posted by Phil Johnson
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following is an exerpt from "The Gospel's Power in a Christian's Life," a sermon published in 1865.
he gospel of Jesus Christ is a very fearless gospel. It is the very reverse of that pretty thing called "modern charity."
The last created devil is "modern charity." "Modern charity" goes cap in hand round to us all, amid it says "You are all right, every one of you. Do not quarrel any longer; Sectarianism is a horrid thing, down with it! down with it!" and so it tries to induce all sorts of persons to withhold a part of what they believe, to silence the testimony of all Christians upon points wherein they differ.
I believe that that thing called Sectarianism now-a-days is none other than true honesty. Be a Sectarian, my brother, be profoundly a Sectarian. I mean by that, hold everything which you see to be in God's Word with a tighter grasp, and do not give up even the little pieces of truth.
At the same time, let that Sectarianism which makes you hate another man because he does not see with youlet that be far from you! but never consent to that unholy league and covenant which seems to be rife throughout our country, which would put a padlock on the mouth of every man and send us all about as if we were dumb: which says to me, "You must not speak against the errors of such a Church," and to another, "You must not reply."
We cannot but speak! If we did not, the stones in the street might cry out against us. That kind of charity is unknown to the gospel. Now hear the Word of God! "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not"What? "shall get to heaven some other way?""shall be damned;" that is the gospel. You perceive how boldly it launches out its censure. It does not pretend, "you may reject me and go by another road, and at last get safely to your journey's end!" No, no, no; you "shall be damned" it says.
Do you not perceive how Christ puts it? Some teachers come into the world and say to all others, "Yes, gentlemen, by your leave, you are all right, I have a point or two that you have not taught, just make room for me; I will not turn you out; I can stand in the same temple as yourself." But hear what Christ says:"All that ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them."
Hear what his servant Paul says, "Though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you,"what then? "Let him be excused for his mistake?" No; but, "Let him he accursed." Now, this is strong language, but mark you, this is just how the Christian ought to live. As the gospel is very fearless in what it has to say, so let the Christian always be.
It strikes me that a "living" which becomes the gospel of Christ, is always a bold and fearless kind of living. Some people go crawling through the world as if they asked some great man's leave to live. They do not know their own minds; they take their words out of their mouths and look at them, and ask a friend or two's opinion. "What do you think of these words?" and when these friends censure them they put them in again and will not say them. Like jelly-fish, they have no backbone.
Now God has made men upright, and it is a noble thing for a man to stand erect on his own feet; and it is a nobler thing still for a man to say that in Christ Jesus he has received that freedom which is freedom indeed, and therefore he will not be the slave of any man.
"O God," says David, "I am thy servant, for thou hast loosed my bonds." Happy is he whose bonds are loosed! Let your eye be like that of an eagle, yea, let it he brighter still; let it never be dimmed by the eye of any other man. Let your heart be like that of the lion, fearless, save of yourself:
"Careless, myself a dying man,
Of dying men's esteem,"
I must live as in the sight of God, as I believe I should live, and then let man say his best or say his worst, and it shall he no more than the chirping of the grasshopper, when the sun goeth down. "Who art thou that thou shouldst be afraid of a man that shall die, or the son of man that is but a worm?" Quit yourselves like men! Be strong! Fear not! for only so will your conversation be such as becometh the gospel of Christ.