18 January 2009

Keep me near the cross

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 "Death and Life in Christ," a sermon on Romans 6:8-11, delivered Sunday morning, 5 April 1863, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London.


HE apostles never traveled far from the simple facts of Christ's life, death, resurrection, ascension, exaltation, and second advent. These things, of which they were the witnesses, constituted the staple of all their discourses.

Newton has very properly said that the two pillars of our religion are, the work of Christ for us, and his work in us by the Holy Spirit. If you want to find the apostles, you will surely discover them standing between these two pillars; they are either discoursing upon the effect of the passion in our justification, or its equally delightful consequence in our death to the world and our newness of life.

What a rebuke this should be to those in modern times who are ever straining after novelties. There may be much of the Athenian spirit among congregations, but that should be no excuse for its being tolerated among ministers; we, of all men, should be the last to spend our time in seeking something new.

Our business, my brethren, is the old labor of apostolic tongues, to declare that Jesus, who is the same yesterday to-day and for ever. We are mirrors reflecting the transactions of Calvary, telescopes manifesting the distant glories of an exalted Redeemer. The nearer we keep to the cross, the nearer, I think, we keep to our true vocation. When the Lord shall be pleased to restore to his Church once more a fervent love to Christ, and when once again we shall have a ministry that is not only flavoured with Christ, but of which Jesus constitutes the sum and substance, then shall the Churches revive—then shall the set time to favor Zion come.

The goodly cedar which was planted by the rivers of old, and stretched out her branches far and wide, has become in these modern days like a tree dwarfed by Chinese art; it is planted by the rivers as aforetime, but it does not flourish, only let God the Holy Spirit give to us once again the bold and clear preaching of Christ crucified in all simplicity and earnestness, and the dwarf shall swell into a forest giant, each expanding bud shall burst into foliage, and the cedar shall tower aloft again, until the birds of the air shall lodge in the branches thereof.

I need offer you no apology, then, for preaching on those matters which engrossed all the time of the apostles, and which shall shower unnumbered blessings on generations yet to come.

C. H. Spurgeon


10 comments:

Johnny T. Helms said...

The truth is always relevant. This could have been written this morning. That's what I love about reading men like Spurgeon and Machen.

Looking at the picture of Spurgeon you have on this post, I wonder how long it took for someone to invent a bigger ottoman?

R.C. said...

What a great timely and timeless message. But that is the way of the Lord, who was and is and is to come. I like the imagery of standing between the two pillars, "the work of Christ for us, and his work in us by the Holy Spirit."

"Keep me near the cross"...that would make a great song

underdogtheology said...

I am often weighed down in my soul at my perceived slowness of my own sanctification. I feel so distant from what I should be. And then I look to the cross of Christ and hope is rekindled.

As long as I desire Christ, and that by the Holy Spirit's inflaming of my affections, I know that my longing for righteousness shall be satisfied.

http://underdogtheology.blogspot.com/

Dr. Paul W. Foltz said...

''Jesus, keep me near the cross, there a precious fountain....''
The Cross is just as revellant, just as powerful today, as it ever was. Its power has not been diminished, though availed by many, and assailed by the forces of hell. ''Hallelujah for the cross''

Dr. Paul W. Foltz

donsands said...

"O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
has a wondrous attraction for me;
for the dear Lamb of God left his glory above
to bear it to dark Calvary."

".. we, of all men, should be the last to spend our time in seeking something new."

Amen.

But that's the subtle lies of Satan today, we need a new kind of Christian. A new kind of church. Even, a new and improved gospel.

Shame on our pulpits.

Dr. Paul W. Foltz said...

To donsands;
If something is new, it isn't true. Truth is eternal.
The religious peole in Acts 17, were constantly seeking some new thing.
Like you said, It's a lie from Satan.

Dr. Paul W. Foltz

donsands said...

"If something is new, it isn't true."

I agree concerning the promises of God and the Holy Writ.

But we have had new discoveries throughout history. Galileo for instance.

And we need not fear new discoveries.

Could there be new discoveries yet to be found in the Lord's universe? It's possible I would think.

Dr. Paul W. Foltz said...

donsands; That's what I meant.

James said...

Prince of preachers, indeed.

Thanks for the encouraging wisdom :).

Gisela said...

Newton has very properly said that the two pillars of our religion are, the work of Christ for us, and his work in us by the Holy Spirit. If you want to find the apostles, you will surely discover them standing between these two pillars; they are either discoursing upon the effect of the passion in our justification, or its equally delightful consequence in our death to the world and our newness of life.

These simple statements are a billion times more beautiful than the best of Bach or Mozart.

Just breathtaking.

...only let God the Holy Spirit give to us once again the bold and clear preaching of Christ crucified in all simplicity and earnestness, and the dwarf shall swell into a forest giant, each expanding bud shall burst into foliage, and the cedar shall tower aloft again, until the birds of the air shall lodge in the branches thereof.

And right there, Lord, is my prayer for my own church and our pastors.