Sermon 1482. Our Change of Masters
DELIVERED ON LORD'S-DAY MORNING, JULY 6, 1879,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness." Romans 6:18.
MAN was made to rule. In the Divine original he was intended for a king who should have dominion over the beasts of the field,the fowl of the air and the fish of the sea. He was designed to be the lord-lieutenant of this part of creation and the formof his body and the dignity of his countenance indicated it. He walks erect among the animals, while they move upon all fours.He subjugates and tames them to perform his will and the fear and dread of him is upon all creatures, for they know theirsovereign.
Yet is it equally true that man was made to serve. At his beginning he was placed in the garden to keep it, to dress it andso to serve his Maker. His natural feebleness, his dependence upon rain, sun and dew-his instinctive awe of an unseen andOmnipotent Spirit indicate that he is not the chief of the universe, but a subordinate being whose lot it is to serve. Wefind within man various powers and propensities seeking to get dominion over him so that his mind is also capable of servitude.The appetites which are essential for the sustenance of his bodily frame, even such as eating and drinking, endeavor to masterhim-and if they can, they will do so-and reduce him below the level of the swine. Man is in part spirit, but he is also inpart animal-and the animal strives to get dominion over the spiritual-and in many, many men it does so till they are utterlydegraded.
Nothing can be worse than a soul enslaved by such a body as that of man! The brute nature of man is the worst sort of brute.There is no beast in wolf, or lion, or serpent that is so brutish as the beast in man. Did I not tell you last Sunday thatwhereas, according to the Levitical Law, he that touched a dead animal was unclean till the evening, he who touched a deadman was unclean seven days? For man, when his animal nature rules him, is seven times more a polluting creature than any ofthe beasts of the field! If evil aims at ruling man, the good Spirit also strives with him. When God, in His infinite mercy,visits man by His Spirit, that Spirit does not come as a neutral power to dwell quietly within man and to share His heartwith the Prince of Darkness-He enters with full intent to reign!
Therefore there is a conflict which cannot be ended by an armistice, but must be carried on to the end. And that end willbe found either in the driving out of the evil or in the thrusting out of the good-for one or the other, either the Princeof Darkness or the King of Light-will have dominion over man. Man must have a master! He cannot serve two masters, but hemust serve one. Of all sorts of men this has been true and it has, perhaps, been most clearly seen in those who were evidentlymade to lead their fellow men. It is specially seen in such a man, for instance, as Alexander, a true king of men, so heroicand great-hearted that one does not wonder that armies were fired with enthusiasm by his presence and drove everything beforethem.
Alexander conquered the world and yet on occasions he became the captive of drunkenness and the slave of his passionate temper.At such times the king of men, the vanquisher of armies was little better than a raving maniac! Look for further illustrationat the busts of the emperors of Rome, the masters of the world. Study their faces and mark what groveling creatures they musthave been! Rome had many slaves, but he who wore her purple was the most in bonds. No slave that ground at the mill, or diedin the amphitheatre, was more in bondage than such men as Tiberius and Nero who were the bond-slaves of their passions!
High rank does not save a man from being under a master-neither does learning nor philosophy deliver men from this bondage,for the teachers of liberty have not, themselves, been free, but it has happened as the Apostle says, "while they promisethem liberty they themselves are the servants of corruption." Solomon himself, with all his wisdom, played the fool and thoughhe was the most sagacious ruler of his age, he became, for a while, completely subject to his fleshly desires. Man is bornto be a servant and a servant he must be!
Who shall be his master? That is the question! Our text proves the point with which I have started, for it speaks of "beingmade free from sin" and in the same breath adds, "You became the servants of righteousness." There is no in-between-theredoes not appear to be a moment left for an independent state, but out of one servitude we pass into another. Do not thinkI made a mistake in the use of the word, servitude! I might have translated the Greek word by that of slave and have beencorrect. "Being made free from sin, you were enslaved to righteousness." The Apostle makes an excuse for using the figureand says, "I speak after the manner of men, because of the infirmity of your flesh."
He did not know how else to describe it, for when we go from under the absolute power of sin, we come at once into a likesubjection to righteousness! As we were governed and swayed by the love of sin, so we become, in a similar manner, subjectto the forces of Grace and the Truth of God! As sin took possession of us and controlled our acts, so Grace claims us as itsown, takes possession of us and rules us with an absolute sway. Man passes from one master to another, but he is always insubjection! I have often heard of free will, but I have never seen it! I have met with will and plenty of it, but it has eitherbeen led captive by sin or held in blessed bonds of Grace.
The passions drive it here and there like a rolling thing before a whirlwind. Or the understanding sways it and then, accordingas the understanding is darkened or enlightened, the will acts for good or evil. In any case, the bit is in its mouth andit is guided by a power beyond itself. However, I leave that question and call attention, this morning, first of all to ourchange of masters-"Being made free from sin, we become the servants of righteousness." Secondly, to the reasons for that change.And thirdly, to the consequences of that change.
I. We begin with our CHANGE or MASTERS. We must have a master, but some of us, by Divine Grace, have made a change of mastersinfinitely to our advantage! In describing this inward revolution we will begin with a word or two upon our old master. TheApostle says in the verse preceding our text, "We were the servants of sin." How true that is! Those of us who now believeand are free from sin were all, without exception, the servants of sin! We were not all alike enslaved, but we were all underbondage. Sin has its uniformed servants. Did you ever see a man dressed in the full uniform of sin? A fine suit, I guaranteeyou!
Sin clothes its slave with rags, with shame and often with disease. When fully dressed in Satan's uniform the sinner is abominable,even to his fellow sinners. If you want to see sin's uniformed servants dressed out in their best or their worst, go to theprisons and you will find them there. Or go to the dens of infamy in this great city, or to the liquor bars, or to the placesof vicious amusement and you will find them there. Many of them wear the badge of the devil's drudgery upon their backs inpoverty and rags. Their faces bear the blotches born of drunkenness and their very bones reveal the consequences of theirvice. Satan has regimentals for his soldiers and they are worthy of the service!
But great folks have many servants who are out of uniform and so has sin. We were not all open transgressors before our newbirth, though we were all the servants of sin. There are many slaves of evil whom you would not know to be such if you onlysaw the surface of their characters! They do not swear, or steal, or commit adultery, or even break the Sabbath outwardly.On the contrary, they are most moral in their conduct. They are the servants of sin, but they are secretly so, for fear ofrebuke. They are non-professing sinners and yet sincerely in love with sin. They just now stood up and sung the hymn! Theybowed their heads in prayer and they are now listening to this sermon!
No one can tell the difference between them and the servants of Christ by their exterior. But at heart they reject the Sonof God and refuse to believe in Him, for they love the pleasures of sin and the wages of unrighteousness. A kind of selfishcaution restrains them from overt acts of transgression, but their heart loves not God and their desires are not towards Hisways. O, my dear Hearer, if you are setting up your own righteousness in your soul as an anti-Christ against God's Christ.If you are kicking against the sway of the Divine Spirit. If you are secretly living in sin. If you are following out somesweet sin in secret, even though you dare to appear in the uniform of Christ, you are still the slave of sin!
Hypocrites are worse slaves than any others because they are laid under the restraints of religious men without enjoying theirconsolations-they practice the sins of the ungodly without their pleasures! Every hypocrite is a fool and a coward! He hasnot the will to serve the Lord and yet he has not the courage to serve the devil out and out. These go-betweens are, of allsorts of people, the most to be pitied and the most to be blamed. As long as we are unbelievers we are the servants of sin,but we are not all outdoor servants of sin. Sin has its domestic servants who keep quiet, as well as its soldiers who beatthe drum!
Many keep their sin to themselves-nobody hears of them in the street, they raise no public scandal-and yet at heart they arethe faithful followers of wickedness and rebellion. Their idols are set up in secret chambers, but they are heartily loved.Their desires and aspirations are all selfish, but they try to conceal this fact even from themselves. They will not serveGod, they will not bow before His Son and yet they would shrink from declaring their rebellion! They are amiable, admirableand excellent in their outward deportment, but they are the indoor servants of Satan, for all that, and their heart is fullof enmity against God.
Some of us confess that it was so with us. When none found fault with us we were, nevertheless, rotten in heart. We used topray, but it was a mockery of God. We went up to God's house, but we regarded not His Word and yet, in all this, we pridedourselves that we were righteous! There are, however, many Believers who were once outdoor servants of Satan, sinning openlyand in defiance of all law. I thank God that there are some here who are now the servants of Christ, upon whom I can lookwith great delight, although they were once the open, overt, zealous, diligent servants of Satan! Now they are washed, renewedand sanctified. Glory be to God for it!
Oh that the Lord would take some more great sinners inside this house and turn them into great saints, for bold offendersmake zealous lovers of Jesus when He puts away their sins! They love much because they have had much forgiven and, inasmuchas they desperately sinned, so do they devoutly love. And their surrender to Christ is as entire and unreserved as their formersurrender to the service of evil. In this let God be praised! Still, let us all humbly bow before the Truth of God we arenow speaking of and admit with great humiliation of spirit that we were the servants of sin!
In passing on we notice, next, the expression of the Apostle, "Being then made free from sin." Through Divine Grace we havebeen led to trust the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal salvation and, having done so, we are at this moment free from sin. Come,you who trust the Savior's name, and rejoice in the words before us, for they describe you! You are made free from sin-not,you shall be, but you are! In what sense is this true? First, in the sense of condemnation. The Believer is no more condemnedfor sin! Your sin was laid on Christ of old and He, as your Scapegoat, took it all away. "There is therefore now no condemnationto them which are in Christ Jesus."
You are acquitted and justified through the Lord, your Righteousness. Clap your hands for joy! It is a mercy worth 10,000worlds! You are made free from the damning power of sin now and forever. Next, you are made free from the guilt of sin. Asyou cannot be condemned, so does the Truth go further-you cannot even be accused! Your transgression is forgiven you! Yoursin is covered-"As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." "Who shall lay anythingto the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies. Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yes, rather, thatis risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us."
You are delivered from sin's guilt at this moment-"made free from sin." You are in consequence free from the punishment ofsin. You shall never be cast into Hell, for Jesus has suffered in your place and the justice of God is satisfied. As a believerin Christ, there is no bottomless pit for you-for you no undying worm, for you no unquenchable fire! And, guilty as you areby nature, Christ has made you so completely clean that for you is reserved the, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inheritthe kingdom prepared for you before the foundation of the world."
Nor is this all. You are made free from sin as to its reigning power and this is a point in which you greatly delight. Sinonce said to you, "Go," and you went. It says, "Go," now, but you do not go! Sometimes sin stands in your way when Grace says,"Go," and then you would gladly run. Sin opposes and hinders, but you will not yield to its demands, for Grace holds dominion.You push, you struggle, you resolve that sin shall not be lord of your life, for you are not under the Law but under Grace.Sin hides itself in holes and corners of your nature, sulks in the dark about the streets of Mansoul, plots and plans, ifit can, to get the mastery over you, but it never shall-it is cast out of the throne and the Holy Spirit sits there rulingyour nature-and there He will sit until you shall be perfected in holiness and shall be caught up to dwell with Christ foreverand ever!
"Made free from sin." I wish I could now leave off preaching and get into a quiet pew and sit down with you and meditate uponthat thought-chewing the cud as you farmers say-and getting the juice out of this rich pasturage. "Made free from sin." Why,as I pronounce those blessed words I feel like an escaped American slave in the old slave days when he leaped upon Britishsoil in Canada! After all his running through the woods and crossing of hills and rivers, he was free! How he leaped for joy!How he cried with delight! Even so did we exult in our liberty when, at the first, our Lord Jesus set us free! You who werenever slaves and never felt the taskmaster's lash-you do not know the value of
liberty! And so, in spiritual things, if you have never felt the slavery of sin and have never escaped from it into the goodland of Grace where Christ has made you free, indeed, you do not know the joy of the redeemed.
I am free! I am free! I am free! I that was once a slave to every evil desire! I am made free by Omnipotent Love! I have escapedfrom the taskmaster's fetters and I am the Lord's free man! Let all the angels praise my redeeming Lord! Let all the spiritsbefore the Throne of God praise the Lord who has led His people out of bondage, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever!Now, how came we to be free? We have become free in three ways. First, by purchase, for our Savior has paid the full redemptionmoney for us and there is not a halfpenny due for us. Blessed be His name, there is no mortgage on His inheritance! The priceis all paid and we are Christ's unencumbered property forever. Here we stand, at this moment, free because we are ransomedand we know that our Redeemer lives! Our body, soul and spirit are all bought with a price and in our complete manhood weare Christ's.
Next, we are free by power as well as by purchase. Just as the Israelites were the Lord's own people, but He had to bringthem out of Egypt with a high hand and an outstretched arm, so has the Lord, by power, broken the neck of sin and broughtus up from the dominion of the old Pharaoh of evil and set us free. The Spirit's power-the same power which raised Christfrom the dead-yes, the same power which made the heavens and the earth, has delivered us and we are the ransomed of the Lord!And then we are free by privilege. "Unto as many as believed Him, to them gave He the privilege to become the sons of God."God has declared us free. His own royal, majestic and Divine decree has bid the prisoners go forth! The Lord Himself loosesthe prisoners and declares that they shall no more be held in captivity. Price and power and privilege meet together in ourliberty!
How came we to be free? I will tell you another story. We are free in a strange way. According to the chapter in which wefind our text, we are free because we have died. If a slave dies, his master's possession of him is ended. The tyrant canrule no longer-death has relaxed his hold. "He that is dead is free from sin." Sin comes to me and asks me why I do not obeyits desires. I have a ready reply. "Ah, Master Sin, I am dead! I died some 30 years ago and I do not belong to you any more.What have you to do with me?" Whenever the Lord brings a man to die in Christ-the blessed, heavenly death unto sin-how hassin any more dominion over him? He is clear from his old master because he is dead! Our old master lives to us, but we donot live to him. He may make what suit he pleases-we will not acknowledge his rights.
Some of us have made a public claim of our freedom by death, for we have been buried and the Apostle says, "Know you not thatso many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptisminto death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the Glory of the Father, even so we, also, should walk in newnessof life." We do not trust in the burial of baptism, for we know that there would have been no truth in it if we had not beendead first. But it is still a blessed sign to us that inasmuch as we died, we have also been buried. Whenever the devil comesto us we can, each one, say to him, "I am no servant of yours. I died and was buried- did you not see me laid in the liquidtomb?" Oh, it is a blessed thing when the Lord enables us to feel a clear assurance that our baptism was not a mere form,but the instructive token of a work within the soul worked by the Divine Spirit which set us free from the thralldom of sin!
A third thing has happened to us-we have risen again. According to Paul's teaching we have risen in the Resurrection of Christ-anew life has been given to us-we are new creatures in Christ Jesus. We are not the same people that we once were. Old thingshave passed away, behold all things have become new. If some of you were to meet your old selves you would not know yourselves,would you? My old self does not know me and cannot make me out. I am dead to him, as to his reigning power, and buried, too,so that I can never be his subject, nor he ever be the king of my heart. Yet he struggles to dwell within me and seems tohave as many lives as a cat! Every now and then my old self sneeringly cries to my true self, "What a fool you are." My trueself answers, "No, I was a fool when you had sway, but now I have come to my right mind."
Sometimes that old self whispers, "There is no reality in faith" and the new self replies, "There is no reality in the thingswhich are seen. This world is a shadow but Heaven is eternal." "Ah," says the old self, "you are a hypocrite!" "No," saysthe new self, "I was false when I was under your power, but now I am honest and true." Yes, Brothers and Sisters, we are risenwith Christ! With Him we died and were buried and with Him we are risen and, therefore, we are free! What slave would remainunder the dominion of a master if he could say, "I died, Sir. You cannot own me now, for your ownership only extended overone life. I was buried-did you own me when I was buried? I have risen again and my
new life is not yours. I am not the same man that I was and you have no rights over me." We have undergone this wondrous deathand resurrection and so we can say, this morning, with heartfelt joy, "We are made free from sin!"
We are also free from sin in our hearts-we no longer love sin-in fact, we loathe the thought of it! We are free from sin asto our new nature-it cannot sin because it is born of God. We are free from sin as to God's purpose about us, for He willpresent us, before long, blameless and faultless before His Presence with exceedingly great joy! We do not belong to sin.We refuse to serve sin. By the Grace of God we are made free from it.
Now, the third part of this change of masters is this-"you became the servants of righteousness." So we have, by God's Grace,and we are now in the possession of righteousness and under its rule. A righteous God has made us die to sin! A righteousGod has redeemed us! A new and righteous life has been infused into us and righteousness now rules and reigns in us! We donot belong to ourselves, but we yield ourselves up entirely to the Redeemer's sway through His Spirit and, the more completelyHe rules us, the better. The text says we are enslaved to righteousness and so we wish to be. We wish we were so enslavedthat we could not even will a wrong thing nor wish an evil thing! We desire to give ourselves up wholly and absolutely tothe Divine sway so that the right, the true and the good may hold us in perpetual bonds.
We abandon ourselves to the supremacy of God and we find our liberty in being entirely subjected to the will of the Most High.This is a change of masters with which I know that some of you are well acquainted. I am afraid, however, that others of youknow nothing about it. May the Lord grant that you may be made to know it before you go to sleep tonight. May you be deliveredfrom the black tyrant and brought into the service of the Prince of Peace straightway!
II. Secondly, let us survey the REASONS FOR OUR CHANGE. How do we justify this change of masters? A man who makes frequentshifts is not good for much. But we changed our old master because he never had any right to us and we were illegally detainedby him. Why should sin have dominion over us? Sin did not make us! Sin does not feed us! Sin has no right to us whatever-wenever owed it a moment's homage! We are not debtors to the flesh to live after the flesh. Our old master cannot summon usfor desertion, for he stole our services.
Besides, our old master was as bad as bad could be. You never saw his portrait, but he that would paint a picture of sin wouldhave to put upon the canvas all the monstrosities that ever existed and all the horrors that were ever imagined! And thesewould have to be exaggerated and condensed into one before they could fairly depict the deformity of sin. Sin is worse thanthe devil, for sin made the devil a devil-he would have been an angel if it had not been for sin. Oh, who would serve thedestroying tyrant who of old cast down, even, the stars of light and turned angels into fiends?
We ran away from our old master because we had never any profit at his hands. The Apostle says, "What fruit had he then?"Ask the drunkard, "What did you get by the drink?" Who has woe? Who has redness of the eyes? Ask the spendthrift what he gainedby his debauchery. He would hardly like to tell you and I certainly should not like to repeat his tale. Ask any man that livesin sin what he has gained by it and you will find it is all loss. Sin is evil and only evil and that continually! We havefound that out and, therefore, we have quit the old master and taken up with the new. Beside that, our old master, Sin, broughtus shame. There was no honor in serving him. His work is called by Paul, "those things whereof you are now ashamed."
We are, in the sight of God, yes, and in our own sight, ready to blush scarlet at the very thought of the evil in which weonce took delight! Sin is a groveling, mean, despicable thing and we are ashamed of having been connected with it. Moreover,its wages are death and this is dreadful to think upon. Sin at one time was pleasant to us, but when we found out that sinled its servants down to Hell and plunged them into unquenchable fire, we renounced its rule and found another lord. But whydid we take up with our new Master? We could not help it for it was He that set us free! It was He that bought us! It wasHe that fought for us! It was He that brought us into liberty! Ah, if you could only see Him, you would not ask us why webecame His servants!
In the first place, we owe ourselves wholly to Him. And in the next place, if we did not, He is so altogether lovely, so matchlessand so charming, that if we had a free choice of masters we would choose Him a thousand times over, for He is the crown andglory of mankind! Among the sons there is none to be compared to Him. If you want us to justify our service of Him, we tellyou that service is perfect freedom and supreme delight. We have had to suffer a little, sometimes, when His enemy and ourshas barked at us and the ungodly have called us ill names-but we count it honor to suffer for Jesus' sake, for He is so sweetand so good, that if we had a thousand lives and could give each one away by a martyr's death, we count Him worthy of thoselives, so sweet is He to our hearts' love!
Why have we taken our new Master? Why, because He gives us, even now, a present payment in His service! If there were no hereafterwe would be satisfied with the present delight He gives us, but in addition to that He has promised us, as a future reward,eternal life at His right hand! We think, therefore, that we have more than sufficient reason for becoming the servants ofJesus Christ who is made of God, unto us, righteousness. Dear Hearers, how I wish that you would all enter my Lord's serviceby faith in His name!
III. In the third place and very practically, I want to talk to those who are servants of God, about THE CONSEQUENCES OF THISCHANGE. You have become the servants of Righteousness and the first consequence is that you belong wholly to your Lord. Haveyou recognized this? I know numbers of Christian people-I hope they are Christian people, for in some points they seem asif they were-but if I were asked to look at their lives and give an opinion as to whom they belong, I should be compelledto say, "They seem mostly to belong to themselves." To whom does their property belong? "To themselves." To whom does theirtime belong? "To themselves." To whom does their talent belong? "To themselves."
As far as I can see, they lay all out upon themselves and live for themselves. And what do they give to God? If they are rathergenerous they give Him the candle ends, the parings of the cheese and little odds and ends-three penny-bits and things theydo not want and can give without missing them. There are hundreds of professors who never gave God anything that cost thema self-denial-no, not so much as going without a dish on the table, or a picture on the wall, or a ring on the finger! Thereare numbers of professing Christians who spend a deal more on the soles of their boots than on Christ and many women who spendmore on the feathers and the flowers which deck their bonnets than on their Savior!
Yes, and I have heard of men who said they were perfect and yet they were worth half a million of money and were hoardingup more! Sinners dying and being damned and missionaries without support-and yet these absolutely perfect men are piling upgold and letting the cause of Christ suffer for lack of means! It is not my theory of perfection, no, it does not seem tome to come up to the idea of a common Christian who says he is not his own! If you are really saved, Brothers and Sisters,not a hair of your heads belongs to yourselves! Christ's blood has either bought you or it has not! And if it has, then youare altogether Christ's, every bit of you-you are neither to eat nor drink, nor sleep but for Christ-"Whatever you do, doall to the glory of God." Have you ever got a hold of that? Just as a Negro used to belong to the man that bought him, everyinch of him, so you are the slave of Christ! You bear in your body the brand of Lord Jesus and your glory and your freedomare therein. That is the first consequence of being set free from sin-you became the servants of righteousness.
What next? Why, because you are Christ's, His very name is dear to you! You are not so His slave that you would escape fromHis service if you could-no-you would plunge deeper and deeper into it! You want to be more and more the Lord's. His veryname is sweet to you. If you meet with the poorest person who belongs to Christ, you love him and though, perhaps, some whoare like Christ in other respects may have awkward tempers, you put up with their infirmities for His sake. Where there isanything of Christ-there your love goes forth. I remember when I left the village where I first preached. I felt that if Ihad met a dog that came from Waterbeach I should have petted him-and such is the love we have for Christ-that the lowest andweakest thing that belongs to Him we love for His sake! The very sound of His name is music to us and those who do not loveHim, we cannot endure.
Haydn, the great musician, one day walked down a London street. Turning into a music-seller's shop, he asked the salesmanif he had any select and beautiful music. "Well, Sir," he said, "I have some sublime music by Mr. Haydn." "Oh," said Haydn,"I'll have nothing to do with that." "Why, Sir, you come to buy music and will have nothing to do with Mr. Haydn's composition!What fault can you find with it?" "I can find a great deal of fault with it, but I will not argue with you: I do not wantany of his music." "Then," said the shopkeeper, "I have other music, but it is not for such as you," and he turned his backon him!
A thorough enthusiast grows impatient with those who do not appreciate what he so much admires. If we love Jesus we shallsometimes feel an impatient desire to get away from those who know Him not. You do not love Christ? What kind of man can yoube to be so blind, so dead? You can be no friend of mine if you are not a friend of Christ's. I would do anything for yourgood, but you cannot yield me delight or be my bosom friend unless you love my Lord, for He has engrossed my heart and takenentire possession of my spirit. If you have thus become a servant of righteousness, you will weary of that which does nothelp you in His service and the name of your Master will be as the choicest music to you.
And now, dear Friends, let me mention another result. All your members are henceforth reserved for Christ. What does the Apostlesay? "When you were the servants of sin you were free from righteousness." When Satan was your master you did not care aboutChrist, did you? You had no respect for Him and if anybody before you said, "Take them away-I do not want to hear them." Youwholly were in agreement for evil. Now, in the same way, yield yourself up wholly to Christ, and say, "Now, Satan, when Iwas yours I did not yield obedience to Jesus. But now that I am Christ's, I can yield no obedience to you."
If Satan brings sin before you, say, "I cannot see it-my eyes are Christ's." And if he would charm you with the sweet soundof temptation say, "I cannot hear it-my ears are Christ's." "Oh," says Satan, "seize on this delight." You answer, "I cannotreach it-my hands are Christ's." "But taste this sweet draught," says he. You say, "I cannot take it-my lips are Christ's,my mouth is Christ's, ALL my members are Christ's." "Well, but you can form a judgment, can't you, about this error?" "Myunderstanding is Christ's." "Oh, but listen to this new thing!" "No, I do not want to hear. I have found Christ, who is newenough for me. I do not want your novel discoveries. I am dead to them. I do not want to be worried with arguments which dishonormy Lord-take them away. When I was a servant of sin, I would not meddle with the Truth of God, and now that I am a servantof Christ I will not trifle in the opposite direction. I have done with all but Jesus."
Think my Brothers and Sisters! When we were servants of sin, in what way did we serve it? Just as we used to serve sin, soought we to work for Jesus! I do not speak to all here present, but I speak to many who were sinners of an open kind. Howdid you serve sin? I will answer for them. They did not require to be egged on to it. They did not need any messenger of thedevil to plead with them and urge them to unholy pleasures and unclean delights. Far from it! Some of their own companionsthought them too imprudent. Now, dear Friends, you ought not to need your ministers or Christian friends to stir you up togood works. You ought to be just as eager after holiness as you were after sin! Evil was very sweet to you once. You usedto watch for the day when you could indulge in a sweet sin, did you not? When the time was coming round when you could takea deep draught of iniquity, you took the almanac and looked for it as a child for his holidays.
Brother, Sister, serve Christ in the same way! May His Holy Spirit help you to do so. Watch for opportunities of doing good!Do not need whipping to do your duty. Instead of requiring to be urged forward in evil, we needed homing back, didn't we?Our parents had to put the rein upon us! Sometimes Mother would say, "John, stop that." And Father would cry, "My boy, donot do this evil thing!" We needed a great deal of restraint. I wish I had a band of Christians round me who needed holdingback in the service of Christ! I have not met with that sort yet. I am prepared with many kinds of curbs when and if I meetwith a high-mettled Christian who goes at too great a rate in His Lord's service!
For the most part, my Master's horses are fonder of getting into the stables than out into the hunting field. I have not metwith one who has done too much for the Lord! I shall never be guilty of too much work, myself! I wish I could go like thewind in serving Jesus. Brothers and Sisters, be just as hot to honor Christ as you once were to dishonor Him! As you havegiven the devil first-rate service, let Christ have the same. You remember, in the days of your sin, some of you, how thoroughlyyou went in for it, that you never stopped at any expense-did you? Oh no, if you needed pleasure in sin, away went the fivepounds and the hundreds!
How often do I meet with men, particularly those given to drink, who get pounds in their pockets and never know where theygo-but they will never leave off till all is spent-be it little or much! Poor fools, poor fools! Yet I wish we could serveJesus Christ thus unstintedly. No expense should be reckoned so long as we can honor Him and bless His name! Bring forth thealabaster box! Break it-never mind the chips and pieces-pour out the oil and let Jesus have it all! It was thus I served Satanand thus would I serve Christ! Yes, and the poor slaves of sin not only do not stop at expense, but they are not frightenedby any kind of loss. Look at how many lose their characters for the sake of one short hour of sin!
How many are wringing their hands, now, because none will trust them and they are cut off from decent society because of oneshort-lived sin! They ruin their peace and think nothing of it. A quiet conscience is the brightest of jewels but they flingit away to enjoy their sin! They will lose their health, too, for the sake of indulging their passions. The devil says, "Drink,drink! Drink yourselves blind!" And they do it as eagerly as if it were for their good! They are martyrs for Satan. Neverdid a Zulu fling himself upon death for his king so recklessly as these servants of Satan yield
themselves for his service. They will do anything! They will destroy their health and, what is worst of all, destroy theirsouls, forever, for the sake of sin's brief delights.
They know that there is a Hell. They know that the wrath of God abides forever on guilty men, but they risk all and lose allfor sin. In that same way should we serve our Lord! Be willing to lose our character for Him. Be willing to lose our healthfor Him. Be willing to lose our life for Him. Be willing to lose all, if by any means we may glorify Him whose servant wehave become! Oh, who will be my Master's servant? Here He comes! Do you not see Him? He wears upon His head no diadem buta crown of thorns! Running down His cheeks you see the spit flowing! His feet are still rubied with their wounds and His handsare still bejeweled with the marks of the nails!
This is your Master and these are the signs of His love for you! What service will you render Him? That of a mere professorwho names His name but loves Him not? That of a cold religionist who renders unwilling service out of fear? I pray you, Brothersand Sisters, do not so dishonor Him! I lift the standard this morning to enlist beneath the banner of Christ those who willbe Christ's men and women from head to foot! And happy shall the Church be! And happy the entire Israel of God if a chosennumber shall enlist and remain true to their colors! We need no more nominal Christians-lukewarm Christians whom my Masterspues out of His mouth!
We need men and women on fire with love-consecrated all over, intensely devoted-who, by the slavery from which they have escapedand by the liberty into which they have entered, are under oath to spend and be spent for the name of Jesus till they havefilled the earth with His Glory and made all Heaven ring with His praise! The Lord bless you, Beloved, for Jesus' sake. Amen.
PORTION OF SCRIPTURE READ BEFORE SERMON-Romans 6. HYMNS FROM "OUR OWN HYMN BOOK"-116 (SONG II), 658, 119 (SONG III).