His by conquest

“The Lord’s portion is his people.” — Deuteronomy 32:9

Spurgeon in Morning and Evening asks the question:

“How are they his?”

He then gives three answers to his question:

1. They are His by his own sovereign choice.

2. They are His by purchase. 

3. They are His by conquest. 

It is the last point that struck me as I read Spurgeon’s words this morning.  Not only has God chosen us before the foundation of the world.  Not only has Christ paid for our sins.  He has battled and defeated our rebellious hearts that hate Him.

Or as Spurgeon puts it:

“What a battle he had in us before we would be won! How long he laid siege to our hearts! How often he sent us terms of capitulation! but we barred our gates, and fenced our walls against him. Do we not remember that glorious hour when he carried our hearts by storm? When he placed his cross against the wall, and scaled our ramparts, planting on our strongholds the blood-red flag of his omnipotent mercy? Yes, we are, indeed, the conquered captives of his omnipotent love. Thus chosen, purchased, and subdued, the rights of our divine possessor are inalienable: we rejoice that we never can be our own; and we desire, day by day, to do his will, and to show forth his glory.”

The People’s Preacher

Spurgeon

We point to the gospel by WHEN we baptise

This is the seventh in a series of posts looking at the subject of baptism.  Part 1 is HERE, Part 2 is HERE, Part 3 is HERE, Part 4 is HERE, Part 5 is HERE, Part 6 is HERE. 

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In this post I want us to think about the final way we point to the gospel in the way we baptise people and that’s WHEN we baptize them.  

The examples the book of Acts gives is of people getting baptised very soon after becoming Christians.  

In Acts 2, Peter says “Repent and be baptised” and those who accepted His message were baptised that day. 

In Acts 8:36 when the man from Ethiopia heard Jesus preached to Him, his immediate response was “Look, here is water.  Why shouldn’t I be baptised?” 

The Philippian jailer in Acts 16:31: ”then immediately he and all his family were baptised.” 

But nowadays it is more common for there to be a period of time between someone becoming Christian and them being baptised.  Are we doing something wrong? 

Here are a few comments to make about this: 

Firstly, by waiting, we are not saying that the person is not a Christian.  In delaying baptism we need to be careful that we don’t cause people to doubt the genuineness of their faith. 

Secondly, if we believe that only believers should be baptised, then it is important that we make sure that to the best of our knowledge the person wanting to be baptised is a believer.  As Jesus’ parable of the sower shows this can take time. 

Thirdly, in the case of children and young people, we can’t put an age at which they can be baptised.  Things such as maturity, understanding of its significance, the parents view (especially with unbelieving parents) are all factors to be considered. 

But on this it is interesting to note that Spurgeon who was known for preaching and practicing the important of leading children to conversion waited to baptise his own sons who had been Christians for years until they were 18. 

Then fourthly, delaying baptism can be a way of focusing people on the gospel because again it makes it clear the need to repent before being baptised. 

We can point people to the gospel by when we baptise Christians.

Latest Links

A bumper week of links…

Latest Links

Enjoy the start of August with these links…

Feed my sheep NOT my giraffes

A reminder from Spurgeon about how we need to make our sermons clear and understandable:

“A farmer one day, after he had listened to a simple sermon, which was the very opposite of what he generally heard, exclaimed, “O Lord, we bless thee that the food was put into a low crib to-day, so that thy sheep could reach it!” Some brethren put the food up so high that the poor sheep cannot possibly feed upon it. I have thought as I have listened to our eloquent friends, that they imagined that our Lord had said, “Feed my camelopards.” None but giraffes could reach the food when placed in so lofty a rack. Christ says, “Feed my sheep,” place the food among them, put it close to them.”

(Charles Spurgeon, “Feed My Sheep”)

Spurgeon: Fisherman and Shepherd

“I am a fisher of men as well as a shepherd of the flock.  I must attend to both offices.  Here are souls perishing, sinners that need to be saved by Christ, and therefore I must leave the flock, and go after the wanderers.  I must lay down the crook and take up the net.”

(Charles Spurgeon, Whither Goest Thou?)

Sir, you have no right to go to hell!

“The gospel does not say, ‘There is a Savior, if you wish to be saved’; but, ‘Sir, you have no right to go to hell — you cannot go there without trampling on the Son of God.’”

(John Duncan, quoted in Iain H. Murray, Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism)

HT: Christ is Deeper Still

Latest Links

Another weeks worth of links to check out…

Spurgeon on Paul’s books

A great section from Spurgeon’s sermon ‘Paul – his cloak and his books’ on 2 Timothy 4:13.  (HT: Justin Taylor)

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“We do not know what the books were about, and we can only form some guess as to what the parchments were. Paul had a few books which were left, perhaps wrapped up in the cloak, and Timothy was to be careful to bring them. Even an apostle must read.  

Some of our very ultra Calvinistic brethren think that a minister who reads books and studies his sermon must be a very deplorable specimen of a preacher. A man who comes up into the pulpit, professes to take his text on the spot, and talks any quantity of nonsense, is the idol of many. If he will speak without premeditation, or pretend to do so, and never produce what they call a dish of dead men’s brains-oh! that is the preacher. How rebuked are they by the apostle!  

He is inspired, and yet he wants books!  

He has been preaching at least for thirty years, and yet he wants books!  

He had seen the Lord, and yet he wants books!  

He had had a wider experience than most men, and yet he wants books!  

He had been caught up into the third heaven, and had heard things which it was unlawful for a men to utter, yet he wants books!  

He had written the major part of the New Testament, and yet he wants books!  

The apostle says to Timothy and so he says to every preacher, “Give thyself unto reading.” The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own.  

Brethren, what is true of ministers is true of all our people. You need to read. Renounce as much as you will all light literature, but study as much as possible sound theological works, especially the Puritanic writers, and expositions of the Bible. We are quite persuaded that the very best way for you to be spending your leisure, is to be either reading or praying. You may get much instruction from books which afterwards you may use as a true weapon in your Lord and Master’s service. Paul cries, “Bring the books”-join in the cry.”

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Related Posts

Spurgeon on handing out gospel tracts

“Tract distribution is so pleasant and easy that it is a nothing – a nothing in itself, much less when, it is compared with the amazing debt of love I owe.”

(Charles Spurgeon)