At first, I decided to just encode a part of a sermon by Charles Spurgeon, but, as usual, what was supposed to be a brief commentary turned into an exhortation of sorts.
I will say this – As I have been adding notes to the following work by Charles Spurgeon, I have noticed his implied distinction between what we do from Christ’s finished work. I believe there should be no distinction. For Christ’s finished work guarantees our union with Him, and therefore, Christ’s finished work is IN all, propelling us, correcting us, motivating us, making all things new in each and every moment. Our sanctification and righteousness bought by the blood of Christ is seen all the time, and we move from glory to glory, from grace to grace.
Our bodies – and all aspects concerning this area of our being – are constantly transformed, as our minds are constantly being renewed, as we continue to take in and appreciate the fact that our spirits have been raised into newness of life, absolutely separate from sin and its power, fully conformed and perfected unto righteousness.
This, this is why we are satisfied in Christ. I enjoyed how Charles Spurgeon said words regarding satisfaction -words that I have been grasping at today, spoken freely and fluently by English preacher from so many years ago, from a different time and space. He calls it the good man’s ‘history’; and, expounding on the literal word, I am led to say that the good man has a history, a record, a narrative – a solid rock for his past, present, and future in Christ, who is for us our satisfaction.
He elaborates on how we are content with Christ, and therefore (1) independent of outward circumstances, (2) independent of his surroundings, (3) independent of the praise of others. Connecting his elaboration on independence (freedom) and the graces a good man possesses, the man made good as Christ is good is fully satisfied by (1)faith, no matter what the circumstance, (2)hope, no matter where he is, and (3)love, no matter what other people think.
We have literal assurance. We see events unfold as they are, and while the world has no choice but to react, Christ has authored faith in us which shouts out loud: “God is who He says He is!” – He is faithful when we lack faith, His lovingkindness endures forever, His mercies are new every morning! We see the facts, but faith sustains us by surely pointing us to the Truth, each and every time.
We are calm. Instead of yielding to what our senses would have us feel, we have hope, an anchor for our soul. This is a hope which broadens our horizons to see beyond what is immediately apparent, a hope in which we can afford to take a step back when pressure would have us act recklessly.
We are compassionate. Once we were starved for the attention of other people, and now we are filled with the love of none less than the Creator of all things seen and unseen, completely in love with us, in a way that He can only love, for He IS love. We ‘loved’ others expecting to be loved back, but now, because we are loved and loved eternally, we love others.
And while faith can be likened to GPS on a boat, showing us where we are, and hope an anchor to hold us together, I believe love has its way of engulfing the entire boat, and being in all – the seas, the winds, the anchor, the navigation, and in all. It is all found in Christ, and demonstrated by his birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension: He loved us first. Now, we can draw courage to do what we are otherwise uncomfortable in doing (we do what we have to do), we can stay consistent in seeking and pursuing our goals no matter what we feel, and we can stay fresh and excited every day.
Today, I have learned how we have been made free from sin, fear, and death, and free unto overflowing righteousness. We rejoice, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all things, for through Christ we have faith, hope and love. From Christ, in Christ, with Christ, through Christ… we are alive.
Bless His holy name.
(Notes I add will be in Blue.)
How A Man’s Conduct Comes Home To Him, Part II – Charles Spurgeon
“The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways; and a good man shall be satisfied.”– Proverbs 14:14
As it is true of the backslider that grows at last full of that which is within him and his wickedness, it is true also of the Christian that in pursuing the paths of righteousness and the way of faith, he becomes filled and contented too. That which grace has placed within him fills him in due time.
Here then we have the good man’s name and history. (History = Record/Narrative)
Notice first, his name. It is a very remarkable thing that as a backslider if you call out his name will not as a rule answer to it, even so a good man will not acknowledge the title here assigned him. Where is the good man? I know that every man here who is right before God will pass the question on saying, “There is none good save One, that is God.” The good man will also question my text and say, “I cannot feel satisfied with myself.” No, dear friend, but mind you read the words aright. It does not say, “satisfied with himself,” no truly good man ever was self-satisfied, and when any talk as if they are self-satisfied, it is time to doubt whether they know much about the matter.
All the good men I have ever met have always wanted to be better; they have longed for something higher than as yet they have reached. They would not own to it that they were satisfied, and they certainly were by no means satisfied with themselves. The text does not say that they are, but is says something that reads so much like it that care is needed. Now, if I should seem to say this morning that a good man looks within and is quite satisfied with what he finds there, please let me say at once, I mean nothing of the sort. I should like to say exactly what the text means, but I do not know quite whether I shall manage to do it, except you will help me by not misunderstanding me even if there should be a strong temptation to do so.
Here is the good man’s history, he is “satisfied from himself,” but first I must read his name again, though he does not own to his, what is he good for? He says, “good for nothing,” but in truth he is good for much when the Lord uses him. Remember that he is good because the Lord has made him over again by the Holy Spirit. Is not that good which God makes? When He created nature, at the first He said of all things that they were very good; how could they be otherwise, since He made them? So in the new creation a new heart and a right spirit are from God and must be good. Where there is grace in the heart the grace is good and makes the heart good. A man who has the righteousness of Jesus and (therefore) the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is good in the sight of God.
A good man is on the side of good. If I were to ask, who is on the side of good? We would not pass on that question. No, we would step out and say, “I am. I am not all I ought to be, or wish to be, but I am on the side of justice, truth, and holiness; I would live to promote goodness and even die rather than become the advocate for evil.” And what is the man who loves that which is good? Is he evil? I trow not. He who truly loves that which is good must be in a measure good himself. Who is he that strives to be good and groans and sighs over his failures, yea and rules his daily life by the laws of God? Is he not one of the worlds’s best men? I trust without self-righteousness the grace of God has made some of us good in this sense, forwhat the Spirit of God has made is good, and if in Christ Jesus we are new creatures, we cannot contradict Solomon nor criticize the Bible if it calls such persons good, though we dare not call ourselves good.
Now a good man’s history is this, “He is satisfied from himself.”
That means first, that he is independent of outward circumstances. He does not derive satisfaction from his birth, or honors, or properties; but that which fills him with content is within himself. Our hymn puts it so truly –
I need not go abroad for joys,
I have a feast at home,
My sighs are turned into songs,
My heart has ceased to roam.
Down from above the blessed Dove
Is come into my breast,
To witness thine eternal love
And give my spirit rest.
Other men must bring music from abroad if they have any, but in the gracious man’s bosom there lives a little bird that sings sweetly to him. He has a flower in his own garden more sweet than any he could buy in the market or find in the king’s palace. He may be poor, but still he would not change his estate in the kingdom of heaven for all the grandeur of the rich. His joy and peace are not even dependent upon the health of his body, he is often well in soul when sick as to his flesh; he is frequently full of pain yet perfectly satisfied, he may carry about with him an incurable disease which he knows will shorten and eventually end his life, but he does not look to this poor life for satisfaction, he carries that within him which creates immortal joy: the love of God shed abroad in his soul by the Holy Ghost yields a perfume sweeten than the flowers of Paradise. The fulfillment of the text is partly found in the fact that the good man is independent of his surroundings.
And he is also independent of the praise of others. The backslider keeps easy because the minister thinks well of him and Christian friends think well of him, but the genuine Christian who is living near to God thinks little of the verdict of men. What other people think of him is not his chief concern; he is sure that he is a child of God, he knows he can say, “Abba, Father”, he glories that for him to live is Christ and to die is gain, and therefore he does not need the approbation of others to buoy up his confidence. He runs alone and does not need to be carried in arms like a weakly child. He knows whom he has believed, and his heart rests in Jesus; thus he is satisfied, not from other people and from their judgment, but “from himself.”
Then, again, the Christian man is content with the well of upspringing water of life which the Lord has placed within him. There, my brethren, up on the everlasting hills is the divine reservoir of all-sufficient grace, and down here in our bosom is a spring which bubbles up unto everlasting life. It has been welling up in some of us these five-and-twenty years, but why is it so? The grand secret is that there is an unbroken connection between the little spring within the renewed breast and that vast unfathomed font of God, and because of this the well-spring never fails; in summer and in winter it continues to flow. And now if you ask me if I am dissatisfied with the spring within my soul which is fed by the all-sufficiency of God, I reply, no, I am not. If you could by any possibility cut the connection between my soul and my Lord I should despair altogether, but as long as none can separate me from the love of God, which is Christ Jesus our Lord, I am satisfied and at rest. Like Naphtali we are “satisfied with favor and full of the blessing of the Lord.”
Faith is in the good man’s heart and he is satisfied with what
faith brings him brought him to faith for it conveys to him the perfect pardon of his sin. Faith brings him nearer to Christ. Christ’s death reconciled him and brought him together, His faith was authored into him. Faith brings him to recognize and appreciate his adoption into the family of God. Faith secures him Jesus’ conquest over temptation secures his faith. By Faith that Christ procures for him everything he requires . He finds that by believing he has enjoys all the blessings of the covenant daily to enjoy. Well may he be satisfied with such an enriching grace. The just shall live by faith.
In addition to faith, he has another filling grace called hope which reveals to him the world to come and gives him assurance that when he falls asleep he will sleep in Jesus, and that when we awakes he will arise in the likeness of Jesus. Hope delights him with the promise that his body shall rise, and that in his flesh he shall see God. This hope of his sets the pearly gates wide open before him, reveals the streets of gold, and makes him hear the music of the celestial harpers. Surely a man may well be satisfied with this.
The godly heart is also satisfied with what love brings him; for love though it seems but a gentle maid is strong as a giant and becomes in some respects the most potent of all the graces. The love of God shines everlasting, and Love
first opens wide herself like the flowers in the sunshine and drinks in the love of God, and then she joys in God and begins to sing:
I am so glad that Jesus loves me.
She loves Jesus, and there is such an interchange of delight between the love of her soul for Christ and the love of Christ for her that heaven itself can scarce be sweeter. He who knows this deep mysterious love will be more filled with it,he will need to be enlarged to hold the bliss which it creates. The love of Jesus is known, but yet is passeth knowledge. It fills the entire man so that he has no room for the idolatrous love of the creature; he is satisfied with himself and asks no other joy.
Beloved, when the good man is enabled by divine grace to live (in obedience to God), he must, as a necessary consequence, enjoy peace of mind. His hope is alone fixed on Jesus,
but and his life which evidences his possession of salvation casts many a sweet ingredient into his cup. He who takes the yoke of Christ upon him and learns of Him actually finds rest unto his soul. When we keep His commandments, we consciously enjoy His love when we could not do if when we walked in opposition to His will. To know that you have acted from a pure motive, to know that you have done the right is the grand means of full content. What matters the frown of foes or the prejudice of friends if the testimony of a good conscience is heard within? We dare not rely upon our own works, neither have we had any desire or need to do so for our Lord Jesus has saved us everlastingly; still,“Our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversion in the world.”