The Gold Standard

The malleability of gold presents a problem with jewelry. Pure gold is too soft to withstand the demands of life. For this reason, gold is usually alloyed with other precious metals like copper, silver, and platinum to increase its durability.

– U. S. Gold Bureau

Our world is a world of pragmatism. Courses of action are many times chosen based on the practical consequences of a particular choice. Gold, as explained in the quote above, must be alloyed if it is to be of use. In other words, its usefulness is dependent on its purity being compromised.

Now we know that God operates in a different manner. We aren’t even able to comprehend His ways. Scripture tells us:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8, 9

And so it is that when God compares His people to gold, he speaks of purity as the characteristic which will bring them to usefulness.

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.

Malachi 3:3

The point which I hope is made is that we might be well-served if we were to measure the progress of God’s purifying work in our hearts by the degree to which our tenderness is increased.

Do tears sometimes flow when a sermon is preached?

Are we ever overcome with emotion when we hear a testimony of God’s faithfulness?

Do we at times find ourselves reduced to sobbing when reflecting on the sin in our lives?

I pray that the Lord would continue His work in you, and that with each passing day you would experience a more contrite heart and an increasingly broken spirit.

– Larry

 

 

 

A String of Pearls (Spurgeon) Part Eight

A SERMON
DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, AUGUST 28, 1870,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
– 1 Peter 1:3-5

The best I have reserved for the last. Out of the seven treasures of the Christian the last comprehends all, is better than all, though what I have already spoken be everything—it is A BLESSED GOD.

We left this to the last, though it comes first, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” It is joy to have heaven, it is joy to possess a new life to fit me for heaven, but the greatest of all is to have my God, my own Savior’s God, my Father, my own Savior’s Father, to be all my own. God Himself has said, “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” He has not given you earth and heaven only, though that were much, He has given you the heaven of heaven—Himself. Herod spoke of giving the “half of his kingdom,” but the Lord has not given you the half of His kingdom, nor even the
whole of His kingdom only, but His own self the blessed God has in covenant made over to you. Will not this make you rejoice? I think you may go forth with those that make merry and rejoice before God with a joy that knows no bound, “Sing unto God, sing praises! sing, unto God, sing praises!” “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice.”

Brethren, the practical point is, show your gratitude and your joy by blessing God. You can bless Him with your voices. Sing more than you do. Singing is heaven’s work, practice it here. At your work, do if you can, quietly raise a hymn and bless the Lord. But oh! keep the fire on the altar of your hearts always burning. Praise Him, bless Him. His mercy endures forever, so let your praises endure. Bless Him also with your substance. He is a blessed God. Do not give Him mere words, they are but air, and tongues but clay. Give Him the best you have.

In the old superstitious times the churches used to be adorned with the rarest pearls and jewels, with treasures of gold and silver, for men then gave mines of wealth to what they believed to be the service of God. Shall the true faith have less operative power upon us? Shall the “lively hope” make us do less for God than the mere dead hope of the followers of Rome? No, let us be generous at all times, and count it our joy to sacrifice unto our God. Let us give Him our efforts, our time, our talents.

Bless the Lord this afternoon, you Sunday school teachers. Teach those dear children under a sense of your own obligations to God. You, who go from house to house this afternoon, you, who will preach in the streets and lift up your voices in the corners of the thoroughfares, preach as those who are begotten unto a lively hope by the abundant mercy of God. Preacher, live you more intensely and ardently than you have ever done. Deacons, serve the church more thoroughly than you have done as yet. Elders, give your whole souls to the care of Christ’s flock, which He has redeemed with His blood. Each one of you workers for Jesus Christ work not for Him after an ordinary sort, as men do for a master whose pay is no larger than he can be compelled to make it, but work with heart, and soul, and strength for Him who loved you to the death, and poured out His soul to redeem you from going down into hell. Thus prove that the divine nature is truly in you, and that you possess the “lively hope” implanted by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

The Lord bless you all, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

A String of Pearls (Spurgeon) Part Seven

A SERMON
DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, AUGUST 28, 1870,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
– 1 Peter 1:3-5

Time fails us, therefore we must mention the sixth blessing at once, and it is INVIOLABLE SECURITY.

The inheritance is kept for you, and you are kept for the inheritance. The word is a military one, it signifies a city garrisoned and defended. Think of a city besieged—Strasbourg, if you will—that is an emblem of your condition in this world. The enemy pours in their shot, they keep up the fire day an night, and set the city on a blaze, and even thus Satan bombards us with temptations, and beleaguers us with all the hosts of hell. Our great enemy has determined to raze the citadel of our faith even to the ground, his great guns are drawn up around our bastions, his sappers and miners are busy with our bulwarks. Even now it may be his shells are tearing our hearts, and his shot is setting our nature in a blaze. Herein is our confidence, our great Captain has walled us around, He has appointed salvation for walls and bulwarks. We are safe, though all the devils of hell surround us, for we are garrisoned by omnipotence. Each believer is kept by that same power which “bears the earth’s huge pillars up,” and sustains the arches of heaven. Jerusalem, you are besieged, but you may laugh your enemy to scorn, he shall never break through your ramparts—

“Munitions of stupendous rock
Our dwelling place shall be,
There shall our soul without a shock
Our vanquish’d foemen see.”

Continue reading “A String of Pearls (Spurgeon) Part Seven”

A String of Pearls (Spurgeon) Part Six

A SERMON
DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, AUGUST 28, 1870,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
– 1 Peter 1:3-5

The fifth is exceedingly rich, but we can only give a word where many sermons would not exhaust—AN INCORRUPTIBLE INHERITANCE—“an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away.”

God has been pleased in His abundant mercy to prepare for his people an inheritance. He has made them sons, and if children, then heirs. He has given them a new life, and if a new life, then there must be possessions and a place suitable for that new life. A heavenly nature requires a heavenly inheritance, heaven-born children must have a heavenly portion.

Continue reading “A String of Pearls (Spurgeon) Part Six”

A String of Pearls (Spurgeon) Part Five

A SERMON
DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, AUGUST 28, 1870,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
– 1 Peter 1:3-5

We cannot tarry, but must notice, in the fourth place, another delightful possession which ought effectually to chase away from all of us the glooms of this life, and that is A RISEN SAVIOR. “He has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

Our best friend is not dead, our great patron and helper, our omnipotent Savior, is not lying in the tomb today. He lives, He ever lives. No sound of greater gladness can be heard in the Christian church than this, “The Lord is risen, the Lord is risen indeed!”

Now, brethren, observe the connection between a risen Savior and our living hope. Jesus Christ died, not in appearance, but in reality, in proof whereof, His heart was pierced by the soldier’s spear. He was laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, truly a corpse. Not a spark of life remained. The only difference between His dead body and the dead body of any other was that still the preserving power hovered over Him, and as His body had been defiled by no sin, so His flesh could not see corruption, as it would have
done had it been the body of a sinful man.

Continue reading “A String of Pearls (Spurgeon) Part Five”

A String of Pearls (Spurgeon) Part Four

A SERMON
DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, AUGUST 28, 1870,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
– 1 Peter 1:3-5

A third blessing strictly connected with this new life, is A LIVELY HOPE. “He has begotten us again unto a lively hope.”

Could a man live without hope? Men manage to survive the worst conditions of distress when they are encouraged by a hope, but is not suicide the natural result of the death of hope? Yes, we must have a hope, and the Christian is not left without one. He has “a lively hope,” that is to say, first, he has a hope within him, real, true, and operative. Some men’s hopes of heaven are not “living hopes,” for they never
stir them to action. They live as if they were going to hell, and yet they coolly talk about hoping that all will be well with them at last! A Christian’s hope purifies him, excites him to diligence, makes him seek after that which he expects to obtain. A student at the University hoping to gain a prize uses his best endeavors, burns the midnight oil, and strains all his faculties, that he may reach the mark which will ensure his passing the examiners. Even thus the Christian with a lively hope devotes himself to obtaining the blessings which God has promised in His Word. The Lord has begotten us to a “lively
hope,” that is to say, to a vigorous, active, operating hope.

Continue reading “A String of Pearls (Spurgeon) Part Four”

A String of Pearls (Spurgeon) Part Three

A SERMON
DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, AUGUST 28, 1870,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
– 1 Peter 1:3-5

The next great blessing in the text is that OF INCORRUPTIBLE LIFE.

Mark that, O believer. “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again unto a lively hope.” One of the first displays of divine mercy which weexperience is being begotten again. Our first birth gave us the image of the first Adam—“earthly,” our second birth, and that alone, gives us the image of the second Adam, which is “heavenly.” To be begotten once may be a curse, to be begotten again is everlastingly and assuredly a blessing. To be born once may be a subject for eternal bewailing, to be born a second time will be the theme of a joyful and
unending song.

Continue reading “A String of Pearls (Spurgeon) Part Three”

A String of Pearls (Spurgeon) Part Two

A SERMON
DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, AUGUST 28, 1870,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
– 1 Peter 1:3-5

First, I see in the text as the source of all the rest, ABUNDANT mercy. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope.”

No other attribute could have helped us had mercy refused. As we are by nature, justice condemns us, holiness frowns upon us, power crushes us, truth confirms the threatening of the law, and wrath fulfills it. It is from the mercy of our God that all our hopes begin. Mercy is needed for the miserable, and yet more for the sinful. Misery and sin are fully united in the human race, and mercy here performs her noble deeds.

Continue reading “A String of Pearls (Spurgeon) Part Two”

A String of Pearls (Spurgeon) Part One

A SERMON
DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, AUGUST 28, 1870,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
– 1 Peter 1:3-5

THE persons whom Peter addressed were in great need of comfort. They were strangers, strangers scattered far from home, they had in consequence to suffer manifold trials, and therefore needed plenteous consolations. Such is our position in a spiritual sense, we too, are strangers and foreigners, we are pilgrims and sojourners below, and our citizenship is in heaven, we also require the word of comfort, for while our banishment lasts, we look for tribulations. The persons whom Peter addressed were God’s chosen, “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,” and one sure result of divine election is the world’s enmity. “If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” So you too, my brethren, chosen out from among men to be the peculiar people of God, must expect to be partakers of the cross, for the servant is not greater than his Lord, since they persecuted Him they will also persecute you. Therefore to you, as to those of old by Peter, the word of consolation is sent this day.

Continue reading “A String of Pearls (Spurgeon) Part One”

Stay The Course

Excerpted from Holilness by J. C. Ryle

Believers in the Lord Jesus, of every church and rank in life, I feel much for you. I know your course is hard. I know it is a sore battle you have to fight. I know you are often tempted to say, ‘It is of no use,’ and to lay down your arms altogether.

Cheer up, dear brethren and sisters. Take comfort, I entreat you. Look at the bright side of your position. Be encouraged to fight on. The time is short. The Lord is at hand. The night is far spent. Millions as weak as you have fought the same fight. Not one of all those millions has been finally led captive by Satan. Mighty are your enemies, but the Captain of your salvation is mightier still. His arm, His grace and His Spirit shall hold you up. Cheer up. Be not cast down.

What though you lose a battle or two? You shall not lose all. What though you faint sometimes? You shall not be quite cast down. What though you fall seven times? You shall not be destroyed. Watch against sin, and sin shall not have dominion over you. Resist the devil, and he shall flee from you. Come out boldly from the world, and the world shall be obliged to let you go. You shall find yourselves in the end more than conquerors; you shall ‘overcome’.

Ryle, J. C.. Holiness (Kindle Locations 4882-4890). Heritage Bible Fellowship. Kindle Edition.

 

 

 

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