25 December 2010

The Reason Jesus was Born

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 "Jesus, the King of Truth," a sermon preached Thursday evening, 19 December 1872, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London.

hrist did not merely speak the truth, but he was truth. Had he been truth embodied in an angelic form, he had possessed small power over our hearts and lives; but perfect truth in a human form has royal power over renewed humanity. Truth embodied in flesh and blood has power over flesh and blood. Hence, for this purpose was he born.

So when ye hear the bells ringing out at Christmas, think of the reason why Jesus was born; dream not that he came to load your tables and fill your cups; but in your mirth look higher than all earth-born things. When you hear that in certain churches there are pompous celebrations and ecclesiastical displays, think not for this purpose was Jesus born.

No; but look within your hearts, and say, for this purpose was he born: that he might be a King, that he might rule through the truth in the souls of a people who are by grace made to love the truth of God.

C. H. Spurgeon


donsands said...

Jesus was born so that God Himself would become the sacrificial Lamb for the sins of the world, after living a perfect sinless life, and so, we have the truth of 2 Corinthians 5:21:

" For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

Thanks for the CH Spurgeon. Merry Christmas.

Joshua said...

Thanks for the weekly dose of Spurgeon. Merry Christmas to you all at Pyro. :)

In Christ,
Joshua :)

Protoprotestant said...

Spurgeon's great, but let's be clear... he didn't celebrate Christmas. He rejected it for Biblical reasons.

He knew full well that Constantine was the reason for the season.

DJP said...

Sorry to hear about your Christmas, PP, but please do speak for yourself alone.

Spurgeon wasn't such a wizened, joyless, nose-cutting/face-spiting prune on the subject as you hint that he was. Or, in his words:

Now a happy Christmas to you all; and it will be a happy Christmas if you have God with you. I shall say nothing to day against festivities on this great birthday of Christ. We will to-morrow think of Christ's birthday; we shall be obliged to do it, I am sure, however sturdily we may hold to our rough Puritanism. And so, 'let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavend bread of sincerity and truth.' Do not feast as if you wished to keep the festival of Bacchus; do not live to-morrow as if you adored some heathen divinity. Feast, Christians, feast; you have a right to feast. Go to the house of feasting to-morrow, celebrate your Saviour's birth; do not be ashamed to be glad; you have a right to be happy. Solomon says, "Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment."

"Religion never was designed
To make your pleasures less."

Recollect that your Master ate butter and honey. Go your way, rejoice tomorrow, but in your feasting, think of the Man in Bethlehem; let him have a place in your hearts, give him the glory, think of the virgin who conceived him, but think most of all of the Man born, the Child given. I finish by again saying, ---


DJP said...

PS - and even if it were found that Spurgeon spoke both ways on the subject, I'd just rejoice not to some species of Roman Calvinist, bound to repeat the mistakes of others; instead, all Christians are free to glorify Christ on an opportunity such as today.

μαρτυς said...

Not much of a celebrator myself, but if we can perform even military service "as unto the Lord", then I think it's safe to say we, as Christians, can celebrate Xmas that way, too. We simply need to keep ourselves spotless from the more orgiastic and idolatrous aspects of it enjoyed by the still-benighted Elect and the damned. After all, the gavel of God usually falls on the why of a thing, rather then the what, no?

Protoprotestant said...

Thank you for your gracious comments.

Here's Spurgeon:

We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas. First, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be sung in Latin or in English. Secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Savior's birth, although there is no possibility of discovering when it occurred. ... It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the Church celebrated the nativity of our Lord; and it was not till very long after the Western Church had set the example, that the Eastern adopted it. ... Probably the fact is that the "holy" days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. We venture to assert, that if there be any day in the year, of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which the Savior was born, it is the 25th of December. ... Regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son.

Charles Spurgeon
24 December 1871

Protoprotestant said...

I am free. Those who seek to bind man-made traditions onto others are the Roman-legalists.

Do you celebrate Epiphany, Lent? If not, why?

You've already accepted the Roman argument, why not embrace the whole system.

My point wasn't to argue xmas with people. I simply am baffled that so many who claim the label Reformed and heap praise on Reformed forebears seem to fail to understand the principles under which they operated. It wasn't about just Calvinism. Luther was also quite Augustinian in his soteriology.

It was about Reforming the church to the NT and understanding the unity/disunity between the OT/NT.

It was about removing both pagan and Judaizing elements from the Church.

So if that makes me wizened and joyless....Good night. Let's all close up shop and go back to Rome.

I may be a face spiting prune, but Spurgeon would have had nothing to do with your Romish lusts not to mention the Darbyism which he also denounced in his day.

I came to raise a point, not be called names. I thought better of the readers of this site.

Good day to you sir.

Rachael Starke said...

Oh. My. Goodness.

The original quote was great, but Dan's follow up one was just Christmas gold.

Protoprotestant, this thread has convinced me to heed Solomon's words and ask my husband to pull one of our best bottles of wine (Regusci Cabernet, '07) out of hiding to enjoy with our Christmas feast. We will toast to the health of all our dear Pyro brethren, and give thanks to God for the joy of salvation and the sure hope of heaven, where however we've feasted here will seem like sand and water in comparison with what we enjoy there.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the encouraging words. May God bless you and yours this Christmas!

Strong Tower said...

"all Christians are free to glorify Christ on an opportunity such as today."

Nuh unh haven't you read: One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God... Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh...

In the words of Emily Litella, never mind.

thomas4881 said...

If you are saved, being sanctified, and suffering for Christ then you're at great liberty to do anything you want.

μαρτυς said...

Did somebody just harrumph?

Anyway, as to figuring out the actual day of the Lord's birth, Pastor Mark Blitz has a neat theory: http://tiny.cc/3aaxt

Holy Messianic Mathematics, Batman!

donsands said...

"I am free." -Proto

I am too. But sometimes I get caught up in the legalistic way some in Church preach and teach the Scriptures.

I want to be free, but I must confess I'm not completely yet.
One day I shall be free. Free from pride. Free from self-righteousness. Free from this sin that seems to never leave me alone.
But oh how I love the Christmas season that brings us back to Christ in very focused way. It fills my heart with His grace and joy when i read, study, and ponder the Scriptures about God becoming a human. Simply astounding!

have a blessed Lord' day my brother.

Protoprotestant said...

Yikes, methinks I'm in Rome. Roman interpretations of Colossians 2 and Romans 14.

No Reformed theology here to be sure.

Scriptures aren't sufficient I guess, we need to invent all kinds of stuff, times and seasons, so that we can learn more about God.

I have good news. I'm done with Pyromaniacs. Like many other Reformed sites...I find Lutherans. I won't be back and I know no one will weep.

If the webmaster permits it, I will post a link that deals with some core issues of what's happening here. For the arguments concerning Christmas which are secondary there are several other recent posts at my site.

Here's the link:

and good-bye. Feel free to comment over at my site. Some of you have before, but I'm not going to play troll here. I'm interested in discussion. This is embarassing. I'm being called prideful and legalist, by prideful legalists.

Stefan said...

Yeah, because choosing a day to celebrate the incarnation of our Lord and Saviour is so unworthy of being a Christian.

Merry Christmas to all!

donsands said...

"I'm being called prideful and legalist, by prideful legalists."

That's not true. Except the fact that I do have to struggle with my pride.

You misunderstood me my friend. But that happens in blogging.

I'm up late tonight doing a puzzle with my wife, and watching "The Nativity".
I thank our Lord for all His blessings. What a loving Savior we have.

Protoprotestant said...

Then I apologize if I misunderstood you, and anyone else here.

J♥Yce said...

I'm grateful for marking out time to share such lovely, gracious words of Spurgeon.

Glory to God in the Highest...

Phil Johnson said...

Spurgeon: "I love to see holy mirth; I delight to see men well feasted. I like Christmas; I wish it came six times a year."

Anonymous said...

The day has now passed; the thing is over for a year (if Christ does not return before Dec. 25, 2011) Let's keep living for Him.
I see some merit in both points of view, but I am leaning toward (as of next year) severing ties with something that is so obviously entangled in pagan myths and outright debauchery.
I must note, though, that I do have a lot of personal nostalgia for Christmas and understand why sincere Christians observe it. (The "real meaning" is preached from the pulpit of the church I attend.)
Another note, though: I also had what I labeled "good times" when I was drinking, but a better way of life, by the grace and power of God, has kept me sober 27 years. No way I'm going back to the bottle (even with today's news report of a "cure" pill developed in Europe.)