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Charles Spurgeon – Full-Orbed Gospel

13 Mar


‘Christ died for the ungodly.’—Romans 5:6.

CONSCIENCE in every man must tell him that God is just, and, as a necessary consequence, that God must punish sin. Then comes the question,—How can God be just, and yet the justifier of the ungodly? The answer is,—There is redemption in Christ Jesus. God is ‘just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.’ Believers are ‘now justified by his blood.’ In Jesus, God’s justice is vindicated to the very utmost, and yet his mercy shines forth in all its glory. The religion which denies the doctrine of the atonement is not of God, and never can succeed. It may hold together the few, who affect to be intellectual, because they are ignorant. The doctrine of the substitutionary sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ is the fundamental principle of the Christian religion. This is the only doctrine that teaches how justice can have its full dominion, and yet mercy exercise its sway. Here we have a full-orbed mercy and a fullorbed justice; and neither of them eclipses or casts a shadow over the other. All God’s attributes are at one at Calvary. We must stem the torrent of error by preaching ‘Jesus Christ and him crucified.’ As we clearly proclaim the gospel, ‘as the truth is in Jesus,’ we shall undermine every citadel of error and falsehood; and we must often preach the great central truths of the gospel, such as this, ‘In due time Christ died for the ungodly.’ ‘While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ ‘For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.’

~Charles Spurgeon~

C H Spurgeon’s Forgotten Early Sermons: A Companion to the New Park Street Pulpit–28 Sermons Compiled from the Sword and the Trowel (Leominster, Day One Publications, 2010), 57-58. Delivered on Thursday evening, 14 May 1857. Reported by Pastor T.W. Medhurst, Cardiff

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John Calvin – Sovereign Administering and Wickedness Shattering

27 Jun

In administering human society God so tempers his providence that, although kindly and beneficent toward all in numberless ways, he still by open and daily indications declares his clemency to the godly and his severity to the wicked and criminal. For there are no doubts about what sort of vengeance he takes on wicked deeds. Thus he clearly shows himself the protector and vindicator of innocence, while he prospers the life of good men with his blessing, relieves their need, soothes and mitigates their pain, and alleviates their calamities; and in all these things he provides for their salvation. And indeed the unfailing rule of his righteousness ought not to be obscured by the fact that he frequently allows the wicked and malefactors to exult unpunished for some time, while he permits the upright and deserving to be tossed about by many adversities, and even to be oppressed by the malice and iniquity of the impious. But a far different consideration ought, rather, to enter our minds: that, when with a manifest show of his anger he punishes one sin, he hates all sins; that, when he leaves many sins unpunished, there will be another judgment to which have been deferred the sins yet to be punished. Similarly, what great occasion he gives us to contemplate his mercy when he often pursues miserable sinners with unwearied kindness, until he shatters their wickedness by imparting benefits and by recalling them to him with more than fatherly kindness!

~John Calvin~

The Institutes of the Christian Religion (Louisville, KY; Westminster John Knox Press; 1974) Vol. 1.5.7. p. 59-60.

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Martin Luther – The Justice of God?

14 Mar

I had conceived a burning desire to understand what Paul meant in his Letter to the Romans, but thus far there had stood in my way, not the cold blood around my heart, but that one word which is in chapter one: “The justice of God is revealed in it.” I hated that word, “justice of God,” which, by the use and custom of all my teachers, I had been taught to understand philosophically as referring to formal or active justice, as they call it, i.e., that justice by which God is just and by which he punishes sinners and the unjust.

But I, blameless monk that I was, felt that before God I was a sinner with an extremely troubled conscience. I couldn’t be sure that God was appeased by my satisfaction. I did not love, no, rather I hated the just God who punishes sinners. In silence, if I did not blaspheme, then certainly I grumbled vehemently and got angry at God. I said, “Isn’t it enough that we miserable sinners, lost for all eternity because of original sin, are oppressed by every kind of calamity through the Ten Commandments? Why does God heap sorrow upon sorrow through the Gospel and through the Gospel threaten us with his justice and his wrath?” This was how I was raging with wild and disturbed conscience. I constantly badgered St. Paul about that spot in Romans 1 and anxiously wanted to know what he meant.

I meditated night and day on those words until at last, by the mercy of God, I paid attention to their context: “The justice of God is revealed in it, as it is written: ‘The just person lives by faith.'” I began to understand that in this verse the justice of God is that by which the just person lives by a gift of God, that is by faith. I began to understand that this verse means that the justice of God is revealed through the Gospel, but it is a passive justice, i.e. that by which the merciful God justifies us by faith, as it is written: “The just person lives by faith.” All at once I felt that I had been born again and entered into paradise itself through open gates. Immediately I saw the whole of Scripture in a different light. I ran through the Scriptures from memory and found that other terms had analogous meanings, e.g., the work of God, that is, what God works in us; the power of God, by which he makes us powerful; the wisdom of God, by which he makes us wise; the strength of God, the salvation of God, the glory of God.

I exalted this sweetest word of mine, “the justice of God,” with as much love as before I had hated it with hate. This phrase of Paul was for me the very gate of paradise.

~Martin Luther~

Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (Peabody, Massachusetts; Hendrickson Publishers; 2009) p.49-50

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Charles Spurgeon – The King Who Reigns in Righteousness

28 Sep

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“The sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.” He is the lawful monarch of all things that be. His rule is founded in right, its law is right, its result is right. Our King is no usurper and no oppressor. Even when he shall break his enemies with a rod of iron, he will do no man wrong ; his vengeance and his grace are both in conformity with justice. Hence we trust him without suspicion ; he cannot err ; no affliction is too severe, for he sends it ; no judgment too harsh, for he ordains it. O blessed hands of Jesus! The reigning power is safe with you. All the just rejoice in the government of the King who reigns in righteousness.

~Charles Spurgeon~

The Treasury of David Vol. 1 (Peabody, Maryland; The Hendrikson Publisher; 1988) p. 318 – Commentary on Psalm 45:6.

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