Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Put Away...All Malice [Charles Spurgeon via Phil Johnson of Pyromaniacs]

The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The Following excerpt is from "Purging out the Leaven," a sermon delivered Sunday morning 11 December 1870 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London. here are forms of evil which we must peculiarly watch against, and one is malice.

Is a Christian man likely to be malicious? I trust in the strong sense of that term we have done with malice, but, alas! I have known believers who have had a very keen sense of right, and therein have been commendable, who have too much indulged the spirit deprecated here; that is to say, they have been very severe, censorious, and angry—angry with people for not being perfect. Though not perfect themselves, and though they know that if they are better than others, the grace of God has made them so, yet they are bitter and untender towards the imperfections of Christian people, and they cherish feelings of prejudice, suspicion, and ill-will.

They do not seek the improvement of the faulty, but their exposure and condemnation. They hunt down sincere but faulty people, and denounce them, but never by any chance offer an excuse for them.

In some believers there is too much of the leaven of unkind talking; they speak to one another about the faults of their brethren, and, in the process of retelling, characters are injured and reputations marred.

Now harsh judgments and evil speakings are to be put away from us as sour leaven. If a man has injured me, I must forgive him; and if I find him to be faulty, I must love him till he gets better, and if I cannot make him better by ordinary love, I must love him more, even as Christ loved his church and gave himself for it, "that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing." He did not love her because she was without spot or wrinkle, but to get the spots and wrinkles out of her; he loved her into holiness.
I think there isn't one among us who should not pause, ponder, and pray for God to show him or her mercy in this sin. This is an evil blight on the church and we need to do all we can to confront it every where it exists. The call has to be for repentance! Genuine, heartfelt, sobering repentance. This is not simply, "I feel bad," or "I am sorry IF I hurt you." No! That will not do! It is the kind of repentance that says, I did you wrong, I was evil, I am very sorry, can you please forgive me and help me make it right! It is hating the thing we did so much that we make no excuse for it and nothing matters but being restored to our brother or sister regardless of the cost. THAT IS BIBLICAL REPENTANCE! Everything else is just an easing of the conscience! If you know anyone in this condition, you have a moral obligation to go to them and help them reach this place of repentance if possible. You cannot turn your head and look the other way. Christ does not permit it! He lays on YOU the responsiblity to go and show your brother their sin. So go, and God be with you.


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