2707. An Antidote To Satan’s Devices

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An Antidote To Satan’s Devices

No. 2707-46:613. A Sermon Delivered On A Thursday Evening, During The Winter Of 1858, By C. H. Spurgeon, At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, December 30, 1900.

Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. {Ge 3:1}

1. Or course, we understand that this verse refers to “that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan.” The Samaritan Version reads, instead of the word “serpent,” “deceiver” or “liar.” If this is not the genuine reading, it nevertheless certainly declares a truth. That old deceiver, of whom our Lord Jesus said to the Jews, “When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it,” was “more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” God has been pleased to give to many beasts subtlety, — to some, subtlety and cunning combined with strength, — in order that they may be all the more destructive to certain classes of animals whose numbers require to be kept under control. To others, that are devoid of very much strength, he has been pleased to give instincts of most marvellous wisdom, for self-preservation and the destruction of their prey, and for the procuring of their food; but all the wise instincts and all the subtlety of the beasts of the field are far excelled by the subtlety of Satan. In fact, to go further, man has, perhaps, far more cunning than any mere creature, although animal instinct seems sometimes as if it outdid human reason; but Satan has more of cunning within him than any other creature that the Lord God has made, man included.

2. Satan has abundant craft, and is able to overcome us, for several reasons. I think it would be a sufficient reason that Satan should be cunning because he is malicious; for malice is of all things the most productive of cunning. When a man is determined on revenge, it is amazing how clever he is to devise opportunities to vent his spite. Let a man have enmity against another, and let that enmity thoroughly possess his soul, and pour venom, as it were, into his very blood, and he will become extremely crafty in the means he uses to annoy and injure his adversary. Now, no one can be more full of malice against man than Satan is, as he proves every day; and that malice sharpens his inherent wisdom, so that he becomes extremely subtle.

3. Besides, Satan is an angel, though a fallen one. We do not doubt, from certain hints in Scripture, that he occupied a very high place in the hierarchy of angels before he fell; and we know that those mighty beings are endowed with vast intellectual powers, far surpassing any that has ever been given to beings of human mould. Therefore, we must not expect that a man, unaided from above, should ever be a match for an angel, especially an angel whose native intellect has been sharpened by a most spiteful malice against us.

4. Again, Satan may well be cunning now, — I may truthfully say, more cunning than he was in the days of Adam, — for he has had long dealings with the human race. This was his first occasion of dealing with mankind, when he tempted Eve; but he was even then “more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” Since then he has exercised all his diabolical thought and mighty powers to annoy and ruin men. There is not a saint whom he has not beset and not a sinner whom he has not misled. Together with his troops of evil spirits, he has been continually exercising a terrible control over the sons of men; therefore he is well skilled in all the arts of temptation. Never does an anatomist so well understand the human body as Satan does the human soul. He has not been “tempted in all points,” but he has tempted others in all points. He has tried to assail our manhood from the crown of our head to the sole of our foot; and he has explored every outwork of our nature, and even the most secret caverns of our souls. He has climbed into the citadel of our heart, and he has lived there; he has searched its innermost recesses, and dived into its most profound depths. I suppose there is nothing of human nature that Satan cannot unravel; and though, doubtless, he is the biggest fool that ever has existed, as time continually proves, yet, beyond all doubt, he is the craftiest of fools, and I may add, that is no great paradox, for craft is always folly, and craft is only another form of departure from wisdom.

5. And now, brethren, I shall for a few minutes first occupy your time by noticing the craft and subtlety of Satan, and the modes in which he attacks our souls; and secondly, I shall give you a few words of admonition with regard to the wisdom that we must exercise against him, and the only means that we can use effectively to prevent his subtlety from being the instrument of our destruction.

6. I. Let us notice, in the first place, THE CRAFT AND SUBTLETY OF SATAN, as we have discovered it in our own experience.

7. And I may begin by observing, that Satan reveals his craft and subtlety by the modes of his attack. There is a man who is calm, and quiet, and at ease; Satan does not attack that man with unbelief or doubt; he attacks him in a more vulnerable point than that; selfishness, self-confidence, worldliness, these will be the weapons which Satan will use against him. There is another person who is noted for lowness of spirits and lack of mental vigour; it is not probable that Satan will endeavour to puff him up with pride, but examining him, and discovering where his weak point is, he will tempt him to doubt his calling, and endeavour to drive him to despair. There is another man of strong robust bodily health, having all his mental powers in full and vigorous exercise, enjoying the promises and delighting in the ways of God, possibly Satan will not attack him with unbelief, because he feels that he has armour for that particular point, but he will attack him with pride, or with some temptation to lust. He will most thoroughly and carefully examine us, and if he shall find us to be, like Achilles, vulnerable nowhere else but in our heel, then he will shoot his arrows at our heel.

8. I believe that Satan has not often attacked a man in a place where he saw him to be strong; but he generally looks carefully for the weak point, the besetting sin. “There,” he says, “there I will strike the blow”; and may God help us in the hour of battle and in the time of conflict! We have need to say, “God help us!” for, indeed, unless the Lord should help us, this crafty foe might easily find enough joints in our armour, and soon might he send the deadly arrow into our souls, so that we should fall down wounded before him. And yet I have noticed, strangely enough, that Satan sometimes tempts men with the very thing which you might suppose would never happen to them. What do you imagine was John Knox’s last temptation on his death-bed? Perhaps there never was a man who more fully understood the great doctrine that “by grace you are saved,” than John Knox did. He thundered it out from the pulpit; and if you had questioned him on the subject, he would have declared it to you boldly and bravely, denying with all his might the Popish doctrine of salvation through human merit. But, will you believe it, that old enemy of souls attacked John Knox with self-righteousness when he lay dying? He came to him, and said, “How bravely you have served your Master, John! You have never quailed before the face of man; you have faced kings and princes, and yet you have never trembled; such a man as you are may walk into the kingdom of heaven on your own footing, and wear your own garment at the wedding of the Most High”; and sharp and terrible was the struggle which John Knox had with the enemy of souls over that temptation.

9. I can give you a similar example from my own experience. I thought within myself that, of all the beings in the world, I was the most free from care. It had never exercised my thoughts for a moment, I do think, to care for temporals; I had always had all I had needed, and I seemed to have been removed beyond the reach of anxiety about such matters; and yet, strange to say, only a little while ago, a most frightful temptation overtook me, casting me into worldliness of care and thought; and though I lay and groaned in agony, and wrestled with all my might against the temptation, it was long before I could overcome these unbelieving thoughts with regard to God’s providence, when, I must confess, there was not the slightest reason, as far as I could see, why such thoughts should break in on me. For that reason, and for many more, I hate the devil worse and worse every day, and I have vowed, if it is possible, by preaching the Word of God, to seek to shake the very pillars of his kingdom; and I think all God’s servants will feel that their enmity against the arch-enemy of souls increases every day because of the malevolent and strange attacks that he is continually making on us.

10. The modes of Satan’s attack, then, as you will speedily learn, if you have not already done so, betray his subtlety. Ah! sons of men, while you are putting on your helmets, he is trying to thrust his fiery sword into your heart; or while you are looking after your breast-plate, he is lifting up his battle-axe to split your skull; and while you are attending to both helmet and breast-plate, he is trying to trip up your foot. He is always watching to see where you are not looking; he is always on the alert when you are slumbering. Take heed to yourselves, therefore; “put on the whole armour of God”; “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith”; and may God help you to prevail over him!

11. A second thing in which Satan betrays his cunning is, the weapons which he will often use against us. Sometimes he will attack the child of God with the memory of a ribald song, or a licentious speech which he may have heard in the days of his carnal state; but far more frequently he will attack him with texts of Scripture. It is strange that it should be so, but it often is the case that, when he shoots his arrow against a Christian, he wings it with God’s own Word. That seemed to be, according to the poet, the very poignancy of grief, that the eagle, when the arrow was drinking up his heart’s blood, saw that the feather that winged it to his bosom had been plucked from his own breast; and the Christian will often have a somewhat similar experience. “Ah!” he will say, “here is a text that I love, taken from the Book that I prize, yet it is turned against me. A weapon out of God’s own armoury is made to be the instrument of death against my soul.” Have you not found it so, dear Christian friends? Have you not proved that, as Satan attacked Christ with an “It is written,” so also has he attacked you? And have you not learned to be on your guard against perversions of Sacred Scripture, and twistings of God’s Word, lest they should lead you to destruction?

12. At other times, Satan will use the weapon of our own experience. “Ah!” the devil will say, “on such and such a day, you sinned in such and such a way; how can you be a child of God?” At another time, he will say, “You are self-righteous, therefore you cannot be an heir of heaven.” Then, again, he will begin to rake up all the old stories that we have long forgotten of all our past unbeliefs, our past wanderings, and so forth, and throw these in our teeth. He will say, “What! you, YOU a Christian? A pretty Christian you must be!” Or, possibly he will begin to tempt you in some such way as this: “The other day, you would not do such and such a thing in business: how much you lost by it! So-and-so is a Christian; he did it. Your neighbour, across the road, is he not a deacon of a church, and did he not do it? Why may not you do the same? You would get along a great deal better if you would do it. So-and-so does it, and he prospers, and is just as much respected as you are; then why should you not act in the same way?” So, the devil will attack you with weapons taken from your own experience, or from the church of which you are a member. Ah! be careful, for Satan knows how to choose his weapons. He is not coming out against you, if you are great giants, with a sling and a stone; but he comes armed to the teeth to cut you down. If he knows that you are so guarded by a coat of mail that the edge of his sword shall be turned by your armour, then he will attack you with deadly poison; and if he knows that you cannot be destroyed by that means, since you have an antidote at hand, then he will seek to take you in a trap; and if you are wary, so that you cannot be overtaken like this, then he will send fiery troubles on you, or a crushing avalanche of woe, so that he may subdue you. The weapons of his warfare, always evil, and often spiritual and unseen, are mighty against such weak creatures as we.

13. Again, the craftiness of the devil is revealed in another thing, in the agents he employs. The devil does not do all his dirty work himself; he often employs others to do it for him. When Samson had to be overcome, and his Nazarite locks to be shorn away, Satan had a Delilah ready to tempt and lead him astray; he knew what was in Samson’s heart, and where his weakest place was, and therefore he tempted him by means of the woman whom he loved. An old divine says, “There’s many a man that has had his head broken by his own rib”; and certainly that is true. Satan has sometimes used a man’s own wife to cast him down to destruction, or he has used some dear friend as the instrument to work his ruin. You remember how David lamented over this evil: “For it was not an enemy who reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he who hated me who magnified himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: but it was you, a man my equal, my guide, and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in company.” “Ah,” says the devil, “you did not think I was going to use an enemy to speak evil of you, did you? Why, that would not hurt you. I know better than that how to choose my agents; I shall choose a man who is a friend or an acquaintance; he will come close to you, and then stab you under the folds of your garments.” If a minister is to be annoyed, Satan will choose a deacon to annoy him. He knows that he will not care so much about an attack from any other member of the church; so some deacon will lift himself up, and domineer him, so that he shall have sleepless nights and anxious days. If it is a deacon that Satan wants to annoy, he will seek to set some member or brother deacon against him; and if there is no other person that he cares for, it shall be his nearest and dearest friend who shall do the dastardly deed.

14. The devil is always ready to take in his hand the net into which the fish is most likely to go, and to spread the snare which is the most likely to catch the bird. I do not suspect, if you are a professor of long standing, that you will be tempted by a drunken man; no, the devil will tempt you by a pious hypocrite. I do not imagine your enemy will come, and attack and slander you; it will be your friend. Satan knows how to use and to disguise all his agents. “Ah!” he says, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing will be better for me than a wolf that looks like a wolf; and one inside the church will play my game better, and accomplish it more readily, than one outside of it.” The choice of Satan’s agents proves his craft and cleverness. It was a cunning thing that he should choose the serpent for the purpose of tempting Eve. Very likely Eve was fascinated by the appearance of the serpent; she probably admired its glossy hue, and we are led to believe that it was a far more noble creature then than it is now. Perhaps, then, it could erect itself on its coils, and she was very likely pleased and delighted with it; it may have been the familiar creature with which she played — I do not doubt it was — before the devil entered into it. You know how, often, the devil enters into each one of us. I know he has entered into me, many a time, when he has wanted a sharp word to be said against someone. “No one can harm that man, or grieve that man,” says the devil, “so well as Mr. Spurgeon can; why, he loves him as his own soul. That is the man,” says the devil; “to give the unkindest cut of all, and he shall give it.” Then I am led, perhaps, to believe some wrong thing against some precious child of God, and afterwards to speak of it; and then I grieve to think that I should have been so foolish as to lend my heart and tongue to the devil. I can therefore warn each of you, and especially myself, and all those who have much love bestowed on them, to take heed lest they become instruments of Satan in grieving the hearts of God’s people, and casting down those who have trouble enough to cast them down, without having any more trouble from us.

15. And once again, Satan shows his cunning by the times in which he attacks us. I thought, when I lay sick, that if I could only get up from my bed again, and be made strong, I would give the devil a most terrible thrashing, because of the way he attacked me when I was sick. Coward! Why did he not wait until I was well? But I always find that if my spirits sink, and I am in a low condition of heart, Satan especially chooses that time to attack me with unbelief. Let him come on us when the promise of God is fresh in our memory, and when we indeed are enjoying a time of sweet outpouring of heart in prayer before God, and he will see how we will fight against him then. But, no; he knows that, then, we should have the strength to resist him; and, prevailing with God, we should be able to prevail over the devil also. He will therefore come on us when there is a cloud between ourselves and our God; when the body is depressed, and the spirits are weak, then he will tempt us, and try to lead us to doubt God. At another time, he will tempt us to pride. Why does he not tempt us to pride when we are sick, and when we are depressed in spirit? “No,” he says, “I cannot manage it then.” He chooses the time when a man is well, when he is in full enjoyment of the promises, and enabled to serve his God with delight, and then he will tempt him to pride. It is the timing of his attacks, the right ordering of his assaults, that makes Satan ten times more terrible an enemy than he would otherwise be, and that proves the depths of his craftiness. Truly, the old serpent is more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God has made.

16. There is one thing about the powers of hell that has always amazed me. The Church of Christ is always quarrelling; but did you ever hear that the devil and his confederates quarrel? There is a vast host of those fallen spirits, but how marvellously unanimous they always are! They are so united that, if at any special moment the great black prince of hell wishes to concentrate all the masses of his army at one particular point, it is done to the tick of the clock, and the temptation comes with its fullest force just when he sees it to be the most likely that he will prevail. Ah, if we had such unanimity as that in the Church of God, if we all moved at the guidance of the finger of Christ, if all the Church could, at this time, for example, move in one great mass to the attack of a certain evil, now that the time has come for the attack on it, how much more easily might we prevail! But, alas! Satan exceeds us in subtlety, and the powers of hell far exceed us in unanimity. This, however, is a great point in Satan’s subtlety, that he always chooses the times of his attacks so wisely.

17. And yet once more, and I will be finished with this point. Satan’s subtlety in another thing is very great, that is, in his withdrawings. When I first joined the Christian Church, I never could figure out a saying which I heard from an old man, that there was no temptation so bad as not being tempted, nor did I understand then what Rutherford meant, when he said he liked a roaring devil a great deal better than a sleeping devil. I understand it now; and you, who are God’s children, and who have been for some years in his ways, understand it also.

    More the treacherous calm I dread
    Than tempests rolling o’er my head.

There is such a state of heart as this: you want to feel, but you do not feel. If you could only doubt, you would think it a very great attainment; yes, and even if you could know the blackness of despair, you would rather feel that than be as you are. “There!” you say, “I have no doubts about my eternal condition; somehow, I think I can say, though I could not exactly speak with assurance, for I fear it would be presumption, yet I do trust I can say that I am an heir of heaven. Yet that does not give me any joy. I can go about God’s work; I do feel that I love it, yet I cannot feel it is God’s work; I seem to have gotten into a round of duty, until I go on, on, on, like a blind horse that goes because it must go. I read the promise, but I see no particular sweetness in it; in fact, it does not seem as if I wanted any promise. And even threatenings do not frighten me; there is no terror in them for me. I hear God’s Word; I am perhaps stirred by what the minister says, but I do not feel impressed by his earnestness as I should be. I feel that I could not live without prayer; and yet there is no unction in my soul. I dare not sin; I trust my life is outwardly blameless; still, what I have to mourn over is a leaden heart, a lack of susceptibility to spiritual delight or spiritual song, a dead calm in my soul, like that dreadful calm of which Coleridge’s ‘Ancient Mariner’ {a} said, —

    The very deep did rot,
       Alas, that ever this should be!
    Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
       Upon the slimy sea.”

18. Now, dear friend, do you know anything about your own state of heart just now? If so, that is the answer to the enigma, that not being tempted is worse than being tempted. Really, there have been times, in the past experience of my own soul, when I would have been obliged to the devil if he had come and stirred me up; I should have felt that God had employed him, against his wish, to do me lasting good, to wake me up to conflict. If the devil would only go into the Enchanted Ground, and attack the pilgrims there, what a fine thing it would be for them! But, you will notice, John Bunyan did not put him there, for there was no business for him there. It was in the Valley of Humiliation that there was plenty of work cut out for Satan; but in the Enchanted Ground the pilgrims were all slumbering, like men asleep on the top of the mast. They were drunk with wine, so that they could do nothing, and therefore the devil knew he was not needed there; he just left them to sleep on. Madame Bubble and drowsiness would do all his work. But it was into the Valley of Humiliation that he went, and there he had his stern struggle with poor Christian. Brethren, if you are passing through the land that is enchanted with drowsiness, indifference, and slumber, you will understand the craftiness of the devil in sometimes keeping out of the way.

19. II. And now, in the second place, let us very briefly enquire, WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH THIS ENEMY?

20. You and I feel that we must enter the kingdom of heaven, and we cannot enter it while we stand still. The City of Destruction is behind us, and Death is pursuing us; we must press towards heaven; but, in the way, there stands this “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” What shall we do? He has great subtlety; how shall we overcome him? Shall we seek to be as subtle as he is? Ah! that would be an idle task; indeed, it would be a sinful one. To seek to be crafty, like the devil, would be as wicked as it would be futile. What shall we do, then? Shall we attack him with wisdom? Alas! our wisdom is only folly. “Vain man would be wise”; but at his very best estate he is only “like a wild donkey’s colt.” What, then, shall we do?

21. The only way to repel Satan’s subtlety is by acquiring true wisdom. Again I repeat it, man has none of that in himself. What then? Herein is true wisdom. If you would successfully wrestle with Satan, make the Holy Scriptures your daily resort. Out of this sacred magazine continually draw your armour and your ammunition. Lay hold on the glorious doctrines of God’s Word; make them your daily food and drink. So you shall be strong to resist the devil, and you shall be joyful in discovering that he will flee from you. “How shall a young man cleanse his way,” and how shall a Christian guard himself against the enemy? “By taking heed to it according to your Word.” Let us fight Satan always with an “It is written”; for no weapon will ever hurt the arch-enemy so well as Holy Scripture will. Attempt to fight Satan with the wooden sword of reason, and he will easily overcome you; but use this Jerusalem blade of God’s Word, by which he has been wounded many a time, and you will speedily overcome him.

22. But, above all, if we would successfully resist Satan, we must look not merely to revealed wisdom, but to Incarnate Wisdom. Oh beloved, here must be the chief place of resort for every tempted soul! We must flee to him “who by God is made to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” He must teach us, he must guide us, he must be our All-in-all. We must keep close to him in communion. The sheep are never so safe from the wolf as when they are near the shepherd. We shall never be so secure from the arrows of Satan as when we have our head lying on the Saviour’s bosom. Believer: walk according to his example; live daily in his fellowship; trust always in his blood; and in this way you shall be more than a conqueror even over the subtlety and craft of Satan himself. It must be a joy to the Christian to know that, in the long run, the craft of Satan shall all be frustrated, and all his evil devices against the saints shall prove of no effect. Are you not looking forward, dearly beloved, to the day when all your temptations shall be over, and when you shall land in heaven? And will you not then look down on this arch-fiend with holy laughter and derision? I believe that the saints, when they think of the attacks of Satan, shall “rejoice with joy unspeakable,” and besides that, shall feel a contempt in their own souls for all the craft of hell when they see how it has been frustrated. What has the devil been doing these thousands of years? Has he not been the unwilling servant of God and of his Church? He has always been seeking to destroy the living tree; but when he has been trying to root it up, it has only been like a gardener digging with his spade, and loosening the earth to help the roots to spread themselves all the more; and when he has been with his axe seeking to lop the Lord’s trees, and to mar their beauty, what has he been, after all, but a pruning-knife in the hand of God, to take away the branches that do not produce any fruit, and to purge those that do produce some, so that they may produce more fruit? There was a time, you know, that the Church of Christ was like a little brook, — just a tiny streamlet, — and it was flowing along in a little narrow dell. Just a few saints were gathered together at Jerusalem, and the devil thought to himself; “Now I will get a great stone, and stop this brook from running.” So he goes and gets this great stone, and he dashes it down into the middle of the brook, thinking, of course, he should stop it from running any longer; but, instead of doing so, he scattered the drops all over the world, and each drop became the mother of a new fountain. You know what that stone was; it was persecution, and the saints were scattered by it; but then, “those who were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Word,” and so the Church was multiplied, and the devil was defeated. Satan, I tell you to your face, you are the greatest fool who ever lived, and I will prove it to you in the day when you and I shall stand as enemies — sworn enemies, as we are today, — at the great judgment bar of God; and so, Christian, you may say to him whenever he attacks you. Do not fear him, but resist him steadfast in the faith, and you shall prevail.

{a} The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge written in 1797-1798. See Explorer "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rime_of_the_Ancient_Mariner"

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {1Pe 1; 5:1-9}

1:1, 2. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace be multiplied.

So may it be for all of you who are gathered here; grace first, and peace next; but may both grace and peace be multiplied to you! Much grace, and much peace, may you have, brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus!

3-5. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Oh, what a blessed hope this is, — that, though we fall asleep, we shall surely wake up again; and when we awaken, it will be in the likeness of the great Head of the family, and we ourselves shall be heirs of an inheritance in which there will be no sin and no corruption. That inheritance is kept for us, and we are kept for it; so the double keeping makes it doubly sure. Happy are the people to whom these verses apply.

6. In which you greatly rejoice, though now for a time, if needs be, you are in heaviness through various temptations:

It is possible, in Christian experience, for a man to rejoice greatly and yet to be in heaviness. No man can explain this paradox to his fellow, yet he understands it himself. “In heaviness through various trials,” yet greatly rejoicing in the full conviction that they will soon be over, and that then we shall enter into unutterable joy. Be of good courage, then, you who are now depressed, you who are in heaviness; “lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near.” The fiery furnace is very hot; but the Son of man is in it with you; and, by his grace, you shall come out of the furnace before long.

7, 8. That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it is tried with fire, might be found to praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen, you love;

Ah! love can embrace him whom the eyes cannot see, and the hands cannot hold.

8-10. In whom, though now you do not see him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come to you:

I have heard of some divines who will never read, and never study, because they have such an abundant measure of the Spirit of God that they can talk any quantity of nonsense extemporaneously! But it was not so with the prophets. They had very much of the Spirit of God; yet, for all that, they were most diligent students. They “enquired and searched diligently,” — even those prophets “who prophesied of the grace that should come to you.” I have a very grave suspicion of that so-called “inspiration” which enables a man to preach without study. If there were such a thing, it would be a premium on laziness; and I feel sure that the Spirit of God would never countenance such a thing as that.

11, 12. Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ who was in them signified, when he testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to us they ministered the things, which are now reported to you by those who have preached the gospel to you with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven;

The prophets lived for us; they were inspired for us; and the benefits of their holy lives and gracious words are for us on whom the ends of the age have come.

12. Which things the angels desire to look into.

They, as well as the prophets, are deep students of the unsearchable mysteries of Christ.

13. Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, —

Pull yourself together; do not be mentally and spiritually dishabilled; but, be girt ready for holy running or sacred wrestling: “Gird up the loins of your mind,”

13-17. Be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance, but as he who has called you is holy, so be holy in all kinds of conduct; because it is written, “Be holy; for I am holy.” And if you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

In holy fear; — not in servile, slavish fear, but in a blessed state of sacred timidity and awe lest you should offend your God and Saviour.

18-25. Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver and gold, from your vain conduct received by tradition from your forefathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for you, who by him believe in God, who raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; so that your faith and hope might be in God. Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit to sincere love for the brethren, see that you love each other with a pure heart fervently: being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and endures for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away: but the word of the Lord endures for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached to you.

5:1. The elders who are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

Here again, as in the first chapter, Peter links the sufferings of Christ with his glory.

2-9. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking its oversight, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s inheritance, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory that does not fade away. Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves to the older. Yes, all of you be subject to each other, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care on him; for he cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world.

End Of Volume XLVI.

Vol. XLVI. of The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit will (D. V.) be published by Messrs. Passmore and Alabaster, early in the new year, at 7s. It contains fifty-two Sermons by C. H. Spurgeon, most of which were preached in the Tabernacle in 1881; but it also includes several discourses delivered in New Park Street Chapel in 1858, and one as far back as 1855. This combination of the early and later Sermons has been greatly appreciated by regular readers, who have noted that the doctrines proclaimed by the young man of twenty-four were identical with those taught by the matured preacher when he was double that age. There may have been some change in the form of expressing certain truths, but there was no difference in the truths that were taught at New Park Street Chapel, Exeter Hall, the Surrey Gardens Music Hall, the Metropolitan Tabernacle, or wherever else Mr. Spurgeon exercised his marvellous ministry.

It is a fact quite unique in the realm of literature that the weekly publication of one man’s Sermons should have begun early in the second half of one century, and should be continued in the next century, even though the preacher himself had for nine years been engaged in the higher service of the upper sanctuary. The number of unpublished discourses is, necessarily, diminishing year by year; but, happily, they can still be counted by hundreds. While they last, all lovers of C. H. Spurgeon, and of the gospel he delighted to declare, will increasingly prize them, and help to make them known to others. The last-published volume would make a most welcome New Year’s gift to any clergyman, minister, or other Christian friend; while anyone possessing it, as well as its forty-five predecessors, would have a vast supply of doctrinal and devotional reading matter of the most helpful character.

With the January number of “The Sword and the Trowel,” which is now ready, Messrs. Passmore and Alabaster will present, as a Memento of the Reopening of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, a fine Photo Reproduction, on plate paper 20 by 15 inches, showing the interior of the Tabernacle at the Opening Services, with Mr. Sankey, together with Pastor Thomas Spurgeon and the Church Officers.

Among other items of interest in the January Magazine will be a notable early Sermon by C. H. Spurgeon; the first of a series of papers by Pastor Hugh D. Brown, M. A., of Dublin, entitled “Semper Idem” (God’s Witness to his own Word); an article by Pastor Thomas Spurgeon on “The Sword and Trowel in the New Century”; the first of a series of papers by Pastor J. E. Walton on “Bush Life in Tasmania”; and the beginning of H. T. S.’s “Diary of a Puritan Gentleman in the Reign of Queen Anne and George I. Price, with presentation plate, 3d. Post free, 5d.”

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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