I stand before you this evening as the servant of Christ, or the servant of the devil.
The gospel is a fan that will separate the chaff from the wheat. The Pharisees and philosophers get but little hope from me, and will, therefore, seek more flattering preaching elsewhere.
It will avail nothing to assent to this or that doctrine, unless the Lord writes it on the heart.
The more you know of the truth in a spiritual way, the humbler you will be.
The Bible to most is a sealed book.
When the Lord teaches, we must learn.
I cut down false religion, and exalted Christ, to the great offence of the pious Pharisees. Flesh and blood are not changed, and where the gospel is faithfully preached there will be the same consequences as in the time of our Savior and the apostles.
I am offensive in my preaching; I do not try to smooth it and make it palatable.
Do not cavil and reason with the carnal-minded. What advantage will it be if you persuade them to adopt your sentiments? If they are not born again of the Spirit of God, they will receive the doctrines carnally and not spiritually, which will only make them proud and licentious.
You cannot convince the natural man.
I come off with a good share of abuse as a fool, a madman, a deceiver. But Paul says, "As deceivers, and yet true."
We could as soon make a new world as begin a spiritual work in our souls. It is this doctrine that lays man so low in the dust.
"The preaching of the Cross is to those who perish foolishness." If what I preach is not foolishness to the natural man, know assuredly that I preach not the gospel. It troubles exceedingly the Pharisees; they are very unwilling to cast away their false idols.
Your zeal must be in the strength of the Lord.
You will find much opposition, both within and without, against a spiritual work; but if it is the Lord's work, it will surely be carried on.
Knowledge does not profit, unless it is given by God the Holy Spirit. "The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power." All knowledge avails but little, if there is not a knowledge of Christ Jesus. It is not receiving the gospel in word only, but in power, and in the Holy Spirit, which saves.
Do not imagine that a mere knowledge of the plan of salvation is salvation.
You will find it difficult to give up your own religion.
It is an inestimable blessing to be taught the value of God's word, so as to prize it, and to give much time to reading and meditating upon it. Let no one deceive you with vain words, and cause you to think, because you understand the plan of salvation, that you are sure of eternal glory. To receive the gospel in word is one thing, but to receive it with power, and the Holy Spirit, and much assurance is another.
Remember, Satan has millions of devices, of which a young convert knows but little.
All knowledge without the knowledge of Jesus will avail nothing. You are a poor dark, miserable, bewildered, deluded creature, if you know not Christ Jesus.
Seeing yourself lost and helpless will lead you to pray to God frequently and fervently to keep you from falling. You will feel troubled and distressed at your cold and lukewarm state, and be grieved that covetousness, pride, and diverse lusts are waging such strong war against your soul. But do not forget that we are soldiers, and have a continual warfare.
Some have a clear knowledge of the doctrines, but are evidently void of grace.
The power of godliness is but little known. Satan is well pleased with the state of religion in our day, or he would roar a little more loudly.
We are too much liked by the world, and too well spoken of. It would not be so, if we lived godly in Christ Jesus. God forbid that we should rest in a form of godliness.
"Sell that you have, and give to the poor" is a harder lesson to learn than election.
The least work of grace in the heart is worth a thousand worlds!
I am daily a debtor to sovereign grace. We need holding up in all our goings out and comings in.
There is nothing worth living for in this vain world. Vanity is stamped upon all created good.
May the Lord break down your self-will and free-will, and make you a humble man; for if the dross be taken away from the silver, there comes forth a vessel for the refiner. It is a painful process to pass through the furnace; but the best religion is bought the dearest, and what we get cheap we do not much value.
It is a great mercy that we are out of hell.
All things here below seem opposed to the spiritual kingdom in the heart. Pride, lust, selfishness, unbelief, and strong love of self, with the powerful influence of the devil, seem to tread down and destroy everything in the soul which strives for and searches after eternal things. "When I would do good, evil is present with me." So going to heaven is a continual conflict, a daily cross, and a climbing of mountains, which difficulties often make the poor sinner wish himself back in Egypt, that there was no heaven, and that he had never gone forth as a pilgrim. He wonders where the scene will end, and is afraid of that text which says, "He who endures unto the end shall be saved."
Prosperity in worldly things will dampen the desire of eternal things.
I find that nothing but true religion will satisfy me.
I know myself to be a vile sinner, and Jesus Christ as a precious Savior.
On what minute points do the most important matters sometimes hang, and how good it is to see in them the hand of God, who numbers the very hairs of our head, and without whom, not a sparrow can fall to the ground!
There is but very little true religion anywhere. It is a very narrow way to heaven, and if we enter in, it will be entirely by the grace of God.
Much covetousness lurks in our evil nature. From the prophet to the priest they all went after it in former days; and as it was then, so it is now.
The cross is not to be escaped, if we are to enter into glory.
Deliver us from everything that may entangle our affections, and harden our hearts.
If the way to heaven is so narrow, and so few find it, what will become of those who never seek it?
Has your religion cost you anything? If it has cost you nothing, it is worth nothing.
When the Lord finds His rod, His people find their knees.
Children take more notice of what their parents do, than to what they say.
Make us more dead to the world, and separate in spirit from it.
Dead fish go with the stream, living one against it.
Real religion is to severed from the world, to be married to Christ, and to bring forth fruit unto God.
Grant that we may hold the world with a loose hand.
We come into the world crying, we go through it complaining, and go out of it groaning.
If we are brought to consider what Christ sacrificed for us, and how little we sacrifice for Him, we might blush!