the First Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“The Word of God is not bound.”
He, no doubt, had a house near the Prætorian barracks, and thus enjoyed more liberty than in a prison; but he had a soldier fastened to his arm by a chain, a cause of constant discomfort, however courteous the soldier might be.
Acts 28:21 , Acts 28:22
This has always been the mark of real Christians; and yet, for all that, they conquer the hearts of men. Christ is set for a sign which shall be spoken against, and to be called “a sect,” has been the constant lot of his faithful church.
Such industry should shame us. Paul was not content with delivering a sermon every day, but kept his house open to inquirers, and poured out continually a stream of holy teaching.
That is always the case, whoever may be the preacher. On the stony ground the seed brings forth no harvest, even though an apostolic hand sows it. To which of the two classes do we belong? Do we believe? Or are we unbelievers still?
If we also remain unbelieving, God may take the gospel from us, and send it to others who will accept it. That would be a dreadful thing indeed. How long will it be ere we believe in Jesus? Do we mean to provoke the Lord to forsake us for ever?
Acts 28:30 , Acts 28:31
Thus Luke, beginning at Jerusalem, closes his narrative at Rome, following the footprints of the gospel from the Mount of Olives to the City of the Seven Hills, and showing how the foundations of the church were laid both in Asia and Europe. What was begun with so much heroism ought to be continued with ardent zeal, since we are assured that the same Lord is mighty still to carry on his heavenly designs.
Christ and his cross is all our theme;
The mysteries that we speak
Are scandal in the Jew’s esteem,
And folly to the Greek.
But souls enlighteh’d from above
With joy receive the Word;
They see what wisdom, power, and love
Shine in their dying Lord.
“Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”
The Epistle to the Romans is one of the greatest of Paul’s writings, and is rather a treatise than a letter. It was probably written by him from Corinth, three years before he himself arrived at Rome. Dean Alford says, “There is not a grander thing in literature than this opening of the Epistle to the Romans.”
As to his flesh, he was of the seed of David, but his higher nature was by his resurrection manifested most powerfully to be divine. Had he not risen he could not have been God; his resurrection by his own power has made his Godhead plain.
Little did he dream that his prayers were to be answered by his being conveyed in chains to the great city. Very mysterious are the Lord’s ways of granting our requests.
let or hindered
His office and his gifts placed him in debt to mankind to labour for their conversion, and every Christian, according to his ability, is in the same condition. Are we paying the debts under which the Lord has laid us?
He was not afraid of danger, and was willing to come right under the palace walls of Cæsar. In due time his desire became a fact.
They must have known better. No man in his senses can worship birds and beasts without feeling degraded by so doing. Natural reason rebels against such an insult to God, and as they would not listen to its voice the heathen were left to fall into abominable vices. Let us never slight the checks of conscience, lest we should be given over to our own corrupt hearts. No doom could be more terrible.