Excerpts from sermons - Charles Spurgeon
Though we may not understand the wonderful truth of the undivided Unity, and the distinct personality of the Triune Godhead, yet, nevertheless, we see the truth revealed in the Holy Scriptures: and, therefore, we accept it as a matter of faith. Charles Spurgeon
"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."—Galatians 4:6.
Three things are very clearly set forth in this text: the first is the dignity of believers—"ye are sons;" the second is the consequent indwelling of the Holy Ghost—"because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts;" and the third is the filial cry—crying, "Abba, Father."
I. First, then, THE DIGNITY OF BELIEVERS. Adoption gives us the rights of children, regeneration gives us the nature of children: we are partakers of both of these, for we are sons.
And let us here observe that this sonship is a gift of grace received by faith. We are not the sons of God by nature in the sense here meant.
We are in a sense "the offspring God" by nature, but this is very different from the sonship here described, which is the peculiar privilege of those who are born again.
We have a sonship which does not come to us by nature, for we are "born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
Our sonship comes by promise, by the operation of God as a special gift to a peculiar seed, set apart unto the Lord by his own sovereign grace, as Isaac was. This honour and privilege come to us, according to the connection of our text, by faith.
Note well the twenty-sixth verse of the preceding chapter (Gal. 3:26): "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."
As unbelievers we know nothing of adoption. While we are under the law, as self-righteous, we know something of servitude, but we know nothing of sonship. It is only after that faith has come, that we cease to be under the schoolmaster, and rise out of our minority to take the privileges of the sons of God.
Faith worketh in us the spirit of adoption, and our consciousness of sonship, in this wise: first, it brings us justification.
Verse twenty-four of the previous chapter says, "The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."
An unjustified man stands in the condition of a criminal, not of a child: his sin is laid to his charge, he is reckoned as unjust and unrighteous, as indeed he really is, and he is therefore a rebel against his king, and not a child enjoying his father's love.
But when faith realizes the cleansing power of the blood of atonement, and lays hold upon the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, then the justified man becomes a son and a child.
Justification and adoption always go together. "Whom he called them he also justified," and the calling is a call to the Father's house, and to a recognition of sonship.
Believing brings forgiveness and justification through our Lord Jesus; it also brings adoption, for it is written, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."
Faith brings us into the realization of our adoption in the next place by setting us free from the bondage of the law. "
After that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
When we groaned under a sense of sin, and were shut up by it as in a prison, we feared that the law would punish us for our iniquity, and our life was made bitter with fear. Moreover, we strove in our own blind self-sufficient manner to keep that law, and this brought us into yet another bondage, which became harder and harder as failure succeeded to failure: we sinned and stumbled more and more to our soul's confusion.
But now that faith has come we see the law fulfilled in Christ, and ourselves justified and accepted in him: this changes the slave into a child, and duty into choice.
Now we delight in the law, and by the power of the Spirit we walk in holiness to the glory of God. Thus it is that by believing in Christ Jesus we escape from Moses, the taskmaster, and come to Jesus, the Saviour; we cease to regard God as an angry Judge and view him as our loving Father.
The system of merit and command, and punishment and fear, has given way to the rule of grace, gratitude, and love, and this new principle of government is one of the grand privileges of the children of God.
Now, faith is the mark of sonship in all who have it, whoever they may be, for "ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus Gal. 3:26).
If you are believing in Jesus, whether you are Jew or Gentile, bond or free, you are a son of God. If you have only believed in Christ of late, and have but for the past few weeks been able to rest in his great salvation, yet, beloved, now are you a child of God.
It is not an after privilege, granted to assurance or growth in grace; it is an early blessing, and belongs to him who has the smallest degree of faith, and is no more than a babe in grace.
If a man be a believer in Jesus Christ his name is in the register-book of the great family above, "for ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."
But if you have no faith, no matter what zeal, no matter what works, no matter what knowledge, no matter what pretensions to holiness you may possess, you are nothing, and your religion is vain.
Without faith in Christ you are as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal, for without faith it is impossible to please God.
Faith then, wherever it is found, is the infallible token of a child of God, and its absence is fatal to the claim.