Author Archives: Jon J. Cardwell

About Jon J. Cardwell

I'm a wretched sinner saved by God's free and sovereign grace; pastor of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Anniston, AL; author of CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED; former chairman of Sovereign Grace Baptist Fellowship

With most types…


With most types of martial arts, the color of the belt that you have will signify your rank within your style of martial arts. The belts that are used with martial arts signify your rank within that style, although they have no universal means or ranking within the martial arts world. More or less, they tell others how much you know about your specific martial art.

 

The use of belt colors in martial arts is an old practice, dating back hundreds of years. Belts and their use in martial arts all started by a man known as Jigoro Kano, who created the style known as Kodokan Judo. Kano started out by using only white and black belts to signify rank within his style of martial arts. His reason for using belts, was to specify which students could compete in different activities. For example, those with white belts couldn’t compete in the same activities as those with black belts.

Shortly after Kano introduced his idea of using belts, other belt colors were introduced to the world of martial arts. Over the years, it became a great way of telling what experience a student had in his style– just by the look of his belt. Other styles began to use this system as well over the years, including Karate, Taekwondo, and several others.

 

The only problem with using belts to signify ranking, is the fact that one school may have different requirements from another school. Even though they both may teach the same style of martial arts, their ranking system and requirements to get a certain ranking may be totally different. This can cause confusion in ranks, especially if a black belt from one school isn’t as versed in the style as a black belt from another school. Even though most schools stick to the same criteria, there are schools that choose to incorporate their own unique style as well.

 

Although most martial arts styles use belts to signify rank, there are some martial arts out there such as Shootfighting that don’t use belts at all. The styles that choose not to use belts don’t go by rankings either, as they are more or less for self defense purposes. Pitfighting is another style that doesn’t use belts either. These styles are great to learn for protecting yourself – although they differ from the traditional sense of martial arts.

 

All things aside, belts are an innovation to martial arts. They give students something to aim for, and a reason to keep practicing. Most students that study martial arts aim for getting the black belt, which is the most prestige belt in martial arts. A black belt takes years of practice to obtain, as the student will move through many lower ranked belts before getting the opportunity to try and earn the black belt.

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by | July 27, 2012 · 5:27 am

All of Grace 4


All of Grace

written by Charles H. Spurgeon
edited in modern English by  Jon J. Cardwell

4. IT IS GOD WHO JUSTIFIES
Romans 8:33

It’s a wonderful thing, this being justified, or being declared righteous. If we had never broken the laws of God we would not have needed it, because we would have been just in ourselves. He who has done the things that he should have done all of his life, and has never done anything that he should not do, is justified by the law. But you, dear reader, are not that kind of person; of that, I’m quite sure. You have too much honesty to pretend to be sinless, and therefore you need to be justified.

Now, if you justify yourself, you will simply be a self-deceiver. Therefore don’t try it. It’s never worthwhile.

If you ask your fellow human beings to justify you, what can they do? You can make some of them say good things about you for small favors, and others will backbite you for less. Their judgment is not worth much.

Our text says, “It is God who justifies,” and this is a great deal more to the point. It is an astonishing fact, and one that we should consider carefully. Come and see.

In the first place, nobody else but God would ever have thought of justifying those who are guilty. They have lived in open rebellion; they have done evil with both hands; they have gone from bad to worse; they have turned back to sin even after they have been punished for it, and therefore, have been forced to leave it for a while. They have broken the law, and trampled on the gospel. They have rejected proclamations of mercy and have persisted in ungodliness. How can they be forgiven and justified? Their fellowmen, despairing of them, say, “They are hopeless cases.” Even Christians look upon them with sorrow instead of with hope. But not so with their God. In the splendor of His electing grace, having chosen some of them before the foundation of the world, He will not rest until He has justified them, and made them to be accepted in the Beloved. Isn’t it written in the Bible, And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified (Romans 8:30)? Thus you see that there are some whom the Lord determines to justify: why shouldn’t you and I be of counted with them?

No one but God would have ever thought of justifying me. I am surprised with myself. I don’t doubt that grace is equally seen in others. Look at Saul of Tarsus, who foamed at the mouth against God’s servants. Like a hungry wolf, he worried the lambs and the sheep right and left; and yet God struck him down on the road to Damascus, and changed his heart, and so fully justified him that in no time, this man became the greatest preacher of justification by faith that ever lived. He must have marveled often that he was justified by faith in Christ Jesus, because he was once so unwavering in his determination to cling to salvation by the works of the law. No one but God would have ever thought of justifying a man like Saul the persecutor; but the Lord God is glorious in grace.

But, even if anybody had thought of justifying the ungodly, no one but God could have done it. It is quite impossible for any person to forgive offenses that have not been committed against himself. A person has greatly injured you; you can forgive him, and I hope you will; but no third person can forgive him apart from you. If the wrong is done to you, the pardon must come from you. If we have sinned against God, it is in God’s power to forgive; for the sin is against Himself. That is why David says, in the fifty-first Psalm: “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment” (Psalm 51:4); for then God, the One who was offended, can put the offense away. That which we owe to God, our great Creator can forgive, if it pleases Him to do so; and if He forgives it, it is forgiven. No one but the great God, against whom we have committed the sin, can blot out that sin; let us, therefore, see that we go to Him and seek mercy at His hands. Do not let us be led aside by those who would have us confess to them; they have no authority from the Word of God for their claims. But even if they were ordained to pronounce pardon in God’s name, it must still be better that we, ourselves, go to the great Lord through Jesus Christ, the Mediator, and seek and find pardon at His hand; since we are sure that this is the right way. Proxy religion involves too great a risk: you had better see to your own soul’s matters yourself, and not trust them to another man’s hands.

Only God can justify the ungodly; but He can do it to perfection. He casts our sins behind His back, He blots them out; He says that although they seek them, they shall not be found. With no other reason for it but His own infinite goodness, He has prepared a glorious way by which He can make scarlet sins as white as snow, and remove our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west. He says, “I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). He goes as far as to make an end of sin. One person in the old times called out in amazement, “Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love” (Micah 7:18).

We are not speaking of justice at the moment, nor of God’s dealing with men according to what they deserve. If you profess to deal with the righteous Lord on terms of law and judgment, everlasting wrath threatens you, because that is what you deserve. Blessed be His name, He has not dealt with us according to our sins; but now, He treats us on terms of free grace and infinite compassion, and He says, “I will receive you graciously, and love you freely.” Believe it, because it is certainly true that the great God is able to treat the guilty with abundant mercy; yes, He is able to treat the ungodly as if they had always been godly. Read the parable of the prodigal son carefully (Luke 15:11-32), and see how the forgiving father received the returning wanderer with as much love as if he had never gone away, and had never defiled himself with prostitutes. He carried this out so far that the elder brother began to grumble about it; but the father never withdrew his love. Oh my brother and oh my sister, however guilty you may be, if you will only come back to your God and Father, He will treat you as if you had never done anything wrong! He will regard you as righteous, and deal with you accordingly. What do you say to this?

Don’t you see¾ for I want to bring this out clearly, what a wonderful thing it is¾ that as no one but God would think of justifying the ungodly, and no one but God could do it, yet the Lord can do it? See how the apostle puts the challenge, “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:33). If God has justified a man it is well done, it is rightly done, it is justly done, and it is eternally done. I read a statement in a magazine that is full of poison against the gospel and those who preach it; that we hold some kind of theory that says we imagine that sin can be removed from men. We believe no such theory. We publish a fact. The grandest fact under heaven is this¾ that Christ, by His precious blood, actually does put away sin, and that God, for Christ’s sake, in dealing with men on terms of divine mercy, forgives the guilty and justifies them, not according to anything that He sees in them, or foresees will be in them, but according to the riches of His mercy which is in His own heart. This we have preached, do preach, and will preach as long as we live. “It is God who justifies”¾ that justifies the ungodly; He is not ashamed of doing it, nor are we ashamed of preaching it.

The justification, which comes from God Himself, must be beyond question. If the Judge acquits me, who can condemn me? If the highest court in the universe has pronounced me not guilty, who shall lay anything to my charge? Justification from God is a sufficient answer to an awakened conscience. The Holy Spirit by His means breathes peace over our entire nature, and we are no longer afraid. With this justification we can answer all the roarings and railings of Satan, and also of ungodly men. With this we shall be able to die: with this we shall boldly rise again, and face the last great court of justice.

Bold shall I stand in that great day,

For who aught to my charge shall lay?

While by my Lord absolved I am

From sin’s tremendous curse and blame.

Friend, the Lord can blot out all your sins. I’m not shooting in the dark when I say this. “Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people” (Matthew 12:31). Though you stand up to your neck in crime, He can remove the defilement with a word, and say, “I will; be clean” (Mark 1:41). The Lord is a great forgiver.

“I believe in the forgiveness of sins.” Do you?

Even at this very moment, He can pronounce the sentence, “Your sins are forgiven… go in peace” (Luke 7:48, 50); and if He does this, no power in Heaven, or earth, or under the earth, can put you under suspicion, much less under wrath. Do not doubt the power of Almighty love. You could not forgive your fellow man if he had offended you in the same way that you have offended God; but you must not measure God’s corn with your basket; His thoughts and ways are so much higher than yours just as the heavens are high above the earth.

“Well,” you say, “it would be a great miracle if the Lord were to pardon me.” It is. It would be a supreme miracle, and therefore He is likely to do it; for He “does great things and unsearchable” (Job 5:9), which we didn’t even look for.

I was myself stricken down with a horrible sense of guilt, which made my life miserable; but when I heard the command, “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22). I looked, and in a moment the Lord justified me. What I saw was that Jesus Christ was made sin for me and that sight gave me rest. When those who were bitten by the fiery serpents in the wilderness looked to the serpent of brass they were healed at once (Numbers 21:5-9); and so was I when I looked to the crucified Savior. The Holy Spirit, who enabled me to believe, gave me peace through believing. I felt as sure that I was forgiven, as before I felt sure that I was condemned. I had been certain of my condemnation because the Word of God declared it, and my conscience bore witness to it; but when the Lord justified me the same witnesses made me equally certain. The Word of the Lord in the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned” (John 3:18), and my conscience bears witness that I believed, and that God in pardoning me is just. Thus I have the witness of the Holy Spirit and my own conscience, and these two agree as one truth. Oh, how I wish that my reader would receive the testimony of God upon this matter, and then very soon he would also have the witness in himself!

I will be so bold as to say that a sinner justified by God stands on more solid ground than a righteous man justified by his works, if there were such a person. We could never be more certain that we had done enough works; conscience would always be uneasy for fear that, after all we have done, we should come short, and we could only have the trembling verdict of a fallible judgment to rely upon. When God Himself justifies, however, and the Holy Spirit bears witness to that justification by giving us peace with God, then we will feel that the matter is certain and settled, and we enter into rest. No tongue can tell the depth of that calm which comes over the soul, which has received the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.

 [“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright ©2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
Scripture quotations marked (KJV) are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. The King James Version is in the Public Domain.]

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All of Grace 3b


ALL OF GRACE

written by Charles H. Spurgeon
edited in modern English by Jon J. Cardwell

3b. GOD JUSTIFIES THE UNGODLY

It is truly so, that Jesus seeks and saves that which is lost. He died and made a real atonement for real sinners. When men are not playing with words, or calling themselves “miserable sinners,” just out of common courtesy I feel overjoyed to meet with them. I would be glad to talk all night to bona fide sinners. The hotel of mercy never closes its doors upon such people, not on weekdays nor Sunday. Our Lord Jesus did not die for imaginary sins, but His heart’s blood was shed to wash out deep crimson stains, which nothing else can remove.

He that is the filthiest sinner— he is the kind of man that Jesus Christ came to make clean. A gospel preacher on one occasion preached a sermon from, “Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees” (Matthew 3:10), and he delivered such a sermon that one of his hearers said to him, “One would have thought that you had been preaching to criminals. Your sermon should have been delivered in the county jail.”

“Oh, no,” said the good man, “if I were preaching in the county jail, I would not preach from that text. There, I would preach The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost’ (1 Timothy 1:15).” Rightly so. The law is for the self-righteous, to humble their pride: the gospel is for the lost, to remove their despair.

If you are not lost, what do you want with a Savior? Should the shepherd go after those who never went astray? Why should the woman sweep her house for the bits of money that were never out of her purse? No, the medicine is for the diseased; the quickening is for the dead; the pardon is for the guilty; liberation is for those who are bound: the opening of eyes is for those who are blind. How can the Savior, and His death upon the Cross, and the gospel of pardon, be accounted for, unless it be upon the supposition that men are guilty and worthy of condemnation? The sinner is the gospel’s reason for existence. You, my friend, to whom this word now comes, if you are undeserving, ill-deserving, hell-deserving, you are the sort of person for whom the gospel is ordained, and arranged, and proclaimed. God justifies the ungodly.

I would like to make this very plain. I hope that I have done so already; but still, as plain as it is; only the Lord that can make a man see it. At first it seems most amazing to an awakened man that salvation should really be for him as a lost and guilty one. He thinks that it must be for him as a penitent man, forgetting that his repentance is a part of his salvation. “Oh,” he says, “but I must be this and that,” —all of which is true, for he shall be this and that as the result of salvation; but salvation comes to him before he has any of the results of salvation. It comes to him, in fact, while he deserves only this bare, base, beggarly, abominable description, “ungodly.” That is all he is when God’s gospel comes to justify him.

May I, therefore, urge upon any who have no good thing about them— who fear that they have not even a good feeling, or anything whatsoever that can recommend them to God— that they will firmly believe that our gracious God is able and willing to take them without anything to recommend them, and to forgive them spontaneously, not because they are good, but because He is good. Doesn’t He make His sun to shine on the evil as well as on the good? Doesn’t He give fruitful seasons, and send the rain and the sunshine in their time upon the most ungodly nations? Yes, indeed, even Sodom had its sun, and Gomorrah had its dew. Oh friend, the great grace of God surpasses my understanding and your understanding, and I would have you think worthily of it! As high as the heavens are above the earth; so are God’s thoughts high above our thoughts. He can abundantly pardon. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners: forgiveness is for the guilty.

Do not attempt to touch yourself up and make yourself something other than what you really are; but come as you are to Him who justifies the ungodly. Some short time ago a great artist had painted a part of the corporation of the city in which he lived, and he wanted, for historic purposes, to include in his picture certain characters well known in the town. A street-sweeper, unkempt, ragged, filthy, was known to everybody, and there was a suitable place for him in the picture. The artist said to this ragged and rugged individual, “I will pay you well if you will come down to my studio and let me paint your portrait.” He came round in the morning, but he was soon sent immediately out the door and on his way because he had washed his face, and combed his hair, and put on a respectable suit of clothes. He was needed as a beggar, and was not invited in any other capacity. Even so, the gospel will receive you into its halls if you come as a sinner, not otherwise. Don’t wait for reformation, but come at once for salvation. God justifies the ungodly, and that takes you up where you are now: it meets you in your worst condition.

Come in your disorder. I mean, come to your heavenly Father in all your sin and sinfulness. Come to Jesus just as you are, leprous, filthy, and naked, neither fit to live nor fit to die. Come, you that are the very rubbish of creation; come, though you hardly dare to hope for anything but death. Come, though despair is sitting on you, pressing upon your chest like a horrible nightmare. Come and ask the Lord to justify another ungodly one. Why shouldn’t He? Come for this great mercy of God is meant for someone just like you. I put it in the language of the text, and I cannot put it more strongly: the Lord God Himself takes to Himself this gracious title, “Him who justifies the ungodly.” He makes those just who are by nature ungodly, and causes them to be treated as just. Isn’t that a wonderful word for you? Reader, do not delay until you have considered this matter well.

[“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright ©2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

Scripture quotations marked (KJV) are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. The King James Version is in the Public Domain.]

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All of Grace 3a


ALL OF GRACE

written by Charles H. Spurgeon
edited in modern English by Jon J. Cardwell

3a. GOD JUSTIFIES THE UNGODLY

This message is for you. You will find the text in the Epistle to the Romans, in the fourth chapter and the fifth verse,

And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.”

I call your attention to those words, “Him who justifies the ungodly.” To me, they seem to be very wonderful words.

Isn’t it surprising that there should be an expression like that in the Bible, “who justifies the ungodly”? I have heard that men that hate the doctrines of the Cross bring it as an accusation against God, that He saves wicked men and receives to Himself the vilest of the vile. See how this Scripture accepts the charge, and plainly states it! By the mouth of His servant Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, He takes to Himself the title of “Him who justifies the ungodly.” He makes those just that are unjust, forgives those who deserve to be punished, and favors those who deserve no favor. You thought that salvation was for the good, didn’t you? You thought that God’s grace was for the pure and holy, who are free from sin? It has fallen into your mind that, if you were excellent, then God would reward you; and you have thought that because you are not worthy, there could be no possible way for you to enjoy His favor. You must be somewhat surprised to read a text like this: “Him who justifies the ungodly.” I’m not surprised that you’re surprised; because as familiar as I am with the great grace of God, I never cease to marvel at it. It does sound surprising, doesn’t it, that it should be possible for a holy God to justify an unholy man? According to the natural legality of our hearts, we are always talking about our own goodness and our own worthiness, and we stubbornly hold to it that there must be something in us in order to have the attention of God. Now, God, who sees through all deceptions, knows that there is no goodness in us whatsoever. He says that “None is righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). He knows that “all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment” (Isaiah 64:6), and therefore, the Lord Jesus did not come into the world to look after goodness and righteousness with Him, and to bestow them upon persons who have none of them. He comes, not because we are righteous, but to make us so: He justifies the ungodly.

When a lawyer goes into court, if he is an honest man, he desires to plead the case of an innocent person and justify him before the court from the things laid falsely to his charge. It should be the lawyer’s purpose to justify the innocent person, and he should not attempt to protect the guilty party. The attorney has no right, nor is it in his power to truly justify the guilty. This is a miracle reserved for the Lord alone. God, the infinitely just Ruler, knows that there is not a righteous man upon earth that does good and doesn’t sin; and therefore, in the infinite sovereignty of His divine nature and in the splendor of His indescribable love, He take on the task, not so much of justifying the just as of justifying the ungodly. God has devised ways and means of making the ungodly man to stand justly accepted before Him. He has set up a system where He can treat the guilty with perfect justice, just as if he had been free from offense all his life; yes, can treat him as if he were completely free from sin. He justifies the ungodly.

Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. It is a very surprising thing— a thing to be marveled at most of all by those who enjoy it. Even to this day, I know that it is the greatest wonder I have ever heard of, that God should ever justify me. I feel myself to be a lump of unworthiness, a mass of corruption, and a heap of sin, apart from His almighty love. I know with full certainty that I am justified by faith, which is in Christ Jesus, and treated as if I had been perfectly just, and made an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ; and yet by nature I must take my place among the most sinful. Although I am altogether undeserving, I am treated as if I had always been deserving. I am loved with as much love as if I had always been godly, whereas I was previously ungodly. Who can help being astonished at that? Gratitude for such favor is dressed in clothes of utter amazement.

Now, while this is very surprising, I want you to notice how available it makes the gospel to you and to me. If God justifies the ungodly, then, dear friend, He can justify you. Isn’t that the very kind of person that you are? If you are unconverted at this moment, it is a very proper description of you; you have lived without God, you have been the reverse of godly; in one word, you have been and are ungodly. Perhaps you have not even attended a place of worship on Sunday, but have lived with disregard toward God’s day, and house, and Word— this proves that you have been ungodly. Sadder still, it may be that you have even tried to doubt God’s existence, and have gone to the extent of saying that you did doubt. You have lived on this fair earth, which is full of the signs of God’s presence, and all the while you have shut your eyes to the clear evidences of His power and Godhead. You have lived as if there were no God. Indeed, you would have been very pleased if you could have demonstrated to yourself with some certainty that there was no God whatsoever. Possibly you have lived a great many years in this way, so that you are now pretty well settled in your ways, and yet God is not in any of them. If you were labeled UNGODLY it would be just as fitting to describe you in that way as it would be for the sea to be labeled salt water. Wouldn’t it?

Possibly you are another kind of person; you have regularly attended to all the external forms of religion, and yet you have had no heart in them at all, nonetheless, you have been really ungodly. Though you meet with the people of God, you have never met with God for yourself; you have been in the choir, and yet you have not praised the Lord with your heart. You have lived without any love toward God in your heart, or given any regard to His commands in your life. Well, you are just the kind of man to whom this gospel is sent— this gospel, which says that God justifies the ungodly. It is extremely amazing, but it is happily available for you. It just suits you. Doesn’t it? How I wish that you would receive it! If you are a sensible man, you will see the remarkable grace of God in providing for you and others like you and you will say to yourself, “Justify the ungodly! Why, then, shouldn’t I be justified, and justified at once?”

Now, observe further, that it must be so— that the salvation of God is for those who do not deserve it, and have no preparation for it. It is reasonable that the statement should be put in the Bible; for, dear friend, no others need justifying but those who have no justification of their own. If any of my readers are perfectly righteous, they want no justifying. You feel that you are doing your duty well, and almost putting heaven under an obligation to you. What do you want with a Savior, or with mercy? What do you want with justification? You will be tired of my book by this time, for it will have no interest to you.

If any of you are giving yourselves such proud airs, listen to me for a little while. You will be lost, just as sure as you are alive. You righteous men, whose righteousness is all because of your own working, you are either deceivers or deceived; for the Scripture cannot lie, and it says quite plainly, “None is righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). In any case I have no gospel to preach to the self-righteous, no, not a word of it. Jesus Christ Himself came not to call the righteous, and I am not going to do what He did not do. If I called you, you would not come, and therefore, I will not call you, under that character. No, I ask you to look instead at that righteousness of yours until you can see what a delusion it is. It is not half as significant as a cobweb. Have nothing to do with it! Flee from it! Oh believe that the only persons that are in need of justification are those who are not self-righteous! They need to have something done for them to make them righteous before the judgment seat of God. Depend upon it; the Lord only does that which is needful. Infinite wisdom never attempts to do what is unnecessary. Jesus never undertakes that which is superfluous. To make him righteous who is already righteous is no work for God— that is labor for a fool; but to make him just who is unjust— that is work for infinite love and mercy. To justify the ungodly— this is a miracle worthy of a God. And it is certainly so.

Now, look. If there is a physician anywhere in the world who has discovered precious and effective medicines, to whom is that physician sent? Is he sent to those who are perfectly healthy? I think not. Put him down in a community where there are no sick folks and he feels that he is not where he should be. There is nothing for him to do. “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick” (Mark 2:17). Isn’t it equally clear that the great remedies of grace and redemption are for the soul that is sick? They cannot be for those who are in good health because they cannot be of any use to them. If you, dear friend, feel that you are spiritually sick, the Physician has come into the world for you. If you are utterly ruined because of your sin, you are the very person the plan of salvation is directed toward. I say that the Lord of love had just such a person as you in His eye when He arranged the system of grace. Suppose a man of generous spirit decided to forgive all those who were indebted to him; it is clear that this can only apply to those really in his debt. One person owes him a thousand dollars; another owes him fifty dollars; each one has only to have his bill discharged, and the liability is wiped out. But the most generous person cannot forgive the debts of those who do not owe him anything. It is out of the power of Omnipotence to forgive where there is no sin. Pardon, therefore, cannot be for you who have no sin. Pardon must be for the guilty. Forgiveness must be for the sinful. It is absurd to talk about forgiving those who do not need forgiveness— pardoning those who have never offended.

Do you think that you must be lost because you are a sinner? This is the reason why you can be saved. Because you know that you are a sinner I would encourage you to believe that grace is ordained for those like you. One of our hymn writers even dared to say:

A sinner is a sacred thing;
The Holy Ghost hath made him so.

[“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright ©2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

Scripture quotations marked (KJV) are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. The King James Version is in the Public Domain.]

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A Godly Home


“The Church in thy house.”Philemon 2

Is there a Church in this house? Are parents, children, friends, servants, all members of it? or are some still unconverted? Let us pause here and let the question go round— Am I a member of the Church in this house? How would father’s heart leap for joy, and mother’s eyes fill with holy tears if from the eldest to the youngest all were saved! Let us pray for this great mercy until the Lord shall grant it to us. Probably it had been the dearest object of Philemon’s desires to have all his household saved; but it was not at first granted him in its fulness. He had a wicked servant, Onesimus, who, having wronged him, ran away from his service. His master’s prayers followed him, and at last, as God would have it, Onesimus was led to hear Paul preach; his heart was touched, and he returned to Philemon, not only to be a faithful servant, but a brother beloved, adding another member to the Church in Philemon’s house. Is there an unconverted servant or child absent this morning? Make special supplication that such may, on their return to their home, gladden all hearts with good news of what grace has done! Is there one present? Let him partake in the same earnest entreaty.

If there be such a Church in our house, let us order it well, and let all act as in the sight of God. Let us move in the common affairs of life with studied holiness, diligence, kindness, and integrity. More is expected of a Church than of an ordinary household; family worship must, in such a case, be more devout and hearty; internal love must be more warm and unbroken, and external conduct must be more sanctified and Christ-like. We need not fear that the smallness of our number will put us out of the list of Churches, for the Holy Spirit has here enrolled a family-church in the inspired book of remembrance. As a Church let us now draw nigh to the great head of the one Church universal, and let us beseech Him to give us grace to shine before men to the glory of His name.

Morning & Evening
November 1
C. H. Spurgeon

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All of Grace 1


All of Grace

written by Charles H. Spurgeon
edited in modern English by  Jon Cardwell

1. TO YOU

The one who spoke and wrote this message will be very disappointed if it doesn’t lead many people to the Lord Jesus. It’s sent forth in childlike dependence upon the power of God the Holy Spirit, to use it in the conversion of millions, if it pleases Him to do so. No doubt many poor men and women will read this little book, and the Lord will visit them with grace. For that reason, the simplest language has been chosen, and many common expressions have been used. But if those of wealth and status should glance at this book, the Holy Spirit can impress them also; since the things that can be understood by those with less education are also attractive to the educated. I really hope that some might read it and become great soul winners!

Who knows how many will find their way to peace by what they’ve read here? A more important question to you, dear reader, is this: Will you be one of them?

A certain man set up a water fountain by the roadside, and he hung a cup up near it using a little chain. After awhile, someone told him that a great art-critic found many problems with the fountain’s design. “But,” the fountain owner asked, “Do many thirsty people drink from the fountain?” They told him that thousands of poor people, men, women, and children, had quenched their thirst at this fountain. He smiled and said that he wasn’t bothered by the critic’s observation. He only hoped that on some hot summer’s day the critic himself might fill the cup, and once he’s been refreshed, would praise the name of the Lord.

Here is my fountain, and here is my cup: find fault if you wish; but do take a drink of the water of life. This is my one concern. I would rather bless the soul of the poorest street sweeper, or rag-gatherer, than please a prince of royal blood, and fail to convert him to God.

Reader, do you mean business in reading these pages? If so, we are agreed from the beginning; but nothing short of your finding Christ and Heaven is the aim of our business here. I really hope that we may seek this together! I do so by dedicating this little book with prayer. Will you join me by looking up to God, and asking Him to bless you while you read? Providence has put these pages in front of you. You don’t have much time in which to read them, and you feel willing to give your attention to them. These are good signs. Who knows whether or not the set time of blessing has come for you? At any rate, “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts’” (Hebrews 3:7, 8a).

[“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright ©2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

Scripture quotations marked (KJV) are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. The King James Version is in the Public Domain.]

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