Bulletin Edition April 2021

“Sovereign Grace Hated by the Modern Religionist”

    By C H Spurgeon

If anything is hated bitterly, it is the out-and-out gospel of the

grace of God, especially if that hateful word “sovereignty” is

mentioned with it. Dare to say “He will have mercy on whom

he will have mercy, and he will have compassion on whom he

will have compassion” (Romans 9:15), and furious critics will

revile you without stint.

The modern religionist not only hates the doctrine of sovereign

grace, but he raves and rages at the mention of it. He would

sooner hear you blaspheme than preach election by the Father,

atonement by the Son, or regeneration by the Spirit.

If you want to see a man worked up till the Satanic is clearly

uppermost, let some of the new divines hear you preach a

free grace sermon. A gospel which is after men will be

welcomed by men; but it needs divine operation upon the

heart and mind to make a man willing to receive into his in

most soul this distasteful gospel of the grace of God. My

dear brethren, do not try to make it tasteful to carnal minds.

Hide not the offense of the cross, lest you make it of none effect.

The angles and corners of the gospel are its strength to pare them

off is to deprive it of power. Toning down is not the increase of

strength, but the death of it.

Learn, then, that if you take Christ out of Christianity,

Christianity is dead. If you remove grace out of the gospel,

the gospel is gone. If the people do not like the doctrine

of grace, give them all the more of it.

I preach the doctrines of grace because I believe them to be true;

because I see them in the Scriptures; because my experience endears

them to me; and because I see the holy result of them in believers.

The doctrine which I preach to you is that of the Puritans:

it is the doctrine of Calvin, the doctrine of Augustine,

the doctrine of Paul, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

The Author and Finisher of our faith himself taught the

most blessed truth which well agreed with our text-

“For by grace are you saved through faith;

 and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Eph 2:8

Can these dry bones live?

The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,

“The Restoration and Conversion of the Jews”

No. 582.  Ezekiel 37:1-10.

Men, by nature, are just like these dry bones

exposed in the open valley. The whole spiritual

frame is dislocated; the sap and marrow of

spiritual life has been dried out of manhood.

Human nature is not only dead, but, like the

bleaching bones which have long whitened in

the sun, it has lost all trace of the divine life.

Will and power have both departed. Spiritual

death reigns undisturbed. Yet the dry bones

can live. Under the preaching of the Word, the

vilest sinners can be reclaimed, the most stubborn

wills can be subdued, the most unholy lives can

be sanctified. When the holy “breath” comes

from the four winds, when the divine Spirit

descends to own the Word, then multitudes of

sinners, as on Pentecost’s hallowed day, stand

up upon their feet, an exceeding great army,

to praise the Lord their God.

“Preaching peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all).” Acts 10:36.

Octavius Winslow

LET us turn our attention to the subject-matter of our Lord’s address to the weary. What does He speak to them? Some would reply, the law. No; but the law of God never spoke a word of comfort to the weary. It was not designed for such. Its very nature forbids it. It can anathematize, alarm, and wound; but not a solitary word of consolation and soothing can it address to a soul weary and heavy-laden with sorrow and with guilt. But it is the glorious gospel of the blessed God that the Lord Jesus speaks to His weary ones. It was designed and framed especially for them. Its very nature fits it for such. Every word is an echo of the love of God’s heart. Every sentence is fraught with grace, mercy, and truth. The word which Jesus speaks is just the word the weary want. It unfolds a free pardon, complete acceptance, perfect reconciliation with God, and all-sufficient grace to perfect this work in holiness. It bids me as a sinner approach just as I am; my poverty, my vileness, my guilt, my utter destitution forming no just hindrances to my salvation, because His atoning work has made it a righteous thing in God to justify the guilty, and a gracious act in Jesus to save the lost. Yes, He condescends to assure me in that word of a free-grace gospel, which He speaks with a tongue so eloquent, that I honor Him in accepting His proffered boon, and that I glorify Him by trusting my soul into His Almighty hands.

The Lord Jesus speaks at the present time to the weary. We need constantly to bear in mind the immutability of our Lord; that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.” That all that He ever has been—and oh! what has He not been!—He is at this moment. What countless numbers are now bathing their souls in the bliss of heaven, whose tears were once dried, whose fears were once quelled, whose burden was once removed, by those precious words spoken in season—”Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”! Oh could they, bending now from their thrones, but speak to us, they would testify what substance, what reality, what sweetness, what power, and what charm they once found in them; and they would bid every weary spirit, every weeping penitent, every tried saint, believe and press the promise to their heart. But a dearer, a lovelier, and a better than they bids you receive it. Jesus Himself speaks to you: “Come unto me—and I will give you rest.” All that He was in their happy experience, He will be in yours. The grace that made them what they once were, and what they now are, is sufficient for you. Go, and lay your weariness on Christ. Ask not, “Will He bear my burden.” He bears every burden brought to Him. Not one poor weary, heavy-laden sinner does He turn away. You are perhaps a mourning penitent—He will receive you. You are perhaps a vile outcast—He will welcome you. He says He will, and He cannot deny Himself; it is impossible that He should lie.

The believer’s eternal confession!

“By the grace of God—I am what I am!” 1 Corinthians 15:10

This is the believer’s eternal confession!

Grace found him a rebel against God—it leaves him a son of God!

Grace found him wandering at the gates of Hell—it leaves him at the gates of Heaven!

Grace devised the scheme of Redemption.

Justice never would; reason never could.

And it is grace which carries out that scheme.

No sinner would ever have sought God—but “by grace.” The thickets of Eden would have proved Adam’s grave—had not grace called him out! Saul would have lived and died the haughty self-righteous persecutor—had not grace laid him low! The thief on the cross would have continued breathing out his blasphemies—had not grace arrested his tongue and tuned it for glory!

“Out of the knottiest timber,” says Rutherford, “God can make vessels of mercy for service in the high palace of glory!”

“I came, I saw, I conquered!” may be inscribed by the Savior on every monument of His grace. “I came to the sinner; I looked upon him; and with a look of omnipotent love—I conquered him!”

Believer, you would have been this day a wandering star, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever! You would have been Christless, hopeless, and portionless; had not grace constrained you! And it is grace which, at this moment, “keeps” you.

You have often been a Peter—forsaking your Lord—but brought back to Him again. Why have you not been a Demas or a Judas? “I have prayed for you—that your faith fail not!” Is not this your own comment and reflection on life’s retrospect: “Yet not I—but the grace of God which was with me!”

Seek to realize your dependence on this grace every moment.

“More grace! more grace!” needs to be your continual cry.

His infinite supply—is commensurate with your infinite need.

The treasury of grace, though always emptying—is always full.

The key of prayer which opens it—is always at hand!

And the Almighty Bestower of the blessings of grace—is always “waiting to be gracious.”

The recorded promise can never be cancelled or reversed: “My grace is sufficient for you.”

The grace of God is the source of lesser temporal blessings—as well as of higher spiritual blessings. Grace accounts for the crumb of daily bread—as well as for the crown of eternal glory!

But even in regard to earthly mercies, never forget the CHANNEL of grace: “through Christ Jesus!” It is sweet thus to connect every blessing, even the smallest and humblest token of providential bounty—with Calvary’s cross—to have the common blessings of life stamped with “the print of the nails!” It makes them doubly precious to think, “All this flows from Jesus!”

“By the grace of God—I am what I am!”

Reader! seek to dwell much on this inexhaustible theme!

John McDuff

Look! Look!

From Spurgeon’s sermon, “The Eternal Name”

Look! Do you see yonder thief hanging upon the cross?

Behold the evil spirits at his foot, with open mouths;

charming themselves with the sweet thought,

that another soul shall give them food in hell.

Behold the death-bird, fluttering his wings

over the poor wretch’s head.

‘Vengeance’ passes by and stamps him for her own.

Deep on his breast is written “a condemned sinner.”

On his brow is the clammy sweat, forced from him

by agony and death.

Look in his heart; it is filthy with the crust of years of sin;

the smoke of lust is hanging within in black festoons of

darkness– his whole heart is hell condensed.

Now, look at him- he is dying. One foot seems to be in hell;

the other hangs tottering in life–only kept by a nail.

There is a power in Jesus’ eye. That thief looks to Jesus;

he whispers, “Lord, remember me.”

Turn your eye again there. Do you see that thief now?

Where is the clammy sweat? It is there.

Where is that horrid anguish? It is ‘not’ there.

There is a smile upon his lips.

The fiends of hell, where are they? There are none-

but a bright seraph is present, with his wings outspread,

and his hands ready to snatch that soul, now a precious jewel,

and bear it aloft to the palace of the great King.

Look within his heart now; it is white with purity.

Look at his breast now; it is not written “condemned,”

but “justified.”

Look in the book of life: his name is graven there.

Look on Jesus’ heart: there on one of the precious stones

he bears that poor thief’s name.

Yes, once more, look!

Do you see that bright one amid the glorified,

clearer than the sun, and fair as the moon?

That is the thief!

That is the power of Jesus to save!

One foot in hell

(Horatius Bonar, “The Three Crosses”)

“I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise.”

    Luke 23:43

The saved thief is a specimen of what the cross is appointed

to do. Sin abounding, grace super-abounding.

What is yon cross erected for? To save souls!

See, it saves one of the worst; one who had done

nothing but evil all his days!

What does that blood flow for? To wash away sin!

See, it washes one of the blackest!

What does yon Sufferer die for? To pardon the

guiltiest! Not merely to save from hell, but to open

Paradise to the chief of sinners–to open it at once;

not after years of torment, but “today.” Today “with

Me.” Yes, Jesus goes back to heaven with a saved

robber at His side! What an efficacy in the cross!

What grace, what glory, what cleansing, what healing,

what blessing–at yonder cross! Even “in weakness”

the Son of God can deliver–can pluck brands from

the burning–can defy and defeat the evil one! Such

is the meaning of the cross! Such is the interpretation

which God puts upon it, by saving that wretched thief.

See how near to hell a man may be–and yet be

saved! That thief, was he not on the very brink of the

burning  lake–one foot in hell; almost set on fire by

hell? Yet he is plucked out! He has done nothing but

evil all his days–down to the very last hour of his life;

yet he is saved. He is just about to step into perdition,

when the hand of the Son of God seizes him and lifts

him to Paradise!

Ah, what grace is here!

What boundless love!

What power to save!

Who after this need despair?

Truly Jesus is mighty to save!

See how near a man may be to Christ–and

yet not be saved. The other thief is as near the

Savior as his fellow–yet he perishes. From the

very side of Christ–he goes down to hell. From

the very side of his saved fellow–he passes into

damnation. We see the one going up to heaven

–and the other going down to hell.

This is astonishing–and it is fearful!

Oh, what a lesson–what a sermon is here!

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