Murdered! From C.H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography

(From C.H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography)

There was a day, as I took my walks abroad, when I came hard by a spot for ever engraven upon my memory, for there I saw this Friend, my best, my only Friend, murdered. I stooped down in sad affright, and looked at Him. I saw that His hands had been pierced with rough iron nails, and His feet had been rent in the same way. There was misery in His dead countenance so terrible that I scarcely dared to look upon it. His body was emaciated with hunger, His back was red with bloody scourges, and His brow had a circle of wounds about it: clearly could one see that these had been pierced by thorns. I shuddered, for I had known this Friend full well. He never had a fault; He was the purest of the pure, the holiest of the holy. Who could have injured Him? For He never injured any man: all His life long He “went about doing good;” He had healed the sick, He had fed the hungry, He had raised the dead: for which of these works did they kill Him? He had never breathed out anything else but love; and as I looked into the poor sorrowful face, so full of agony, and yet so full of love, I wondered who could have been a wretch so vile as to pierce hands like His. I said within myself, “Where can these traitors live? Who are these that could have smitten such an One as this?” Had they murdered an oppressor, we might have forgiven them; had they slain one who had indulged in vice or villainy, it might have been his desert; had it been a murderer and a rebel, or one who had committed sedition, we would have said, “Bury his corpse : justice has at last given him his due.” But when Thou wast slain, my best, my only-beloved, where lodged the traitors? Let me seize them, and they shall be put to death. If there be torments that I can devise, surely they shall endure them all. Oh! what jealousy; what revenge I felt! If I might but find these murderers, what would I not do with them! And as I looked upon that corpse, I heard a footstep, and wondered where it was. I listened, and I clearly perceived that the murderer was close at hand. It was dark, and I groped about to find him. I found that, somehow or other, wherever I put out my hand, I could not meet with him, for he was nearer to me than my hand would go. At last I put my hand upon my breast. “I have thee now,” said I ; for lo! he was in my own heart; the murderer was hiding within my own bosom, dwelling in the recesses of my inmost soul. Ah! then I wept indeed, that I, in the very presence of my murdered Master, should be harbouring the murderer; and I felt myself most guilty while I bowed over His corpse, and sang that plaintive hymn,—. “‘ Twas you, my sins, my cruel sins, His chief tormentors were; Each of my crimes became a nail, And unbelief the spear.” Amid the rabble rout which hounded the Redeemer to His doom, there were some gracious souls whose bitter anguish sought vent in wailing and lamentations,— fit music to accompany that march of woe. When my soul can, in imagination, see the Savior bearing His cross to Crucify she joins the godly women, and weeps with them; for, indeed, there is true cause for grief,—cause lying deeper than those mourning women thought. They bewailed innocence maltreated, goodness persecuted, love bleeding, meekness about to die; but my heart has a deeper and more bitter cause to mourn. My sins were the scourges which lacerated those blessed shoulders, and crowned with thorns those bleeding brows: my sins cried, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” and laid the cross upon His gracious shoulders. His being led forth to die is sorrow enough for one eternity; but my having been His murderer, is more, infinitely more grief than one poor fountain of tears can express.

C.H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography: Compiled from His Diary, Letters and Records
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Christ’s Incarnation, the Foundation of Christianity – C. H. Spurgeon

THOU shalt call His Name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins .” Matt 1:21

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He is not called Jesus because He is our Exemplar, though indeed He is perfection itself, and we long to tread in His footsteps; but He is called Jesus because He has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

He is Christ, too, or the Anointed, but then He is Christ Jesus; that is to say, it is as a Savior that He is anointed. He is nothing at all if He is not a Savior. He is anointed to this very end. His very Name is a sham if He does not save His people from their sins.

It is a gracious but very startling fact that our Lord’s connection with His people lies in the direction of their sins. This is amazing condescension. He is called Savior in connection with His people, but it is in reference to their sins, because it is from their sins that they need to be saved. If they had never sinned, they would never have required a Savior, and there would have been no Name of Jesus known upon earth.

That is a wonderful, text in Galatians 1:4, did you ever meditate upon it?. “Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” It is true, as Martin Luther says, He never gave Himself for our righteousness, but He did give Himself for our sins. Sin is a horrible evil, a deadly poison, yet it is this which gives Jesus His title when He overcomes it. What a wonder this is! 3849a21dc44479555b7d0e6fcf4db69e--john-calvin-spurgeon-quotesThe first link between my soul and Christ is, not my goodness, but my badness; not my merit, but my misery; not my standing, but my falling; not my riches, but my need. He comes to visit His people, yet not to admire their beauties, but to remove their deformities; not to reward their virtues, but to forgive their sins.

O ye sinners, I mean you real sinners, not you who call yourselves by that name simply because you are told that is what you are, but you who really feel yourselves to be guilty before God, here is good news for you! O you self condemned sinners, who feel that, if you are ever to get salvation, Jesus must bring it to you, and be the beginning and the end of it, I pray you to rejoice in this dear, this precious, this blessed Name, for Jesus has come to save you, even you! Go to Him as sinners, call Him “Jesus,” and say to Him, “O Lord Jesus, be Jesus to me, save me, for I need Thy salvation!” Doubt not that He will fulfill His own Name, and exhibit His saving power in you. Only confess to Him your sin, and He will save you from it. Only believe in Him, and He will be your salvation.

What does Paul mean when he says “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”? He means, first, that Jesus carne to save them from the punishment of their sin . Their sin shall not be laid to their charge, so that they shall be condemned for it, if they do but trust in Him who was punished in the place of those who were really guilty. That is one thing that Christ Jesus came into the world to do for sinners.

He came, also, to save them from the pollution of: their sin , so that, though their mind has been debased, and their taste degraded, and their conscience deadened by sin, He came to take that evil away, and to give them a tender heart, and a hatred of sin, and a love for holiness, and a desire for purity. That is a great work for Him to accomplish, yet Jesus came to do even more than that.

He came, also, to take away our tendencies to sin , those tendencies which are born in us, and which grow up with us. He came by His Spirit to eradicate them, to pluck them up by the roots, and to put within us another principle, which shall fight with the old principle of sin, and overcome it, till Christ alone shall reign, and every thought shall be brought into captivity to Him.

Further, Jesus came to save His people from apostasy . He “came into the world to save sinners,” in the fullest possible sense, by keeping them faithful to the end, so that they shall not go back unto perdition. This is a very important part of the work of Divine grace. To start a man right, is but little; but to keep that man holding on even to the end, is a triumph of almighty grace, and this is what Christ has come to do.

Christ Jesus came into the world,” not to half save you, not to save you in this direction or that, and in this light or that, but to save you from your sin, to save you from an angry temper, to save you from pride, to save you from strong drink, to save you from covetousness, to save you from every evil thing, “and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” This is a glorious truth, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” He came to Bethlehem’s manger, and afterwards to Calvary’s cross, with this as His one business, that He might save sinners.

Is He not able to save? Is He not just the Savior that we need? lead_960God and yet man in one adorable Person, He is able to sympathize because He is man, and He is able to save because He is God. Blessed God man, Jesus Christ, Thou art able and willing to save me, and Thou art able and willing to save all other sinners who will believe in Thee!

 

Excerpt from Christ’s Incarnation, the Foundation of Christianity by C. H. Spurgeon (.pdf)

 

Opposition to the Gospel

Opposition to the Gospel by A.W. Pink

The love of God which the gospel publishes, and the sufferings of Christ for sinners, ought to melt the hardest heart and cause every hearer fervently to cry, “Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.” This message of glad tidings proclaims peace. It tells of deliverance from condemnation, and promises eternal life to all who receive it. Yet the fact remains that the great majority of those who hear it are scarcely affected and obtain no lasting advantage to their souls; and that perplexes many Christians. But the total depravity of man fully explains that lamentable state. In a heart that is desperately wicked there is nothing whatever on which the gospel can seize that will evoke any echo of it. Its message is directly opposed to the opinions and inclinations of the fallen creature….a holy gospel does not appeal to them, being foreign to their tastes….If God were to leave men entirely to themselves in their response to the gospel, it would be universally rejected. There is a deeply rooted contrariety to God in men’s very nature which makes them turn a deaf ear to His voice, though they are ready enough to listen to the least whisper of Satan. As there are plants which are attractive to the eye but poisonous to the stomach, so even though the gospel is a pleasant sound to the ear it is repulsive to a corrupt heart. The gospel requires men to renounce their own wisdom and become as little children, to repudiate their own righteousness, and accept that of Another, to turn from self-pleasing and submit to the will of God. The gospel is designed to transform the inner man and regulate the outer man, and this is quite unacceptable to the unregenerate. No exhortations will reconcile a wolf and a lamb. No logical arguments will tame a fierce lion. Though man is a rational creature, he follows the promptings of his lusts rather than the dictates of his judgment. One who is wholly in love with sin and Satan does not desire to enter the service of Christ. To turn to God in Christ is altogether contrary to the stream of corrupt nature, and therefore it needs to be overcome by a flood of almighty grace, as the stream of the river is overcome by the tide of the sea.

– A.W. Pink (Our Accountability to God pg 231, 232)

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Where pride cannot live

Where pride cannot live

He humbled himself. – Philippians 2:8 

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Jesus is the great teacher of lowliness of heart.

We need daily to learn of him. See the Master
taking a towel and washing his disciples’ feet!

Follower of Christ, will you not humble yourself?

See him as the Servant of servants, and surely
you can not be proud! Is not this sentence the
compendium of his biography- “He humbled himself.”

Was he not on earth always stripping off first one
robe of honor and then another, until, naked, he
was fastened to the cross, and there did he not
empty out his inmost self, pouring out his life blood,
giving up for all of us, until they laid him penniless
in a borrowed grave?

How low was our dear Redeemer brought!
How then can we be proud?

Stand at the foot of the cross, and count the purple
drops by which you have been cleansed; see the
thorn crown; mark his scourged shoulders, still
gushing with encrimsoned rills; see hands and
feet given up to the rough iron, and his whole
self to mockery and scorn. See the bitterness,
and the pangs, and the throes of inward grief,
showing themselves in his outward frame.
Hear the chilling shriek, “My God, my God,
why have you forsaken me?”

And if you do not lie prostrate on the ground
before that cross, you have never seen it.

If you are not humbled in the presence of Jesus,
you do not know him. You were so lost that
nothing could save you but the sacrifice of God’s
only begotten. Think of that, and as Jesus stooped
for you, bow yourself in lowliness at his feet.

A sense of Christ’s amazing love to us has a
greater tendency to humble us than even a
consciousness of our own guilt.

May the Lord bring us in contemplation to Calvary,
then our position will no longer be that of the
pompous man of pride, but we shall take the
humble place of one who loves much because
much has been forgiven him. 

Pride cannot live beneath the cross! 

Let us sit there and learn our lesson,
and then rise and carry it into practice.

Charles Spurgeon

Love Not The World – Horatius Bonar

Love Not The World

..Begin this day at the beginning. Count all the past but loss. Fling away thy vain hopes and self-righteous confidences. Give up thy fond idea of securing both earth and heaven. Go straight to Calvary; there be thou crucified to the world, and the world to thee, by the cross of Christ (Gal 6:14). Go at once to Him who died and rose again, and drink into His love. One draught, nay, one drop of that love will forever quench your love of sin and be the death of that worldliness which threatens to be your eternal ruin.

Love Not The World—Why?

1. Because the gain of it is the loss of the soul—Matthew 16:25.
2. Because its friendship is enmity to God—James 4:4.
3. Because it did not know Christ—John 1:10; 17:25.
4. Because it hates Christ—John 7:7; 15:18.
5. Because the Holy Spirit has forbidden us—1 John 2:15.
6. Because Christ did not pray for it—John 17:9.
7. Because Christ’s people do not belong to it—John 17:16.
8. Because it will not receive the Spirit—John 14:27.
9. Because its Prince is Satan—John 13:31; 16:11.
10. Because Christ’s kingdom is not of it—John 18:36.
11. Because its wisdom is foolishness—1 Corinthians 1:20.
12. Because its wisdom is ignorance—1 Corinthians 1:21.
13. Because Christ does not belong to it—John 8:23.
14. Because it is condemned—1 Corinthians 11:32.
15. Because the fashion of it passeth away—1 Corinthians 7:31 .
16. Because it slew Christ—James 5:6; Matthew 21:39.
17. Because it is crucified to us—Galatians 6:14.
18. Because we are crucified to it—Galatians 6:14.
19. Because it is the seat of wickedness—2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 5:19.
20. Because its God is the evil one—2 Corinthians 4:4.

Love not the world! It cannot be your home,
Thy fatherland must be the world to come;
There lay up treasures for eternity;
And where thy treasure is thy heart shall be.

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From the TREASURES OF BONAR
By Horatius Bonar

THE GIFT OF CHRIST IS THE HIGHEST MANIFESTATION OF GOD’S LOVE

The following excerpt is taken from The Fountain of Life, a book by the Puritan John Flavel 

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How this gift of Christ was the highest, and fullest manifestation of the love of God, that ever the world saw: and this will be evidenced by the following particulars:

(1.) If you consider how near and dear Jesus Christ was to the Father; he was his Son, “his only Son,” says the text; the Son of his love, the darling of his Soul: His other Self, yes, one with himself; the express image of his person; the brightness of his Father’s Glory: In parting with him, he parted with his own heart, with his very affections, as I may say. “Yet to us a Son is given,” Isa. 9:6, and such a Son as he calls “his dear Son,” Col. 1:13. A late writer tells us, that he has been informed, that in the famine in Germany, a poor family being ready to perish with famine, the husband made a motion to the wife, to sell one of the children for bread, to relieve themselves and the rest: The wife at last consents it should be so; but then they began to think which of the four should be sold; and when the eldest was named, they both refused to part with that, being their first born, and the beginning of their strength. Well, then they came to the second, but could not yield that he should be sold, being the very picture and lively image of his father. The third was named, but that also was a child that best resembled the mother. And when the youngest was thought on, that was the Benjamin, the child of their old age; and so were content rather to perish altogether in the famine, than to part with a child for relief. And you know how tenderly Jacob took it, when his Joseph and Benjamin were rent from him. What is a child, but a piece of the parent enrapt up in another skin? And yet our dearest children are but as strangers to us, in comparison of the unspeakable dearness that was between the Father and Christ. Now, that he should ever be content to part with a Son, and such an only One, is such a manifestation of love, as will be admired to all eternity. And then,

(2.) Let it be considered, To what he gave him, even to death, and that of the cross; to be made a curse for us; to be the scorn and contempt of men; to the most unparalleled sufferings that ever were inflicted or borne by any. It melts our affections, it breaks our heart, to behold our children striving in the pangs of death: but the Lord beheld his Son struggling under agonies that never any felt before him. He saw him falling to the ground, groveling in the dust, sweating blood, and amidst those agonies turning himself to his Father, and, with a heart rending cry, beseeching him, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass,” Luke 22:42. To wrath, to the wrath, of an infinite God without mixture; to the very torments of hell was Christ delivered, and that by the hand of his own Father. Sure then that love must needs want a name, which made the Father of mercies deliver his only Son to such miseries for us.

(3.) It is a special consideration to enhance the love of God in giving Christ, that in giving him he gave the richest jewel in his cabinet; a mercy of the greatest worth, and most inestimable value, Heaven itself is not so valuable and precious as Christ is: He is the better half of heaven; and so the saints account him, Psalm. 73:25, “Whom have I in heaven but you?” Ten thousand thousand worlds, says one, as many worlds as angels can number, and then as a new world of angels can multiply, would not all be the bulk of a balance, to weigh Christ’s excellency, love, and sweetness. O what a fair One! what an only One! what an excellent, lovely, ravishing One, is Christ! Put the beauty of ten thousand paradises, like the garden of Eden, into one; put all trees, all flowers, all smells, all colors, all tastes, all joys, all sweetness, all loveliness in one; O what a fair and excellent thing would that be? And yet it should be less to that fair and dearest well-beloved Christ, than one drop of rain to the whole seas, rivers, lakes, and fountains of ten thousand earths. Christ is heaven’s wonder, and earths wonder.

Now, for God to bestow the mercy of mercies, the most precious thing in heaven or earth, upon poor sinners; and, as great, as lovely, as excellent as his Son was, yet not to account him too good to bestow upon us, what manner of love is this!

(4.) Once more, let it be considered on whom the Lord bestowed his Son: upon angels? No, but upon men. Upon man his friend? No, but upon his enemies. This is love; and on this consideration the apostle lays a mighty weight, in Rom. 5:8, 9, 10. “But God (says he) commends his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, – When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.” Who would part with a son for the sake of his dearest friends? but God gave him to, and delivered him for enemies: O love unspeakable!

(5.) Lastly, Let us consider how freely this gift came from him: It was not wrested out of his hand by our importunity; for we as little desired as deserved it: It was surprising, preventing, eternal love, that delivered him to us: “Not that we loved him, but he first loved us,” 1 John 4:19. Thus as when you weigh a thing, you cast in weight after weight, until the scales break; so does God, one consideration upon another, to overcome our hearts, and make us admiringly to cry, what manner of love is this! And thus I have showed you what God’s giving of Christ is, and what matchless love is manifested in that incomparable gift.

JOHN FLAVEL

For our sake – J.C. Philpot

“For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21

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Our blessed Lord offered himself for sin; that is, that he might put away sin by the sacrifice of himself–“Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree” (1 Pet. 2:24). It was absolutely necessary either that the sinner should suffer in his own person, or in that of a substitute. Jesus became this substitute; he stood virtually in the sinner’s place, and endured in his holy body and soul the punishment due to him; for he “was numbered with the transgressors.” He thus, by the shedding of his most precious blood, opened in his sacred body a fountain for all sin and all uncleanness (Zech. 13:1).

The cross was the place on which this sacrifice was offered; for as the blood of the slain lamb was poured out at the foot of the altar, sprinkled upon its horns, and burned in its ever-enduring fire, so our blessed Lord shed his blood upon the cross. He there endured the wrath of God to the uttermost; he there put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; he there offered his holy soul and body, the whole of his pure and sacred humanity, in union with his eternal Deity, as an expiation for the sins of his people.

Thus all their sin was atoned for, expiated, put away, blotted out, and will never more be imputed to them. This is the grand mystery of redeeming love and atoning blood. Here the cross shines forth in all its splendor; here God and man meet at the sacrifice of the God-man; and here, amid the sufferings and sorrows, the groans and tears, the blood and obedience of God’s dear Son in our nature, grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life.

J.C. Philpot