the First Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Ye are complete in Him.”
The portion of scripture which we are about to read, ought to be well understood and earnestly observed by us, for it pleads for the purity and simplicity of the Christian faith, and deals heavy blows at those various additions of men which, under various pretences, are tagged on to the simple gospel. We need to standfast to the plain, simple, gospel of Jesus; for to adorn it is to deface it, to add to it is to dishonour it.
Pretendedly wise men would improve the gospel: as well might they dream of adding lustre to the sun or fulness to the ocean.
What then can we need more? How can his gospel be improved?
We have all things in Jesus, and want no Jewish or Popish rites: to all these we are dead and buried, our baptism teaches us Mat; and by faith we are risen from all dead formalities into a new spiritual life, which requires none of the ordinances of man to sustain it. We ought to beware of those gaudy rites with which Ritualists now mar the gospel of Jesus.
Christ on the cross has vanquished sin and ended the ceremonial law; let us not return to the bondage from which his death has set us free.
From all human laws, as to holy days and fastings and ceremonies, we are free; they are vain shadows; Jesus is the true substance.
Colossians 2:18 , Colossians 2:19
How plainly the angel-worship of the church of Rome is here condemned! What have we to do with adoring angels when we are already members of a body which has a divine head?
Why bind yourselves with man’s commands when you are dead to them all in Christ? Jesus gives you liberty, why put upon your shoulders a new yoke?
The precepts of men as to regarding different days, and rejecting certain kinds of food, appear to be wise and to foster humility, but it is only so in mere appearance, and Christians, being under the law of liberty, should refuse to bring themselves into bondage. One is our Master, even Christ; it is enough for us to obey his will and abide in the liberty which he has so dearly purchased for us, and so graciously given to us.
In thy promises I trust,
In thy precious word confide,
I am prostrate in the dust,
I with Christ was crucified.
Jesus, lives he fills my soul,
Perfected in him I am;
I am every whit made whole,
Glory, glory to the Lamb
“Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
So completely are we renewed by regeneration that we are dead to the old life, and only live in Jesus. We cannot love the things of earth: our hearts are in heaven, our very life is there, where Jesus is, and until he comes we live a hidden life which worldlings cannot perceive or comprehend.
New men should have new manners, and new garments. The cast-off rags of our sinful estate must never be allowed to dishonour and defile us now.
The heathen gloried in clever deceits; we have for ever done with falsehood of every kind.
And above all these things put on charity or lose
Sweet precept! How often is it forgotten! “Be ye thankful.”
Colossians 3:16 , Colossians 3:17
A golden rule for all times, places, and duties. Life on earth would be like heaven below were this continually practised.
So that while we are free from the traditions of men, we are under law to Christ. Let us each one observe the precept which belongs to his condition. May the Spirit of all grace make all of us models, whether as parents or children, masters or servants, and to God shall be all the praise.
Be dead, my heart, to worldly charms;
Be dead to every sin;
And tell the boldest foes without,
That Jesus reigns within.
My life with his united stands,
Nor asks a surer ground;
He keeps me in his gracious arms,
Where heaven itself is found.