstasy, and have heard the strange things, scarcely lawful for a man to utter, which they have told concerning what is within the veil? Some of us are spoiled for infidelity, for we have had familiar communion with the Eternal; we have spoken with him, “as a man speaks with his friend”; and, henceforth, this escape from thought does not avail us. Thank God that it does not avail us, for the abhorred of the Lord fall into this deep ditch; and how seldom do they come up out of it! May God grant that we may never need to tell a lie, and violate our conscience, in order to give it peace! That is not the rest of faith which I commend to you.

14. Some have tried to get peace from self-confidence. They think they are as good as others, if not rather better. As they see those who are mere professors of religion, they thank God that they are not professors of religion, for they are not hypocritical, and therefore they do not pretend to be what they are not. Yet there is often a worm at the root of that proud boasting; and, in your sober moments, you who talk in this way do not think like this about yourselves. You are not insane; and you know that you are not doing what is pleasing to God, or living for his glory. Self-righteousness is sometimes a delusion, but it generally begins by a man’s attempting to delude himself. But there is no real peace to be obtained by any works that we can perform, or by the pretence that we have performed works which are meritorious in the sight of God. There is no promise of peace to come in this way.

15. But, perhaps, you have patched up your self-righteousness with a few ornaments stolen from the Church of God. Were you, as an infant, “baptized” and made “a member of Christ, a child of God, and an heir of the kingdom of heaven?” Have you been confirmed, and taken the “sacrament” — as it is wrongly called; and is there not much efficacy in that? Sirs, listen to me: there is nothing in it! There is nothing whatever in it, unless you have first believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. Or, if there is anything in it, you have participated in ordinances to which you had no right, for these things are only for believers, and if you have not believed in Jesus, you are intruders into his Church, and you have stolen from his altar what he reserves for his own people, and this will be of little advantage for you. Beware of trusting in your church-going, or your chapel-going, or your Tabernacle-going. Beware of trusting in your prayers, or your Bible-reading, in your hymns and holy thoughts and alms-givings. They are all lighter than vanity; and as chaff from the fan of the winnower, they shall be blown away. There is no peace in them though you multiply them as the sand on the sea-shore. Our text speaks of “peace in believing,” and there is no peace worthy of the name that is to be found in any other way.

16. III. But now, thirdly, this “peace in believing” is A WELL-FOUNDED PEACE; for what is it?

17. It is, first, a peace which is the result of believing the word of God, who cannot lie. God, the ever-blessed Father, says, “Listen to me; I have given my well-beloved Son to be a Saviour for you. Trust in him, and you shall be saved.” I trust in him, and I am saved. How do I know that? Why, because God said so; and God cannot lie! Is there any better foundation for peace in this world than the Word of God? What God has spoken, must be true. “Let God be true, and every man a liar”; and I, believing what he has said, have a right to all the peace that can come out of that sure Word which I have believed.

18. Remember, too, that this Word of God comes to us by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. If you do not believe that Book to be inspired, I have nothing to say to you just now; but most of us do believe that every part of it is “God-breathed.” Well, then, knowing that Book to be the infallible Word of God, if we get peace through believing what is in that Book, we have solid ground to stand on. Either the Book is a lie, or else our faith is fully warranted, and our peace is perfectly justified. Oh, what a blessed thing it is to feel that you have Scripture behind you! Many saints that I have read about have asked, when dying, to have their fingers laid on some precious promise of the Word, and so they have witnessed to their conviction that the passage was the very truth of God to their souls. One said, “Guide me to that glorious eighth of Romans.” Another had his finger laid on this text, “Whoever comes to me I will in no wise cast out”; and another on this verse, “Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.” You know how you take each other’s word, and, trust in it; and when you get a note of hand in black and white from a good tradesman, you do not doubt it; then, shall we ever doubt the black and white of God, — the record of his dear Son which he has given us in Holy Scripture? No; nor will we doubt the peace that comes into our heart through believing it.

19. And then, my brethren, notice also that our peace is founded on God’s testimony concerning his Son. He tells us, in this Book, that the Only-Begotten took on himself human form, and came down among men, — that, being here, he lived the life of a servant, and, at the last, taking man’s sin on him, and as the Substitute for guilty men, he went up to the cross, and there bore his Father’s wrath, dying in the place of the guilty, “the Just for the unjust, so that he might bring us to God.” I remember how I grasped that truth when I first understood it; it was that doctrine of substitution which brought peace to my troubled spirit. I saw that, if Christ died for me, then I should not die; — and that, if he paid my debt, it was paid, and I was clear; and I knew that this was the case as soon as I believed in him. So I did believe in him, and I was filled with “peace in believing.” And that “peace in believing” meets every need of the heart. Are you troubled? “All things work together for good for those who love God.” Are you afraid that you shall fall? Rest content about that also, for “he will keep the feet of his saints.” Are you afraid that you shall ultimately perish? Has he not said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand?”

20. Our faith is, indeed, well-founded, and can be abundantly justified. Faith in Christ is nothing but common sense sanctified by God. It may be common sense to trust some banker who has long maintained his credit, and not to be always worrying about whether he is solvent or not; but it is infinitely greater common sense to trust God, — to trust his Son, — to trust his Spirit, — to trust his Word. If you do trust these, you shall enjoy a calmness of spirit which will not be the effect of a mistaken confidence, but the result of the most glorious facts, — a peace which may be questioned and cross-questioned, examined and cross-examined, but the answer it shall give to all enquiries must be satisfactory. Faith’s building may be searched, and tried, and tested, from foundation to top-stone; but no flaw shall be found in any part of it. It is a good, and wise, and true, and just, and proper thing to trust the Lord Jesus Christ, and so to have “peace in believing.”

21. IV. I am finished when I have just noticed one more point, namely, that I believe this “peace in believing” to be A MOST FRUITFUL PEACE.

22. I wish you all knew it; for, first, it makes even this world a better and a happier place. It takes the sting out of all troubles to have “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is no man who is so ready to cope with the troubles of life as the one who knows that all is right for eternity. Some of you often get worried in your daily calling, and when you come home from business, you cannot rest. When you go to bed, you cannot sleep, for there is within you a fear of death, and of a dreaded something after that. But suppose that a man can say, “That matter is all settled, —

    ‘’Tis done! the great transaction’s done:
       I am my Lord’s, and he is mine’; —

I have trusted myself with Christ, and I know that he is able to keep what I have committed to him against that day”; he goes to his business feeling that he has a burden taken off his shoulders, — the great burden he had carried for so long, — and he is ready for anyone, and ready for anything. If you set a man to run up a hill, and lay heavy weights on his back, he must make slow work of it. Take off those weights, and now see him. Why, he turns into a gazelle; and he leaps from crag to crag when the burden is gone. Ah! dear friends, if you were relieved of your burdens, your very office work would grow lighter; your bargaining would be more wisely done; you would be all the better able to deal with your fellow men when you had come to your proper position before God, and all was made right there.

23. This peace with God is fruitful in the growth of all other graces. Do you have a garden? If so, do you have some fruit trees in it? Do you dig them up every year? Do you take them out of the ground two or three times in a season, and carry them around the garden, and then plant them in a new spot? If so, I would not give you a penny for all your fruit; but when you plant your tree in good soil, and it is well watered and fertilized, when the fruit-bearing season comes, there is your fruit. It is a blessed thing to get the very roots of your being entwined around Christ; now you can grow, now you can produce fruit. Now you will get patience; now you will get hope; now you will get love; soon you will get full assurance; you will have the work of sanctification going on; you will be more and more consecrated and devoted to Christ, and you will become “strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” May God give you “peace in believing,” so that you may grow in every other grace!

24. And this, I know, will help you to serve others. A man who is enjoying the blessings of true religion, living in it, and living on it, wants other people to know about it, and to share it with him. I think that no one would give a recommendation to a new kind of food which he did not like himself, and which did him no good. He would say, “Well, if this is intended to keep me from being ill, I would rather be ill than eat it; and I certainly shall not recommend it to others.” But he who has eaten it, and loves the flavour of it, and finds that nourishment comes from it, says to his friend, “You are getting emaciated, and thin, and debilitated, as I was; you should try what I have tried.” He is sure to commend it because it has done so much for him; and when we enjoy the gospel, we are sure to recommend it to others. God’s happy people are God’s working people. Those who fear and tremble, and never have any joy in the Lord, are generally a barren generation; but those who delight themselves in the Lord are sure to speak of him to others, and to bring others to Christ.

25. Lastly, I believe that “peace in believing” is one of the best instrumentalities for bringing others to Christ. If you are seen to be very happy in a time of trial, — if you are known to be very patient in great pain, — and especially if the Lord helps you to be triumphant in the solemn article of death, — you will be a soul winner. Those who come around your bed will never forget the joyful look on your face; it will be a lifelong sermon to them. I do not advise you to sit up like Addison, and make a show of it, and say, “Come; see how a Christian can die.” No, that is a style of thing I do not admire; but when you can honestly, straightforwardly, without any parade, sweetly fall asleep in Jesus Christ, triumphantly entering into glory, and let those around you hear your shout of victory as you enter in to be “for ever with the Lord,” — if you can do that, its memorial will endure, and those who were unconvinced before are most likely to be decided, while those who never hesitated will be more than ever confirmed in the faith.

26. In conclusion, to sum everything up all in a word, you who have no peace may have it even now. Believe; that is, trust. Trust Jesus with your souls, and you shall have “peace in believing.” And you who have it, though it is somewhat broken, may have it to the full. Where you obtained your first peace, you can get more. Where peace has only trickled in, it can come pouring in, it can rush in, like a heavenly deluge, and flood your entire nature, to the praise and glory of your gracious God. May he make it to be so, for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Ro 8:14-39}

14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Leading implies following; and those who are enabled to follow the guidance of the Divine Spirit are most assuredly children of God, for the Lord always leads his own children. If, then, you are following the leading of God’s Spirit, you have one of the evidences of sonship.

15. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, by which we cry, “Abba, Father.”

The spirit of bondage is the spirit of servants, not of sons; but that servitude is ended for us who are made free in Christ Jesus. We are no longer afraid of being called the children of God. We are not afraid of our own Father; we have a filial fear of him, but it is so mixed with love that there is no torment in it. Whether Jew or Gentile, we cry, “Abba, Father.”

16. The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Our spirit knows that we are God’s children and then God’s Spirit adds his testimony to the witness of our spirit that we are the children of God.

17. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if indeed we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

This would not necessarily be true of any man’s family, for he might have children who were not his heirs; but, in God’s family, all who are born into it are born “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” We must take our part of Christ’s portion, — his portion here, and his portion hereafter; the rule for us who are in him shall be, “share and share alike.” He himself has said, “Where I am, there my servant shall also be”; and all that he has he will divide with us. Are you willing, dear brother, to take shares with Christ? If not, then I question whether you can be really considered among his saints.

18. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

“Light afflictions” are contrasted with “a very great weight of glory.” Temporary afflictions, only for a moment, are to be followed by everlasting crowns that do not fade away. What a contrast!

19. For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

All creation is, as it were, watching and waiting on tiptoe for the day when God shall reveal his sons who are at present hidden. In due time, they shall come out, acknowledged by God, and then the whole creation shall rejoice.

20-23. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is, the redemption of our body.

We have already obtained salvation for our souls, but our body is still under bondage, — subject to weariness, — to pain, — to infirmity, — to death; but, eventually, with the new creation, our newly-moulded bodies shall be fit to live in the new world, and fit for our new-born souls to inhabit. This is the full redemption for which we are waiting.

24-28. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he still hope for it? But if we hope for what we do not see, then we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we do not know what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are the called according to his purpose.

“We know that all things work together for good.” That is a wonderfully positive statement, Paul. There are certain people, nowadays, who say that we know nothing; yet the apostles constantly say, “We know this,” and “We know that.” These people tell us that there is a great distinction between believing and knowing, — but, evidently, it is a distinction of which the inspired apostles knew nothing at all. Read the Epistles of John, and note how he continually says, “We know, we know, we know,” and how frequently he adds, “We believe,” as though believing and knowing were the same thing. Agnostics may declare that they know nothing, if they please; but, as for us who do know, because we believe what we are taught by God in this Book, we will speak. He who has something to say has a right to say it; we know, and therefore we speak.

Note, brethren, how the apostle speaks here; he does not say that all things shall work together for good; no, but that they do work together, — they are now working for your present good. This is not merely something which shall eventually turn out right; it is all right now, “We know that all things are working together for good for those who love God, for those who are the called according to his purpose.” No sooner does the apostle mention that word “purpose” than he needs to build a long discourse on it. He was not afraid or ashamed to speak of the purposes of God. There are some preachers who say nothing about God’s purpose, or God’s decree; they seem to be afraid of it, they say it is “Calvinistic doctrine.” Why, it was here, in the Scriptures, long before Calvin was born, so what right have they to call it by his name? Listen to what the apostle has to say:

29, 30. For whom he foreknew, he also predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he predestinated, those he also called: and whom he called, those he also justified: and whom he justified, those he also glorified.

There is no separating these golden links of love and mercy. That foreknowledge, to which all things future are open and present, begins the deed of love. Predestination comes in, and chooses a people for God who shall be eternally his. On this, in due time, follows effectual calling, by which the chosen ones are brought out, from the impure mass of mankind, and set apart for God. Then follows justification by faith, through the precious blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ; and where this is, glory will certainly come, for “whom he justified, those he also glorified.”

31, 32. What shall we then say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Notice, it is not simply “freely give us all things”; but, “with him also freely give us all things.” You shall get all things with Christ; but you shall get nothing without Christ, for all the other gifts come in this one. God first gave us his Son; and he gives us everything in him.

33. Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

Ring out the challenge in heaven itself; trumpet it through all the caverns of hell; let the whole universe hear it: “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect?” No one can, for “it is God who justifies,” and his justification blocks every charge that is brought against his people.

    Who shall the Lord’s elect condemn?
    ’Tis God that justices their souls;
    And mercy like a mighty stream,
    O’er all their sins divinely rolls.

34. Who is he who condemns?

No one will answer to that challenge, for —

34, 35. It is Christ who died, yes rather, who is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Oh, this blessed question — this touching question! It seems to come at the end of all the others, — a rear-guard which effectively prevents our treasures from being taken from us. “ Quis separabit?” “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”

35. Shall tribulation?

That has been tried. Have not the saints been beaten like wheat on the threshing-floor? Has not affliction been to them a stern test of the reality of their faith? But Christ has loved them none the less for all the suffering that he has permitted to fall on them.

35. Or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

When they have been in famine or poverty, has Christ ever forsaken his saints? Ah, no! he has loved them all the more. Have any of these things separated us from our Saviour? No; but they have, to our own consciousness, knitted us even more closely to our Divine Lord. Cruel men have tried every form of persecuting the saints of God; they have been more inventive in the torments which they have applied to Christians than in almost anything else; yet no torture, no rack, no imprisonment, has ever separated them from Christ. They have still clung to him, after the manner of John Bunyan, who, when they said, that he might go free if he would promise not to preach the gospel, said, “I will lie in prison until the moss grows on my eyelids rather than I will ever make such a promise as that. If you let me out of prison today, I will preach tomorrow, by the grace of God.”

36. As it is written, “For your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

But there has been no triumph over the saints in this case.

37-39. Indeed, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Not all that men on earth can do,
    Nor powers on high, nor powers below,
    Shall cause his mercy to remove,
    Or wean our hearts from Christ our love.

Glory be to his holy name! Amen.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Spirit of the Psalms — Psalm 23” 23 @@ "(Version 1)"}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Sacred Gratitude — ‘Return Unto Thy Rest’ ” 708}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — God My Exceeding Joy” 775}

The Standard Life Of Mr. Spurgeon.

Just Published. Price 10s. 6d. 384 pages Demy 4to. 114 Illustrations, including colour facsimiles of pictures sent home from Rome by Mr. Spurgeon.

Also issued in monthly shilling parts.

C. H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography, Compiled from His Dairy, Letters, and Records, By his Wife and his Private Secretary.

Vol. III. 1856-1878

London: Passmore and Alabaster, Paternoster Buildings; and from all Booksellers.

Spirit of the Psalms
Psalm 23 (Version 1)
1 My Shepherd will supply my need,
   Jehovah is his name;
   In pastures fresh he mikes me feed,
   Beside the living stream.
2 He brings my wandering spirit back
   When I forsake his ways:
   And leads me, for his mercy’s sake,
   In paths of truth and grace.
3 When I walk through the shades of death,
   Thy presence is my stay;
   A word of thy supporting breath
   Drives all my fears away.
4 Thy hand, in spite of all my foes,
   Doth still my table spread;
   My cup with blessings overflows;
   Thine oil anoints my head.
5 The sure provisions of my God
   Attend me all my days;
   Oh may thy house be mine abode,
   And all my work be praise!
6 There would I find a settled rest,
   While others go and come;
   No more a stranger, or a guest,
   But like a child at home.
                           Isaac Watts, 1719

Psalm 23 (Version 2)
1 The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want
   He makes me down to lie
   In pastures green: he leadeth me
   The quiet waters by.
2 My soul he doth restore again,
   And me to walk doth make
   Within the paths of righteousness,
   E’en for his own name’s sake.
3 Yea, though I walk through death’s dark vale,
   Yet will I fear no ill;
   For thou art with me, and thy rod
   And staff me comfort still.
4 My table thou hast furnished
   In presence of my foes;
   My head thou dost with oil anoint,
   And my cup overflows.
5 Goodness and mercy all my life
   Shall surely follow me;
   And in God’s house for ever more
   My dwelling place shall be.
                        Scotch Version, 1641.

Psalm 23. (Version 3)
1 The Lord my Shepherd is,
   I shall be well supplied;
   Since he is mine, and I am his,
   What can I want beside?
2 He leads me to the place
   Where heavenly pasture grows,
   Where living waters gently pass,
   And full salvation flows.
3 If e’er I go astray,
   He doth my soul reclaim;
   And guides me in his own right way,
   For his most holy name.
4 While he affords his aid,
   I cannot yield to fear;
   Though I should walk through death’s dark shade,
   My Shepherd’s with me there.
5 In spite of all my foes,
   Thou dost my table spread;
   My cup with blessings overflows,
   And joy exalts my head.
6 The bounties of thy love
   Shall crown my following days;
   Nor from thy house will I remove,
   Nor cease to speak thy praise.
                        Isaac Watts, 1719.

Psalm 23 (Version 4)
1 The Lord my pasture shall prepare,
   And feed me with a Shepherd’s care;
   His presence shall my wants supply,
   And guard me with a watchful eye;
   My noonday walks he will attend,
   And all my midnight hours defend.
2 Though in the paths of death I tread,
   With gloomy horrors overspread,
   My stedfast heart shall fear no ill,
   For thou, Oh Lord! are with me still:
   Thy friendly crook shall give me aid,
   And guide me through the dreadful shade.
                     Joseph Addison, 1712.

The Christian, Sacred Gratitude
708 — “Return Unto Thy Rest”
1 My heart is resting, oh my God;
      I will give thanks and sing;
   My heart is at the secret source
      Of every precious thing.
2 Now the frail vessel thou hast made
      No hand but thine shall fill;
   The waters of the earth have fail’d,
      And I am thirsting still.
3 I thirst for springs of heavenly life,
      And here all day they rise;
   I seek the treasure of thy love,
      And close at hand it lies.
4 And a “new song” is in my mouth,
      To long-loved music set;
   Glory to thee for all the grace
      I have not tasted yet.
5 I have a heritage of joy
      That yet I must not see:
   The hand that bled to make it mine;
      Is keeping it for me.
6 My heart is resting on his truth,
      Who hath made all things mine;
   Who draws my captive will to him,
      And makes it one with thine.
            Ann Letitia Waring, 1850, a.

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.

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).

Terms of Use

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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