the First Week of Lent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Be perfectly joined together in the same mind.”
Paul loved the church in Corinth, but it caused him much pain and trouble through the evils which grew up in it, principally through the erroneous doctrines of Judaizing teachers, the fact that the church had more talent than grace, and that no pastor was raised up to conduct its affairs. We will now read a part of the first chapter of his first epistle.
1 Corinthians 1:1-17
1 Corinthians 1:4
It is always well to acknowledge and commend all the good which we see in our brethren, even though we may discern much to mourn over. They will all the more readily receive our reproofs, if we are just enough to admit and admire their excellencies.
1 Corinthians 1:5-11
If we bring a charge, we should be always willing to give our authority for it and mention the name of the accuser. Those who speak against others, and yet will not allow their names to appear, are unworthy of attention.
1 Corinthians 1:12
Many of the Gentiles stood up for their own apostle; the Judaizers, on the other hand, cried up Peter; a third class were charmed by the eloquence of Apollos, and a fourth party separated from the other three under the professed object of following only Christ. These last appear to have been quite as censurable as the others. Party making in the church of Christ is always evil.
1 Corinthians 1:13-15
There are some baptized people who make us feel glad that we had no hand in their baptism; as, for instance, those who rely upon the ordinance, those who live inconsistent lives, and those who sow strife among brethren.
1 Corinthians 1:16
This is a very singular passage. The apostle was inspired, and yet he made at first a statement which he afterwards corrected, and which he also modified with a hint that there might still be some others who had escaped his memory. This is intended by the Holy Spirit to teach us great carefulness in our statements, for even in small details we ought to speak the truth with the utmost accuracy.
1 Corinthians 1:17
Fine preaching feeds man’s pride, plain preaching brings glory to God and benefit to men.
Let all the saints terrestrial sing,
With those to glory gone;
For all the servants of our King,
In earth and heaven are one.
One family we dwell in him,
One church above, beneath,
Though now divided by the stream,
The narrow stream of death.
“To be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
1 Corinthians 2
1 Corinthians 2:1 , 1 Corinthians 2:2
This is the one thing needful for us to know. All our reading and studies will be in vain if we are ignorant of Christ and his atoning blood. If Paul the preacher determined to know nothing but this, we may be sure it is above all things important.
1 Corinthians 2:3-5
If men believed because of the preacher’s grand speech, their faith would be good for nothing. If one man can convert you, another can unconvert you. God’s power is needed; no minister can give us faith.
1 Corinthians 2:6-8
Simple as the gospel is, it is wisdom itself more philosophical than philosophy, and more reasonable than human reasons best conclusions.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
What reason and imagination could not have conceived, the Holy Spirit has revealed; spiritual men have an inner eye and ear to which the Spirit grants discernment.
1 Corinthians 2:12
Ours is a spiritual religion, which our new nature receives from the Spirit of God: it is not wrought in us by ceremonies which we can see with our eyes, neither are we persuaded into it by the fair speeches of men, but we are taught it by the Holy Spirit himself.
1 Corinthians 2:13
As spiritual men receive the faith by a spiritual work, so they endeavour to spread it by spiritual means only. They reject the pride of learning and the pomp of oratory, and rely upon the Spirit and the truth.
1 Corinthians 2:14 , 1 Corinthians 2:15
judgeth or discerneth
1 Corinthians 2:14 , 1 Corinthians 2:15
1 Corinthians 2:16
The whole of mankind may correctly be divided into natural and spiritual, and these are as distinct as the dead and the living. The natural man has no spirit, and cannot therefore discern spiritual things. In the new birth a spirit is implanted in us, and thus we gain spiritual faculties, we live in a spiritual atmosphere, and are capable of spiritual joys. Have we received this higher life? Have we the mind of Christ? Lord, work it in us, for Jesus’ sake!
Mighty Redeemer! set me free
From my old state of sin;
Oh, make my soul alive to thee,
Create new powers within.
Renew mine eyes; and form mine ears,
And mould my heart afresh;
Give me new passions, joys, and fears,
And turn the stone to flesh.
Far from the regions of the dead,
From sin, and earth, and hell,
In the new world that grace has made,
I would for ever dwell.
Teach me, my God and King,
In all things thee to see;
And what I do in anything,
To do it as for thee.
All may of thee partake,
Nothing so small can be
But draws, when acted for thy sake,
Greatness and worth from thee.
If done beneath thy laws,
E’en servile labours shine;
Hallowed is toil, if this the cause,
The meanest work, divine.
Allied to thee, our vital Head,
We act, and grow, and thrive:
From thee divided, each is dead
When most he seems alive.
Thy saints on earth, and those above,
Here join in sweet accord:
One body all in mutual love,
And thou our common Lord.
Thou the whole body wilt present
Before thy Father’s face!
Nor shall a wrinkle or a spot
Its beauteous form disgrace.
There is a house not made with hands,
Eternal, and on high,
And here my spirit waiting stands,
Till God shall bid it fly.
Shortly this prison of my clay
Must be dissolved and fall:
Then, O my soul! with joy obey
Thy heavenly Father’s call.
‘Tis he, by his almighty grace,
That forms thee fit for heaven;
And, as an earnest of the place,
Has his own Spirit given.
Be not yoked unequally
With the unbelieving race;
For what concord can there be
With the heirs of sin and grace?
Sin opposes sanctity;
Darkness, light doth ever shun,
Right and wrong can ne’er agree,
Christ and Belial ne’er be one.
Wherefore be ye separate,
Nor with sinners hold accord,
While ye in a holy state,
Bear the vessels of the Lord.
Bound by his word, he will display,
A strength proportion’d to our day;
And, when united trials meet,
Will show a path of safe retreat.
Thus far we prove that promise good,
Which Jesus ratified with blood:
Still he is gracious, wise, and just,
And still in him let Israel trust.
Do I believe what Jesus saith,
And think his gospel true?
Lord, make me bold to own my faith,
And practise virtue too.
Suppress my shame, subdue my fear,
Arm me with heavenly zeal;
That I may make thy power appear,
And works of praise fulfil.
If men should see my virtue shine
And spread my name abroad,
Thine is the power, the praise be thine,
My Saviour, and my God.
What have I else whereof to boast?
A sinner by myself undone,
And still, without thy mercy, lost,
I glory in thy cross alone.
Conform’d to my expiring Head,
I share thy passion on the tree;
And now I to the world am dead,
And all the world is dead to me.
Go, you that rest upon the law,
And toil and seek salvation there;
Look to the flame that Moses saw,
And shrink, and tremble, and despair.
But I’ll retire beneath the cross;
Saviour, at thy dear feet I’ll lie;
And the keen sword that Justice draws,
Flaming and red, shall pass me by.