Sermon 3300. Titles of Honor
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, MAY 2, 1912.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON THURSDAY EVENING, APRIL 5, 1886.
"Brethren beloved of the Lord." 2 Thessalonians. 2:13.
THE verse from which my text is taken begins thus, "But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren belovedof the Lord," so I will commence my discourse by saying that we might often find comfort and relief from gloomy apprehensionsby associating with those who are "beloved of the Lord." If you read the Chapter through, you will perceive that Paul's mindwas greatly exercised concerning the perilous times which were to come to the Church of Christ. He wrote to warn the Thessaloniansconcerning the coming of antichrist, and then said that there were some to whom God would send "strong delusion, that theyshould believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteous." The Apostle's heart was so heavily burdened with that sorrowful theme that he was glad to turn his pen to quite a different subject and,therefore, he wrote, "But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord." Just now, thereis a general opinion that the growth of Popery in this land is most alarming and that the declension of vital godliness isvery serious. And while we do not fully agree with the alarmists, we are obliged to admit that these are times of peculiarperil. The tendency of those who look only at the black side of the question is to fret and worry-and to feel that God's Churchis in danger. Brethren, I would not have you shut your eyes to the dangers by which we are surrounded, but I would not haveyou dispirited by them, either! There are still many saints left in the world. There are still they who, like those in Sardis,have not defiled their garments. There are still some who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. There are still many earnest andfaithful testifiers to the Truth of God as it is in Jesus. So, although you may mourn over the evils of the times, you arebound to always give thanks to God that there are some "brethren beloved of the Lord" still left upon the face of the earth!David spoke of the saints that were on the earth in his day as "the excellent, in whom is all my delight." And David's Lord,our blessed Master, no doubt found no small solace, as a Man, in associating with Mary, Martha and Lazarus, for He seems tohave withdrawn from the multitude who mocked and scoffed and to have retired into the privacy of domestic piety-and thereto have found joy and comfort in the midst of the happy family that was so closely attached to Him. There are still in theworld many of the precious sons of Zion who are comparable to fine gold and concerning whom the Lord says, "They shall beMine in that day when I make up My jewels." Be wise, my Brothers and Sisters, and let it be said of you as it was said ofthem of old, "They that feared the Lord spoke often, one to another," for there is comfort to be found in the society of God'ssaints- let the times be ever so perilous and dark.
But I would advance a step beyond this preliminary observation and remark that when things are outwardly not as the childrenof God would like them to be, and when there is much within them that is not as it should be, they may often derive much solaceby reflecting upon their true condition in the sight of God in connection with the Lord Jesus Christ. Brothers and Sistersin Christ, I know that many of you have grievous trials to endure. And I am well aware that if you look within, you will seemuch that will distress you. You will perceive that the old Adam still lurks within you and that notwithstanding all the forcethat has been brought against him by Divine Grace, he is still far too vigorous! It is true that some of you have also tosuffer from poverty and that your lot is a very difficult one-yet we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, and youare, yourselves, bound to give thanks on your own behalf because notwithstanding your poverty, and notwithstanding your infirmity,and notwithstanding even the sin of which you have such cause to mourn, you are still "beloved of the Lord"-and in the Personof Jesus Christ you are "without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing"! When faith recognizes the vital union which existsbetween Christ and the soul and realizes the consequent
blessedness and security of the saint, then it cries, "I am bound to give thanks always unto God, for I am still beloved ofthe Lord notwithstanding all that causes me often to weep and mourn."
It is my purpose, this evening, to invite all of you who are trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ to contemplate your true standingin the sight of God-that you may be uplifted from the dunghills of your complaints, shake off the ashes of your doubts, unwindthe sackcloth of your fears, put on your beautiful garments of holy rejoicing and sing aloud unto Him through whose Graceyou are made worthy to be called "brethren beloved of the Lord." There are two topics on which I have to speak. First, thetitles mentioned in the text And, secondly, the wearers of those titles.
I. First, then, let us think for a while of THE TITLES MENTIONED IN THE TEXT-"brethren" and, "beloved of the Lord."
"Brethren" is a very special word-the utterance of it awakens an echo in every Believer's heart. It is naturally a silverword, but spiritually God has transmuted it into gold. I do not wonder that a certain sect has appropriated this title, yetwe equally claim the name of, "brethren," as our own, and we share it with all who are the children of God by faith in JesusChrist. The title, "brethren," is very hallowed and very precious to us-let us try to find out what it implies.
First, it indicates a common nature. Whatever opinions any may hold concerning the unity of the human race, there can be nodifference of opinion about the unity of nature in those who are born of the same parents. Where should I expect to find aperson more in sympathy with myself than my own brother? Where should I expect to find, beneath the cope of Heaven, anothersoul that should be more akin to mine than the soul of my brother? If there are not peace and love between us, where can theybe found? However much we may differ from one another in some respects, there must be certain lineaments of feature or traitsof character in which we are alike. But even if this is not so naturally, it certainly is so spiritually! All Believers arealike partakers of the Divine Nature-we are all equally begotten again unto a lively hope by the Resurrection of Jesus Christfrom the dead! The inner life of all true Christians is the same-there is not a Baptist life and a Methodist life, or a Nonconformistlife and a Church of England life. The Divine Life is one wherever it is bestowed. The life of my hand and the life of myfoot are one and the same, pulsating from the same central source and maintained by the same power. And the life of God isthe same in all the members of the Mystical Body of Christ. This is something more than brotherhood-that idea does not coverthe whole truth although it includes much of it. There is a distinct unity of nature in all the saints of the living God!Hence, Brothers and Sisters, I can never tolerate any attempts to limit communion between those who are really one in Christ.It always seems to me that it would be an infraction of the Divine Law if I were to say to a Brother in Christ that I couldnot commune with him because of certain minor matters in which we do not quite agree. Besides, whether I am willing to doso or not, I cannot help communing with him for he is a part of Christ's Mystical Body of which I also am a part! So thatunless I could myself get out of that body, or he could get out of it, which is impossible for either of us, I must remainin spiritual communion with him whatever I may do concerning the outward and visible symbols of that communion. No, more thanthat, if I could go to Heaven and that Brother still tarried here upon the earth, our communion would not be broken, for Dr.Watts was right when he sang-
"The saints on earth, and all the dead,
But one communion make!
All join in Christ, their living Head,
And of His Grace partake."
The term, "brethren," also implies a common experience. The brethren in an earthly family have the same parents, they livein the same house, they partake of the some food, they share all the privileges and varied experiences of the same household.So is it with those who are of the household of faith, the family of God. Their experiences may vary even as one child inthe home differs from another, but there is much more similarity than there is diversity in the experiences of the livingchildren of the living God. We have all been broken in pieces. We have all been bound up. We have all been emptied. We haveall been brought to the Cross. We have all been led by one Spirit to drink of the same precious Truth! We have not all subscribedto the same creed, yet in substance and in effect, the Doctrine of all the children of God is, to a large extent, identical.They rely for salvation upon the atoning Sacrifice of Christ, and therein they are all one. Their pilgrim path is throughthe same wilderness, they eat the same manna, they drink of the same Rock, they are led by the same cloudy-fiery pillar, andthey come at last to the same heavenly Canaan and go no more out forever! They are and they must be one, not only becausethey are one in nature, but because the various processes through which that nature has to pass are so largely the same.
More than this, the title, "brethren," implies that we love one another. It is said that there is a lack of love in certainchurches that profess to be Christian. Well, perhaps there is. I am not going to be an accuser of the brethren in that re-
spect, but I believe there is a great deal more love existing among Christians than many persons imagine. Possibly, thosewho say there is a lack of love in our midst judge by the state of their own hearts, while those who really love the saintsfind that the saints also love them. Do not suppose, dear Friends, because the preacher has sometimes to proclaim very unpalatableTruths of God and because he sometimes delivers his message in stern tones, that therefore he has not a tender heart! Fidelityto the Truth of God requires that it should be spoken in such a fashion as to secure public attention, and this involves theuse of great plainness of speech and a manner of delivery which some may resent. And the man who honestly and fearlessly actsthus is more acceptable to God and has far greater and truer love in his heart than the one who says, "Peace, peace," whenthere is no peace! As I hate Satan and all his works, so my soul hates every false doctrine in this Church and in every Church!But as I love God and all that God loves, so am I desirous to love every child of the loving God. And I will further say thatnot only do I desire to love every child of God, but I think I really do. Do you not feel, beloved Brothers and Sisters inChrist, whenever you meet a Believer in Jesus, and begin to talk of the things that belong to His Kingdom, you have fellowshipwith him in heart and spirit even though you had never seen him before? When we talk of Jesus, our love to one another soonbegins to flow! The true basis of our communion with one another is that we are there in Christ Jesus-and that union manifestsitself in love to all who are, as our text puts it, "brethren beloved of the Lord."
This word, "brethren," is a far-reaching word, for it further implies that all Christians have a common Father. Let all Believersrejoice that they can unite in saying, "Our Father, who are in Heaven." There is a straight line from my heart to the heartof God-and so there is from your heart, my Brother or my Sister in Christ-so our Father's heart is our common meeting place!We were there in purpose before this world was created. We are there by faith at this moment and we shall be there by blessedexperience when this world has passed away and time shall be no more! Having the same Father, we share equally in that Father'slove. We may not always feel the same love to all our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, but God's love to us and His love tothem knows no variation. I trust you all realize that our Father is quite impartial in His love to all His children and thatall who are truly members of His family through their union to Christ shall have an equal share of it. Hence the tie of Christianbrotherhood become a very solemn and a very precious thing, for it not only binds us fast to our Father in Heaven, but italso binds us closely to one another! I pray that the members of this Church may always act toward each other as Brothersand Sisters in Christ. I wish that among all the saints there might be a sort of spiritual Freemasonry so that whenever wemight meet, we should recognize one another by the holy grip of Christian love. There are certain sacred passwords that arecommon to all the saints and I will defy the hypocrite or the worldling to pronounce them aright-but if he should be ableto utter them with his lips-he can never really know their meaning in his heart. There are certain experiences that cannotbe learned without the teaching of the Holy Spirit. There is a certain way of speaking about Christ that can never be acquiredas a parrot learns to talk. There is a certain ring which God gives to His gold which is never bestowed upon baser metal-andthere is a certain something about a true child of God which enables him to recognize others of the same family and whichalso enables them to recognize him so that when they come together, their hearts leap up at the thought that they are "brethrenbeloved of the
Perhaps I have lingered too long over that first title, so now I must turn to the second one, "beloved of the Lord." You doneed my explanations here, for the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle to give the Divine explanation of this title of honor.Turn to the verse from which our text is taken and you will see that the first thought concerning the Lord's love to you isthat of its antiquity-"We are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God has fromthe beginning chosen you." You always were "beloved of the Lord"! He did not begin to love you when you first repented andturned to Him. He saw you in the glass of His eternal purpose and he loved you then! That love He proved many centuries beforeyou knew anything about it, for His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior, had redeemed you 1800 years before youwere born-He gave the fullest proof of His affection for you in laying down His life for you. There was nothing in you tomerit this wondrous Self-Sacrifice on the part of Christ-on the contrary, you were His enemies, you profaned His holy name,and despised His Sacrifice after you learned what He had done! But He gave Himself for you because from eternity He had lovedyou with a love that would not be turned from its purpose by anything that He foresaw would be done by you!
In addition to the antiquity of the Lord's love to you, think also of its richness. The Apostle says, "God has from the beginningchosen you to salvation." Have you grasped the full meaning of that word, salvation, Beloved? It does not merely mean salvationfrom Hell, though that is included in it, but it means salvation from sin, salvation from the guilt
and power of sin, salvation from your doubts, your fears, your troubles-salvation from that besetting infirmity of yours,salvation from the devil's dominion over you, salvation in all its fullness from first to last! To all this "God has fromthe beginning chosen you" who are "brethren beloved of the Lord"! This is no mean inheritance, no slender portion, no slightgift-indeed, it is not easy to find words in which adequately to describe all that God has done for you in choosing you "tosalvation." It will need all eternity to fully explain the meaning of that great word! You are, indeed, "beloved of the Lord"in having such a priceless portion as this bestowed upon you!
Notice, next, the wisdom, of the Lord's love to you. "God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctificationof the Spirit and belief of the truth." Had it been possible for you to have had salvation without sanctifica-tion, it wouldhave been a curse to you instead of a blessing. If such a thing were possible, I cannot conceive of a more lamentable conditionthan for a man to have the happiness of salvation without the holiness of it! Happily, it is not possible. If you could besaved from the consequences of sin, but not from the sin, itself, and its power and pollution, it would be no blessing toyou. But the salvation to which God has from the beginning chosen you is inseparably linked with the cleansing and sanctifyingwork of the Holy Spirit who operates within you through the instrumentality of faith! Your belief of the Truth of God hasa purifying influence upon your whole life and makes you desire to follow in the footprints of your dear Lord and Savior.Thus God shows His wisdom in the choice of the means which He blesses to your salvation-blessing you as much by the meansas by the salvation, itself-blessing you as much in the road as in the end to which it leads! You are, indeed, "beloved ofthe Lord" in having the Spirit of God thus dwelling in you and bestowing upon you that precious gift of faith by which youare enabled to believe the Truths of God!
Observe, too, in order to increase your joy in the Lord, the signs of this love. In the next verse, the Apostle goes on tosay, "whereunto He called you by our Gospel." Do you not remember, you who are "beloved of the Lord," when you were calledby the Gospel? Then was the eternal purpose of God fulfilled in your experience. Go back in thought to the time of your espousalto Christ. Recall the sound of the silver trumpet that then brought you into Gospel liberty. You had been to the House ofGod hundreds of times before when that same trumpet was ringing out the glad refrain-
"The year of jubilee is come! Return, you ransomed sinners, home"- but your ears and heart had been sealed to the message!But that day the Lord opened your heart and unstopped your ears, so that you were numbered among the happy people who heardthe joyful sound! Your calling proved your election, and it stands to you still as gracious evidence of God's eternal loveto you. Happy are we, too, if we can say with the Apostle, "whereunto He called you by our Gospel." I know that however manymay preach the Gospel better than I do, there is no one who can preach a better Gospel than the one I preach, for it is thatGospel which "is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes." "Our Gospel" is the best of gospels, the richestof gospels, it cannot be excelled, it cannot be equaled! In fact, it is the only Gospel that is worthy of the name! You rememberhow Paul wrote to the Galatians, "I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him that called you into the Grace of Christunto another gospel: which is not another." That is to say, it is not another gospel and it brings only a curse both uponhim who preaches it and those who receive it! But blessed are you who have been called unto salvation by "our Gospel."
There is yet one more sign of God's eternal love which is to be seen by us in the future-"to the obtaining of the Glory ofour Lord Jesus Christ." We who believe in Jesus are so "beloved of the Lord" that He will never be satisfied until we shareHis Glory! So be glad in the Lord and rejoice in the glorious prospect that He has set before you! God was not content tochoose you to happiness here, but He has also chosen you to happiness hereafter! He was not satisfied with making a littleHeaven for you here below, but He has made a great Heaven for you up above! He has not appointed an earthly paradise whereHe might sometimes come to you as He came to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, but He has prepared a place for you in Hisown Home in Glory that you may dwell forever in your Father's House where there are many abiding places. Rejoice, then, "belovedof the Lord," that He has "called you by our Gospel to the obtaining of the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ"!
Of course it is not in my power to enable every Christian here to suck all the sweet out of this title, but it is in the powerof the Holy Spirit to enable you to-and by the exercise of faith you may draw much of it out. I claim this title for myself-"belovedof the Lord"-and each Brother or Sister in Christ may claim it for himself or herself. "O man greatly beloved" was the titlegiven to Daniel, and that is the title that is given to every Believer in Jesus. "That disciple whom Jesus loved" was thedistinguishing title of one of His followers when Christ was here in the flesh. And now that after the flesh we know Christno more, we are His in such a special sense that every child of God is "that disciple whom Jesus loves." May you get a firmgrip of that Truth of God, Beloved, and realize that Jesus loves you! You cannot obtain this
assurance except by faith, but when you have believed, joy and peace will quickly follow upon the heels of faith. No, theycome hand in hand, for we have joy and peace in believing!
II. I have taken so long in speaking of these titles of honor that I have very little time left for speaking of THE
WEARERS OF THESE TITLES.
Suppose, dear Friends, you had all heard the Gospel preached and that you understood the dignity and happiness of a Christian-whatsort of a person would you suppose him to be? If I try to picture him for you, you will see how far your ideas and mine agree.I should think you would so imagine that a man who is "beloved of the Lord" would be the happiest man in the world. You naturallysuppose that if the eternal God has loved him, if the infinite heart of the Most High has been set upon him from all eternity,he must experience the greatest imaginable delight in such a belief and he must feel that whatever else he may or may notpossess, he is rich to the fairest possible extent in having the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Spirit whois given unto him! I know that a sorrowful friend over yonder is saying, "If I really could say that Jesus is mine, I wouldbe quite content to be poor. If I were 'beloved of the Lord,' I would not mind if I had to lie in a dungeon or even to beburned to death for His sake." So I conceive that those who are "beloved of the Lord" must be the most happy and joyful peopleto be found anywhere upon the face of the earth!
I suppose, too, that the influence of this love upon them would make them very careful not to offend their loving Lord. Naturally,the love of Christ would exercise such a constraining influence upon them that they would feel that men so highly favoredas they are ought not to live as other men do-but that, being distinguished by such peculiar privileges, they should be "apeculiar people, zealous of good works." Without violating the proprieties of conjecture, I can conceive that the "belovedof the Lord" would be most heavenly-minded people. Having such treasure in Heaven, they would naturally not care about thethings of earth, but would set their affection on things above so that where their treasure is there would their heart bealso. I think the Believer would be longing and panting to get a peep through the pearly gates and that until he could bethere with his loving Lord, he would often be singing-
"My heart is with Him on His Throne, And ill can brook delay! Each moment listening for the voice, 'Rise up, and come away!'"
Further, I can suppose that the "beloved of the Lord" are so grateful for their Lord's love that they are constantly tellingothers the story of that love. And that when they meet their fellow Christians, their constant theme of conversation is theriches of Divine Grace. I can suppose that these people are so different from others that wherever they go, they are lookedupon with astonishment! Difficulties I suppose they have, but being "beloved of the Lord" they take their difficulties toHim and He enables them to overcome them by His Grace. Trials I suppose they have, but they are sure to go to God about themand He either removes them or gives the necessary strength to endure them. I suppose they are people who compass sea and land,not to make proselytes to their particular sect, but by holy self-denial and consecrated service to glorify God and extendthe Redeemer's Kingdom on earth.
Is not this what you are longing to do, Beloved? Well, it is a good thing to have high aspirations, but it is an even betterthing to turn those aspirations to practical account. Is there not something that we can do for Christ tonight? The Israelitesfound the manna in the wilderness, not by looking up to Heaven, but by looking down on the ground. And instead of lookingup to Heaven for means of glorifying God, we may find opportunities of doing so all around our daily path! Let us, each one,ask ourselves these questions and answer them as in the sight of God-What can I do for God in my own family circle? What canI say about Jesus to my friends? How can I bring most Glory to God in my own spiritual life? What choice gift can I bringto my Savior as Mary brought the costly ointment of spikenard and anointed the feet of Jesus? What tears of penitence canI weep before His marred visage? What holy faith can I now exercise in His risen and glorified Person? Let me, as the "belovedof the Lord," with my largest ideas concerning His Glory and the coming of His Kingdom, see what I can practically do to showthat I truly love Him by whom I am so greatly beloved!
I wish, Brothers and Sisters, that the portrait of the happiest man in the world that I tried to draw a few minutes ago mightprove to be your own likeness. Some of you are sad and despondent, yet you are the "beloved of the Lord." Then why are youso dispirited? You are heavy of heart tonight, but since you are the "beloved of the Lord," you should rejoice in Him whateverthere may be to cause you present heaviness of spirit! You have been struggling with inbred sin and the fight has been sofierce that you have feared that you would be defeated-but as you are the "beloved of the Lord," you must be more than conquerorsthrough Him who has loved you!
Some of you have come here tonight from the workshop where you have been laughed at and mocked-you have most painful recollectionsof the scorn with which you were assailed this very afternoon-but since you are the "beloved of the Lord," the day will comewhen these things will be reckoned among your highest honors. "Take that, John Bu-nyan," said one to a certain Christian ashe pushed him into the gutter. "Oh," said the other, "you may push me into the gutter again if you can only prove my rightto bear that noble name!" So may you say to those who persecute you for Christ's sake, "You may do it again if it pleasesyou, for it would be an honor to me to be spit upon because I belong to Christ." Cultivate that spirit, Brothers and Sistersin Christ, and let the thought that that you are the "beloved of the Lord" make amends for every cruel act or word on thepart of His enemies. When the last trumpet sounds, and the innumerable hosts of the redeemed are gathered together unto Christ-andyou whom God has from the beginning chosen to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth, youwhom He has called by our Gospel-when you obtain, I say, the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, you will forget the little sufferingthat you have ever borne on His account and rejoice with unspeakable joy and full of Glory that you are forever to be numberedamong the "beloved of the
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: ROMANS 8:1-14.
This wonderful Chapter is the very cream of the cream of Holy Scripture! What a grand keynote the Apostle strikes in the firstverse!
Verse 1. There is therefore nowno condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but
after the Spirit [See Sermon #1917, Volume 32-IN CHRIST NO CONDEMNATION.] "No condemnation"-that is the first note of theChapter. In the last verse it is "no separation." What glorious music there is here-no condemnation to those who are in Christ,no separation of them from Christ! Happy are the people who have a share in this double blessing-but unhappy are the men andwomen who know nothing of it! We will read it again-"There is therefore now no condemnation." There is a great deal of accusation,and a great deal more of tribulation, but there is no condemnation-not the least hint of it! Some condemnation we might haveexpected, but "there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, butafter the Spirit."
2. For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the Law of sin and death. I have broken away fromits thralldom! The new Law, the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, the Law of Grace has set me free from the dominationof the Law of sin and death! Happy is the free man who is thus liberated by the Grace of God.
3. For what the Law could not do-God has done by His Grace. "What the Law could not do"-
3. In that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin-Or, as themarginal reading renders it, "by a sacrifice for sin"-
3-5. 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 For they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh. Unregenerate men, the men who remainin the state in which they were born. The men who allow their lower nature to have the predominance. "They that are afterthe flesh mind the things of the flesh." That is all that they care about, all that they think about, all that they toil for,all that they really "mind."
5. But they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit Those in whom there is a new life begotten by the Holy Spirit-thesemind the things of the Spirit. Each nature seeks its own things-the flesh seeks the things of the flesh, the spirit seeksthe things of the Spirit. Judge you, my Hearers, to which case you belong by this test-for what are you living for? That whichyou live for is the true index of your nature. Do you mind spiritual things or the things of the flesh?
6, 7. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is
enmity against God: for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be. [See Sermons #20, Volume 1-the carnalmind ENMITY AGAINST GOD and #1878, Volume 32-A TRAITOR SUSPECTED AND CONVICTED.] The old nature never will obey the Law ofGod-it can never do so. What, then, is to be done with
it? Improve it? No, my Hearers, the only thing to be done with it is to let it die and then to bury it. In Baptism you havea
most significant symbol of what is to be done with the flesh-you are to treat it as a dead thing and, therefore, to bury
it. Let the old life be crucified and put to death with Christ and let the new life take its place!
8. So then they that are in the flesh-Those who are still in the old nature, living for it, living to it-
8. Cannot please God. Men may wash this old nature, they may clothe it, they may decorate it, they may educate it, but thereis no evolution which can produce Grace out of Nature. The child of Nature may be finely dressed, but it is a dead child howevergaudily it is attired. There is a vital eternal difference between the old nature and the new.
9. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. You saints of Rome to whomPaul was writing, and you who believe in Christ now-"You are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spiritof God dwells in you."
9. Now if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. If Christ's Spirit has not quickened you, you do not belongto Christ. Some ministers preach a very general sort of gospel in which everybody has a share, but the Bible knows nothingof that sort of gospel! "If any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." Do you know what it is to have the Spiritof Christ? If not, my Hearer, do not deceive yourself-you are none of His. "If any man"-be he prince or magistrate, a memberof Parliament or a doctor of divinity-"if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His."
10. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Hence the bodysuffers, the body is sick, the body decays, the body is under the dominion of death because of sin-but the Spirit is fullof life because of righteousness.
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. You Believers may have a good hope concerning your bodies!"He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies." Wait a while, therefore- what God has donefor your souls He will, in due time, also do for your bodies! This should make you long for the day of
Christ's appearing, as Paul says in the 23r verse of this Chapter, "waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of ourbody," when Christ shall appear, and we shall be raised-
"From beds of dust and silent clay"- the body itself born a second time, regenerate like the soul!
DEBTOR-Read/download the entire sermon, free of charge, at http://www.spurgeongems.org.] We owe the flesh nothing! I meanthe law of sin in our
members-we owe nothing to that. It has been a curse and a plague to us. We are not debtors to the flesh, so we must not "liveafter the flesh."
13. For if you live after the flesh, you shall die. If you live simply to gratify your ambition. If you live for avarice.If you live to please yourself-if you live for any earthly object which can be comprised under the term "after the flesh"-you will certainly be disappointed, for you will die and your hope will die with you!
13. But if you, through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live. If you seek, by the Holy Spirit's power,to kill sin. If you try to crush all sinful desires. If you keep evil with a rope about its neck-if you mortify it-put itto death, then you shall live! Holiness is the mode of the Christian's life-sin is the way of the sinner's death.