Reading Spurgeon’s “Lectures to My Students” Part 14

This chapter is entitled “The Holy Spirit in Connection with Our Ministry.”  From what I have seen, Spurgeon was not lacking in theology regarding the Holy Spirit.

To us the presence and work of the Holy Spirit are the ground of our confidence as to the wisdom and hopefulness of our life work.  If we had not believed in the Holy Ghost we should have laid down our ministry long ere this, for ‘who is sufficient for these things?’  Our hope of success, and our strength for continuing the service, lie in our belief that the Spirit of the Lord resteth upon us.”

“We believe ourselves to be spokesmen for Jesus Christ, appointed to continue His witness upon earth; but upon Him and His testimony the Spirit of God always rested, and if it does not rest upon us, we are evidently not sent forth into the world as He was.”

“If we have not the Spirit which Jesus promised, we cannot perform the commission which Jesus gave.”

“Rightly to divide the Word of God is as important as fully to understand it, for some who have evidently understood a part of the gospel have given undue prominence to that one portion of it, and have therefore exhibited a distorted Christianity, to the injury of those who have received it, since they in their turn have exhibited a distorted character in consequence thereof.”

“We may be conscious of having passed by certain texts, not because we do not understand them (which may be justifiable), but because we do understand them, and hardly like to say what they have taught us, or because there may be some imperfection in ourselves, or some prejudice among our hearers which those texts would reveal too clearly for our comfort.  Such sinful silence must be ended forthwith.”

“I believe that many brethren who preach human responsibility deliver themselves in so legal a manner as to disgust all those who love the doctrines of grace.  On the other hand, I fear that many have preached the sovereignty of God in such a way as to drive all persons who believe in man’s free agency entirely away from the Calvinistic side.”

“We need the divine influence to keep us back from saying many things which, if they actually left our tongue, would mar our message.  Those of us who are endowed with the dangerous gift of humour have need, sometimes, to stop and take the word out of our mouth and look at it, and see whether it is quite to edification.”

“Especially is it the Holy Spirit’s work to maintain in us a devotional frame of mind whilst we are discoursing.  This is a condition to be greatly coveted–to continue praying while you are occupied with preaching; to do the Lord’s commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word; to keep the eye on the throne, and the wing in perpetual motion.”

“We do not stand up in our pulpits to display our skill in spiritual sword play, but we come to actual fighting:  our object is to drive the sword of the Spirit through men’s hearts.”

“Never aim at effect after the manner of the climax makers, poetry quoters, handkerchief manipulators, and bombast blowers.  Far better for a man that he had never been born than that he should degrade a pulpit into a show box to exhibit himself in.  Aim at the right sort of effect; the inspiring of saints to nobler things, the leading of Christians closer to their Master, the comforting of doubters till they rise out of their terrors, the repentance of sinners, and their exercise of immediate faith in Christ.  Without these signs following, what is the use of our sermons?”

“The habit of prayer is good, but the spirit of prayer is better.  Regular retirement is to be maintained, but continued communion with God is to be our aim.”

Regarding congregationalism- “Brethren, our system will not work without the Spirit of God, and I am glad that it will not, for its stoppages and breakages call our attention to the fact of His absence.  Our system was never intended to promote the glory of priests and pastors, but it is calculated to educate manly Christians, who will not take their faith at second-hand.”

“The Spirit claims a sovereignty like that of the wind which bloweth where it listeth; but let us never dream that sovereignty and capriciousness are the same thing.  The blessed Spirit acts as He wills, but He always acts justly, wisely, and with motive and reason.”

“Christ’s Spirit will not be an accomplice with men in the wretched business of shuffling and deceiving.  Does it really come to this?–that you preach certain doctrines, not because you believe them, but because your congregation expects you to do so?”

“I would not shun my Master’s service, but I tremble in His presence.  Who can be faultless when even Moses erred?  It is a dreadful thing to be beloved of God.”

“When you are fullest of the fruits of the Spirit, bow lowest before the throne, and serve the Lord with fear…Remember that God has come unto us, not to exalt us, but to exalt Himself, and we must see to it that His glory is the one sole object of all that we do.

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