Grace Gems for January 2000

Pure, unalloyed, perfect truth
(Charles Spurgeon)

The Bible is a vein of pure gold, unalloyed
  by quartz or any earthly substance.

This is a star without a speck,
  a sun with a blot,
  a light without darkness,
  a moon without it's paleness,
  and a glory without a dimness.

O Bible!  It cannot be said of any other book that it is
perfect and pure, but of the Bible we can declare that all
wisdom is gathered up in it without a particle of folly.

This is the judge that ends the strife where wit and reason fail.

This is the Book untainted by any error,
 but is pure, unalloyed, perfect truth.

The Joy of Our Souls!
(Charles Spurgeon)

"Christ became to us the Joy of Our Souls.
Home, friends, health, wealth, comforts —
all lost their 'luster' that day when He saved us,
just as stars are hidden by the light of the sun."

Our Everlasting Song!

The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,

In Christ's Soul there was an exceeding heaviness even unto
death, and an agony which no tongue can tell, for we have
found no words in which to speak of it.
We believe that this agony was commensurate with the agonies
of the lost in hell- not the same agony, but an equivalent for
it; and remember, not the equivalent for the agony of one,
but an Equivalent for the Hells of All That Innumerable Host
Whose Sins He Bore, Condensed into One Black Draught to Be
Drained in A Few Hours.
The miseries of an eternity without an end, miseries caused by
a God infinitely angry because of an awful rebellion, and these
miseries multiplied by the millions for whom the man Christ Jesus
stood as covenant head.
What a draught was that, men and brethren!
Well might it stagger even him!

And yet he drained that cup, drained it to
its utmost dregs not a drop was left.
For you, my soul, no flames of hell; for Christ
the Paschal-lamb has been roasted in that fire!
For you, my soul, no torments of the damned,
for Christ has been condemned in your stead!
For you, my spirit, no desertion of your God,
for He was forsaken of God for you!
It is done, it is finished, and by your sufferings, Jesus,
you have become perfect as the expiation of your people's sins.

Do, my brethren, remember that your sins are perfectly expiated.
Do not let them trouble you as to punishment; the punishment is gone.
Sins cannot lie in two places at one time- they were put on Christ,
and they cannot be on you. In fact, your sins are not to be found-
the scapegoat has gone, and your sins will never be found again.
Your sins, if they were searched for, could not be discovered. Not
even by the piercing eye of God can a single blemish be found in you!

Oh! how we will sing, how we will chant his praise when we get
to heaven! This shall be the highest note- that we owe ALL to
that bright one, that Lamb in the midst of the throne.
We will tell it over, and over, and over again, and find it an
inexhaustible theme for melodious joy and song that He became man,
that He sweat great drops of blood, that He died, that He rose again.

While the angels are singing "Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah!" we will bid them stop the song a moment, while we say,
"He whom you thus adore was once covered with bloody sweat."
As we cast our crowns at his feet, we will say, "And He was once
despised and rejected of men." Lifting up our eyes and saluting Him
as God over all, blessed for ever, we will remember the reed, the
sponge, the vinegar, and the nails; and as we come to Him and have
fellowship with him, and He shall lead us beside the living fountains
of water, we will remember the black brook of Kedron of which he drank,
and the awful depths of the grave into which He descended.

Amid all the splendors of heaven, we shall never forget His agony,
and misery. And  when we sing the loudest sonnets of God's love,
and power, and grace, we will sing this after all, and before all,
and above all- that Jesus the Son of God died for US, and this
shall be Our Everlasting Song —
"He loved us and gave himself for us, and we have washed
our robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb!"

Peculiar People
(Don Fortner)

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto himself a PECULIAR PEOPLE, zealous of good works.
    -Titus 2:14

The Holy Spirit declares that God’s elect, once they are called and
converted by his sovereign grace, are made to be a 'peculiar people'.
The word “peculiar” (v. 14) means “distinctively excellent, valuable,
and honorable.” We are Christ’s portion, the lot of his inheritance,
the jewels of his crown, his fullness (Eph. 1:23), his peculiar people.

Grace has distinguished God’s elect from all others-
They are a people loved by God with a peculiar love (Jer. 31:3),
with a love which he does not have for the rest of Adam’s race.
Let men talk all they wish about “universal benevolence,”
“universal grace,” and “universal love,” -the Word of God
declares plainly that God’s love for his own people is a peculiar,
distinct love (Isa. 43:3-4; Rom. 9:13). It is the distinctiveness
of God’s love for us, who deserve his wrath as fully as Satan
himself, which forms the great motive for our consecration to
our God and his glory (Rom. 12:1-2).

We are the objects of God’s peculiar delight-
The Lord God has made us “accepted in the Beloved.” Being accepted
in Christ, because of Christ, and for Christ’s sake, washed in his
blood and robed in his righteousness, we are a people with whom God
is well pleased, even delighted (Zeph. 3:17).

Being the objects of his love, chosen to eternal salvation and
accepted in Christ, every believer has been blessed with all
the peculiar blessings of God’s free, covenant grace from eternity
(Eph. 1:3-4), and supplied with all the provisions of the Father’s
house day by day and forever.

Every believer has been SEPARATED from the world by peculiar grace-
Electing grace (2 Thess. 2:13-14), redeeming grace (1 Cor. 6:19-20),
regenerating grace (Isa. 43:1-5), preserving grace (1 Pet. 1:5),
and providential grace (Rom. 8:28-30), are the things which make
us to differ from the rest of the world. The distinction is not the
work of our will or of our obedience.
It is the work of God’s grace alone.

"Zealous of Good Works"

Yet, Christ’s peculiar people are made by the grace of God to be
zealous of good works. God the Father ordained that we should walk
in good works (Eph. 2:10). God the Son redeemed us that we should
walk in good works. And God the Holy Spirit effectually teaches
every chosen, ransomed sinner to be zealous of good works.

Ox or Donkey?
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,

I should not expect if I were a member of a commercial firm,
to take half the profits, and to do none of the work.
It is low to the very last degree to share the 'benefits'
without uniting in the 'toil'. And yet some Christian
professors are guilty of this miserable conduct.

As it was in the days of Job, so it is even until now- "the OXEN
were ‘ploughing', and the DONKEYS were ‘feeding' beside them."
There is always a large proportion of the latter class in the
Churches, too glad to feed, but quite unwilling to work.

Modern Church Machinery
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,

Friends! the Churches of Christ have no need of the Modern
Machinery which has supplanted the Simplicity of Faith.

I verily believe, if the Lord swept the church committees
and missionary societies out of the universe, we would be
better without them.

I hope the Church will soon say, like David in Saul's clanking
armor, "I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them,"
and with only her sling and her stone, confident in her God,
I trust she will confront her foe.

We Can Do All Things, If We Can but Trust Christ.
"All things are possible to him that believes."
But nothing is possible to your schemes, and to your systems.
God will sweep them away yet, and happy shall be that
man who shall lead the van in their utter destruction!
Go up against her, take away her bulwarks, for they are not
the Lord's; he did not ordain them, nor will he stand by them.

Act in faith, O you people of God, and prove the power of
prayer, for "all things are possible to him that believes."

The fact is, God does not need our power, but our weakness;
  not our greatness, but our nothingness.

A superior race
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,

There can be no comparison between a
soaring seraph and a crawling worm.

Christian men ought so to live that it were idle to speak
of a comparison between them and the men of the world.
It should not be a comparison but a contrast. The believer
should be a direct and manifest contradiction to the unregenerate.

The life of a saint should be altogether above,
and out of the same list as the life of a sinner.

If we were what we profess to be, we should be
as distinct a people in the midst of this world,
as a white race in a community of Ethiopians,
there should be no more difficulty in detecting
the Christian from the worldling than in discovering
a sheep from a goat, or a lamb from a wolf.

The lost world should be rebuked by
our unworldly, unselfish character.

There should be as much difference between the worldling
and the Christian, as between hell and heaven, between
destruction and eternal life.

As we hope at last that there shall be a great gulf separating
us from the doom of the impenitent, there should be here a deep
and wide gulf between us and the ungodly in the present.

The purity of our character should be such, that men must take
knowledge of us that we are of another and superior race.

There should be a ring of true metal about our speech and
life-style, so that when a brother meets us, he can say,
"You are a Christian, I know, for none but Christians speak
like that, or act like that."
"You also were with Jesus of Nazareth, for your speech betrays you."

Alas! the Church is so much adulterated.
God grant us more and more to be most clearly a chosen generation,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that we may
show forth the praises of him who has called us out of darkness
into his marvelous light.

Prayer delights God's ear;
  it melts His heart;
  and opens His hand.
God cannot deny a praying soul.
 -Thomas Watson

"None can perish that are clinging to the cross."

The Melody of the Cross!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
The Religion Of The Cross was intended to stir the soul with deep
emotion, and where it is truly received it accomplishes its end.

If the passions be not moved by it, there is a strong presumption
that it has never been in true operation. We do not wonder that,
to the man who views religion as A Mere Compendium of Truths for
the Head, it is a powerless thing, for it is intended to work in
another manner.

Wine may serve to cheer the heart, but who would expect to feel
its exhilarating influence by pouring it upon his head?

Likewise, the holy Gospel makes its first appeal to man's HEART,
and until it be heard in that Secret Chamber it is not heard at all.

So long as mere REASON is the only listener, the Melody of the Cross
will be unheard. Charm we ever so wisely, men cannot hear the music
until the ears of the heart are opened.

Your native air...
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
   "Love's Crowning Deed"

We have sometimes heard of sickly persons, that the
physician has recommended them to try their 'native air',
in hopes of restoration. Likewise, we also recommend
every backsliding Christian to try the Native Air of Christ's
Love, and we charge every healthy believer to abide in it.

Let the believer under decays of grace go back to the cross
again; there he found his hope, there he must find it again:
there his love to Jesus began— we "love him because he first
loved us," and there must his love be again inflamed.

The 'atmosphere around the cross of Christ' is bracing
to the soul; get to think much of his love and you grow
strong and vigorous in grace.

If Men Are Ever to Be Truly Great They must Be
Nurtured Beneath the Wing of Free Grace and Dying Love!

The Weepings and Wailings of the Damned...
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,

The Weepings and Wailings of the Damned
are but the deep bass of the astounding
praise which the whole universe, willingly
or unwillingly, must give to Christ.

The following is by Don Fortner-
"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life
 was cast into the lake of fire."   Revelation 20:15

I must warn you who are yet without Christ, if you will not trust
Christ you must be forever damned! Soon, you shall be "cast into
the lake of fire!" All who are found guilty of sin in that great
and terrible day of God's wrath and judgment shall be cast into
the lake of fire. There you shall be made to suffer the
unmitigated wrath of almighty God  forever!

One by one the Lord God will call the damned before his throne
and judge them. As he says to you,  "Depart you cursed!"
He will say to his holy angels, "Take him! Bind him! Cast
him into outer darkness!" There will be no mercy for you!
There will be no pity for you! There will be no sorrow for you!
There will be no hope for you! There will be no end for you!

To hell you deserve to go! To hell you must go!
To hell you will go! Unless you flee to Christ and take refuge
in him, in that great day the wrath of God shall seize you and
destroy you forever! I beseech you now, by the mercies of God,
be reconciled to God by trusting his darling Son! "Knowing
therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men!"
Come to Christ now! Eternity is before you!

Behold his infinite love revealed in the sacrifice of his dear
Son, and know that God is gracious, merciful, and willing to
save sinners (2 Cor. 5:14-15). Behold Christ's finished atonement,
and know that God in Christ has found a way to deliver sinners
from going down to the pit (2 Cor. 5:21). Infinite wisdom found
an infinitely meritorious ransom in the sin-atoning blood of the
Lord Jesus Christ. Now, God can be and is both just and the
Justifier of all who believe on his Son. Behold his amazing,
almighty, saving grace, and know that our God is a God who is
able to save.

"For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for
our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ."
 2 Cor. 5:21

In that great and terrible day I hope to be found in Christ,
not having my own righteousness, but having his righteousness.
How will it be for you in that day?

Professing Christians
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,

Professing Christians, the love of this world is enmity against
God. You PROFESS to love God, yet you are as worldly, as fond
of its fashions and its frivolities, as pleased with its pomp
and its fooleries, as hungry for its honors and its fripperies,
as you can well be.

"Whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap."
This verse teaches that if you continue to sow sin
you will have to reap the result of it, and that, unless
through divine grace you are led to give up your right-eye
sins, and to cut often your right-arm lusts, you will perish.

Christ only bids you give up that which will ruin you;
he only asks you to do that which will make you happy.

The Son of God was nailed to the cross, and out of love to you
he demands that you forsake the sin which will destroy you.

God demands Repentance.
Repentance is a change of mind—
the changing of your mind with reference to SIN,
caring no more for its pleasures, despising it and
turning away from it.
Repentance is a change of mind with regard to HOLINESS;
seeking your happiness in it.
Repentance is a change of mind with regard to CHRIST,
so that you shall no longer look upon him as without
form or loveliness, but as a most precious Savior,
such as you need.

Christ demands of you that you should throw out your
Ornaments of Self-Righteousness, and wrap yourself in the
sackcloth of humiliation, and cast the ashes of penitence
upon your head, and cry, "Unclean! unclean! unclean!"

The never-failing friend
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,

Experience of the love, tenderness, and faithfulness of
our Lord Jesus Christ will weld our hearts to him.

The very THOUGHT of the love of Jesus towards us is enough to
inflame our holy passions, but the EXPERIENCING of his love
heats the furnace seven times hotter.

He has been with us in our TRIALS, cheering and consoling us,
sympathizing with every groan, and regarding every tear with
affectionate compassion. Do we not love him for this?

He has befriended us in every TIME OF NEED, so bounteously
supplying all our neediness out of the riches of his fullness,
that he has not allowed us to lack any good thing.
Shall we be unmindful of such unwearying care?

He has helped us in every DIFFICULTY, furnishing us with
strength equal to our day; he has leveled the mountains before
us, and filled up the valleys; he has made rough places plain,
and crooked things straight. Do we not love him for this also?

In all our DOUBTS he has directed us in the path of wisdom,
and led us in the way of knowledge. He has not allowed us to
wander; he has led us by a right way through the pathless
wilderness. Shall we not praise him for his.

He has repelled our ENEMIES, covered our heads in the day of
battle, broken the teeth of the oppressor, and made us more
than conquerors. Can We Forget Such Mighty Grace?

Are we not constrained to call upon all
that is within us to bless his holy name?

Not one promise of his has been broken, but all have come to pass.

In no single instance has he failed us;
he has never been unkind, unmindful, or unwise.

The harshest strokes of his providence have been as full of
love as the softest embraces of his condescending fellowship.

We cannot, we dare not find fault with him.

He has done all things well.

His love toward his people is perfect, and the consideration
of his love is sweet to contemplation; the very remembrance
of it is like ointment poured forth, and the present enjoyment
of it, the  experience of it at the present moment, is beyond
all things delightful!

At home or abroad, on the land or the sea, in health or sickness,
in poverty or wealth, JESUS, THE NEVER-FAILING FRIEND, affords us
tokens of his grace, and binds our hearts to him in the bonds of
constraining gratitude.

If we were we not dull scholars, we would, in the experience of
a single day, discover a thousand reasons for loving our Redeemer.

A Very Tempest of Delight!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,

What will it be like, to Love Jesus When We Get to Heaven?

Here we utterly fail in description or conception.

The best enjoyments of Christ ON EARTH are but as the
'dipping our finger' in water for the cooling of our thirst.
But HEAVEN is 'bathing' in seas of bliss!

Even so our love here is but one drop of the same substance as
the waters of the ocean, but not comparable for magnitude or depth.

Oh, how sweet it will be to be married to the Lord Jesus, and to
enjoy for ever, and without any interruption, the heavenly delights
of his society!

Surely, if a GLIMPSE of him melts our soul, the FULL FRUITION
of him will be enough to burn us up with affection!

It is well that we shall have more noble frames in heaven than
we have here, otherwise we should die of love in the very land
of life. An honored saint was once so ravished with a revelation
of his Lord's love, that feeling his mortal frame to be unable
to sustain more of such bliss, he cried, "Stop, Lord, it is enough,
it is enough!" But there we shall be able to set the Bottomless Well
of Love to our lips, and drink on for ever, and yet feel no weakness.

Ah, that will be love indeed which shall overflow
our souls forever in our Father's house above!

Who can tell the Transports, the Raptures, the Amazements
of Delight which that love shall beget in us?

And who can guess the sweetness of the song, or the swiftness of
the obedience which will be the heavenly expressions of love made

No heart can conceive the surpassing bliss which the saints
shall enjoy when the Sea of Their Love to Christ and the
Ocean of Christ's Love to Them, Shall Meet Each Other,
and Raise a Very Tempest of Delight!


The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,

Heaven itself, although it be a fertile land, flowing with milk
and honey, can produce no fairer flower than the 'Rose of Sharon'.
Heaven's highest joys mount no higher than the head of Jesus;
its sweetest bliss is found in his name alone.

If we would know heaven, let us know Jesus.
If we would be heavenly, let us love Jesus.
Oh that we were perpetually in his company, that
our hearts might ever be satisfied with his love!

Let the young believer seek after a clear view of the person of Jesus,
and then let him implore the kindling fire of the Holy Spirit to light
up his whole soul with fervent affection.

intensity of this love will ever be the measure of our zeal for his
glory. Let us love him with all our hearts, and then diligent labor
and consistent living will be sure to follow.

Love's food 

by Spurgeon

Love is love's food.

There is a power in Christ's love which conquers, captivates, and
overpowers the man, so that he cannot but love Christ in return.

God’s love has a GENERATIVE power-
our love to him is brought forth by his love to us.

The best way for begetting love to Christ is a sense of the love
of Christ to us. His love is a loadstone to attract our love.

As fire grows by the addition of fuel, so does our love to Christ
increase by renewed and enlarged discoveries of his love to us.

Where much of divine love is perceived by the soul, there will be
a return of affection in some degree proportionate to the measure
of the manifestation. As we pour water into a dry pump when we
desire to obtain more — so must we have the love of Christ imparted
to the heart before we shall feel any uprisings of delight in Him.

We have all too much cause to mourn the poverty of our love.
Beloved fellow Christian, pray for more open discoveries of the
love and loveliness of Christ, and thus shall your languid passions
move more readily in the paths of obedience.

High Proficiency in Divine Things

The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
There must be in our religion fair proportion of believing,
thinking, understanding, and discerning. But there must be
also the preponderating influences of Feeling, Loving,
Delighting, and Desiring.

That religion is worth nothing which has
no dwelling in man but in his brain!

To love Jesus much is to be wise.

To grow in affection is to grow in knowledge,
and to increase in tender attachment is to be
making High Proficiency in Divine Things.

 Make God glad!
Is it possible to make God glad?
 We make God glad by our love.

See, loving heart, how He delights in you.

When you lean your head on His bosom,
you not only receive, but you give Him joy.

When you gaze with love upon His all-glorious face,
you not only obtain comfort, but impart delight.

Our praise too, gives him joy-- not the song of the
lips alone, but the melody of the heart's deep gratitude.

What a Sight!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,

O the beauty of the person of Jesus, when seen with
the eye of faith by the illumination of the Holy Spirit!

As the light of the morning, when the sun arises, "as a
morning without clouds," is our Well-Beloved unto us.

The sight of the burning bush made Moses put off his shoes, but
the transporting vision of Jesus makes us put off all the world!

When once He is seen we can discern no beauties
  in all other creatures in the universe.

He, like the sun, has absorbed all other
glories into his own excessive brightness.

This is the pomegranate which love feeds upon,
  the flagon wherewith it is comforted.

A sight of Jesus causes such union of heart with him,
such goings' out of the affections after him,
and such meltings of the spirit towards him,
that its expressions often appear to carnal men to
be extravagant and forced; when they are nothing but
the free, unstudied, and honest effusions of its love.

Carnal men are themselves ignorant of the divine passion of love
to Jesus, and therefore the language of the enraptured heart is
unintelligible to them. They are poor translators of love’s
celestial tongue who think it to be at all allied with the amorous
superfluities uttered by carnal passions. Jesus is the only one
upon whom the loving believer has fixed his eye, and in his converse
with his Lord he will often express himself in language which is
meant only for his Master’s ear, and which worldlings would utterly
scorn could they but listen to it. The pious feelings at which
they jeer, are as much beyond their highest thoughts as the
'sonnets of angels' excel the 'gruntings of swine'.

If God should forsake the best saint?
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,

We know that if God should forsake the best saint
alive, that man would immediately fall into sin.

He now stands securely on yonder lofty pinnacle,
but his brain would reel and he would fall,
if Secret Hands did not uphold him.

He now picks his steps carefully; take away grace from him
and he would roll in the mire, and wallow in it like other men.

Let the godly be forsaken of his God, and he would go from bad to
worse, until his conscience, now so tender, would be seared as with
a hot iron. Next he would ripen into an atheist or a blasphemer,
and he would come to his dying bed foaming at the mouth with rage;
he would come before the bar of his Maker with a curse upon his lip;
and in eternity, left and forsaken of God, he would sink to hell
with the condemned, ay, and among the damned he would have the worst
place, lower than the lowest, finding in the lowest depths a lower
depth, finding in the wrath of God something more dreadful than the
ordinary wrath which falls upon common sinners!

He has said, "I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you." -Hebrews 13:5.

The following is by J. C. Ryle

"I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you."  Hebrews 13:5

Let every believer grasp these words
and store them up in his heart.

Keep them ready, and have them fresh in your memory;
  you will need them one day.

The Philistines will be upon you,
the hand of sickness will lay you low,
the king of terrors will draw near,
the valley of the shadow of death
 will open up before your eyes.

Then comes the hour when you will find nothing so
comforting as a text like this, nothing so cheering
as a real sense of God's companionship.

Stick to that word, "never".
It is worth its weight in gold.
Cling to it as a drowning man clings to a rope.
Grasp it firmly, as a soldier attacked on all sides grasps
his sword. God has said, and He will stand to it,
  "I will never leave you, nor forsake you."

NEVER! Though YOUR HEART be often faint, and you are sick
of self, and your many failures and infirmities overwhelm you-
even then the promise will not fail.

NEVER! Though THE DEVIL whispers, "I shall have you at last;
yet a little time and your faith will fail, and you will be mine."
Even then the Word of God will stand.

NEVER! When the cold chill of DEATH is creeping over you,
and friends can do no more, and you are starting on that
journey from which there is no return-
even then Christ will not forsake you.

NEVER! When the day of JUDGMENT comes, and the books are
opened, and the dead are rising from their graves, and eternity
is beginning- even then the promise will bear all your weight;
Christ will not leave His hold on your soul.

Oh believing reader, trust in the Lord for ever,
for He says, "I will never leave you."

Lean back all your weight upon Him, do not be afraid.
Glory in His promise.
Rejoice in the strength of your consolation.

You may say boldly, "The Lord is my Helper, I will not fear."

"Bible knowledge without repentance,
 will be but a torch to light men to hell."

"The doctrine of Salvation by Sacraments is-
    a deadly delusion,
    the overthrow of the gospel,
    the destruction of souls and
    the path to perdition."
       -John Campbell

"Popery is-
 a lamb when inferior,
 a fox in equality,
 and a wolf when superior."
   -John Davies

Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.

Christ will be master of the heart, and sin must be mortified.

If your life is unholy, then your heart is
unchanged, and you are an unsaved person.

The Savior will sanctify His people, renew them,
give them a hatred of sin, and a love of holiness.

The grace that does not make a man better
than others is a worthless counterfeit.

Christ saves His people,
  not IN their sins,
  but FROM their sins.

Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.

Worldliness is not easily observed.
It is not to be measured by the style of our clothes,
the means of innocent relaxation and entertainment,
or the place of our residence.

Worldliness is the love of the world, the atmosphere of greed,
the spirit of ambition, the passion for pleasure and self
gratification which consumes the hearts, lives, thoughts,
and deeds of lost souls.
  -Don Fortner