Sermon 3255. The Pearl of Patience
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, JUNE 22, 1911.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY AFTERNOON IN JANUARY, 1880.
"You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is full of pity and of tender mercy."James 5:11.
[Another Sermon by Mr. Spurgeon upon the whole verse is #1845, Volume 31-THE PITY OF THE LORD-THE COMFORT OF THE AFFLICTED.]
WE need to be reminded of what we have heard, for we are far too ready to forget. We are also so slow to consider and meditateupon what we have heard that is profitable to have our memories refreshed. At this time we are called upon to recollect thatwe have heard of the patience of Job. We have, however, I trust, gone beyond mere hearing, for we have also seen i n the storyof Job that which it was intended to set vividly before our mind's eye. "You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seenthe end of the Lord." The Romish priest professes to make men hear the voice of the Gospel by seeing, but the Scriptural wayis to make men see the Truth of God by hearing. Faith, which is the soul's sight, comes by hearing. The design of the preachingof the Gospel to the ear is "to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the worldhas been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ." Inward sight is the result of all fruitful hearing!
Now, that which is to be seen in the Scriptures is somewhat deeper and calls for more thought than that which is merely heard."You have heard of the patience of Job"-an interesting history which a child may understand, but it needs, Divine teachingto see to the bottom of that narrative, to discover the pearl which lies in the depths of it! It can only be said of enlighteneddisciples, "You have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is full of pity and of tender mercy." At the same time, thatwhich is seen is also more precious to the heart and more bountifully enriches the soul than anything which is only heard.I count it no small enrichment of our mind to have heard of the patience of Job-it comforts and strengthen us in our endurance,but it is as infinitely better thing to have seen the end of the Lord, and to have perceived the undeviating tenderness andpity which are displayed even in His sorest chastisements. This is, indeed, a choice vein of silver, as he that has dug init is far richer than the more superficial person who has only heard of the patience of Job, and so has only gathered surfacetruth. "The patience of Job," as we hear of it is like the shell of some rare nut from the Spice Islands-full of fragrance.But "the end of the Lord," when we come to see it, is as the kernel which is rich beyond expression with a fullness of aromaticessence!
Note well the reason why the text reminds us of what we have heard and seen. When we are called to the exercise of any greatvirtue, we need to call in all the helps which the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon us. All our wealth of hearing and seeingwe shall have need to spend in our heavenly warfare. We shall be forced full often to gird up the loins of our mind by therecollection of examples of which we have heard, such as that of Job, and then to buckle up that belt and brace it fast withwhat we have. The patience of Job shall gird us and that "end of the Lord" which we have seen shall be the fastening of theband. We shall need all before our work is done. In the present case, the virtue we are called to exercise is that of patienceand, therefore, to help us to do it, we are reminded of the things that we have heard and seen, because it is a Grace as difficultas it is necessary, and as hard to come at as it is precious when it is gained!
The text is preceded by a triple exhortation to patience. In the 7th verse we read, "Be patient, therefore, brethren, untothe coming of the Lord." And again, "Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patiencefor it, until he receives the early and latter rain. Be you also patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming
of the Lord draws near." Further on, in the 10th verse, we read, "Take my brethren, the Prophets, who have spoken in the nameof the Lord, for an example of suffering, affliction and patience." Are we thrice exhorted to patience? Is it not clear thatwe have even now much need of it? We are, most of us, deficient in this excellent Grace and because of it we have missed mostprivileges and have wasted many opportunities in which we might have honored God, might have commended religion and mighthave been exceedingly profited in our own souls. Affliction has been the fire which would have removed our dross, but impatiencehas robbed the mental metal of the flux of submission which would have secured its proper purification. It is unprofitable,dishonorable, weakening-it has never brought us gain-and never will.
I suppose we are three times exhorted to patience because we shall need it much in the future. Between here and Heaven wehave no guarantee that the road will be easy, or that the sea will be glassy. We have no promise that we shall be kept likeflowers in a conservatory, from the breath of frost, or that, like fair queens, we shall be veiled from the heat of the sun.
The voice of Wisdom says, "Be patient, be patient, be patient. You may need a threefold measure of it. Be ready for the trial."I suppose, also, that we are over and over again exhorted to be patient because it is so high an attainment. It is no child'splay to be dumb as the sheep before her shearers and to lie still while the shears are taking away all that warmed and comfortedus. The mute Christian under the afflicting rod is no everyday personage. We kick out like oxen which feel the goad for thefirst time! We are, most of us, for years as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke. "Be patient, be patient, be patient," isthe lesson to be repeated to our hearts many times, even as we have to teach children over and over again the same words tillthey know them by heart. It is the Holy Spirit, ever patient under our provocations, who calls us to be "patient." It is Jesus,the unmurmuring Sacrifice, who charges us to, "be patient." It is the long-suffering Father who bids us "be patient." O youwho are soon to be in Heaven, be patient for yet a little while and your reward shall be revealed!
Upon these two things we will indulge a brief meditation. First, we are bidden to be patient and it is not an unheard of virtue."You have heard of the patience of Job." And, secondly, we are bidden to be patient and it is not an unreasonable virtue,for you "have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is full of pity and of tender mercy."
I. IT IS NOT AN UNHEARD OF VIRTUE TO BE PATIENT-"You have heard of the patience of Job."
Observe well that the patience of Job was the patience of a man like ourselves, imperfect and full of infirmity, for as onehas well remarked, we have heard of the impatienceof Job as well as of his patience! I am glad the Divine Biographer was soimpartial, for had not Job been somewhat impatient, we might have thought his patience to be altogether inimitable and abovethe reach of ordinary men. The traces of imperfection which we see in Job prove all the more powerfully that Divine Gracecan make grand examples out of common constitutions and that keen feelings of indignation under injustice need not preventa man's becoming a model of patience. I am thankful that I know that Job did speak somewhat bitterly and proved himself aman, for now I know that it was a man like myself who said, "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the nameof the Lord." It was a man of flesh and blood such as mine, who said, "Shall we receive good at the hands of God, and shallwe not receive evil?" Yes, it was a man of like passions with myself who said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."
You have heard of the patience of your Lord and Master, and tried to copy it, and half despaired! But now you have heard ofthe patience of His servant, Job, and knowing as Job did that your Redeemer lives, you should be encouraged to emulate himin obedient submission to the will of the Lord! "You have heard of the patience of Job," that is, the patience of a greatlytried man. That is a very trite, yet necessary remark-Job could not have exhibited patience if he had not endured trial. Andhe could not have displayed a patience whose fame rings down the ages till we have heard of it, if he had not known extraordinaryaffliction! Reflect then, that it was the patience of a man who was tried in his estate. All his wealth was taken! Two orthree servants were left-left only to bring him evil tidings-each one saying, "I only am escaped alone to tell you." His flocksand his herds were gone. The house in which his children had met was a wreck and the princely man of Uz sat upon a dunghill-andthere were none so mean as to do him reverence. You have heard of the patience of Job in loss and poverty-have you not seenthat if all estates should fail, God is still your portion?
Job was caused to suffer sharp relative troubles. All his children were snatched away without a warning, dying at a festivalwhere, without being culpably wrong, men are usually unguarded and, in a sense, unready, for the spirit is in deshabille.His children died suddenly and there was a grievous mystery about it, for a strange wind from the wilderness
smote the four corners of the house and overthrew it in an instant! And such an occurrence must have connected itself in Job'smind either with the judgment of God or with Satanic influence-a connection full of the most painful thoughts and surmises!The death of his dear ones was not a common or a desirable one, and yet all had so been taken. Not a son or daughter was lefthim. All gone! All gone! He sits among the ashes a childless man. "You have heard of the patience of Job." Oh, to have patienceunder bereavements, patience even when the insatiate Archer multiplies His arrows!
Then, and I here speak most to myself, "You have heard of the patience of Job" under personal affliction. It is well saidby one who knew mankind cruelly well, that, "we bear the afflictions of other people very easily," but when it touches ourbone and our flesh, trial assumes an earnest form and we have need of unusual patience. Such bitter pain as Job must havesuffered, we have probably, none of us, known anything to the same degree. And yet we have had weary nights and dreary days.Each limb has claimed a prominence in anguish and each nerve has become a road for armies of pains to march over! We knowwhat it is to feel thankful tears in our eyes merely for having been turned over in bed. Job, however, far excels us. "Youhave heard of the patience of Job," and you know how he sinned not when from the crown of his head to the sole of his feethe was covered with irritating boils!
In addition to all this, Job bore what is perhaps the worst form of trial, namely, mental distress. The conduct of his wifemust have much grieved him when she tempted him to "curse God and die." However she meant it, or however her words may betranslated, she evidently spoke like a foolish woman when her husband needed wise consolation. And then those "miserable comforters"-howthey crowned the edifice of his misery! Cold-blooded mortals sneer at sentimental grievances, but I speak from my heart whenI affirm that griefs which break no bones and take not a coin from our store may yet be among the sharpest whips of sorrow!When the iron enters into the soul, we know the very soul of suffering! See how Job's friends fretted him with arguments andworried him with accusations. They rubbed salt into his wounds! They cast dust into his eyes. Their tender mercies were cruel,though well-intentioned. Woe to the man who in his midnight hour is hooted at by such owls! Yet the hero of patience sinnednot. "You have heard of the patience of Job."
Job's was in all respects a most real trouble, he was no mere dyspeptic, no hysterical inventor of imaginary evil. His werenot fancied losses nor minor calamities. He had not lost one child out of a numerous family, nor a few thousands out of avast fortune, but he was brought to sad bereavement, abject poverty and terrible torment of body and mind! But despite itall, "You have heard of the patience of Job," and heard more of his patience than of his afflictions! What a mercy to haveheard of such a man and to know that one of our own race passed through the seven-times heated furnace and yet was not consumed!
The patience of Job was the patience of a man who endured up to the very end. No break-down occurred. At every stage he triumphedand to the utmost point he was victorious! Traces of weakness are manifest, but they are grandly overlaid by evidences ofgracious power. What a marvelous man was he with all those aches and pains, still bearing witness to his God, "But He knowsthe way that I take: when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold." He reasons well even in the heat of his passionatezeal for his character. He reasons bravely, too, and catches up the points of his adversaries like a trained logician. Heholds fast his integrity and will not let it go. And best of all, he cries, "I know that my Redeemer lives and that He shallstand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God."Oh, glorious challenge of a dying man to his Immortal Kinsman!
The enemy could not triumph over Job-he threw him on a dunghill and it became his throne, more glorious than the ivory throneof Solomon! The boils and blisters with which the adversary covered the Patriarch were more honor to him than a warrior'sgilded body armor. Never was the arch-fiend more thoroughly beaten than by the afflicted Patriarch! And instead of pityingthe sufferer, my pity curdles into contempt for that fallen spirit who must there have gnawed his own heart and drunk deepdraughts of gall and wormwood as he saw himself foiled at all points by one who had been put into his power and one, too,of the feeble race of man! Surely, in this he experienced a foretaste of the bruising threatened at Eden's gate as to be givenhim by the woman's Seed! Yes, Job endured unto the end and, therefore, he stands as a pillar in the house of the Lord. Cannotwe also endure unto the end? What hinders Divine Grace from glorifying itself in us?
We may once more say that the patience of Job is the virtue of one who thereby has become a great power for good. "You haveheard of the patience of Job." Yes, and all the ages have heard of the patience of Job-and Heaven has heard of the patienceof Job and Hell has heard of it, too-and not without results in each of the three worlds. Among men, the patience of Job isa great, mortal and spiritual force. This morning, when musing upon it, I felt ashamed and humbled, as thousands have donebefore me. I asked myself, "What do I know of patience when I compare myself with Job?" And I felt that I was as unlike thegreat Patriarch as I well could be. I recollect a minister who had been somewhat angered by certain of his people and, therefore,preached from the text, "And Aaron held his peace." It was remarked that the preacher's likeness to Aaron reached no furtherthan the fact that Aaron held his peace and the preacher did not. May we not penitently confess that our likeness to Job ismuch of the same order? He was patient and we are not. Yet, as I thought of the patience of Job, it caused me to hope! IfJob was patient under trial and affliction, why should I not be patient too? He was but a man-what was worked in one man maybe done in another! He had God to help him and so have I. He could fall back upon the living Redeemer-so can I and why shouldI not? Why should I not attain to patience as well as the man of Uz? It made me feel happy to believe in human capacity toendure the will of God, the Holy Spirit instructing and upholding! Play the man, beloved Friend! Be not cut down! What Godhas done for one, He can do for another. If the man is the same and if the great God is the same, and be sure He is, we, too,may attain to patience in our limited circle! Our patience may be heard of among those who prize the fruits of the Spirit!
II. I will not detain you, lest I weary you, except to say, in the second place, IT IS NOT AN UNREASONABLE VIRTUE TO BE PATIENTfor, according to our text, there is great love and tenderness in it. "You have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord isfull of pity and of tender mercy."
We must have seen, in Job's story, if we have regarded it aright, that the Lord was in it all. It is not a narrative in whichthe devil is the sole actor-the great Lord of All is evidently present. He it was who challenged Satan to consider Job andthen questioned him as to the result. Less seen than the Evil One, the Lord was nevertheless present at every act of the drama.God was not away while His servant suffered! In fact, if there was any place where the thoughts of God were centered morethan anywhere else in Providence at that time, it was where the perfect and upright man was bearing the brunt of the storm.The Lord was ruling, too. He was not present as a mere spectator, but as master of the situation! He had not handed over thereins to Satan-far from it, for every step that the enemy took was only by express permission from the Throne of God. He allowedhim to strip his servant, but he set the limit, "Only upon himself put not forth your hand." When to complete the test, theenemy was permitted to plague his body, the Lord added, "But save his life." The ruling hand is always on the curb. The Dogof Hell is allowed to snap and snarl, but his chain is not removed and the collar of Omnipotent restraint is on him. Come,dear Friends, you that are in trouble, remember that God is in your sorrow, ruling it to its desired end and checking it thatit should go no further than according to His will! And you neither have suffered, nor in the future will suffer any morethan He in Infinite Love permits!
Moreover, the Lord was blessing Job by all his tribulation. Untold blessings were coming to the grand old man while he seemedto be losing all. It was not simply that he obtained a double portion at the end, but all along, every part of the testingprocess worked out his highest good. Now have we seen the end of the Lord and that end is unmingled goodness! The Lord wasstanding by every moment to stop the refining process when it had come to the proper point, so that no more of it should happenthan was really beneficial and, at the same time, no less than should secure His gracious purpose. True mercy is bound, attimes, to seem rough, for it might be a great and lifelong evil for the surgeon to stop the knife before its work is done.The Lord was wisely tender and tenderly wise with Job-and even in his case the sore affliction was not allowed to proceeda single degree beyond the necessary point of intensity.
And when we come to look all Job's life through, we see that the Lord in mercy brought him out of it all with unspeakableadvantage. He who tested with one hand supported with the other! Whatever Satan's end might be in tempting the Patriarch,God had an end which covered and compassed that of the destroyer-and that end was answered all along the line, from the firstloss which happened among the oxen to the last taunt of his three accusers! There was never a question, in the heights ofHeaven as to the ultimate issue! Eternal Mercy was putting forth its irresistible energy, and Job was made to bear up thoughthe trial and to rise from it a wiser and a better man!
Such is the case with all afflicted saints. We may well be patient under our trials, for the Lord sends them. He is rulingin all our circumstances. He is blessing us by them, He is waiting to end them and He is pledged to bring us through. Shallwe not gladly submit to the Father of our spirits? Is not this our deepest wish, "Your will be done"? Shall we quarrel withthat which blesses us? Shall we repine when the end of the trouble is so near and so blessed? No! We see that the Lord isfull of pity and of tender mercy and, therefore, we will be patient.
Beloved, let us accept future sorrow with joy, for it is Divine Love which will add to our years whatever sorrowful seasonsmay yet come to us. Job's life might have ended in the first period without the trial, but if the Patriarch, with perfectknowledge of all things, could have had his choice, would he not have chosen to endure the trial for the sake of all the blessingwhich came of it? We would never have heard of the patience of Job if he had continued in his prosperity- and that first partof his life would have made a very poor commonplace history as compared with what we now find in the pages of Scripture! Camels,sheep, servants and children make up a picture of wealth, but we can see this any day! The rare sight is the patience-thisit is which raises Job to his true glory! God was dealing well with His faithful servant and even rewarding his uprightnesswhen He counted him worthy to be tried. The Lord was taking the surest and kindest way to bless and honor one who was a perfectand an upright man-one that feared God and eschewed evil.
The Lord was full of pity to permit sharp trial to come upon Job for his good. There was more tender mercy in subjecting himto it than there would have been in screening him from it. False pity would have permitted the good man to die in his nest,but true pity put a thorn into it and made him mount aloft as the eagle! It was great mercy, after all, which took him outof the state in which he washed his steps with butter, and cast him into the mire, for thus he was weaned from the world andmade to look the more eagerly for a better portion.
No doubt, in Job's character, the Lord saw certain failings which we cannot see, which He desired to remove and perhaps Healso marked some touches of Grace which needed to be supplied-and Divine Love undertook to complete his perfect character.Perhaps his prosperity had sunned him till he had grown somewhat hard in tone and sharp in judgment and, therefore, the Lordwould soften and mellow his gracious spirit. The things lacking were no common virtues, for in these he was perfect, but certainrich and rare tints of the higher life-and these could not be imparted by any other means than severe suffering. Nothing morecould really be done for Job but by this special agency, for doubling the number of his camels and sheep would only enlargehis cares. Since he already had enough children, too, he had a sufficient family and of all earthly things, abundance. Butto give him twice the Divine Grace, twice the experience, twice the knowledge of God, perhaps twice the tenderness of characterhe had always possessed, was a mode of enrichment which the tender and compassionate Lord adopted out of the greatness ofHis wisdom and favor. Job could only thus be made doubly rich in the rarest of all treasures-and the All-Merciful adaptedthat method.
Examining the matter from another point of view, it may appear that Job was tried in order that he might be better able tobear the extraordinary prosperity which the Lord had resolved to pour upon him. That double portion might have been too muchfor the Patriarch if he had not been lifted into a higher state. If abundance is hard to bear, superfluity is even worse and,therefore, to those He loves, the Lord gives more Grace.
Job by his trials and patience received not only double Grace, and double wealth, but double honor from God. He had stoodvery high in the peerage of the excellent as a perfect and an upright man before his trial, but now he is advanced to thevery highest rank of spiritual nobility. Even our children call him "the most patient man under pains and suffering." He rosefrom the knighthood of sincere goodness to the peerage of heroic endurance. At first he had the honor of behaving admirablyamid wealth and ease, but he was in the end elevated to sit among those who glorify God in the fires. Benevolence, justiceand truth shone as bright stars in the sky of his heavenly character, but now the moon of patience silvers all and lightsup the scene with a superior beauty! Perhaps the Lord may love some of us so specially that He means to put upon us the dignityof endurance-He will make us knights, not of the golden fleece, but of the iron Cross! What but great pity and tender mercycould plan such a lot for our unworthy selves?
Once more, Job by his trials and the Grace of God was lifted up into the highest position of usefulness. He was useful beforehis trial as few men of wealth and influence have been, but now his life possesses an enduring fruitfulness which blessesmultitudes every day! Even we who are here this afternoon "have heard of the patience of Job." All the ages have this manfor their teacher. Brothers and Sisters, we do not know who will be blessed by our pains, by our bereavements, by our crossesif we have patience under them! Specially is this the case with God's ministers, if He means to make much of them, their pathto usefulness is up the craggy mountain's side. If we are to comfort God's afflicted people, we must, first, be afflictedourselves. Tribulation will make our wheat fit to be bread for saints. Adversity is the choicest book in our library, printedin black letters, but grandly illuminated! Job makes a glorious comforter and preacher of patience, but no one turns eitherto Bildad, Zophar, or Eliphaz, who were "miserable comforters" because they had never been miserable. You, dear Sisters, whomGod will make daughters of consolation to your families, must in your measure pass through a scholarship of suffering-a swordmust pass through your own hearts if you are to be highly favored and blessed among women. Yet, let us all remember that afflictionwill not bless us if it is impatiently borne. If we kick at the goad, it will hurt us, but it will not act as a fitting stimulus.If we rebel against God's dispensations, we may turn His medicines into poisons and increase our grief by refusing to endurethem. Be patient, be patient, be patient and the dark cloud shall drop a sparkling shower! "You have heard of the patienceof Job." Imitate it. "You have seen the end of the Lord." Rejoice in it. "He is full of pity and of tender mercy." Yield yourselvesto Him. Divine Spirit, plant in us the sweet flower of patience, for our patient Savior 's sake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: ROMANS 8:1-22.
This precious Chapter reminds us of the description of the land of Havilah, "where there is gold, and the gold of that landis good."
Verse 1. There is therefore nowno condemnation to them which are to Christ Jesus. [See Sermon #1917, Volume 32-in christ
NO CONDEMNATION.] There is no condemnation to them-it is
gone, and gone forever. Not only is part of it removed, but the whole of it is gone. "There is therefore now no condemnationto them which are in Christ Jesus." This is their legal status before God-in Christ Jesus, without condemnation. And thisis their character-
1. Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit Their daily conversation is according to their new spiritual natureand according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit-not according to their fleshly nature and the guidance of self and Satan.
2. For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the Law of life and death. "It cannot any longerrule me and it cannot now condemn me. I am free from it, for I am now under the new and higher Law of the Spirit of life inChrist Jesus."
3. 4. For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinfulflesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us who walk
not after the flesh, but after the Spirit [See Sermons #699, Volume 12-SIN CONDEMNED AND EXECUTED BY CHRIST JESUS and #2228,Volume 37- THE LAW'S FAILURE AND FULFILLMENT.] If there are any men in the
world who keep the Law of God, they are the very persons who do not hope to be saved by the keeping of it, for they have byfaith found righteousness in Christ! And now by love and gratitude they are put under the power of the Law of the spirituallife in Christ and they so live, by God's Grace, that they do manifest the holiness of the Law in their lives.
5. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh. They care for nothing else-they are satisfied as longas their appetites are gratified. They are of this world and the things of this world fill them to the brim.
5. But they that are after the Spirit [do mindd the things of the Spirit Spiritual joys, spiritual hopes, spiritual pur-suits-thesebelong only to those who are spiritual!
6. For to be carnally minded-To be fleshly minded-
6. Is death.That is what it comes to, for the flesh comes to death at last and, after death, it goes to corruption. If welive after that carnal fashion, this will be the end of our living-"death."
6. But to be spiritually minded is life and peace.For the spirit will never die and the spirit has that within it which willbring it perfect peace.
7, 8. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be. So then,they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Those that have never been born-again, so as to be "in the Spirit," are stilljust as they were born-"in the flesh"-so they cannot please God. Do what they may, there is an essential impurity about theirnature so that they cannot be well-pleasing unto God. We must be born-again! We must become spiritual by the new birth whichis worked by the Holy Spirit or else it is impossible for us to please God! O you who are trying your best to please God apartfrom the new birth and apart from Christ, see how this iron bar is put across your path-"they that are in the flesh cannotplease God." Go, then, to Him and ask Him to give you of His Spirit that you may be spiritual and no longer carnal!
9. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. Nowif any man has not theSpirit of Christ, he is none of His.It does not matter what he calls himself-he may be a preacher, he may be a bi-shop-ifhe has not the Spirit of Christ, "he is none of His," and if he has the Spirit of Christ, though he may be the most obscureperson on earth, he belongs to Christ!
10. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin. The Grace of God has not changed the body-it still remains earth,dust-worms' meat-and it must die unless Christ should come and transform it by His coming. "The body is dead because of sin"and, therefore, come those aches and pains, that heaviness, that weariness, that decay, those infirmities of age which weexperience as long as we bear about with us this body of death!
10. But the Spirit is life because of righteousnes. There is a living power within us which triumphs over this dying, decayingbody! So we rejoice notwithstanding all our afflictions, trials and depressions.
11. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shallalso quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you. There is to be an emancipation even for this poor flesh-atranslation and a Glory, for it is yet in Christ.
12. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. [See Sermon #96, Volume 2-the christian-a
DEBTOR.] Certainly not, for we owe the flesh nothing! It keeps us
down and hampers us. It is a hindrance to us and we certainly owe it nothing! So let us not be subservient to it, let us notconsult or even consider it and especially let us never come under its fatal bondage!
13. For if you live after the flesh, you shall die. It is a dying thing, and "you shall die" if you live after its dying fashion.
13. But if you, through the Spirit-That living, immortal power.
13, 14. Do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the
Sons of God [See Sermon #1220, Volume 21-THE LEADING OF THE SPIRIT, THE SECRET TOKENS OF THE SON OF GOD.] Oh, high dignityand blessed priv lege! As soon as we get away from the dominion of the flesh and come to be led by the Spirit of God, andso become spiritual men, we have the evidence that we are the sons of God, for "God is a Spirit," so His sons must be spiritual.
15. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear. We did have it once, and it worked some good effect uponus for the time being. When we were under the Law, we felt ourselves to be in slavery, and that made us go to Christ for liberty.
15. But you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Oh, blessed, blessed state of heart to feelthat now we are born into the family of God and that the choice word which no slave might ever pronounce may now be pronouncedby us, "Abba!" It is a child's word, such as a little child utters when he first opens his mouth to speak, and it runs thesame both backwards and forwards-AB-BA. Oh to have a childlike spirit that in whatever state of heart I am, I may still beable to say, in the accents even of spiritual infancy, "Abba, Father!"
16. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. [See Sermons #339, Volume 6-the
SONS OF GOD; #402, Volume 7-THE JOINT-HEIRS AND THEIR DIVINE PORTION and #2961, Volume 51-"HEIRS OF GOD."] What better testimonycan we have than that of these two witnesses, first of our own spirit and then of the Holy Spirit, Himself, "that we are thechildren of God"? Note that this is not spoken concerning everybody. The doctrine of the universal Fatherhood of God is adoctrine of the flesh-not of the Spirit-it is not taught anywhere in God's Word. This is a Fatherhood which relates only tothose who are spiritua-we are born into it by the new birth and brought into it by an act of Divine Grace in adoption. "Beloved,now are we the sons of God," this is a special privilege that belongs only to those who are spiritual!
17, 18. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, if we suffer with Him, that we may be alsoglorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the Glory whichshall be revealed in us. Do we suffer now? Then let us wait for something better that is yet to come! Yes, we do suffer, andin this we are in accord with the whole creation of God, for the whole creation is just now, as it were, enduring birth pangs.There is something better coming, but meanwhile it is troubled and perplexed, moaning and groaning.
19-22. For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was madesubject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason ofHim who has subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself alsoshall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the wholecreation groans and travails in pain together until now. See how it often weeps in the superabundant rain that seems likea minor deluge! Note how, at times, Creation's very bowels seem to be tossed and torn with pain and agony by volcanoes andearthquakes. Mark the tempests, tornadoes, hurricanes and all kinds of ills that sweep over the globe, leaving devastationin their track! And the globe itself is wrapped in swaddling bands of mist, and shines not out like its sister stars in itspristine brightness and splendor. The animal creation, too, wears the yoke of bondage. How unnecessarily heavy have men oftenmade that yoke!