Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Year With Spurgeon: Week 48

Faith is of the utmost importance to a Christian. There is nothing of which we should have a greater and a more earnest concern than our faith. I shall endeavor to show you this from seven or eight reasons, and may God press them to your hearts and send them so home, that every one of us may become deeply anxious as to whether we have a real vital faith which unites us to the Lamb and brings salvation to our souls. ~ Charles Spurgeon, The Necessity of Increased Faith
1. We ought; my friends, to be extremely careful of our faith—both of its rightness and of its strength, First of all: when we consider the position which faith occupies in salvation. Faith is the salvation-grace. We are not saved by love; but we are saved by grace, and we are saved by faith. We are not saved by courage, we are not saved by patience; but we are saved by faith. ~ Charles Spurgeon, The Necessity of Increased Faith
Faith is the vital part of salvation. If a man lacks faith he lacks everything. ~ Charles Spurgeon, The Necessity of Increased Faith
O, my brethren, there are a thousand shams in the world—a thousand imitations of faith; but there is only one true vital saving faith. There are scores of notional faiths—a faith which consists in holding a sound creed, a faith which bids men believe a lie, by wrapping them up with assurances of their safety, when they are still in the gall of bitterness and the bonds of iniquity, a faith which consists in presumptuously trusting to ourselves. There are scores of false faiths; but there is only one true one. Oh! as ye wish to be saved at last; as ye would not be self-deceived and go marching to damnation with your eyes shut, take your faith in your hand this morning and see whether it is genuine sterling coin. We ought to be more careful of our faith than of anything else. ~ Charles Spurgeon, The Necessity of Increased Faith
2. Secondly:—Be anxious about your faith, for all your graces hang upon it. Faith is the root-grace: all other virtues and graces spring from it. ~ Charles Spurgeon, The Necessity of Increased Faith 
Take what virtue you will, and you will see that it depends on faith. Faith is the silver thread upon which the pearls of the graces are to be strung. Break that, and you have broken the string—the pearls lie scattered on the ground, nor can you wear them for your own adornment. Faith is the mother of virtues. Faith is the fire which consumes the sacrifice. Faith is the water which nurtures the root. Faith is the sap which imparts vitality to all the branches. If you have not faith all your graces must die. And in proportion as your faith increases so will all your virtues, not all in the same proportion, but all in some degree. The man of little faith is the man of little love. The man of great faith is the man of great affection. He that has great faith in God could give himself to die for God, but he who has little faith in him would shrink at the stake because his love would be feeble. Have care of your faith, for on that your virtue depends; and if you would cultivate things that are goodly, “things that are lovely, things that are of good repute,” things that are honorable to yourself, and pleasing to God, guard well your faith, for on your faith all things must rest. ~ Charles Spurgeon, The Necessity of Increased Faith
3. Thirdly:—Take heed of your faith, because Christ thinks much of it. There are three things in the New Testament which are called precious:—One of them, you know, is the precious blood of Christ; another is the exceeding great and precious promises; and faith has the honor of being the third thing—“To them that have obtained like precious faith.” ~ Charles Spurgeon, The Necessity of Increased Faith
Now it is not faith that saves, it is Christ that saves. ~ Charles Spurgeon, The Necessity of Increased Faith
4. Next, Christian, take good care of thy faith, for recollect faith is the only way whereby thou canst obtain blessings. If we want blessings from God, nothing can fetch them down except faith. Prayer cannot draw down answers from God’s throne except it is the earnest prayer of the man who believes. Faith is the ladder on which my soul must walk to ascend to heaven. If I break that ladder how can I ever approach my God? Faith is the angelic messenger between the soul and heaven. Let that angel be withdrawn, I can neither send prayer up nor receive the answers down. Faith is the telegraphic wire which links earth and heaven—on which God’s blessings move so fast that before we call he answers, and while we are yet speaking he hears us. But if that telegraphic wire of faith be snapped, how can we receive the promise? Am I in trouble: I can obtain help for trouble by faith. ~ Charles Spurgeon, The Necessity of Increased Faith
5. Next, my friends, take care of your faith perpetually, because of your enemies; for if you do not want faith when you are with friends, you will require it when you have to deal with your foes. That good old warrior, Paul, once led the Ephesians into the armoury and after he had shown them the shoes they were to wear, the girdle, the breast plate, the helmet, and the sword, he solemnly said, “Above all take the shield of faith.” Even if you forget the helmet, be quite sure of the shield, for if your helmet should be off you may ward off a blow with the shield, and save it from your head. You had better put on the “shoes of peace and the breast-plate of righteousness,” but if you omit one of them, take care that you have “the shield of faith, where with you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” Well, now, faith makes a man very mighty when he deals with enemies. ~ Charles Spurgeon, The Necessity of Increased Faith
6. And now for a sixth reason. Take care of your faith, because otherwise you cannot well perform your duty. Faith is the foot of the soul by which it can march along the road of the commandments. ~ Charles Spurgeon, The Necessity of Increased Faith
Love can make the feet move more swiftly; but faith is the foot which carries the soul. Faith is the oil enabling the wheels of holy devotion and of earnest piety to move well; but without faith the wheels are taken from the chariot and we drag along heavily. With faith I can do all things; without faith I shall neither have the inclination nor the power to do anything in the service of God. ~ Charles Spurgeon, The Necessity of Increased Faith
(7) One more reason. Take care of your faith, my friends; for it’s very often so weak, that it demands all your attention. I do not know whether any of you feel that your faith is too strong; but I never feel mine strong enough. It seems to be exactly strong enough to bear the day’s troubles, but it would not stand cutting in the least degree with the plane. I could not afford to take the least atom off; it is just enough, and no more. ~ Charles Spurgeon, The Necessity of Increased Faith
Christian men are saved by progress: constantly going onwards keeps the Christian alive. ~ Charles Spurgeon, The Necessity of Increased Faith
First: “Increase our faith,” in its extent; the extent of what it will receive. Usually, when we commence the Christian life, faith does not grasp much; it only believes a few elementary doctrines. ~ Charles Spurgeon, The Necessity of Increased Faith
I believe I have only just begun to learn the A B C of the Scriptures yet, and will constantly cry to the Lord, “Increase my faith,” that I may know more and believe more, and understand thy Word far better. “Increase my faith,” in its extent. ~ Charles Spurgeon, The Necessity of Increased Faith
Next, “Increase my faith,” in its intensity. Faith needs to be increased in its power, as well as in its extent. We do not wish to act as some do with a river, when they break the banks, to let it spread over the pasture, and so make it shallower but we wish, while it increases in surface, that it may increase likewise in its depth. ~ Charles Spurgeon, The Necessity of Increased Faith
There is no point upon which men make greater mistakes than upon the relation which exists between the law and the gospel. Some men put the law instead of the gospel: others put the gospel instead of the law; some modify the law and the gospel, and preach neither law nor gospel: and others entirely abrogate the law, by bringing in the gospel. Many there are who think that the law is the gospel, and who teach that men by good works of benevolence, honesty, righteousness, and sobriety, may be saved. Such men do err. On the other hand, many teach that the gospel is a law; that it has certain commands in it, by obedience to which, men are meritoriously saved; such men err from the truth, and understand it not. A certain class maintain that the law and the gospel are mixed, and that partly by observance of the law, and partly by God’s grace, men are saved. These men understand not the truth, and are false teachers. This morning I shall attempt—God helping me to show you what is the design of the law, and then what is the end of the gospel. The coming of the law is explained in regard to its objects: “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound.” Then comes the mission of the gospel: “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” ~ Charles Spurgeon, Law and Grace
Natural men dream that by a strict performance of duty they shall obtain favor, but God saith thus: “I will show them their folly by proclaiming a law so high that they will despair of attaining unto it. They think that works will be sufficient to save them. They think falsely, and they will be ruined by their mistake. I will send them a law so terrible in its censures, so unflinching it its demands, that they cannot possibly obey it, and they will be driven even to desperation, and come and accept my mercy through Jesus Christ. They cannot be saved by the law—not by the law of nature. As it is, they have sinned against it. But yet, I know, they have foolishly hoped to keep my law, and think by works of the law they may be justified; whereas I have said, ‘By the works of the law no flesh living can be justified;’ therefore I will write a law—it shall be a black and heavy one—a burden which they cannot carry; and then they will turn away and say, ‘I will not attempt to perform it; I will ask my Saviour to bear it for me.’” ~ Charles Spurgeon, Law and Grace

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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