Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Spurgeon Thursday: What we can Learn from Palm Sunday

Excerpt from a sermon delivered on Sunday Morning, August the 18th, 1861 by the
Rev. C. H. Spurgeon At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington:

The Saviour, in his triumphal entrance into the capital of his fathers, declared to us very plainly the practical effects of his kingdom. Now what are these? One of the first effects was that the whole city was moved. What does that mean? It means that everybody had something to say about it, and that everybody felt something because Christ rode through the street. 

There were some who leaned from the tops of their houses, and looked down the street and said to one another - "Aha! Did ever you see such fool's play as this? Humph! Here is Jesus of Nazareth down here riding on an ass! Surely if he meant to be king he might have chosen a horse. Look at him! They call that pomp! There is some old fisherman has just thrown down his bad-smelling garment; I dare say it had fish in it an hour or two ago? "Look," says one, "see that old beggar throwing his cap into the air for joy!" "Aha!" say they, "was there ever such a ridiculous thing as that?" 

I cannot put it in such terms as they would describe it; if I could, I think I would. I should like to make you see how ridiculous this must have seemed to the people. Why, if Pilate himself had heard about it he would have said - "Ah! there is nothing much to fear from that. There is no fear that that man will ever upset Caesar; there is no fear that he will ever overturn an army. Where are their swords? There is not a sword among them! They have no cries that sound like rebellion; their songs are only some religious verses taken out of the Psalms." "Oh!" says he, "the whole thing is contemptible and ridiculous." 

And this was the opinion of a great many in Jerusalem. Perhaps that is your opinion, my friend. The kingdom of Christ, you say, is ridiculous; you do not believe perhaps that there are any people who are ruled by him though we say that we own him as our King, and that we feel the law of love to be a law which constrains us to sweet obedience. "Oh," you say, "it is cant and hypocrisy." 

And there are some who attend where they have golden censers, and altars, and priests, and they say, "Oh! a religion that is so simple - singing a few hymns, and offering extempore prayer! - Ah! give me a bishop with a mitre - a fine fellow in lawn sleeves - that is the thing for me." "Oh," says another, "let me hear the peals of the organ; let me see the thing done scientifically, let me see a little drapery too; let the man come up clad in his proper garb to show that he is something different from other people; do not let him stand dressed as if he were an ordinary man; let me see something in the worship different from anything I have seen before." 

They want it clothed with a little pomp, and because if is not so they say - "Ah! Humph!" They sneer at it, and this is all that Christ gets from multitudes of men who think themselves exceeding wise. He is to them foolishness and they pass by with a sneer. Your sneers will be exchanged for tears ere long sirs! When he comes with real pomp and splendor you will weep and wail, because you disowned the King of Peace.

"The Lord shall come! a dreadful form,
With rainbow wreath and robes of storm,
With cherub voice and wings of wind,
The appointed Judge of all mankind."

Then you will find it inconvenient to have treated him with contempt. Others no doubt there were in Jerusalem who were filled with curiosity. They said - "Dear me, whatever can it be? What is the meaning of it? Who is this? I wish you would come," they said to their neighbors, "and tell us the history of this singular man, we should like to know about it." Some of them said, "He is gone to the temple, I dare say he will work a miracle;" so off they ran, and squeezed and pressed, and thronged to see a marvel. 

They were like Herod, they longed to see some wonder wrought by him. It was the first day of Christ's coming too, and of course the enthusiasm might last some nine days if he would keep it up, so they were very curious about it. And this is all Christ gets from thousands of people. They hear about a revival of religion. Well, they would like to know what it is and hear about it. There is something doing at such-and-such a place of worship; well, they would like to go if it were only to see the place. "There is a strange minister says queer things; let us go and hear him. We had intended to go out" - you know who I mean among yourselves - "we had intended to go out on an excursion today," said you, "but let us go there instead." 

Just so, curiosity, curiosity; this is all Christ gets to-day, and he that died upon the cross becomes a theme for an idle tale, and he that is Lord of angels and adored of men, is to be talked of as though he were a Wizard of the North or some eccentric impostor! Ah! you will find it inconvenient to have treated him thus by-and-bye; for when he comes, and when every eye shall see him, you who merely curiously enquired for him shall find that he shall inquire for you, not with animosity but with wrath, and it shall be - "Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." 

But anon the crowd there were some who were worse still, for they looked on the whole thing with envy"Ah!" said Rabbi Simeon to Rabbi Hillel, "the people were never so pleased with us. We know a great deal more than that impostor; we have read through all our religious books." "Don't you remember him," says one, "that when he was a boy he was rather precocious? You remember he came into the temple and talked with us, and since then he deceiveth the people," meaning by that he outshone them, that he had more esteem in the hearts of the multitude than they had, though they were prouder far. "Oh!" said the Pharisee, "he does not wear any phylactery, and I have made mine very large; I have made my garments almost all borders, so that they may be exceeding broad." "Ah!" says another, "I tithe my mint, my anise, and my cummin, and I stand at the corner of the street and blow a trumpet when I give away a penny, but yet people will not put me on an ass; they will not clap their hands and say, 'Hosanna' to me, but the whole earth is gone after this man like a parcel of children. Besides, think of going into the temple disturbing their betters, disturbing us who are making a show of our pretended prayers and standing in the courts!" 

And this is what Christ gets from a great many. They do not like to see Christ's cause get on. Nay, they would have Christ be lean that they might fatten themselves upon the plunder, they would have his Church be despicable. They like to hear of the falls of Christian ministers. If they can find a fault in a Christian man "Report it, report it, report it," say they. But if a man walk uprightly, if he glorifies Christ, if the Church increases, if souls are saved, straightway there is an uproar and the whole city is stirred, the whole uproar begins and is carried on by falsehoods, lying accusations, and slanders against the characters of Christ's people. 

In some way or other, men are sure to be moved, if they are not moved to laugh, if they are not moved to enquire, they are moved to envy. But blessed is it that some in Jerusalem were moved to rejoice. Oh! there were many who, like Simeon and Anna rejoiced to see that day, and many of them went home and said, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation." There was many a bedridden woman in the back streets of Jerusalem, that sat up in the bed and said, "Hosanna," and wished that she could get down into the street, that she might throw her old mantle in the way, and might bow before him who was the King of the Jews. There were many weeping eyes that wiped away their tears that day, and many mourning believers who began from that hour to rejoice with joy unspeakable

And so there are some of you that hear of Christ the King with joy. You join in the hymn; not as we have all joined with the voice, but with the heart.

"Rejoice, the Saviour reigns,
The God of peace and love
When he had purged our stains.
He took his seat above
Rejoice, rejoice!
Rejoice aloud, ye saints, rejoice!"

Such, then, the first effect of Christ's kingdom! Wherever it comes, the city is stirred. Do not believe the gospel is preached at all if it does not make a stir. Do not believe, my brethren, that the gospel is preached in Christ's way if it does not make some angry and some happy, if it does not make many enemies and some friends. (Emphasis mine)

There is yet another practical effect of Christ's kingdom. He went up to the temple and there at one table sat a lot of men with baskets containing pairs of doves. "Any doves, sir, any doves!" He looked at them and said, "Take these things hence." He spoke with a holy furore. There were others changing money as the people came in to pay their half shekel; he overturned the tables and set them all a-flying, and soon emptied the whole court of all these merchants who were making a gain of godliness, and making religion a stalking-horse for their own emolument. 

Now this is what Christ does wherever he comes. I wish he would come in the Church of England a little more, and purge out the sale of advowsons, get rid of that accursed simony which is still tolerated by law and purge out the men that are malappropriators, who take that which belongs to the ministers of Christ, and apply it to their own uses. 

I would that he would come into all our planes of worship, so that once for all it might be seen that they who serve God serve him because they love him, and not for what they can get by it. I would that every professor of religion could be quite clean in his own conscience that he never made a profession to get respectability or to get esteem, but only made it that he might honor Christ and glorify his Master. 

The spiritual meaning of it all is this - We have no houses of God now; bricks and mortar are not holy, the places where we worship God are places of worship, but they are not the houses of God any longer than we are in them. We believe no superstition which makes any place holy, but we are the temple of God. Men themselves are God's temples, and where Christ comes he drives out the buyers and sellers, he expunges all selfishness. I will never believe that Christ, the King, has made your heart his palace till you are unselfish. 

Oh, how many professors there are who want to get so much honor, so much respect! As to giving to the poor, thinking it more blessed to give than to receive, as for feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, as for living for other people, and not for themselves - they do not think of that. O Master, come into thy temple and drive out our selfishness, now come, turn out all those things which would make it convenient to serve Mammon by serving God; help us to live unto thee, and to live for others by living to thee, and not live unto ourselves!

The last practical effect of our Lord Jesus Christ's kingdom was he held a grand levee; he had, if I may so speak, a drawing-room day; and who we be the people who came to attend him? Now, ye courtiers, the disciples, show up your nobility and gentry that are come to wait upon him. Here comes one man, he has a bandage over here, and the other eye has almost failed - show him in, here comes another, his feet are all twisted and contorted - show him in, here comes another limping on two crutches, both his limbs are disabled, and another has lost his limbs. Here they come and here is the levee. 

The King himself comes here and holds a grand meeting, and the blind and the lame are his guests, and now he comes, he touches that blind eye and light shines in; he speaks to this man with a withered leg, he walks; he touches two eyes at once, and they both see, and to another he says, "I will take away thy crutches, stand upright and rejoice and leap with joy." This is what the King does wherever he comes. 

Come hither this morning, I beseech thee, thou great King! There are blind eyes here that cannot see thy beauty. Walk, Jesu, walk among this crowd and touch the eyes. Ah! then, brethren, if he should do that, you will say, "There is a beauty in him that I never saw before." Jesu, touch their eyes, they cannot take away their own blindness, do thou do it! Help them to look to thee hanging upon the cross! They cannot do it unless thou dost enable them. May they do it now, and find life in thee! O Jesu, there are some here that are lame - knees that cannot bend, they have never prayed; there are some here whose feet will not run in the way of thy commandments - feet that will not carry them up where thy name is praised, and where thou art had in honor. 

Walk, great King, walk thou in solemn pomp throughout this house, and make it like the temple of old! Display here thy power and hold thy grand meeting in the healing of the lame and the curing of the blind "Oh!" saith one, "I would that he would open my blind eyes." Soul, he will do it, he will do it. Breathe thy prayer out now, and it shall be done, for he is nigh thee now. He is standing by thy side, he speaks to thee, and he saith - "Look unto me and be thou saved, thou vilest of the vile." There is another, and he says - "Lord, I would be made whole." He says - "Be thou whole then." 

Believe on him and he will save thee. He is near you, brother, he is near you. He is not in the pulpit more than he is in the pew, nor in one pew more than in another. Say not - "Who shall go to heaven to find him, or into the depths to bring him up?" He is near you; he will hear your prayer even though you speak not; he will hear your heart speak. Oh! say unto him - "Jesus, heal me," and he will do it; he will do it now. Let us breathe the prayer, and then we will part.

Jesus, heal us! Save us, Son of David, save us! Thou seest how blind we be - oh, give us the sight of faith! Thou seest how lame we be - oh, give us the strength of grace! And now, e'en now, thou Son of David, purge out our selfishness, and come and live and reign in us as in thy temple-palaces! We ask it, O thou great King, for thine own sake. Amen. And ere we leave this place, we cry again, "Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna. Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."

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