3169. The Believer’s Present Rest

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No. 3169-55:529. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, July 6, 1873, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Published On Thursday, November 4, 1909.

We who have believed do enter into rest. {Heb 4:3}

For other sermons on this text:

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 866, “Rest” 857}

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2090, “Delightful Experience, A” 2091}

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3169, “Believer’s Present Rest, The” 3170}

   Exposition on Heb 3:1-4:3,9 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3495, “Judgment On Zacharias, The” 3497 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Heb 4 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3182, “Boldness at the Throne” 3183 @@ "Exposition"}

1. The text does not say that we who have believed shall enter into rest. That is a very great truth, but it is not the truth that is taught here. We “do enter into rest,” even in this present life; all who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are already enjoying rest of heart; and in proportion as faith possesses their souls, in that proportion they enjoy perfect rest. It is not a future privilege, it is a matter of present enjoyment; and I pray my brothers and sisters in Christ not to impoverish themselves by making the text apply to the future, but to seek for the spiritual enrichment which God has given them by accepting the text just as the apostle wrote it, and so realizing that “we who have believed do enter into rest.”

2. It appears, from the context in which these words appear, that the type and pattern of all true rest for men was the rest of God at the end of the six days of creation. After he had created so wondrously, and finished all his creative work, we read that the Lord “rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” It is not easy for us to understand how the rest of God could ever have been broken, yet there must have been a deeper kind of rest for him on that seventh day than during the previous six days, for it is expressly said that God did rest then. Into that great mysterious depth we will not try to plunge; but we know that the Lord was pleased then to institute the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of his own rest; and that Sabbath was to be observed by all men, and especially by all the Lord’s own people in perpetuity, as if, I think, he would not only commemorate his own rest, but would also indicate that he intended men to be partakers of it.

3. God’s grand ideal of man’s happiness was that he could not only work, but that he should also rest. What a wonderful restfulness there seems to be in every part of creation into which man does not come! Go into any part of the country where man is, and there you find the ploughshare cutting into the earth, and the ox and the donkey and the horse toiling, and you find men and women in sickness and poverty and need. But get away into the woods, traverse the wilds of nature, and see how restful everything is there; note how the birds seem to have little else to do but to sing God’s praises, observe how the very brooks babble as they flow, and how all creation that is untouched by man appears to delight in a deep profound calm and peace. Had there been no Fall, the world would have been all restful; there would have been no thorns or thistles to vex and wound, and add to man’s labour, and no need for us to be always asking for fresh water-power and steam-power with which to alleviate the burden of the toil of man. Sweat from a weary brow, or the throbbing of a tired brain would have been altogether unknown; earth would have kept her Sabbath even as God kept his. But sin has come into the world, and from that blessed state of rest man has fallen; yet God is bringing us back to a rest similar to that, and all who have believed in Jesus have been brought into it. The Sabbath is for them the divine memorial of God’s rest, the type of their own, and also a continual reminder of the spiritual rest which they have found in Christ.

4. There is another type of rest given to us in the Word, namely, that of the children of Israel entering into the promised land. “If Jesus (that is, Joshua,) had given them rest,” says the apostle, “then he would not afterwards have spoken of another day.” All the while, the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they were constantly moving to and fro, living in tents, and enjoying very little comfort. Notwithstanding all the blessings with which God enriched them in the wilderness, it was a wilderness, and Moses truly called it “the waste howling wilderness.” They had no rest there, and they were always looking forward to the land flowing with milk and honey to where they were journeying. Their eager longing was for a land where they could settle down, and build houses, and plant vineyards, and live in quiet resting-places. Canaan is, therefore, the type of the rest which God intends to give his people here. It is not the type of heaven, except very imperfectly, for in Canaan there were Canaanites to be fought, and to be gradually driven out, and there were some who never were driven out of their fortifications, but we thank God that there are no Canaanites to trouble the saints in heaven. Canaan is the true pattern and type of the believer’s condition on the earth. We who have believed in Jesus have crossed the Jordan; he has divided it for us, and we have entered into rest. It is true that the Canaanites are still in the land, but the Lord also is in the land; and, by his grace, we shall surely drive them all out. We ought not to say that we hope to reach Canaan’s peaceful shore eventually; we are on it now. If we have truly believed in Jesus, our condition is rightly typified by the Israelites in Canaan who had obtained their inheritance, for Jesus has obtained his inheritance, and God “has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

5. I. The gist of what I have been endeavouring to say to you is that there is a rest which belongs to all believers now; and if they are living as they should live, they are in the enjoyment of it. I shall try, first, to DESCRIBE THIS REST FROM THE FAMOUS TYPE WHICH IS GIVEN OF THE REST OF GOD.

6. That rest of God, at the end of the six days of creation, was like the rest which the believer enjoys, for it spoke of a work that was finished. I need not refresh your memory with the familiar story of the creation,—how the darkness had been separated from the light, how the waters above the firmament had been separated from the waters below the firmament, how the living creatures had begun to swarm in the depths, and how, with rapid wing, the birds of heaven were cleaving the air. I need not detail to you the growth of the herb yielding seed after its kind, and of the tree yielding fruit after its kind, and the creation of cattle, and of creeping things, and of the beasts of the earth, and of man, the masterpiece of God; but you know that, when the sun set on the sixth day, God had finished all his work, there remained nothing to be completed. He had placed in the world all the creatures that were necessary to make up the complete circle of existence; there was no deficiency in any one, neither was there a lack of any one. The whole work of creation was finished, and therefore God rested; he had other work to do, but from that particular work he rested, and kept the Sabbath.

7. Now, can a Christian man ever come to that condition? Yes, that is the true condition of every Christian man. He sees the work of his own salvation completely finished. Has he done it himself? Oh, no! If he had attempted to do it, he would have failed; and if any part of it had depended on him, it would never have been accomplished. But the moment a sinner believes in Jesus, if he has been properly instructed, he hears ringing from the cross of Calvary that glad sentence, “It is finished”; and he knows that the atonement is perfect, that the necessary justifying righteousness is completed, that every covenant blessing is secured and guaranteed to him, and that all that was needed in order to lift the sinner from the very gates of hell up to the throne of God has been already worked out and brought in by the great Redeemer, the incarnate Word of God; for the worlds were framed by the word of God, and by that same word men are saved. By that word the darkness fled, and life came and light; and by that same word the darkness of our ruin has been dispelled, and the light and life of our salvation have come to us. Beloved believer, remember that you are not partly saved, but you are totally saved; the robe you wear today does not reach part of the way to cover you, but covers you from head to foot; the washing which the Saviour has given you has not washed away a part of your spots, but you are clean every bit; and looking on the work of your salvation as you receive it from the hands of Jesus, you may rest as God rested, and keep a long and blessed Sabbath just as God has kept it. He rested because his creative work was finished, and you may rest because the work of your salvation is also finished.

8. Another reason why God rested on the seventh day was, that not only was the work finished, but all that was finished was good. We read that, at the conclusion of his six days’ work, “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good,” and therefore he rested; and oh, what rest a believer gets when he looks over the finished work of Jesus Christ, and after examining every part of it, is able to say of it all, “It is very good.” To see Christ’s work of covering sin, and to note how his substitutionary sacrifice has covered it so completely that even God himself cannot see it, is indeed “very good.” To realize that Christ has sunk our sins into oblivion, and made them cease to be, this also is “very good.” To look at Christ’s justifying righteousness, and to observe how perfect it is, not a thread missing, no part of the goodly texture having a flaw in it, this too is “very good.” To see Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, to view him in all his relationships and offices, this too is “very good.” Yes, beloved, this is the way to get the Sabbath rest, the true rest which remains for the people of God. If we examine the work of Christ, both in its completeness, and in all its details, as God the Father looked at his works, and praised them all, if we let our judgment feel what a strong rock we have on which to build our eternal peace, then, like the ever-blessed Jehovah himself, we shall rest, and enter into his rest. Oh, that God would, by his grace, enable us to do so!

9. But, on further thinking this subject over, you will remember that God’s great rest was not only connected with a work that was finished, and a work that was in all respects good, but that it was also very closely connected with his holiness, for “God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it”; and he has said to us, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” I speak with the utmost reverence and trembling before the Divine Majesty, yet I can truly say that there could have been no real rest even for God himself if it had been conceivable that he could have been unholy. Perfect restfulness necessitates perfect holiness. Sin, which is inconceivable in connection with God, is inconceivable in connection with real rest. Hence, beloved, to make a true Sabbath, there must be a sanctifying of the day; it must be a holy day if it is to be a restful day. It is no use for men to say that they can get a rest by spending the Sabbath in amusement; they never will. There is no perfect rest for our entire manhood except in holiness, and only holy exercises can give complete rest to our whole being. Let us always remember this, and pant after holiness. Heaven and holiness are twin-sisters. As God makes you holy, he will make you happy; and when he has made you perfectly holy, you shall he perfectly happy. No waves of sorrow will ever come where there are no waves of sin; when you are finished with sinning, you shall have been finished with sorrowing.

   There is sweet rest in heaven;

   There is sweet rest in heaven,—

but it is because there is a blessed absence of all the sin which must for ever mar our peace and restfulness.

10. II. Now, secondly, I am going to DESCRIBE THIS REST FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE, AND FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF GOD’S PEOPLE GENERALLY: “We who have believed do enter into rest.”

11. First, we enter into rest concerning all dread of God, and all terror on account of past sin. It is only a little while ago that our sins greatly alarmed us; we knew that God must punish us for them, and therefore we could not rest. But those sins, which then disturbed us, have been forgiven, we are reconciled to God by the death of his Son; and now, we who have believed have no dread of punishment, no fear of the wrath to come, for we have entered into rest. I can truly say that this is my condition; is it not yours also, my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ? If you really believe in Jesus, it must be so.

12. Next, we enter into rest concerning all fears concerning the future. As for any trouble we may have in this life, we know that God will overrule it for our good; as for the pangs of death, we know that the Lord will be with us and will sustain us in the valley of the shadow of death; and we have no fear of anything that may follow after death, for what can harm or disturb those of whom Christ has said, “Father, I will that they also, whom you have given to me, be with me where I am; so that they may behold my glory?” We are delivered from all fear of judgment, for who shall condemn those whom God has justified, and whom he will glorify? All dread concerning our past sin is gone from us for ever. Concerning past sin, our soul is even as a new-born child; we are cleansed from it by the precious blood of Jesus; and as for the future, we have no more dread about it than the angels in heaven have. They know that nothing can ever harm them, for they are God’s own chosen ones; and so are we if we are believers in Jesus Christ.

13. We also now have rest from all our former sinful works. Once we were the slaves of our own evil passions, and we were hurried here and there to degrading service by Satan and the lusts of the flesh, but now that the Son of God has made us free, we are free indeed. We find a joyful liberty in the ways of holiness, and it is our constant delight to do the will of God. Thrice happy are we who have broken the bonds of sin, and are no longer the servants of iniquity. And we are equally free from all slavish works for self-salvation. Oh, I pity those poor people who are working to save themselves; those who go to church or chapel, and who are kept from this offence, or urged to that other apparent excellence simply because they hope for a reward by it! Sons of Hagar, Ishmaelite children of the bondwoman, you can never be heirs of the rest which is the birthright of Isaac and all the children of the freewoman, and you must be cast out even as Hagar’s son was. But the man who believes in Jesus knows that he is saved, so he has no need to try to save himself. That work is done, and done for ever; and now we work from life, not for life; now we work because we are saved, not in order to be saved. Now we feel that we do not have to win any merit by anything that we do, but that the infinite merit of Christ has already procured for us full acceptance with God; and what we have to do now is to prove our gratitude to God for the divine work that is already completed. What a blessed thing it is to rest both from the sinful service of Satan, and from the slavish service of the law!

14. I trust that many believers here can say that they have now come to rest from all ambitious, discontented workings. The worldly man is never satisfied; he always wants to be greater, wiser, richer, and more highly esteemed than he is. But he who truly believes in Jesus feels that God may do as he likes with him. If I am little, I thank God that he has many little ones whom he greatly loves; and if he makes me great, I thank him because he will give me grace to bear my greatness with becoming humility. If I am poor, I will bless the Lord that he has promised that at least bread and water shall be given to those who trust him. If he makes me rich, I will ask him to give me the grace to use my substance for his glory. It is a blessed thing to come to such a state as this about all worldly things, and leave the disposal of all of them with God.

15. Some people are always fretting and fuming; they appear to have been born in stormy weather, and to be perpetually agitated in mind so that they cannot rest. Only the other day, a gardener I knew of, was complaining greatly of the heavy rain, which had done some damage to the garden where he was working. A Quaker, who stood by, said to him, “Friend, you ought not to complain of the rain, for if it has not done this garden any good, it has done good to the fields of many of your neighbours; therefore you ought to be glad on their account, and to thank God”; and then the good man very wisely added, “I do not think that, after all, we should have the weather any better managed by you than it is by God, if it could be put into your hands.” That is the right way to look at all things; they are far better ordered by God than by any man. Christian, you could not order them better if you had the ordering of them, so be perfectly content, and say, “Not my will, Lord; but yours be done.” The more faith grows, the more rest grows; but when our faith begins to forget the Lord and we begin to worry and to fret, then our rest goes at once. It is glorious to live exempt from care by the blessed power of prayer; to be able to take every trouble to God, and leave it with him. I know what it means to do so, for I have sometimes had a church trouble or a household trouble, and I have done my best with it, but bad has been my best, and, at last, I have taken it to my God, and I have said to him, “Lord, I will never worry myself about that trouble any more; I leave it with you, do what you please with it”; and I have always found that the tangle has been unravelled when I have done that with it. There would always be a way found for us out of every trouble if we would trust entirely on God, and not rely on ourselves or our fellows.

16. “We who have believed do enter into rest.” I have already incidentally shown you that the rest of the Christian depends on his believing, but I just want to emphasize that fact. It is not as a doer that you will get rest, but as a believer. It is not as a professor, it is not as anything else except as a believer that you will obtain rest of heart. My brothers and sisters in Christ, I beseech you to hold your faith firmly. There are many things that will tempt you to live by your experience, and to live by your feelings, and to live by your graces and your attainments; but remember that sentence that is again and again repeated in Scripture, “The just shall live by faith.” Be like poor Jack the Huckster, whose one saying was,—

   I’m a poor sinner, and nothing at all,

      But Jesus Christ is my all in all.

Do not go an inch beyond that declaration,—

   I the chief of sinners am,

      But Jesus died for me.

The moment you go beyond that, you may get some temporary excitement, as they do who profess to be perfect, and who, in these modern days, are reviving old-fashioned heresies by professing that they are perfectly sanctified, which I venture to say they are not; you may get a delirious joy for a time, but it will evaporate before long. But keeping close to the cross is the thing for me. I remember an old countryman saying to me, long ago, “Depend on it, my brother, if you or I get one inch above the ground, we get just that inch too high”; and I believe it is so. Flat on our faces before the cross of Christ is the place for us; realizing that we ourselves are nothing, and that Jesus Christ is everything.

17. “We who have believed do enter into rest”; not we who have felt this or that, not we who think we are somebodies; but we who know that we are nobodies, and depend only on Christ. I suppose there never was a more restful period for any of us than when we lay in our mother’s bosom, and just drank in our life’s nourishment from her; and there is never such a restful period for any child of God as when he is just a little babe, hanging on the bosom of his God, and drinking in all he needs from the eternal fountains of divine love and life. Oh, to be always such a blessed babe as that, relying on my God for all the strength I need! Then I may utter Paul’s paradox, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” Though I am a fool, God is my wisdom; though I am nothing at all, God is my All in all. This is the way to enter into rest through believing.

18. Now, lastly, let me remind you, beloved, that this rest is perfectly consistent with labour. In verse 11, the apostle says, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest.” It is an extraordinary injunction, but I think he means, let us labour not to labour. Our tendency is to try to do something in order to save ourselves; but we must beat that tendency down, and look away from self to Christ. Labour to get away from your own labours; labour to be completely rid of all self-reliance, labour in your prayers never to depend on your prayers; labour in your repentance never to rest on your repentance; and labour in your faith not to trust in your faith, but only to trust to Jesus. When you begin to rest on your repentance, and forget the Saviour, away with your repentance; and when you begin to pray, and you depend on your prayers, and forget the Lord Jesus, away with your prayers. When you think you are beginning to grow in grace, and you feel, “Now I am a somebody,” away with such spurious growth as that, for you are only being puffed up with pride, and not really growing at all. Labour not to labour, labour to keep down your natural self-righteousness and self-reliance; labour to continue where the tax collector was, and cry, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Labour to get where Mary was, sitting at the Master’s feet, and learning from him; labour not to grow upward in self-esteem, but to grow downward in humiliation, growing continually less, and less, and less in your own estimation, and always crowning Christ Lord of all.

19. Labour also to show your gratitude to God for what he has done for you, and then labour to show your love to men. You must not suppose that, when we enter into rest, it means that we are idle. Our Lord Jesus Christ said, “My Father works so far, and I work.” God rests, yet he works. Heaven is a place of rest, but it is not a place of idleness: there is still holy service to be done there; so you Christian people, who are perfectly saved, devote all your strength to the winning of others for Christ. Show your love to Jesus by trying to find some of his lost sheep for him. Rouse yourselves, my brothers and sisters who have entered into rest, and prove to mankind that the grand old Calvinistic doctrine of a finished salvation does not foster sluggishness. Rise, please, and show that the children of the freewoman are not slothful, but that the motive of gratitude to God is a higher and more potent one than the selfish motive of seeking to save yourselves. Let those who want to save themselves go and work for themselves; but as for you who are saved, go and work for Jesus; and let your deeds of holy heroism prove that you are constrained by love for him to do all that you can to bring others to trust in him. Now, since some of you are coming to this communion table, may it prove to be a feast of rest for your souls! Sitting, as you will be, in the posture of rest, eating the bread and drinking the wine which are the signs of the finished work of Christ, may you have real rest in him! And oh, that some poor sinner, who has never believed in Jesus, may do so now, for by so doing he shall find rest for his soul! May the Lord grant it, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {2Co 4}

1. Therefore since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not faint;

It is a very high privilege to be called to the work of the Christian ministry, and when the minister remembers what great mercy he himself has received, what sins have been forgiven, what favours have been bestowed, he has the very best incentives in all the world to pursue his ministry with diligence and with zeal.

“We do not faint,” says the apostle. We do not hang our harps on the willows. We do not pray to be allowed to retire from the battle, and give up the strife; but, feeling how great has been the mercy of God to our own souls, we are stirred up to press forward with holy zeal to win the victory. We long that others may taste the same good things on which we have feasted.

2. But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by displaying the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

There have, alas! been many preachers who have handled the Word of God in the way described by the apostle. They have cut and trimmed the truth in order to please their generation; they have kept back this, or have made unduly prominent that, instead of giving all the truth of God its proper and proportionate prominence in their ministry; but such men have not, after all, won the respect of their hearers. There is an old story told of King John of England that, {a} when he was closely pressed by the barons, he wrote to the Emperor of Morocco, and offered to turn Mohammedan, and take an oath of allegiance to him if he would send an army to help him; and it is said that, always after, the Emperor of Morocco abhorred and detested the very name of John, for he said he must be an abominable miscreant to be willing to change his religion for the sake of gain. Ah, my brethren! we never gain any respect, even from the world, by seeking after it in this way. Be thoroughly honest, especially you who are in the Christian ministry; be outspoken, blunt, and plain; and then, even if men’s prejudices condemn you, their consciences will commend you for speaking what you believe to be the truth.

3, 4. But if our gospel is hidden, it is hidden from those who are lost: in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. The following Sermons by Mr. Spurgeon, on parts of these two verses are:— {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2304, “Blinded by Satan” 2305} {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2077, “The Gospel of the Glory of Christ” 2078} {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1663, “The True Gospel No Hidden Gospel” 1664}

Without light from above, no man can perceive the beauties either of the gospel or of Christ himself. Until God the Holy Spirit sheds a spiritual light on the person, and offices, and work of Christ, men grope in the dark as blind men do. They do not see the truth, they are not persuaded concerning its excellence; for them our ministry is a veiled ministry, they do not comprehend it. Let those who do not receive the gospel see what a miserable state theirs is, they are blinded by “the god of this world.” He has such supremacy over their intellects that he has utterly perverted and ruined them.

5. For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

Hence we learn that anything like priestcraft is altogether foreign to the Bible. The “priest” extols himself, the extraordinary value of his ordination, the occult influences which flow from his touch, the mysterious power which dwells in baptismal water, and in “consecrated” wafers and poured-out wine. This is preaching themselves with a vengeance; but Christ’s apostles did not preach themselves, they preached Christ and him crucified. Paul wrote, “God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”; and this was the constant theme of all the apostles. If they mentioned themselves at all, they simply said, as Paul does here, “Ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.”

6. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shone in our heart, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1493, “The Glory of God in the Face of Jesus Christ” 1493}

There is the very glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, for he is “very God of very God”; and he who will only think of the wondrous mystery of the Incarnate Deity, and the simple but marvellous plan of salvation through Christ’s atoning sacrifice, will see infinitely more glory there than in all God’s works in creation or providence. Well does Watts say,—

   The spacious earth and spreading flood

   Proclaim the wise and powerful God,

   And thy rich glories from afar

   Sparkle in every rolling star.

   But in Christ’s looks a glory stands,

   The noblest labour of thine hands,

   The pleasing lustre of his eyes

   Outshines the wonders of the skies.

7. But we have this treasure in clay vessels, so that the excellency of the power may be from God, and not from us.

The original might very correctly be rendered, “We have this treasure in oyster-shells”; for, just as pearls are found in the shells of oysters, so God gives to those who preach the Word the treasure of the gospel, yet they are themselves nothing but the oyster-shells, nothing but the clay vessel in which God pleases to place his priceless treasures. If you have done anything in the service of God, my brother, remember that you are nothing but the oyster-shell, it is God’s truth that is the pearl in you; so while you are thankful for the honour that he bestows on you, take care that you give him all the glory. It is good to take the right view of our own imperfections and infirmities, as Paul did when he wrote, “Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my infirmities, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.” The infirmity of the creature leaves all the more room for the display of the greatness of the Creator; for, if God can work such amazing results by using such poor tools as we are, how great must be his power and skill!

8, 9. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

“We are troubled on every side.” There seems to be an allusion here to the Greek wrestling games. Sometimes, in wrestling, a man would be gripped by his adversary so that he could scarcely move hand or foot; yet the apostle bravely says, “We are not distressed,” or, as the original seems to suggest, “We still have a plan for overcoming our adversaries; though they seem to have gotten us entirely into their power, there is still something that we can do to obtain our release.” And he goes even further than that, for he says, “We are perplexed,”—it seemed as if there was nothing that he could do, yet he added, “but not in despair,”—“not altogether without help,” as the marginal reading renders it,—for, when he could do nothing, God could do everything. The death of creature-strength is the birth of omnipotent might.

“Persecuted, but not forsaken”;—having no man’s face to smile on him, but still rejoicing in the light of God’s countenance. “Cast down,”—as if his antagonist had thrown him, and he had fallen heavily on the ground; yet he says, as he springs up again, “Cast down, but not destroyed.” Many a time the Christian wrestler is thrown by his foe, but he never has a final fall. As Paul, when he was stoned at Lystra, and left for dead, rose up again, and soon went on with his work, so the Christian, when he has been cast down by trouble, often seems to gain new life and vigour, and to go on to serve his Master even better than he did before.

10. Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, so that the life also of Jesus might be revealed in our body.

The apostles were always ready to die for Christ, and therefore they were enabled to live so much like Christ, imitating his life, and being prepared to follow him even to the death whenever he called them to do so.

11-14. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life also of Jesus might be revealed in our mortal flesh. So then death works in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, “I believed, and therefore I have spoken”; we also believe, and therefore speak knowing that he who raised up the Lord Jesus shall also raise us up by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

There is no possibility of serving God well, especially under great trials and persecutions, without a deeply-rooted confidence in the truth of his gospel. Once have a doubt concerning that, and the strong sinews of our spiritual manhood are cut. Once begin to question the evidences of our holy religion, and you cannot henceforth serve God as you did before. Oh, to be strengthened every day with might in the inner man;—to feel that, in our own experience, we have continually new proofs of the truth of the gospel; and that, whether we have trials or delights, by it we are all the more firmly rooted in faith, even as the trees are rooted both by the March winds and the April showers;—and so rooted in faith that we grow into it, and cannot be separated from it, because it has become a part of ourselves. Religion is nothing to any of you unless it is woven into the very warp and woof of your being; it must go right into your very soul, and become a vital part of you, or else you have never received it in truth.

15, 16. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we do not faint; but though our outward man perishes, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

The sickness that wears away the body of a Christian often confirms his soul in the faith that he received when he was strong and well. Some of the healthiest hours that God’s people ever have are the hours of their severest sicknesses. God often sends his people fevers to make them well; he sends them losses to make them rich, he takes away their earthly friends to bring them closer to their best Friend, and he brings them to their wits’ end so that they may begin to be truly wise. Often, when God strips us of all our worldly possessions, it is the most soul-enriching time we have ever known; but, on the other hand, the day of temporal prosperity has often been a day of spiritual poverty. Adversity has many a time been an angel in disguise, but prosperity has been the devil in a mask. Let us take care that we cleave closely to Christ under both experiences, for then both of them shall be sanctified to us.

17. For our light affliction, which is only for a moment, works for us a far greater and eternal weight of glory;

Notice the antithesis here. “Light affliction”—a “weight of glory.” “Affliction” is not set in contrast with peace, or freedom from affliction, but with “glory.” The “light affliction” is “for a moment”—the “weight of glory” is “eternal.” And then, as if this were not enough, the apostle has to exhaust all ordinary powers of speech in order to adequately express the contrast between the “light affliction” and the “weight of glory.” It is “far greater”—not only a soul brimful of bliss, and overflowing, but, far more than that if there can be such a thing,—“a far greater and eternal weight of glory”;—

18. While we do not look at the things which are seen,—

Alas for us if we did!

18. But at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal;

Temporal and temporary; see how they melt away one after another!

18. But the things which are not seen are eternal. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1380, “Vanities and Verities” 1371}

The substance is beyond the river, the shadows are here. May God help us to look for the substance, and to claim it as our own, and let none of us try to grasp the shadows which would be worthless if we could ever hold them in our hands!

{a} In 1213, King John, of England (not yet the United Kingdom) dispatched the country’s first embassy to Morocco. The aim of that first diplomatic mission was to make contact with the court of Morocco’s Sultan Mohamed Ennassir—the fourth Sultan in the Almohad dynasty. King John hoped he could secure the Almohads’ support in England’s conflicts with European enemies. See Explorer "http://muslimmuseum.org.uk/king-john-and-morocco/"

Just Published. Price one penny each.

Spurgeon’s Illustrated Almanac for 1910.

The Texts for the Book Almanac have again been selected by Pastor Thomas Spurgeon, and he has made a very ingenious alphabetical arrangement of them beginning with A in January and ending with Z in December; he has also again written the introductory letter. Five of the articles are by C. H. Spurgeon, and others are by Dr. Churcher and Pastor W. Y. Fullerton; the illustrations are better than usual, so it is hoped that the sale will be even larger than in past years.

John Ploughman’s Almanac for 1910.

This popular broadsheet once more makes its appearance in good time for friends in distant lands to have it before the new year comes, and for friends at home to arrange for its widespread circulation wherever its homely messages may help to increase the practice of temperance, thrift, religion, and charity. It is believed that both pictures and proverbs will give the Almanac a worthy place among the many that have preceded it. The price for quantities for general distribution or localization can be obtained from Messrs. Passmore and Alabaster, 47, Paternoster Row, London, E. C.

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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