Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Year With Spurgeon: Week 40

While the Bible is one of the most poetical of books, though its language is unutterably sublime, yet we must remark how constantly it is true to nature. There is no straining of a fact, no glossing over a truth. However dark may be the subject, while it lights it up with brilliance, yet it does not deny the gloom connected with it. (1 Corinthians 15:56-57) ~ Charles Spurgeon, Thoughts on the Last Battle
First, sin puts a sting into death, from the fact that sin brought death into the world. Men could be more content to die if they did not know it was a punishment. ~ Charles Spurgeon, Thoughts on the Last Battle
But I must take it in another sense. "The sting of death is sin:"—that is to say, that which shall make death most terrible to man will be sin, if it is not forgiven. If that be not the exact meaning of the apostle, still it is a great truth, and I may find it here. If sin lay heavy on me and were not forgiven—if my transgressions were unpardoned—if such were the fact (though I rejoice to know it is not so) it would be the very sting of death to me. ~ Charles Spurgeon, Thoughts on the Last Battle
The sting of death shall be unforgiven, unrepented sin. ~ Charles Spurgeon, Thoughts on the Last Battle
My friends, we do not often enough look at what sin is to be. We see what it is; first the seed, then the blade, then the ear, and then the full corn in the ear. It is the wish, the imagination, the desire, the sight, the taste, the deed; but what is sin in its next development? We have observed sin as it grows; we have seen it, at first, a very little thing, but expanding itself until it has swelled into a mountain. We have seen it like "a little cloud, the size of a man's hand," but we have beheld it gather until it covered the skies with blackness, and sent down drops of bitter rain. But what is sin to be in the next state? We have gone so far, but sin is a thing that cannot stop. We have seen whereunto it has grown, but whereunto will it grow? for it is not ripe when we die; it has to go on still; it is set going, but it has to unfold itself forever. ~ Charles Spurgeon, Thoughts on the Last Battle
Where death leaves me, judgment finds me. As I die, so shall I live eternally. It is forever, forever, forever! Ah! there are a set of heretics in these days who talk of short punishment, and preach about God's transporting souls for a term of years, and then letting them die. Where did such men learn their doctrine, I wonder? ~ Charles Spurgeon, Thoughts on the Last Battle
It is true I have sinned, and therefore I have put a sting into death, but I will endeavor to take it away. I attempt it, but the monster laughs me in the face, and cries, "The strength of sin is the law. Before thou canst destroy sin thou must in some way satisfy the law. Sin cannot be removed by thy tears or by thy deeds, for the law is its strength; and until thou hast satisfied the vengeance of the law, until thou hast paid the uttermost farthing of its demands, my sting cannot be taken away, for the very strength of sin is the law." Now, I must try and explain this doctrine that the strength of sin is the law. Most men think that sin has no strength at all. "Oh," say many, "we may have sinned very much, but we will repent, and we will be better for the rest of our lives; no doubt God is merciful, and he will forgive us." And we hear many divines often speak of sin as if it were a very venial thing. Inquire of them what is a man to do? There is no deep repentance required, no real inward workings of divine grace, no casting himself upon the blood of Christ. They never tell us about a complete atonement having been made. They have, indeed, some shadowy idea of an atonement, that Christ died just as a matter of form to satisfy justice; but as to any literal taking away of our sins, and suffering the actual penalty for us, they do not consider that God's law requires any such thing. I suppose they do not, for I never hear them assert the positive satisfaction and substitution of our Lord Jesus Christ. But without that, how can we take away the strength of sin? ~ Charles Spurgeon, Thoughts on the Last Battle
The strength of sin is in the law, first, in this respect, that the law being spiritual, it is quite impossible for us to live without sin. If the law were merely carnal, and referred to the flesh; if it simply related to open and overt actions, I question, even then, whether we could live without sin; but when I turn over the ten commandments and read, "Thou shalt not covet," I know it refers even to the wish of my heart. It is said, "Thou shalt not commit adultery;" but it is said, also that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath already committed that sin. So that it is not merely the act, it is the thought; it is not the deed simply, it is the very imagination, that is a sin. Oh now, sinner, how canst thou get rid of sin? Thy very thoughts, the inward workings of thy mind, these are crimes—this is guilt and desperate wickedness. Is there not, now, strength in sin? Hath not the law put a potency in it? Has it not nerved sin with such a power that all thy strength cannot hope to wipe away the black enormity of thy transgression? ~ Charles Spurgeon, Thoughts on the Last Battle
You hear persons talk about God's mercy. Now, if they do not believe in the gospel, they must be under the law; but where in the law do we read of mercy? If you will read the commandments through, there is a curse after them, but there is no provision made for pardon. The law itself speaks not of that; it thunders out without the slightest mitigation, "The soul that sinneth it shall die." If any of you desire to be saved by works, remember one sin will spoil your righteousness; one dust of this earth's dross will spoil the beauty of that perfect righteousness which God requires at your hands. If ye would be saved by works, men and brethren, ye must be as holy as the angels, ye must be as pure and as immaculate as Jesus; for the law requires perfection, and nothing short of it; and God, with unflinching vengeance, will smite every man low who cannot bring him a perfect obedience. ~ Charles Spurgeon, Thoughts on the Last Battle
The law speaks not of sin and mercy; mercy comes in the gospel. The law says, "Sin—die; transgress—be chastised; sin—hell." ~ Charles Spurgeon, Thoughts on the Last Battle
The Christian is the only champion who can smite the dragon of death, and even he cannot do it of himself; but when he has done it, he shall cry, "Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." ~ Charles Spurgeon, Thoughts on the Last Battle
First, Christ has taken away the strength of sin in this respect, that he has removed the law. We are not under bondage, but under grace. Law is not our directing principle, grace is. ~ Charles Spurgeon, Thoughts on the Last Battle
I might speak to you concerning the resurrection, and I might tell you how much that takes away the sting of death, but I will confine myself to the simple fact, that the sting of death is sin, that the strength of sin is the law, and that Christ gives us the victory by taking the sting away, and removing the strength of sin by his perfect obedience. ~ Charles Spurgeon, Thoughts on the Last Battle

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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