Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday in Lent 5: Christ is all

Opening Sentence
Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Mark 8:34

Collect of the Day
Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 95, 22

Lessons: Exodus 9:13-35, 2 Corinthians 4:1-12, Mark 10:32-45

The word "sermon" is said to signify "a thrust," and, therefore, in sermonizing it must be our aim to use the subject in hand with energy and effect, and the subject must be capable of such employment. To choose mere moral themes will be to use a wooden dagger; but the great truths of revelation are as sharp swords. Keep to doctrines which stir the conscience and the heart. . . . Hence, I urge you to keep to the old-fashioned gospel, and to that only, for assuredly it is the power of God unto salvation. Of all I would wish to say this is the sum: my brethren, preach CHRIST, always and evermore. He is the whole gospel, His person, offices, and work must be our one great, all-comprehending theme. The world needs still to be told of its Saviour, and of the way to reach him. Justification by faith should be, far more than it is, the daily testimony of Protestant pulpits; and if with this master-truth there should be more generally associated the other great doctrines of grace, the better for our churches and our age. . . . We are not called to proclaim philosophy and metaphysics, but the simple gospel. Man's fall, his need of a new birth, forgiveness through an atonement, and salvation as the result of faith -- these are our battle-axe and weapons of war. We have enough to do to learn and teach these great truths, and accursed be that learning which shall divert us from our mission, or that willful ignorance which shall cripple us in its pursuit. More and more am I jealous lest any views upon prophecy, church government, politics, or even systematic theology should withdraw one of us from glorying in the cross of Christ. . . . Blessed is that ministry of which CHRIST IS ALL.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon
"Lectures to My Students"

Trading My Sorrows