Fruit of the Spirit in Our Lives

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples.” John 15:8

When the Lord Jesus Christ was upon earth he was in a suffering state; and to this suffering image must all his people be conformed. In that suffering state he brought glory to God; and is now exalted to the right hand of the Father. So those who suffer with him will be also glorified together; and glorious indeed will they be, for they will shine like the stars forever and ever, resplendent in the glorified image of the Son of God. The Apostle therefore says, “When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory.” The Lord did not assume angelic nature. He therefore did not adorn or beautify it; but by assuming our nature, the flesh and blood of the children into union with his own divine Person, he invested it with surpassing luster. This is the foundation on which a redeemed sinner brings glory to God, not in himself, but as being a member of Christ, “of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”

What a thought it is, that the lowest believer should actually bring more glory to God than the highest angel; and that the suffering obedience of a saint should be of higher value than the burning obedience of a seraph. To bring glory to God, then, should be our highest aim and most ardent desire. How the Lord urges this upon the consciences of his true disciples, “Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit.” A little fruit brings but little glory to God. It is in proportion to the amount of rich, ripe fruit that is borne upon the branches of the vine, that the Lord is glorified.

It Is Christ

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“The man who was healed had no idea who it was.” John 5:13

Years are short to the happy and healthy; but thirty-eight years of disease must have dragged a very weary length along the life of the poor impotent man. When Jesus, therefore, healed him by a word, while he lay at the pool of Bethesda—he was delightfully sensible of a change. Even so the sinner who has for weeks and months been paralyzed with despair, and has wearily sighed for salvation—is very conscious of the change when the Lord Jesus speaks the word of power, and gives joy and peace in believing. The evil removed is too great to be removed without our discerning it; the life imparted is too remarkable to be possessed and remain inoperative; and the change wrought is too marvelous not to be perceived. Yet the poor man was ignorant of the author of his cure; he knew not the sacredness of His person, the offices which he sustained, or the errand which brought Him among men.

Just so, much ignorance of Jesus may remain in hearts which yet feel the power of His blood. We must not hastily condemn men for lack of knowledge; but where we can see the faith which saves the soul, we must believe that salvation has been bestowed. The Holy Spirit makes men penitents—long before He makes them theologians; and he who believes what he knows, shall soon know more clearly what he believes. Ignorance is, however, an evil; for this poor man was much questioned by the Pharisees, and was quite unable to cope with them. It is good to be able to answer gainsayers; but we cannot do so if we don’t know the Lord Jesus clearly, and with understanding. The cure of his ignorance, however, soon followed the cure of his infirmity, for he was visited by the Lord in the temple; and after that gracious manifestation, he was found testifying that “it was Jesus who had made him whole.” Lord, if You have saved me, show me Yourself, that I may declare You to others.

Our Evening

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“These all died in faith.” Hebrews 11:13

Behold the epitaph of all those blessed saints who fell asleep before the coming of our Lord! It matters nothing how they died, whether of old age, or by violent means; this one point, in which they all agree, is the most worthy of record, “they all died in faith.” In faith they lived—it was their comfort, their guide, their motive and their support; and in the same spiritual grace they died, ending their life-song in the sweet strain in which they had so long continued. They did not die resting in the flesh or upon their own attainments; they made no advance from their first way of acceptance with God—but held to the way of faith to the end. Faith is as precious to die by—as to live by.

Dying in faith has distinct reference to the past. They believed the promises which had gone before, and were assured that their sins were blotted out through the mercy of God.

Dying in faith has to do with the present. These saints were confident of their acceptance with God, they enjoyed the beams of His love, and rested in His faithfulness.

Dying in faith looks into the future. They fell asleep, affirming that the Messiah would surely come, and that when He would in the last days appear upon the earth, they would rise from their graves to behold Him.

To them the pains of death were but the birth-pangs of a better state. Take courage, my soul, as you read this epitaph. Your course, through grace, is one of faith—and sight seldom cheers you; this has also been the pathway of the brightest and the best. Faith was the orbit in which these stars of the first magnitude moved all the time of their shining here; and happy are you that it is yours. Look anew tonight to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith, and thank Him for giving you like precious faith with souls now in glory.

Our Spiritual Springtime

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“The flowers appear in the countryside. The time of singing has come, and the turtledove’s cooing is heard in our land.” Song of Solomon 2:12

Sweet is the season of Spring. The long and dreary winter helps us to appreciate its genial warmth, and its promise of summer enhances its present delights. After periods of depression of spirit, it is delightful to behold again the light of the Sun of Righteousness; then our slumbering graces rise from their lethargy, like the crocus and the daffodil from their beds of earth; then is our heart made merry with delicious notes of gratitude, far more melodious than the warbling of birds—and the comforting assurance of peace, infinitely more delightful than the turtledove’s cooing, is heard within the soul.

Now is the time for the soul to seek communion with her Beloved; now must she rise from her native sordidness, and come away from her old associations. If we do not hoist the sail when the breeze is favorable, we shall be blameworthy; times of refreshing ought not to pass over us, unimproved. When Jesus Himself visits us in tenderness, and entreats us to arise, can we be so base as to refuse His request? He has Himself risen—that He may draw us after Him. He now by His Holy Spirit has revived us—that we may, in newness of life, ascend into the heavenlies, and hold communion with Himself.

Let our wintry state suffice us for coldness and indifference; when the Lord creates a spring within, let our sap flow with vigor, and our branch blossom with high resolve. O Lord, if it is not spring time in my chilly heart, I pray You make it so, for I am heartily weary of living at a distance from You. Oh! the long and dreary winter, when will You bring it to an end? Come, Holy Spirit, and renew my soul! Quicken me! Restore me, and have mercy on me! This very night I would earnestly implore the Lord to take pity upon His servant—and send me a happy revival of spiritual life!

The Church and Jesus

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Portion

“And has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all in all.”

– Ephesians 1:22, 23

In the mind of God, and as chosen in Christ, the Church is a perfect body. It is, therefore, the fullness of Christ. Just as our head and members, in their union with each other, form one perfect harmonious body, so it is with Christ and the Church. As the natural head would be incomplete without the body, as the body would be incomplete without the head, so it is with Christ mystical, and his body the Church. Each needs the other, and the union of both makes the whole complete.

The Son of God, by becoming incarnate, needed a body of which he should be the Head. Without it, he would be as a bridegroom without the bride, a shepherd without the sheep, a foundation without the building, a vine without the branches. He did not need the Church as the Son of God, but he needed her as the Son of man. In her all his love is complete, his work complete, his grace complete, his glory complete; and when she is brought home to be forever with him in glory, then all the purposes of God, all his eternal counsels of wisdom and grace, will be complete. In this sense we may understand the expression, “the fullness of him that fills all in all.” What a wonderful thought it is that he who, as the Son of God, fills all in all–fills all places with his omnipresence–should yet stoop to have a relative fullness in his body the Church!

A Reminder Of the Blood To Which You Have Come

C. H. Spurgeon

Today’s Morning Meditation

“We have come to the sprinkled blood, which says better things than the blood of Abel.” Hebrews 12:24

Reader, have you come to the sprinkled blood? The question is not whether you have come to a knowledge of doctrine, or an observance of ceremonies, or to a certain form of experience—but have you come to the blood of Jesus? The blood of Jesus is the life of all vital godliness.

If you have truly come to Jesus, we know how you came—the Holy Spirit sweetly brought you there. You came to the sprinkled blood with no merits of your own. Guilty, lost, and helpless, you came to take that blood, and that blood alone, as your everlasting hope. You came to the cross of Christ, with a trembling and an aching heart; and oh! what a precious sound it was to you—to hear the voice of the blood of Jesus! The dropping of His blood is as the music of heaven to the penitent sons of earth. We are full of sin—but the Savior bids us lift our eyes to Him, and as we gaze upon His streaming wounds, each drop of blood, as it falls, cries, “It is finished! I have made an end of sin! I have brought in everlasting righteousness.” Oh! sweet language of the precious blood of Jesus!

If you have come to that blood once, you will come to it constantly. Your life will be “Looking unto Jesus.” Your whole conduct will be epitomized in this, “To whom coming.” Not to whom I have come—but to whom I am always coming. If you have ever come to the blood of sprinkling, you will feel your need of coming to it every day. He who does not desire to wash in it every day—has never washed in it at all. The believer ever feels it to be his joy and privilege that there is still a fountain opened. Past experiences are doubtful food for Christians; a present coming to Christ—alone can give us joy and comfort. This morning let us sprinkle our door-post fresh with blood, and then feast upon the Lamb, assured that the destroying angel must pass us by.

Our Guilt Atoned For

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.” Leviticus 1:4

Our Lord’s being made “sin for us” is set forth here by the very significant transfer of sin to the bullock, which was made by the elders of the people. The laying of the hand was not a mere touch of contact, for in some other places of Scripture, the original word has the meaning of leaning heavily, as in the expression, “Your wrath lies hard upon me” (Psalm 88:7). Surely this is the very essence and nature of faith, which does not only bring us into contact with the great Substitute—but teaches us to lean upon Him with all the burden of our guilt.

Jehovah made to meet upon the head of the Substitute, all the offences of His covenant people—but each one of the chosen is brought personally to ratify this solemn covenant act, when by grace he is enabled by faith to lay his hand upon the head of the “Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world.”

Believer, do you remember that rapturous day when you first realized pardon through Jesus the sin-bearer? Can you not make glad confession, and join with the writer in saying, “My soul recalls her day of deliverance with delight! Laden with guilt and full of fears, I saw my Savior as my Substitute, and I laid my hand upon Him; oh! how timidly at first—but courage grew and confidence was confirmed until I leaned my soul entirely upon Him! And now it is my unceasing joy to know that my sins are no longer imputed to me—but laid on Him, and like the debts of the wounded traveler, Jesus, like the good Samaritan, has said of all my future sinfulness, Set that to My account!” Blessed discovery! Eternal solace of a grateful heart!

“My numerous sins transferred to Him,
Shall never more be found,
Lost in His blood’s atoning stream,
Where every crime is drowned!”

Our Pleadings

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“And shall not God avenge his own elect, who cry day and night unto him?” Luke 18:7

“Behold, he prays,” was the word of the Lord to Ananias to convince him that that dreaded persecutor, Saul of Tarsus, had been quickened by the Spirit. And what a mercy it is for the quickened soul that the blessed Spirit thus helps his sinking, trembling spirit, puts life and energy into his cries and sighs, holds him up and keeps him steadfast at the throne, and thus enables him to persevere with his earnest [pleadings] for mercy, mingles faith with his petitions, and himself most graciously and kindly intercedes within him and for him with groanings which cannot be uttered. This is “praying with the spirit” (1 Cor. 14:15) and “in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20). This is pouring out the heart before God (Psalm 62:8), pouring out the soul before the Lord (1 Sam. 1:15); and by this free discharge of the contents of an almost bursting heart, sensible relief is given to the burdened spirit.

By this special mark, the convictions of a quickened soul are distinguished from the pangs of guilt and remorse which are sometimes aroused in the natural conscience. Cain said, “My punishment is greater than I can bear,” but there was neither repentance nor prayer in his heart; for “he went out from the presence of the Lord “–the very presence which the living soul is seeking to reach and be found in, and into which the Spirit brings him (Eph. 2:18).

Saul was “sore distressed,” when God answered him, “neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets,” but he goes to the witch of Endor, and in the end falls upon his own sword. Judas repented of his accursed treachery, but went and hanged himself. No prayer, no supplication was in either of their hearts. So it is prophesied that men shall gnaw their tongues for pain, and yet shall blaspheme the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and not repent of their deeds (Rev. 16:10, 11). But the elect cry day and night unto God; and their prayers, perfumed with the incense of their all-prevailing Intercessor at the right hand of the Father, enter into the ears of the Lord of Sabbath.

Understanding Our Life After Salvation

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“O Israel, you have destroyed yourself; but in me is your help.” Hosea 13:9

God is all-wise, and therefore takes no rash, precipitate steps. As the original plan of salvation was devised by infinite wisdom, so all the successive steps of the execution of that plan are directed by the same boundless wisdom also. “Wherein he has abounded towards us,” says Paul (Eph.1:8), “in all wisdom and prudence.” Thus, in his dealings with his people, God does not put them at once into possession of all the blessings which he has laid up for them.

He has pardoned, for instance, their sins; but he does not immediately, when he calls them by his grace, put them into possession of this blessing. He has first to teach them their need of it. He has to prepare their heart for the right reception of it. It is no common gift, and he has to teach them how to value it. They are saved from wrath and eternal misery, from his dreadful displeasure and ever-burning indignation against sin. They have need to be shown, and made deeply to feel, from what they are saved, as well as to what they are saved. And as the oak does not grow to its full stature in a day, but needs years of sunshine and storm, of beating winds and howling tempests, to give it strength and constancy, a deep and wide root, as well as a lofty and branching stem, so do God’s children need months and years of trial and temptation, that they may push a deep root downwards, and shoot up healthy and vigorous upwards.

Thus, before the soul can know anything about salvation, it must learn deeply and experimentally the nature of sin, and of itself, as stained and polluted thereby. It is proud, and needs to be humbled; careless, and needs to be awakened; alive, and needs to be killed; full, and requires to be emptied; whole, and needs to be wounded; clothed, and requires to be stripped. It is, by nature, self-righteous and self-seeking; is buried deep in worldliness and carnality; is utterly blind and ignorant; is filled with presumption, arrogance, conceit, and enmity, and hates all that is heavenly and spiritual. Sin, in all its various forms, is its natural element. “The Ethiopian cannot change his skin, nor the leopard his spots.” To make man the direct opposite of what he originally is; to make him love God instead of hating him; fear, instead of mocking him; obey, instead of rebelling against him; and to tremble at his terrible majesty, instead of running upon the thick bosses of his shield;–to do this mighty work, and to effect this wonderful change, requires the implantation of a new nature by the immediate hand of God himself.