Thursday, January 24, 2013

"Salvation is of the Lord." / Jonah 2:9

—"Salvation is of the Lord."
By salvation here we do not merely understand the special salvation which Jonah received from death; for according to Dr. Gill, there is something so special in the original, in the word salvation having one more letter than it usually has, when it only refers to some temporary deliverance, that we can only understand it here as relating to the great work of the salvation of the soul which endureth for ever. That "salvation is of the Lord," I shall this morning try to show as best I can. First, I shall endeavor to explain the doctrine; then I shall try to show you how God has guarded us from making any mistakes, and has hedged us up to make us believe the gospel; then I shall dwell upon the influence of this truth upon men; and shall close up by showing you the counterpart of the doctrine. Seeing every truth hath its obverse, so hath this.

I. First, then, to begin by explanation, let us EXPOUND THIS DOCTRINE—the doctrine that salvation is of the Lord, or of Jehovah. We are to understand by this, that the whole of the work whereby men are saved from their natural estate of sin and ruin, and are translated into the kingdom of God and made heirs of eternal happiness, is of God, and of him only. "Salvation is of the Lord."

To begin, then, at the beginning, the plan of salvation is entirely of God. No human intellect and no created intelligence assisted God in the planning of salvation; he contrived the way, even as he himself carried it out. The plan of salvation was devised before the existence of angels. Before the day-star flung its ray across the darkness, when as yet the unnavigated ether had not been fanned by the wing of seraph, and when the solemnity of silence had never been disturbed by the song of angel, God had devised a way whereby he might save man, whom he foresaw would fall. He did not create angels to consult with them; no, of himself he did it. We might truly ask the question, "With whom took he counsel? Who instructed him, when be planned the great architecture of the temple of mercy? With whom took he counsel when he digged the deeps of love, that out of them there might well up springs of salvation? Who aided him?" None. He himself, alone, did it. In fact, if angels had then been in existence, they could not have assisted God; for I can well suppose that if a solemn conclave of those spirits had been held, if God had put to them this question, "Man will rebel; I declare I will punish; my justice, inflexible and severe, demands that I should do so; but yet I intend to have mercy;" if he had put the question to the celestial squadrons of mighty ones, "How can those things be? How can justice have its demands fulfilled, and how can mercy reign?" the angels would have sat in silence until now; they could not have dictated the plan; it would have surpassed angelic intellect to have conceived the way whereby righteousness and peace should meet together, and judgment and mercy should kiss each other. God devised it, because without God it could not have been devised. It is a plan too splendid to have been the product of any mind except of that mind which afterward carried it out. "Salvation" is older than creation; it is "of the Lord."
From: Charles Spurgeon

Monday, January 14, 2013

Half-empty? Half-full? Overflowing!

Half-empty? Half-full? Overflowing!

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon/Pyromaniacs

The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 15, sermon number 874, "The Overflowing Cup."

"If the Lord pardons thee, it is for ever; if he adopts thee, it is for ever; if he accepts thee, in is for ever; if he saves thee, it is for ever. There is eternity set as a divine stamp upon every mercy."

If God has made your cup to run over, then seek to serve him, not after the order and measure of bare duty, but according to the enthusiasm of gratitude. I mean, give to God, you that have it; if he has given much to you, give much to him. Depend on it, there is great wisdom in this, even from a selfish point of view; good measure, pressed down, and running over, will God return into your bosoms.

If you cannot give money, then give your time, your talents; and believe me, the more you do for God, the more you can do, and the more happiness you will have in the doing of it. It is your lazy Christians who grow rusty, it is your unused keys that lose their brightness. You that rot away in inglorious ease, you know not the joy that belongs to the child of God. The Christian should feel, “I shall do all I can do and a little more, getting more strength from God than I had, that I may do a little still in excess. I will not measure my duty by what others would say I ought to do, but reckon that if I might draw back, I would not; if I might make some reserve, I could not; if I might deny my Lord something, yet I dare not, would not think of such a thing; the love he plants in my heart will not permit me.”

If your cup runs over, let your service run over; be “fervent in the Spirit, serving the Lord.” Let your generosity run over—give without stint. Let your prayers run over—pray without ceasing. Let your hymns run over—praise him as long as you have any breath. Let your talk of him run over—tell the universe what a good God he is to you. Praise him! you can never praise him enough. Exaggeration will be impossible here. Let the loftiest panegyrics be heaped upon the head of Christ, and he will deserve something better. Let the angels make way for him, and let them pile their thrones one upon the other. Let them conduct him to the seventh heaven—overt to the heaven of heavens, and let him fill a lofty throne there, yet, even then, is not he so high as his Father hath set him.

Words cannot describe his glory—it boweth down all language beneath its weight. Metaphors, similes, though they were gathered with the wealth of wit and wisdom from all quarters of heaven and earth, cannot reach even to the skirts of his garments. Your love, and your fidelity, your diligence, and your zeal, are not fit even so much as to unloose the latchets of his shoes, he is so great and so good. O talk much of him then! Let your talk run over like the language of Rutherford in his letters, where he seems sometimes to break through reason and moderation to glorify his Lord. Let your language of Christ be like the apostle Paul, where he putteth aside all syntax, grammar, speech, and all else, and maketh new words, and coineth fresh expressions, and confoundeth tenses and moods, and I know not what beside, because his soul could not express itself after the common-place language of mankind.

O let your praise run over to your Lord and King. Love him, praise him, exalt him, magnify him, live out his life again. You can but praise him so; die in his arms, that you may for ever extol him in the upper skies. May God grant us to be Christians rich in spiritual wealth, spending our strength and substance like princes as we are, for him who is more than a prince and greater than a king.