“Every doctrine of the Word of God has its practical bearing. As each tree beareth seed after its kind, so doth every truth of God bring forth practical virtues.”
Charles Spurgeon was eager for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The promise of Christ’s return was a “grand reason for steadfastness,” for persevering in faith. Spurgeon especially longed for the day when “[Christ] shall ‘fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of his glory.’”
Spurgeon believed that the promised “glorious resurrection” would “abundantly repay us for all the toil and travail we may have to undergo in the battle for the Lord.” While he acknowledged that for now we “see in a mirror but dimly,” nonetheless the “glory to be revealed…casts a light upon our path.” In his experience he found that “The hope of this happiness makes us…strong in the Lord” and “causes sunshine in our hearts.” Simply, the doctrinal certainty of this “glorious resurrection” produced, by grace, a confidence which enabled the humble Christian to “stand fast.”
In the first section of his sermon, Spurgeon noted “Paul joyfully perceived that his beloved converts were in their right place,” that is “in the Lord.” First, Spurgeon asserted that “we are in the Lord vitally and evidently when we fly to the Lord Jesus by repentance and faith.” In his view, it was a matter of first importance to “make [Jesus] to be our refuge and hiding place” by faith. Noting that there was no other “shelter for a guilty soul” and so he urgently asked “Have you fled out of self? Are you trusting in the Lord?”
Second, Spurgeon asserted that those who “fled to Christ for refuge” were now “in Christ for their daily life.” This meant “abiding” in Christ, that is remaining “in daily enjoyment of him,” remaining “in reliance upon him,” remaining in “obedience to him,” and remaining “in the earnest copying of his example.” This same abiding was worked out by realizing “the power of [Christ’s] death and resurrection as a sanctifying influence” by “killing their sins and fostering their virtues.”
Third, Spurgeon celebrated that they were “in Christ by a real and vital union with him.” Faith in Jesus Christ was the key to enjoying a “living,” “loving,” and “lasting union” with him. Indeed, the result of this union was “eternal life” as it was “in him, and in him only, that spiritual life is to be sustained.” A fresh and glorious eternal life that never wither or fade.
In the second section of his sermon, Spurgeon examined Paul’s “reasons that they should keep [in Christ].” Here Spurgeon sought to encourage his congregation for the long road ahead. While he agreed with the proverb “Well begun is half done,” he asserted that “The beginning of religion is not the whole of it,” and so he urged his congregation to “stand fast.”
First, he pleaded with them to “Stand fast doctrinally.” While at his time “all the ships in the waters are pulling up their anchors” and “drifting with the tide” theologically, Spurgeon determined “not [to] budge and inch from the old doctrine for any man.”
Second, he urged them to stand fast “practically.” He charged them to “abide firm in the right, the true, [and] the holy.” In fact, he said “This is of the utmost importance.” While the world descended into “worldliness,” “impurity,” and “self-indulgence” he urged them to be “In nothing moved by the laxity of the age.” They were to “stand fast.”
Third, Spurgeon called them to “stand fast experimentally.” He exhorted them to “Pray that your inward experience may be close adhesion to your Master.” He charged them, “Do not go astray from his presence.” Rather, he urged them to “Take the Lord Jesus Christ to be your sole treasure, and let your heart ever be with him.” And when the forces of doubt assailed the believer he cried “Stand fast in faith in his atonement, in confidence in his Divinity, [and] in assurance of his Second Advent.”
In the third, and final, section of his sermon, Spurgeon argued that “the apostle urged the best motives for their standing fast.” First, he declared “Stand fast because of your citizenship.” Spurgeon believed that “Men ought to behave according to their citizenship,” and as citizens of the “New Jerusalem” he charged “We must not yield, we dare not yield, if we are the city of the great King.”
Second, he called them to consider “[the Philippians’] outlook.” Here he plainly reminded his people that “Jesus is coming” and that “He is even now on the way.” As such, they should conduct their lives accordingly.
Third, and finally, he called them to remember the “expectation.” Bursting with joy, Spurgeon declared “Only think of it dear friends! No more headaches or heartaches, no feebleness and fainting…the Lord shall transfigure this body…into the likeness of the body of his glory.” Indeed, there will come a day when all that is wrong will be made right by the Lord Jesus. In view of this prospect, Spurgeon urged his people to “stand fast.”
Why you should take up and read:
Charles Spurgeon was eager for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. He believed that the promised “glorious resurrection” would “abundantly repay us for all” our “toil and travail.” In this sermon, Spurgeon pleaded the “glorious resurrection” as grounds for standing fast amidst the troubles of this life. For those seeking encouragement to “stand fast” please take up and read.