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My Description Fails

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” —Psalm 37:4

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the Prince of PreachersWing your flight to heaven if you would know what delight means. See the spirits there, as their fingers sweep the golden strings! Hark to their voices, as with peals of joy unknown to human ears, they sing unto him that hath loved them and washed them from their sins in his blood! Mark them as they keep eternal Sabbath in the great temple of the living God, and gaze upon his throne, and gaze, and gaze, and gaze again, absorbed in glory, beatified in Jesus, full of heaven, overflowing with exceeding joy. This is delight! I fail in the description, I know. You must take the word and spell it over letter by letter; and then you must pray God to put your hearts into a sweet frame of mind, made up of the following ingredients: a perfect rest from all earthly care; a perfect resignation of yourself into God’s hands; an intense confidence in his love to you; a divine love to him, so that you feel you would be anything or do anything for him; then, there must be added to all this, a joy in him; and when you have these, they must be all set a-boiling, and then you have delight in the Lord your God.

Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
from a Message Delivered on Sunday, June 15, 1862
at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol.8, Sermon No. 454
“Sunshine in the Heart”

No Condemnation from Christ

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”Romans 8:1, 2

Preaching Christ CrucifiedAgain, the chapter begins, “There is therefore…”

Now, I’m sure you’re getting tired of me and every preacher you’ve heard say that every time you see a “therefore,” go back and find out what it is there for; so I’m not going to tell you that.

Nevertheless, this little Greek word does connect us with what the apostle has just spoken previously in order to, first, amplify our hope so that we are not crushed in despair from the wretched truth of Romans 7:24; and second, to further explain his thanksgiving for the believer’s reality in Christ expressed in Romans 7:25. Though we are imperfect, and apart from the grace of God, all we do is sinful and falls short of God’s glory, as we have seen in Romans 7:14-25, because of the amazing grace of a sovereign God, we are placed in the bosom of the heavenly Father by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Therefore, Christ does not condemn us. He does not condemn His own. In fact, he cannot condemn us because we are Christ’s body, and “no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it” (Ephesians 5:29).

Oh, my friends, that is great reason to celebrate every breath we take; for in Christ, we have been delivered from eternal damnation, though eternal damnation is exactly what every one of us deserves for our offesive lives lived in defiance agains a holy God.

Sadly, these days, there are those who will corrupt this truth by proudly proclaiming that the Christian is not condemned because the Christian, so they say, has no command from God to flee from wickedness, neither to eschew evil. They pull Romans 8:1 from its context, which is contained in the following nine verses. They love to quote our Lord when He spoke to the woman caught in adultery in John 8:11, “Neither do I condemn thee;” yet, they forsake the very words following that statement: “…go, and sin no more.”

In this chapter, we will see that walking after the Spirit is the revelation of the truth of Redemption’s reality, of our liberation from condemnation. It’s important to note that the second part of this verse is not in the earliest Greek manuscripts. Because it is in the King James Version of the scriptures, it has given rise to a misinterpretation of the text in English, which lends itself to a form of legalism, and even a form of “shepherding” or “lording over the people of God.” It takes the phrase “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” to mean unless you and I are doing and believing certain things, then you are not saved. Certainly, there are necessary truths concerning Christ that must be revealed to us by the Spirit in order for us to be saved, such as the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ; however, some might apply the understanding, or even the acknowledgment of the doctrines of grace, to make salvation possible. But that confounds grace.

Actually, the Greek phrase that is contained in later manuscripts merely explains who they are “which are in Christ;” that is, the “them” that are spoken of in Romans 8:1 are not condemned. It expresses the truth that those who are in Christ are those who have evidence in their lives that there has indeed been a change so that they can now walk after the Spirit of God and not according to the flesh; in other words, those saved by the grace of God in Christ Jesus.. Romans 8:2 further explains this. Paul writes, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” He explains that because of the certainty of this awesome reality of life in Christ by God’s grace, the condemnation of sin that brings death no longer holds us captive. We are free, truly free. The grip of fear, as one condemned, loses its grip upon you and I according to how much we have grown in grace as we are strengthened in faith.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 7:24,Walking After the Spirit,” on December 20, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.

Read the previous article in this series, “Thanks Be to God” (Romans 7:25).

Thanks Be to God

“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”Romans 7:25

Preaching Christ CrucifiedThe second half of Romans 7 deals with the struggle of the mature Christian, which we examined in the last few doctrinal articles. Though my soul is alive in Christ, when before my soul was dead in trespasses and sins, I still have a nature that is flesh, gets sick, has all the evidences of the curse that came from Adam’s original sin, and will eventually die unless the Lord Jesus returns before that. Thus, there is a constant battle between the natural flesh that I have, that exists in me, and the supernatural indwelling of the Holy Spirit that has made me a new person in Christ (Romans 7:18-19). We know that this is a saved man, because (as mentioned previously) a saved soul looks at the sin he commits and recognizes it as sin, realizes it’s an offense to a holy God, and desires repentance that it will not happen again. Even the best of our good deeds performed by the grace of God are imperfect, and fall short of God’s glory. The more we mature as Christians, the more sin is illuminated by the brightness of God’s presence, and we become increasingly aware of our wretchedness as individuals, crying out together with Paul, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Paul knows the answer; and he does answer, but he doesn’t answer it immediately. Even as he dictates this mighty letter to Tertius, and even as the Holy Spirit renews the awesome revelation of Christ’s very presence as this epistle is written, Paul himself, brought to his own wretchedness as a sinner saved by God’s grace, pauses to reflect with refreshing joy: “O, Roman believers! I thank God!” Literally, he says, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Realizing (again as I mentioned previously) that to the believer, a glance at the holy and righteous Christ who was crucified for your sin and mine, brings us a deeper and more intense truth concerning the sin of man, and specifically, my sin and your sin against God, as individuals who have sinned against Him. This is what brings us our worship for Him, hope in Him, trust upon Him, and a desire to walk according to His will and good pleasure. It keeps us desiring to have a tight embrace upon His grace. “I thank God through our Lord Jesus Christ!” is the worship and adoration of a sinner in awe of God’s amazing grace. And though we have these revelations, in church during worship, in our private times of prayer, in quiet times alone with the Lord, this rapturous moment doesn’t remain. We must contend with daily life, by the spirit, yet in this body of flesh. So, Paul continues, reiterating, that yes, it is a struggle indeed: “So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”  The word, “serve” comes from the same Greek root that we learned in Romans 6, meaning slave. So literally, it would be more accurate to say, “So then with the mind I myself am a slave to the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” When Paul says this, he’s not saying that this is what we must do, as in a system that hangs in a legalistic balance. He’s not saying, “Do this, serve the law of God in your mind, even though your flesh wants to do its own thing.” Paul is merely stating the truth that, in the words of the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, “Such then is the unchanging character of these two principles within me. God’s holy law is dear to my renewed mind, and has the willing service of my new man; although that corrupt nature which still remains in me listens to the dictates of sin.” Because that exists, Paul explains it further in the whole of Romans 8, which is the actual answer to his question in Romans 7:24, by the expanded truth of Romans 7:25. In it we will see those spiritual graces that take place in a life being sanctified by the Holy Ghost; that our sanctification means, Walking After the Spirit (Romans 8:1-10); Surrendering to the Spirit (Romans 8:11-17); Hoping in the Spirit (Romans 8:18-27); Trusting Upon the Spirit (Romans 8:28-30); and Victory by the Spirit (Romans 8:31-39). The struggle between sin and law, and between flesh and spirit, manifests the grace of God while it simultaneously strengthens our faith, matures us as saints, and ultimately and more importantly glorifies God in His sovereign goodness. The revelation of these Scriptural truths, keeps us cautiously and grievously aware of sin, while joyfully and lovingly surrendered to Christ. Preaching from the text of Zechariah 12:10, Octavius Winslow said it in this way: “To have a sight of sin and a sight of Jesus at the same moment constitutes one of the holiest and richest pages in the history of a child of God.”

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 7:24,I Thank God!,” on December 13, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.

Read the previous article in this series, “My Redemption” (Romans 7:25).

April 6th at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Metropolitan Tabernacle
Pastor, Author, Preacher of the Gospel
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, aka C. H. Spurgeon, was a British Particular Baptist preacher. Spurgeon remains highly influential among Christians of various denominations, among whom he is known as the "Prince of Preachers". He was a strong figure in the Reformed Baptist tradition, defending the Church in agreement with the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith understanding, and opposing the liberal and pragmatic theological tendencies in the Church of his day. It is estimated that in his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to around 10,000,000 people. Spurgeon was the pastor of the congregation of the New Park Street Chapel (later the Metropolitan Tabernacle) in London for 38 years. He was part of several controversies with the Baptist Union of Great Britain and later had to leave the denomination. In 1857, he started a charity organization which is now called Spurgeon\'s and works globally. He also founded Spurgeon\'s College, which was named after him posthumously. Spurgeon was a prolific author of many types of works including sermons, an autobiography, commentaries, books on prayer, devotionals, magazines, poetry, hymns and more. Many sermons were transcribed as he spoke and were translated into many languages during his lifetime. Spurgeon produced powerful sermons of penetrating thought and precise exposition. His oratory skills held his listeners.spellbound in the Metropolitan Tabernacle and many Christians have discovered Spurgeon\'s messages to be among the best in Christian literature. Mr. Spurgeon went home to be with his Lord and Master on January 31, 1892.
P.O. Box:
London, England
United Kingdom
DOB: 06/19/1834


To Be a Pilgrim

My Redemption

Sovereign Grace Baptist Church
pastor, publisher, paperback writer
A wrethed sinner saved by God\'s free and sovereign grace in 1985. He lives in Anniston, Alabama with his wife, Lisa and his mother-in-law, Virginia. He is the pastor at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Anniston after having ministered as a missionary and as a missionary-pastor in the Philippines, California, and remote bush Alaska. He is the author of the bestseller, CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED, the CEO of Vayahiy Press, and the founder and overseer of Eclectic Cattle Productions. Jon has also held the office of vice-chairman of the national Sovereign Grace Baptist Fellowship (2009-11), as well as chairman (2011-2013). His Christianity has been shaped tremendously and influenced deeply by such redeemed sinners as John Bunyan (1628-1688), Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), John Newton (1725-1807), and Granville Gauldin (1929- ).
P.O. Box:
Anniston, Alabama
United States
DOB: 08/25/1960

“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”Romans 7:25

Preaching Christ CrucifiedBecause of my wrestlings, that struggle within me between flesh and spirit, and because of my wretchedness as one who desires to do good in order to please God, yet, fails miserably again and again, I cry out with the apostle, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24).

Who is my Deliverer? “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:25). There is my answer! Immediate. Clear. True and full of life.

It is My Reality, My Wrestlings, and My Wretchedness that bring me back to where I need to be: at the cross, clinging to God’s grace alone.  Nothing else matters if I have not grace of God in the love of Christ Jesus. When we are at the cross, when we live by God’s grace and my redemption is the blessing from which all other blessings flow, I read the law of God (the scriptures) unto the renewing of my mind. And though my flesh continues to serve sin, and though I hate that sin, I rejoice because I begin to realize that it is God’s grace alone, and the flesh has nothing to glory in— nothing to boast about.

Christ’s precious blood is sufficient. There is a serious danger in not viewing Romans 7:14-25 as that of a mature Christian being sanctified by the Spirit of God:

Number 1First, if this is what I was as an unsaved sinner, then I will say that there is no reality, no wrestling, and no wretchedness now in my life; and therefore, I will either become self-righteous in my own conceits and deception, or else I will become frustrated and doubtful wondering whether I am saved at all. In the former I will not rely upon the truth of God’s Word because I trust in the strength of my flesh. In the latter I will not rely in the truth of God’s Word because I am confused about God’s Word since it seems to be in error about so many things.

Number 2Second, if this passage reflects the progress of a “carnal Christian” that does not know the resurrected life FOUND ONLY IN THE SUFFICIENT SACRIFICE OF CHRIST OFFERED BY HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD, then I will be prone to experiment with every fad, gimmick, and new thing that comes my way; I will wander from the truth of scripture chasing after an experience of euphoria that doesn’t exist.

Because of the reality of my frail humanity, as I wrestle with sin and am wretched because of the sin in my flesh, the only source of love, joy, peace, &etc. is found in God’s grace alone, from the complete, sufficient and finished work of Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection and ascended glory. Unless it flows from the throne of grace, what I experience in my daily situations and circumstances is an imitation of genuine love, joy, and peace… because what I am feeling and experiencing apart form the cross of Christ are merely temporal emotions, and not eternal graces.

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” Galatians (6:14).

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 7:24,I Thank God!,” on December 13, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.

Read the previous article in this series,O Wretched Man That I Am!” (Romans 7:24).

To Be a Pilgrim


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