LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Carnal Mind is Enmity Against God pt.11 Spurgeon

IV. But there are one or two doctrines which we will try to deduce from this.
Is the carnal mind at “enmity against God?” Then salvation cannot be by merit, it must be by grace. If we are at enmity with God, what merit can we have? How can we deserve anything from the being we hate? Even if we were pure as Adam, we could not have any merit. For I do not think Adam had any desert before his Creator. When he had kept all his Master’s Law, he was but an unprofitable servant. He had done no more than he ought to have done. He had no surplus—no balance. But since we have become enemies how much less can we hope to be saved by works!

Oh, no. The whole Bible tells us, from beginning to end, that salvation is not by the works of the Law but by the deeds of grace. Martin Luther declared that he constantly preached justification by faith alone, “because,” he said, “the people would forget it—so that I was obliged almost to knock my Bible against their heads, to send it into their hearts.” So it is true we constantly forget that salvation is by grace alone. We always want to be putting in some little scrap of our own virtue. We want to be doing something. I remember a saying of old Matthew Wilkes—

“Saved by your works!? You might as well try to go to America in a paper boat!” Saved by your works!? It is impossible! Oh no!

“The poor legalist is like a blind horse going round and round the mill, or like the prisoner going up the treadmill and finding himself no higher after all he has done. He has no solid confidence, no firm ground to rest upon. He has not done enough—never enough.” Conscience always says, “this is not perfection. It ought to have been better.”
Salvation for enemies must be by an ambassador—by an atonement—yes, by Christ.

Another doctrine we gather from this is the necessity of an entire change of our nature. It is true that by birth we are at enmity with God. How necessary then, it is that our nature should be changed. There are few people who sincerely believe this. They think that if they cry, “Lord, have mercy upon me,” when they lie a-dying, they shall go to Heaven directly. Let me suppose an impossible case for a moment. Let me imagine a man entering Heaven without a change of heart. He comes within the gates. He hears a sonnet. He starts! It is to the praise of his Enemy. He sees a Throne and on it sits One who is glorious. But it is his Enemy. He walks streets of gold, but those streets belong to his Enemy. He sees hosts of angels. But those hosts are the servants of his Enemy. He is in his Enemy’s house. For he is at enmity with God.

He could not join the song, for he would not know the tune. There he would stand—silent, motionless—till Christ should say, with a voice louder than ten thousand thunders, “What are you doing here? Enemies at a marriage banquet? Enemies in the children’s house? Enemies in Heaven? Get you gone! Depart you cursed, into everlasting fire in Hell!” Oh, Sirs, if the unregenerate man could enter Heaven, I mention once more the oft-repeated saying of Whitfield, “he would be so unhappy in Heaven that he would ask God to let him run down into Hell for shelter.”

There must be a change, if you consider the future state. For how can enemies to God ever sit down at the banquet of the Lamb? And to conclude, let me remind you—and it is in the text after all—that this change must be worked by a power beyond your own. An enemy may possibly make himself a Friend. But enmity cannot. If it is but an adjunct of his nature to be an enemy he may change himself into a Friend. But if it is the very essence of his existence to be enmity, positive enmity, enmity cannot change itself. No, there must be something done more than we can accomplish. This is just what is forgotten in these days. We must have more preaching of the Holy Spirit if we are to have more conversion work.

8 Comments:

Blogger bluecollar said...

Here is where Spurgeon begins to get to the heart of the matter. An unregenerate man has hatred and dread of God and of His Christ. Hostility. Man does not WANT anything to do with God or to be in His presence.

September 08, 2006 7:50 AM

 
Blogger jel said...

morning Mark,
and thank you! :)

September 08, 2006 8:15 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
So true. Grace through regeneration gives man everything (ALL) that is required for salvation. Unregenerate man via his free will cannot respond (John 1:13). Once regenerated he comes willingly and all will come (John 6:37). God does not fail.

If grace is resistable and man makes the crucial decision to come to faith apart from God's work, then that would be a 'free will' man generated decision.

Spurgeon explains it so well and thanks for posting this series in parts.

September 08, 2006 10:49 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

I like what Spurgeon said here:
"But if it is the very essence of his existence to be enmity, positive enmity, enmity cannot change itself. No, there must be something done more than we can accomplish. This is just what is forgotten in these days. We must have more preaching of the Holy Spirit if we are to have more conversion work."

September 08, 2006 11:06 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

I guess what could be said is that we are all born with our fist in God's face; and there are no exceptions to this fact.

September 08, 2006 11:09 AM

 
Blogger Shawn L said...

mark,

How are you doing and how is your family doing? I haven't seen you for awhile, been busy.

Blessings in Christ,
Shawn

September 09, 2006 1:31 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Shawn: Good to see you again!

Karen and I work for the same company. There has been a slowdown in orders. Furlough days and layoffs are in our future. It shall take a financial miracle to get through the next 6 months. My dad is more feeble than ever, and keeps us busy.

Thanks for caring enough to ask.

Mark

September 09, 2006 11:21 AM

 
Blogger Shawn L said...

Wow. That sounds very rough. I pray that Christ would be your hope and peace through the tough times. Sometimes it's good to remember having Christ is better than having the whole world, though at times it doesn't feel like. Oh what peace to be free from God's wrath.

Mark I'll be praying for you tonight and your wife and father.

For me we are doing rather well, yet lately most things I see my sin always in my way and am having a tough few months seeing God's grace in the midst of my sin. I have been back through Romans trying to shake myself of this and remembering the truth of our justification. Hearing the Word preached is what I need to receive God's Word and remember the truth of the gospel.

Michael Horton on White Horse Inn has been so helpful to me as well lately.

Well anyway blessing in Christ,
Shawn

September 15, 2006 9:51 PM

 

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