“The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God.” – Galatians 2:20
Charles Spurgeon rejoiced in the simple gospel of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. His love for the gospel made him quick to defend the gospel when it was subject to “calumny” or slander. One charge which Spurgeon sought to refute in this sermon was the accusation that salvation by faith alone, and not by works, would lead to morally lax living. Many critics of the day claimed that believing the simple gospel would result in people being too heavenly minded to be of any earthly value. Spurgeon vehemently disagreed.
Spurgeon was well aware of the objection that “we exhort men to live for another sphere, and do not teach them to live well in the present life.” However, Spurgeon knew that “nothing can be more untrue than this.” Rather, he believed that “more practical moral teaching is given by ministers of the gospel than by all the philosophers, lecturers, and moralists put together.” Put simply, he believed that Biblical Christianity was in fact “everyday religion.”
In the first section of his sermon, Spurgeon asserted that “Faith inclines a man to an industrious life.” He believed that “it suggests activity.” He even ventured to say that “faith is but an empty show if it produces no result upon the life.” If there was “no energy, no industry, no zeal, no perseverance” in the serving the Lord it would lead him to “question whether [a man] was a believer at all.” Simply put, “faith does not permit men to lie upon the bed of the sluggard, listless, frivolous, idle; but it makes life to appear real and earnest.”
In the second section of his sermon, Spurgeon claimed that “Faith leads a man to look to God for help in his ordinary avocation.” Indeed, he noted that “a believer may seek of God the qualifications for his particular calling.” On a practical level, this meant that “the laborer may appeal to God for strength…[and] the student mat seek God for help to quicken his intelligence.” After all, David “attributed his valour to God who taught his hands to war and his fingers to fight.”
In the third section of his sermon, Spurgeon remarked that faith “Leads [a man] to serve God in his daily calling.” Indeed, this consecration of everyday doing had an enchanting effect on life. On this point, Spurgeon declared that “Never is life more ennobled than when we do all things as unto God.” Since every act of service was holy unto the Lord this made all “drudgery sublime.”
In the fourth section of his sermon, Spurgeon noted that faith “Reconciles a man to the discomforts of his calling.” Here he acknowledged that “not every calling is easy or lucrative, or honored among men.” Indeed, some employments were “despised by the thoughtless,” especially those that required “self-denial.” He believed that its was faith which would enable Christians “to live above the trials of their position.” Simply, “there is no degradation in anything that is done for God” for “faith in God sanctifies the man, and his calling, too”
In the fifth section of his sermon, Spurgeon declared that faith “Casts all the burden of [ordinary life] upon the Lord.” Faith, for Spurgeon, was the “great remover of yokes.” Faith eased the burdens of ordinary life by teaching believers to trust in God’s “infallible wisdom and perfect love” in the midst of trials. Even in the darkest of night “faith teaches us to look to the end of the present trial, and to know that it works together for good.”
In the sixth section of his sermon, Spurgeon remarked that faith “Moderates a man’s feelings as to the result of his work.” Here he noted that “sometimes the result of our work is prosperity,” and that faith was a guard against falling in love with the world. Spurgeon rejoiced when his work prospered, but he was always mindful that prosperity “is a keen test of character.” Indeed, while “Everybody longs for it” few could “bear it when it comes.”
In the seventh, and final, section of his sermon, Spurgeon said that faith “Enables a man cheerfully to leave his occupation when the time comes.” Here he acknowledged that a time might come when “a Christian may have to quit his vocation on account of circumstances over which he has no control.” Whether due to travel, or “weakness,” or “old age” faith enables the Christian to “[set] loose by worldly things” and be ready “make sail” at God’s “divine bidding.”
Why you should take up and read:
Charles Spurgeon loved the simple gospel of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. Furthermore, he believed that the gospel of Jesus Christ offered the best “practical moral teaching” in the world. In this sermon, Spurgeon showed that true faith leads to a life of diligent service. For those seeking encouragement in “everyday religion” please take up and read.
Here is the link to the Sermon of the Week:https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/everyday-religion#flipbook/
Phillip Ort serves as the Director of The Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City while studying in The Residency Ph.D. program.