07 June 2008

Keep the faith!

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
posted by Phil Johnson

The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from "A Voice from Heaven," a sermon preached at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, and first published in 1875.






octrines!" says one, "we are tired of doctrines."

"For forms and creeds let graceless bigots fight,
He can't be wrong whose life is in the right."

The opinion is current that to be fluent and original is the main thing in preaching, and provided a man is a clever orator it is a proper thing to hear him.

The Lord will wither with the breath of his nostrils that cleverness in any man which departs from the simplicity of the truth. There is a gospel, and "there is also another gospel which is not another, but there be some that trouble you." There is a yea yea, and there is a nay nay; and woe unto those whose preaching is yea and nay, for it shall not stand in the great day when the Lord shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

Search ye, my brethren, and know what the gospel is, and when you do know it, hold it: hold it as with a hand of iron, and never relax your grasp. Grievous wolves have come in among us, wolves of another sort to what were wont to be in the churches, yet, verily, after the same fashion they come disguised in sheep's clothing. They use our very terms and phrases, meaning all the while something else; they take away the essentials and vitalities of the faith, and replace them with their own inventions, which they brag of as being more consistent with modern thought and with the culture of this very advanced and enlightened age, which seems by degrees to be advancing, half of it to Paganism with the Ritualists, and the other half of it to Atheism with the Rationalists.

From such advances may God save us! May we be enabled to keep the faith, and uphold the truth which we know, by which also we are saved. I, for one, cannot desert the grand doctrine of the atoning blood, the substitutionary work of Christ, and the truths which cluster around it.

And why can I not desert these things? Because my life, my peace, my hope, hang upon them. I am a lost man if there be no substitutionary sacrifice, and I know it. If the Son of God did not die, "the just for the unjust, to bring us to God," I must be damned; and, therefore all the instincts of my nature cling to the faith of Jesus. How can I give up that which has redeemed my soul, and given me joy and peace and a hope hereafter?

I beseech you, do not waver in your belief, but keep the faith, lest ye be like some in old time, who "made shipwreck of faith and a good conscience," and were utterly cast away. Woe unto those who keep not the doctrines of the gospel, for in due time they forget its precepts also and become utterly reprobate. In departing from Christ men forsake their own mercies both for life and death. The blessed who die in the Lord are those who "keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."
C. H. Spurgeon


47 comments:

The Spokesman said...

"Grievous wolves have come in among us, wolves of another sort to what were wont to be in the churches, yet, verily, after the same fashion they come disguised in sheep's clothing. They use our very terms and phrases, meaning all the while something else; they take away the essentials and vitalities of the faith, and replace them with their own inventions, which they brag of as being more consistent with modern thought and with the culture of this very advanced and enlightened age..."

2 Peter 2:1-3, "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep."

A careful examination of the teachings of Rick Warren reveals his destructive heresies and his denial of the Master. There is no questioning that he has exploited many with his false words. And he's not the only one!

Doing what Spurgeon said, "Search ye, my brethren, and know what the gospel is, and when you do know it, hold it: hold it as with a hand of iron, and never relax your grasp," is the only way to keep the faith!

Johnny Dialectic said...

...hold it as with a hand of iron, and never relax your grasp.

May it ever be so with faithful pastors!

donsands said...

"his denial of the Master."

I have a hard time saying Rick Warren isn't a brother in Christ.
He is so weak in the Scriptures, and he is man-centered for sure, but he is my brother in the grace of the Lord, methinks.

"I, for one, cannot desert the grand doctrine of the atoning blood, the substitutionary work of Christ, and the truths which cluster around it."

I would think Warren would agree with Ch Spurgeon here.

Does he preach the Gospel as he I would like to see him preach it? No.
Is he ashamed of Christ? I don't know.
Is he concerned about people becoming Christians? I think he is, but I think he believes the Church needs to meet the temporal needs in a great way, and the eternal need is there, but he seems not to be as concerned.

"Woe unto those who keep not the doctrines of the gospel, for in due time they forget its precepts also and become utterly reprobate."

Could this be Rick Warren? Perhaps, who can say.
God will judge us all on that day. We need to be careful when declaring without reservation when someone is a heretic.

I'm not sure how Phil, Dan, and Cent see Rick Warren.
I'm simply sharing my heart.

Polycarp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Spokesman said...

donsands: "Woe unto those who keep not the doctrines of the gospel, for in due time they forget its precepts also and become utterly reprobate."

Could this be Rick Warren? Perhaps, who can say.
God will judge us all on that day. We need to be careful when declaring without reservation when someone is a heretic.


If we cannot know and cannot say who is from God and who is not; if we cannot test the spirits to see whether they are from God; if we cannot put to the test those who call themselves servants of Christ, and they are not, and find them to be false; if we cannot guard the flock from savage wolves who will come in among them and from men arising from among our own selves who speak perverse things to draw away the disciples after themselves; and if we cannot beware of the false prophets then no one can say who is and who isn't a false teacher and many many pages of Scripture are irrelevant and I have declared without reservation and without righteous judgment a man to be false about which I have no way of knowing.

Rick Warren is just one example of the type of men Spurgeon was warning about.

Gilbert said...

How can we know? Amen, spokesman. If we know the Word and are found in Christ, then we can see the wolves in sheep's clothing, though well disguised they may be.

And as I read this, I was almost floored at how so little has changed from Spurgeon's time, except perhaps the number of wolves out there now.

Jon Nunley said...

I was thinking more of the emergent crowd (Rob Bell, etc) when I was reading this. Rick Warren is a has been. I is amazing that Spurgeon's 19 century England is not much different than our 21th century America.

donsands said...

"if we cannot guard the flock from savage wolves"

I'm not saying that. I'm focusing on Rick Warren.

There are many false teachers in the Church; many wolves. And we need to identify them. Amen.
Paul tells us to mark them. And I do.

I just don't think Rick is a wolf.

He may be, but I just cannot make that call. And with some, I guess I will never know, and God will judge.
Jesus will say to those who say, "Lord, Lord", "I never knew you, depart from me, you who love lawlessness".

I read an interview of Rick Warren over at Slice, where Warren had Bob DeWaay come to Saddleback. It was quite enlightening.

Jesus says we will know the false teachers by their fruit.
So, does some one have the fruit of the Spirit, or not.
Love, joy, peace, righteousness, kindness, gentleness, self-control, goodness, patience, and godliness are the fruit we need to see.
But the Gospel also must be pure and in it's simplicity as well.
"Love rejoices in the truth".

contending4dafaith said...

Rick Warren is on the outskirts of the ECM. He is linked with them through the new age mystical type of prayer called "Contemplative Prayer" which he mentions in his purposed driven life as "breath prayers" this type of "prayer" is practiced by almost every false religion in the world, and is making its way into evangelicalism, by grievous wolves and false prophets.

Lilith said...

Contending4dafaith: this type of "prayer" is practiced by almost every false religion in the world, and is making its way into evangelicalism, by grievous wolves and false prophets.

Prayer is how we have a relationship with God the Father through his only Son. There's no unacceptable prayer. Paul mentioned a kind of prayer that doesn't even use proper words:

Rom.8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Mike said...

gilbert:

"And as I read this, I was almost floored at how so little has changed from Spurgeon's time, except perhaps the number of wolves out there now."

Well, maybe this'll floor ya: Nothing has changed theologically since the 1st century church.
:-)

Mike said...

...But there are some here who don't believe that.

Mike said...

Regarding Rick Warren being a wolf:

As somebody already said here, ff he's weak in the Word or is a babe, he isn't a wolf.

If he's not in your church, don't worry about it. You're not going to get bitten.

And if you don't know, don't say anything...

Mike Riccardi said...

There's no unacceptable prayer.

He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, Even his prayer is an abomination. -- Prov 28:9

The Spokesman said...

mike: If he's not in your church, don't worry about it. You're not going to get bitten.

Not true! As a pastor I have the responsibility to be a watchman and guard myself and the flock from savage wolves from the outside and men who will arise from the inside, speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them - (see Acts 20:28-31).

I do know that Rick Warren is a false teacher - a wolf - and that knowledge is based solidly on the Word of God and what it says about false teachers. I also have the responsibility to be sure that his destructive heresies are not being imbibed by those under my watch-care.

Evidently you don't understand that false teaching can come in without the false teacher actually showing up. How? Through his or her books or other forms of media available to today's society.

Just yesterday morning I was preaching Acts 20:25-31 dealing with the pastor's responsibility to be a watchman and mentioned some of the popular liars of our day, making illustration that without doing that then there is no way for me to guard the flock from outside dangers as they buy the books or watch the T.V. programs, etc., and afterwards a lady who was visiting came out and told me that she was going home to throw away her book by Rick Warren. She had never been taught and never been guarded!

Jeff said...

Imagine that --men in the pulpit who "use our terms and phrases, meaning all the while something else."

Thanks, Phil, for posting this timely and much needed quote!

Mike said...

the spokenman- OK, thanks for the correction. I accept it!

Mike said...

spokesman, not spokenman.

David S said...

You know why Spurgeon's Sermons are still good today?

It's because he preaches the WORD.

So does John MacArthur.

As long as the Word is preached sermons should be good for ages to come.

Just my .02.

Mike said...

Next time, say it's just my farthing ;)

Lilith said...

Mike Riccardi: He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, Even his prayer is an abomination. -- Prov 28:9

Lovely, I quoted a New Covenant teaching from Paul that some prayer doesn't even have words (groaning of the spirit), and you give me something from the Old Covenant about obeying the Law to be acceptable to God. Thus the Reformation fails.

Mike said...

lilith:
Riccardi is correct. To this I add another related OT ref: 1 Sam 15:22.

Because of the NT, the ceremonial laws of the tabernacle is abolished and the Old Covenant is replaced with the New Covenant. That doesn't mean the OT or Decalogue is abolished.

In the NT, obeying the greatest two commandments will fulfill the OT law. Therefore, references to the "Law" in these OT verses refer to the keeping the Word, not the Law of the OT times.

Another thing: since there is no contradiction in the Bible across OT & NT, one can't refer to even an ostensible contradiction to make a case in your theology to prove a non-sequitur ("thus the reformation fails").

Daryl said...

Mike,

To piggy back on your comment, it's probably worth noting that the verse in Romans about "groans that cannot be uttered" refers to the Spirit praying, not us.

Lilith said...

Mike: Another thing: since there is no contradiction in the Bible across OT & NT, one can't refer to even an ostensible contradiction to make a case in your theology to prove a non-sequitur ("thus the reformation fails").

There is indeed a contradiction across the OT and NT. In the Old Testament, men were justified by works of law and when they failed, they were forgiven through repeated animal sacrifices. In the New Testament, God's only Son became the one, perfect and final sacrifice for the forgiveness of all sins, and this sanctifying grace is available to all men through faith. The cross was the ultimate intervention and paradigm shift.

The Spokesman said...

Lilith: There is indeed a contradiction across the OT and NT. In the Old Testament, men were justified by works of law and when they failed, they were forgiven through repeated animal sacrifices.

Not true! The N.T. makes it perfectly clear that justification never was and never will be based on works of the law (and so did the O.T.).

"What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith, but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works..."(Romans 9:30-32).

"But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe..." (Romans 3:21-22).

Hebrews chapter eleven shows that the O.T. saints were justified by faith not works of the Law.

The cross has always been the ultimate intervention. O.T. saints looked by faith to the future concerning the Redeemer. N.T. saints look by faith to the past concerning the Redeemer - Jesus Christ!

The Spokesman said...

The previous post should read - "That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness...."

Sorry!

Mike said...

lilith:
There is indeed a contradiction across the OT and NT. In the Old Testament, men were justified by works of law and when they failed, they were forgiven through repeated animal sacrifices. In the New Testament, God's only Son became the one, perfect and final sacrifice for the forgiveness of all sins, and this sanctifying grace is available to all men through faith. The cross was the ultimate intervention and paradigm shift.

That's no OT/NT contradiction. They support eachj other, interlock each other both in terms of prophecy fullfulment and in types. Every book of the OT points to Christ, as does the NT. The NT is in the OT concealed, the OT is in the NT revealed. Everything pertinent to the OT are types revealed in thwe NT. There's a book on the subject of typology: "Study of the Types" by Ada Habershon; another book "The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread" by Richard Booker.

As for the OT law, it was not written for people to keep it. It was written so the OT people will come to realize they cannot keep it (and that's paradoxical, I know). In this way, this leads to Christ and that's how they realized they needed a Messiah.

Mike said...

Daryl,

it's probably worth noting that the verse in Romans about "groans that cannot be uttered" refers to the Spirit praying, not us.

You're right, the Spirit does the praying in the spirit, but this does not negate the speaking in tongues in conjunction with this verse. By comparison of scripture against scripture, there is support for it (I am not a cessationist).

DJP said...

There is absolutely no reason to imagine that (A) intercession, that is (B) performed by the Holy Spirit, and (C) is not spoken, has ANYTHING to do with the supernatural gift of human beings speaking to each other in unlearned languages.

Mike said...

No, it has nothing to do with that; that's a different manifestation in Acts 2. However, it was invoked by the Holy Ghost.

DJP said...

No, there is no Scriptural authority for another manifestation, any more than two totally different gifts of prophecy. It's just a fabrication invented to cover the failure of the charismatic distraction. It can't produce anything like the Biblical phenomena, so it makes stuff up.

Like this.

Mike said...

lilith:
Are you a Christian?

Mike said...

djp,

there's one gift of prophecy as much as there's other unitary gifts. But the men in Acts 2 weren't interceding, they were prophesying in other tongues. So this is different than portrayed in Rom 8:26.

DJP said...

Right. Romans 8:26 makes no mention nor hint or, nor allusion to, the one and only gift of speaking unlearned languages. Nor prophecy. Just the Holy Spirit, interceding for us. Unspoken groans.

Daryl said...

What???

You mean where it says "The Holy Spirit himself intercedes for us" it means the Holy Spirit himself intercedes for us?

You've got to be kidding. How narrow.

DJP said...

It's this little theory I'm playing around with. Thinking of calling it "grammatico-historical exegesis." What do you think of it? Like it?

Daryl said...

It's got potential...I'd give it a go if I were you.

Daryl said...

Mike,

"lilith:
Are you a Christian?"

I checked her profile and website.

She'll say yes (I think), the data says no.

Mike Riccardi said...

Lilith,

It's all been said, but I noticed a lack of Hebrews, both in your reasoning and the response to your nonsense. So here you go...

For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see "It is now impossible..." Just "It is impossible." Period.

Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;

There it is again. Can never take away sins.

but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

So... unless the OT saints weren't... um... saints... then salvation was always by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Bringing it back to prayer, remember we can enter confidently to the throneroom of grace (Heb 4:12ff), but may we never presume that we may enter casually. God is holier than to accept anything that is not in Christ's name. Therefore, no prayer that is according to the Name, will, and word of Jesus Christ is acceptable to the Father, since only Jesus Christ is acceptable to the Father.

Mike Riccardi said...

...no prayer that is *not* according to the Name...

Sorry about that.

Mike said...

daryl:

I checked her profile and website.

I just did that. My response is: oops.

But I still like to hear from her, for a reason.

Daryl said...

Mike,

I figured as much...

Daryl said...

Mike Riccardi,

I appreciate your thoroughness bro.

Well written.

Mike said...

Daryl:

You mean where it says "The Holy Spirit himself intercedes for us" it means the Holy Spirit himself intercedes for us?

You've got to be kidding. How narrow.


Not narrowmindednes, but narrow in scope, in terms of refs available. ;)

Daryl said...

Mike,

You must not have noticed the huge bulge in my cheek, where my tongue was...

Mike said...

Then stop talking to avoid biting, man. ;)

Mike said...

Daryl:

That was a joke. But I was not talking about me. ;)