Ligon Duncan on the Non-Negotiables of the Gospel

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  • Colin Adams
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  • Monday, October 27, 2008

    Stuffed Christians (Spurgeon)

    ... a friend just forwarded this to me from Spurgeon

    We are all Christians."

    "Why, we belong to a Christian
    nation; are we not born Christians?"

    "Surely we must be all right; we have
    always attended our parish church, is
    not that enough?"

    "Our parents were always godly; we were
    born into the church, were we not? Did
    they not take us up in their arms when
    we were little, and make us members of
    Christ? What more do we lack?"

    This is the common talk.

    There is no Christian practice, there is
    no Christian habit, but what has been,
    or will be before long, imitated by people
    who have no vital godliness whatever.

    A man may appear much like a Christian,
    and yet possess no vital godliness!

    Walk through the British Museum, and you
    will see all the orders of animals standing
    in their various places, and exhibiting
    themselves with the utmost possible
    propriety. The rhinoceros demurely retains
    the position in which he was set at first;
    the eagle soars not through the window;
    the wolf howls not at night; every creature,
    whether bird, beast, or fish, remains in
    the particular glass case allotted to it.

    But you all know well enough that these
    are not the living creatures, but only the
    outward forms of them. Yet in what do
    they differ? Certainly in nothing which you
    could readily see, for the well stuffed
    animal is precisely like what the living
    animal would have been; and that eye
    of glass even appears to have more of
    brightness in it than the natural eye of
    the creature itself.

    Yet you know well enough that there is a
    secret inward something lacking, which,
    when it has once departed, you cannot restore.

    So in the churches of Christ, many professors
    are not living believers, but stuffed believers,
    Stuffed Christians!

    There is all the external of religion, everything
    that you could desire, and they behave with a
    great deal of propriety, too. They all keep their
    places, and there is no outward difference
    between them and the living, except upon that
    vital point; they lack spiritual life. This is the
    essential distinction, spiritual life is absent.

    It is almost painful to watch little children
    when some little pet of theirs has died, how
    they can hardly realize the difference
    between death and life!

    Your little boy's bird moped for awhile upon
    its perch, and at last dropped down in the cage;
    and do not you remember how the little boy
    tried to set it up, and gave it seed, and filled
    its glass with water, and was quite surprised to
    think that birdie would not open his little eye
    upon his friend as it did before, and would not
    take its seed, nor drink its water!

    Ah, you finally had to tell the poor boy that
    a mysterious something had gone from his
    little birdie, and would not come back again.

    There is just such a spiritual difference between
    the mere professor, and the genuine Christian.

    There is an invisible, but most real, indwelling
    of the Holy Spirit, the absence or the presence
    of which makes all the difference between the
    lost sinner and the saint.Type rest of the post here

    1 comment:

    jazzycat said...

    Yes, covenant inclusion is by faith alone in Jesus Christ and not by any other means. A stuffed Christian does not become a true Christian through more and better sanctification. He must begin at square one with a saving faith that justifies. Praise God that his grace makes true Christians....