Tag Archives: Charles Spurgeon

Aristocrats in Our Own Righteousness

Dear Sovereign Redeemer and other friends,

Aristocrat: a member of elegant nobility. With that definition in mind, consider this quote from Charles Spurgeon.

“We are all aristocrats in our own righteousness; we do not like to bend down and come among common sinners. If we are brought there, it must be the Spirit of God who casts us to the ground.”

True and brilliantly stated. All of mankind shares an unrelentingly self-justifying nature. We are aristocrats in our own righteousness, and we think most everyone else a common sinner. I am reading Charles Spurgeon’s “Spurgeon on the Holy Spirit” with a couple of young men, and I heartily recommend it. Here is the extended section that contains the above quote.

     “A person comes into church one morning. He is one of the most reputable men in London. He has never committed any outward vice; he has never been dishonest. He is known as a staunch, upright tradesman. Now, to his astonishment, he is informed that he is a condemned, lost sinner, and just as surely lost as the thief who died for his crimes upon the cross.

     Do you think that man will believe it? Suppose, however, that he does believe it, simply because he reads it in the Bible. Do you think he will ever be made to feel it? I know you say, ‘Impossible!’ Some of you, even now, perhaps, are saying, ‘Well, I never would!’ Can you imagine that honorable, upright businessman saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner’ – while stands side by side with the harlot and the swearer? Can you imagine him feeling in his own heart as if he was as guilty as they, and using the same prayer and saying, ‘Lord, save, or I perish’?

     You cannot conceive it, can you? It is contrary to nature that a man who has been so good as he should put himself down among the chief of sinners. But that will be done before he will be saved; he must feel that guilty before he can enter heaven. Now, I ask, who can bring him to such a leveling experience as that, except for the Spirit of God? You know very well that his proud nature will not stoop to it. We are all aristocrats in our own righteousness; we do not like to bend down and come among common sinners. If we are brought there, it must be the Spirit of God who casts us to the ground.

     Why, I know that if anyone had told me that I would ever cry to God for mercy and confess that I had been the vilest of the vile, I would have laughed in his face. I would have said, ‘Why, I have not done anything particularly wrong. I have not hurt anybody.’ And yet I know this very day that I can take my place on the lowest form, and if I can get inside heaven, I will feel happy to sit among the chief of sinners and praise the almighty love that has saved even me from my sins.

     Now, what works this humiliation of heart? Grace. It is contrary to nature for an honest and an upright man in the eyes of the world to consider himself to be a lost sinner. It must be the Holy Spirit’s work, or else it never will be done.”

Spurgeon on God Whispering in Your Ear

Dear Sovereign Redeemer and other friends,

The modern church is overrun with people who are certain that God whispers in their ear practically every day. Never mind that so much of the “God told me” talk is proven to be objectively false after the fact or contradicts God’s specific revelation, the Bible.

It turns out, and not surprisingly, that this is not a new phenomenon. Here is a humorous portion of Charles Spurgeon’s “Lectures to My Students” (the chapter “On Commenting”, p586), which in spite of the humor makes an incredibly important point:

“A batch of poems was sent me some time ago for The Sword and the Trowel, which were written by a person claiming to be under the immediate influence of the Holy Spirit. He informed me that he was passive, and that what was enclosed was written under the direct physical and mental influence of the Spirit upon his mind and hand. My bookshelves can show many poems as much superior to these pretended inspirations as angels are to bluebottles; the miserable doggerel bore on its face the evidence of imposture. So when I listen to the senseless twaddle of certain wise gentlemen who are always boasting that they alone are ministers of the Spirit, I am ashamed of their pretensions and of them.”

Can anyone just say it like Spurgeon? Methinks he would have a thing or two to say to many of the authors represented in our local Christian bookstores, offering their shaky doctrine and the fruit of their own inclinations as the voice of God.

If you need the voice of God, Genesis through Revelation will more than suffice.

Spurgeon on Knowing Jesus

Dear Sovereign Redeemer and other friends,

Here are some very precious thoughts on Matthew 11:27 from Charles Spurgeon’s “Lectures to My Students” (Volume 2, Lecture 2, “The Necessity of Ministerial Progress”):

“Last Sunday night I had a text which mastered me: ‘No man knoweth the Son but the Father.’ I told the people that poor sinners who had gone to Jesus and trusted him thought they knew him, but that they knew only a little of him. Saints of sixty years’ experience, who have walked with him every day, think they know him; but they are only beginners yet. The perfect spirits before the throne, who have been for five thousand years perpetually adoring him, perhaps think they know him, but they do not to the full. ‘No man knoweth the Son but the Father.’ He is so glorious, that only the infinite God has full knowledge of him, therefore there will be no limit to our study, or narrowness in our line of thought, if we make our Lord the great object of all our meditations.”

Beat that! Well, perhaps the Apostle Paul has: “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 4:8). Otherwise, Spurgeon might be tops.

Like Spurgeon, let us be mastered by texts about Jesus!