1 Sermon #1625 1 Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit WITHOUT CHRIST—NOTHING NO. 1625 A SERMON DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, OCTOBER 23, 1881, BY C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON. “Without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. THIS is not the language of a man of ordinary mold. No saint, no prophet, no apostle would ever have addressed a company of faithful men and have s aid to them, “Without me you can do nothing.” Had Jesus Christ been, as some say, a good man and nothing more, such language as this would have man we must certainly reckon modesty, perfect been unseemly and inconsistent. Among the virtues o f a but this from a mere would have been shamelessly immodest! It is imposs ible to conceive that Je- man sus of Nazareth, had He not been more than man, cou ld ever have uttered the sentence, “Without Me you can do nothing.” My brothers and sisters, I hea r, in this sentence, the voice of that divine perso n without whom was not anything made that was made! T he majesty of the words reveals the Godhead of Him that uttered them. The “I Am” comes out in the personal word, “Me,” and the claim of all power nothing! The spirit in which we listen to this unveils the omnipotent! These words mean Godhead or language is that of adoration. Let us bow our heads in solemn worship and so unite with the multitude nion and might to Him that sits upon the throne before the throne of God who ascribe power and domi and to the Lamb. In this adoring state of mind we s hall be the better prepared to enter into the inner most hat soul of the text. I am not going to preach upon the moral inability of the unregenerate, although in t d did not come in our Lord’s way when He uttered doctrine I most firmly believe—for that truth of Go these words—and neither did He allude to it. d out Christ, can do no spiritual action whatever, an It is quite true that unregenerate men, being with can do nothing which is acceptable in the sight of God. But our Lord was not speaking to unregenerate ded by His apostles, the 11 out of whom Judas had men at all, nor speaking about them. He was surroun been weeded, and it is to them as branches of the t rue vine that He says, “Without Me you can do noth- ne and even to such as have been pruned and have, f or ing.” The statement refers to such as are in the vi rist—even in such there is an utter incapacity for a while, been found abiding in the stem which is Ch alled upon, just now, to speak upon all forms of do - holy produce if separated from Christ! We are not c ing, as beyond us, but of that form of it which is ing in intended in the text. There are certain forms of do which men excel who know little or nothing of Chris t. But the text must be viewed in its own context and the truth of God is clear. Believers are here d escribed under the figure of branches in the vine—a nd the doing alluded to must, therefore, be the bearin g of fruit! I might render it, “Apart from Me you c an hat produce nothing, make nothing, create nothing, brin g forth nothing.” The reference, therefore, is to t doing which may be set forth by the fruit of the vi ne’s branch and, therefore, to those good works and divine graces of the Spirit which are expected from men who are spiritually united to Christ. It is of these that He says, “Without Me you can do nothing.” Our text is only another form of the fourth verse— “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abid e in Me.” I am therefore going to address myself to you who profess to know and love the Lord, and are anxious to glorify His name. And I have to remind you that union to Christ is essential, for only as you are one with Him and continue to be so, can you bring forth the fruits which prove you to be truly His. I. Reading, again, this solemn sentence, “Without Me y ou can do nothing,” it first of all excites in me AN ASPIRATION OF HOPE. There is something to be done—our religion is to have a grand prac- tical outcome! I have been thinking of Christ as th my e vine, and of the myriads of branches in Him, and heart has hoped for great things. From such a root, what a vintage must come! Being branches in Him, anty or poverty-stricken in the fruit of a vine so what fruit we must produce! There can be nothing sc full 1 Volume 27 Tell someone today how much you love Jesus Christ.
2 2 Sermon #1625 Without Christ—Nothing ost abundance, fruit unrivalled must be borne by su ch a of sap! Fruit of the best quality, fruit in the utm vine. That word, “do,” has music in it! Yes, brethr en, Jesus went about doing good and, being in Him, we shall do good! Everything about Him is efficient, practical—in a word, fruit bearing—and being joined to Him, much will yet be done by us. We have been saved by the almighty grace of God ap art from all doings of our own and now that we el a high ambition to be of some use and service to are saved, we long to do something in return! We fe our great Lord and Master. The text, even though th hope ere is a negative in it, yet raises in our soul the even here on earth do something for Christ! Be- that before we go from here and are no more, we may loved, there is the ambition and hope before us of doing something in the way of glorifying God by bringing forth the fruits of holiness, peace and lo ve. We would adorn the doctrine of God, our Savior, in all things. By pureness, by knowledge, by long-suff ering, by love unfeigned, by every good and holy work we would show forth the praises of our God! Ap art from the Lord Jesus we know we cannot be holy—but joined unto Him we overcome the world, the flesh and the devil—and we walk with garments s love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goo unspotted from the world! The fruit of the Spirit i d- ness, faith, meekness, temperance and all manner of holy conversation, for none of these things are we equal of ourselves, and yet by faith we say with Pa gth- ul, “I can do all things through Christ which stren ens me.” We may be adorned with plentiful clusters. We may cause the Savior to have joy in us that our joy may be full! Great possibilities are before us! We aspire not only to produce fruit in ourselves, but to bear much fruit in the conversion of others, even a s Paul desired concerning the Romans, that he might have fruit among them. In this matter we can do nothing whatever, alone, but being united unto Christ we bring forth in- crease unto the Lord. Our Lord Jesus said, “The wor ks that I do shall you do also, and greater works than these shall you do, because I go unto the Fath er.” Brothers and sisters, a hope springs up in our to Jesus! Not because we have any power in our- bosom that we may, each one of us, bring many souls g ully hope to bring forth fruit in the way of leadin selves, but because we are united to Jesus, we joyf others to the knowledge of the gospel! My soul take s fire of hope and I say to myself, if it is so, al l these essing will ripen for this poor world? Men shall be branches and all alive—how much fruit of further bl blessed in us because we are blessed in Christ! Wha t must be the influence of ten thousand godly exam- ples? What must be the influence upon our country o f thousands of Christian men and women practical- ly advancing love, peace, justice, virtue, and holi ness? And if each one is seeking to bring others to Christ, what numerous conversions there must be, an d how large must the church of God be increased? Do you not know that if there were only 10,000 real Christians in the world, yet if each one of these brought one other to Christ every year it would not need 20 years to accomplish the conversion of the entire population of the globe? This is a simple su m in arithmetic which any schoolboy can work out. Certainly it is a small thing that each one should bring another to the Lord! And surely, if we are on e with Him, we may hope to see it done! So I sit down and dream right comfortably, according to the promise, “Your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams.” See these thousands esus—and with such sap as the Holy Spirit flowing of branches proceeding from such a stem as Christ J through them, why, surely, this vine must soon clot he the mountains with its verdure and there shall n ot remain a single barren rock unadorned with the bles sed foliage! Then shall the mountains drop sweet wine and all the hills shall melt! Not because of a ny natural fertility in the branches, but because o f their glorious root, stem and sap, each one shall bear fu ll clusters and each fruitful branch shall run over the wall! Beloved friends in Christ, have you not strong des ires to see some such consummation? Do you not long to take a share in the high enterprise of winn ing the world to Christ? Oh, you that are young and full of spirits, do you not long to press to the fr e ont of this great crusade? Our souls pine to see th knowledge of the Lord covering the earth as the wat ers cover the sea! It is glad tidings to us that, j oined unto Christ, we can do something in this great busi ness—something upon which the Lord will smile— something which shall redound to the glory of His n ame! We are not condemned to inaction. We are not denied the joy of service, the superior blessedness of giving and of doing. The Lord has chosen us and shall remain! This is the aspiration which rises i n our ordained us to go and bring forth fruit, fruit that soul—may the Lord grant that we may see it take act ual form in our lives! . 2 Tell someone today how much you love Jesus Christ Volume 27
3 Sermon #1625 3 Without Christ—Nothing II. But now, in the second place, there passes through my heart a shudder—A SHUDDER OF rise upon the wing of a mighty ambition to do FEAR. Albeit I glow and burn with strong desire and something great for Christ, yet I read the text and a sudden trembling takes hold upon me. “Without Me”—it is , then, that I may be without Christ, and so may be utterly incapacitated for al l good! possible asts a cold chill over you, that you may possibly b e, Come, friends, I want you to feel, even though it c ery marrow of your bones—yes, in the center of your “without Christ.” I would have you feel it in the v hearts. e majority of those to whom I speak this morning You profess to be in Christ, but are you? The larg . But what if you should not be so in Him as to bri ng are visible members of the visible church of Christ a certain sense are in the vine, and yet bring for th no forth fruit? Evidently there are branches which, in fruit! It is written, “Every branch in Me that bear s not fruit He takes away.” Yes, you are a member, per- haps an elder, perhaps a deacon, possibly a ministe r—and so you are in the vine—but are you bringing forth the fruits of holiness? Are you consecrated? Are you endeavoring to bring others to Jesus Christ ? e and devoid of all influence upon others? Does it Or is your profession a thing apart from a holy lif give you a name among the people of God and nothing more ? Say, is it a mere natural association with the Christ? Let the thought go through you and prostrat church, or is it a living, supernatural union with e you before Him who looks down from heaven upon you! He lifts His pierced hands and cries, “Without Me you can do nothing.” My friend, if you are witho ut Christ, what is the use of carrying on that Bibl e class, for you can do nothing? What is the use of m y coming to this pulpit if I am without Christ? Wha t is the use of your going down into the Sunday schoo ist? l this afternoon if, after all, you are without Chr Unless we have the Lord Jesus, ourselves, we cannot take Him to others! Unless within us we have the living water springing up unto eternal life, we can not overflow so that out of our midst shall flow ri vers of living water! I will put the thought another way —What if you should be in Christ, but not so in Him as to abide in Him? It appears from our Lord’s words that some branches in Him are cast forth and are not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch and is wit abide withered. “If a man hered.” Some who are called by His name and reckoned among His disciples—whose names are heard whenever the roll of the church is read—yet do not continue in Him. world all the My hearer, what if it should happen that you are o nly in Christ on Sunday, but in the at the communion table, or at the prayer meeting, or rest of the week? What if you are only in Christ at certain periods of devotion? What if you are off an ith d on with Christ? What if you play fast and loose w the Lord? What if you are an outside saint and an i nside devil? Ah me, what will come of such conduct as this? And yet, some persist in attempting to hol d an intermittent communion with Christ—in Christ today because it is the Sabbath—out of Christ tomor t row because it is the market and obedience to Chris might be inconvenient when they buy and sell. This always will not do! We must be so in Christ as to be iving vine and we cannot produce fruit. If there we re in Him, or else we are not living branches of the l nally joined to the stem, would you expect it to yi eld such a thing as a vine branch that was only occasio a cluster to the farmer? So neither can you, if you are off and on with Christ. You can do nothing if there is not constant union. One year when I was travelin g towards my usual winter resting place, I stopped at Marseilles, and there was overtaken by great pain. In my room in the hotel I found it cold and so I as ked , when suddenly the tears came to my eyes, as if st for a fire. I was sitting in a very desponding mood ruck hts which stirred my heart! The porter came in to l ight with a great sorrow. I shall never forget the thoug the fire. He had in his hand a bundle of twigs. I c push it alled to him to let me look at it. He was about to into the stove as fuel with which to kindle the fir e. As I took the bundle into my hand, I found it wa s made of vine branches—branches that had been cut of f, now that the pruning time was come. Ah me, I thought, will this be my portion? Here I am, away f all rom home, unable to bear fruit, as I love to do. Sh I end with this as my portion? Shall I be gathered for the fire? Those vine shoots were parts of a goo d vine, no doubt—branches that once looked fair and g reen—but now they were fuel for the flame. They had been cut off and cast off as useless things! An d then men gathered them and tied them in bundles and they were ignobly thrust into the fire. What a picture! There goes a bundle of ministers i nto the fire! There is a bundle of elders! There’s another bundle of deacons! Next a bundle of church members, a bundle of Sunday school teachers! his hey are burned.” Dear brothers and sisters, shall t “Men gather them and cast them into the fire, and t s Christ. Volume 27 Tell someone today how much you love Jesu 3
4 4 Sermon #1625 Without Christ—Nothing Christ? Well did I say a shudder may go through us be the lot of any of us who have named the name of without Christ will be terrible, indeed! First, no fruit; as we listen to those words, “without Me.” Our end then no life; and, at last, no place among the sain ts, no existence in the church of God! Without Chri st do nothing, we are nothing, we are worse than nothing! This is now the condition of the hea we then and it was our own condition once—God forbid that we sh ould find it to be our condition now—“without art-searching and I leave the matter with you to th at Christ, having no hope!” Here is grave cause for he end. III. Having come so far in our second head, under the th ird I behold A VISION OF TOTAL FAIL- URE. “Without Me,” says the text, “you can do nothi ng”—you can produce nothing. The visible church mes, already, and always with the same result. Sepa of Christ has tried this experiment a great many ti - rated from Christ, His church can do nothing which - she was formed to do. She is sent into the world up on a high enterprise, with noble aims before her an d grand forces at her disposal—but if she should cease from communion with Christ—she would become w holly incapable! Now what are the outward signs of any community be ing apart from Christ? Answer—first, it may be seen in a ministry without Christ in its doctrin e. This we have seen, ourselves. Woe is the day tha t it is so! History tells us that not only in the Romish Church and the Anglican Church, but among the Non- conformist Churches, Christ has been, at times, for gotten! Not only among Unitarians, but among Pres- byterians, Methodists, and Baptists—all round, Jesu s has been dishonored. Attempts have been made to do something without Christ as the truth to be prea ched. Ah me, what folly it is! They preach up intel - lectualism and hope that this will be the great pow er of God, but it is not. “Surely,” they say, “nove lties of thought and refinements of speech will attract a nd win converts! If the preachers aspire to be lead ers of thought—will they not command the multitude and charm the intelligent? Add music and architecture er has given up his whole mind to this—to try and and what is to hinder success?” Many a young minist be exceedingly refined and intellectual—and what ha s he done with these showy means? The sum total is expressed in the text—“Nothing.” “Without Me you can do nothing.” What emptiness this folly has are soon without people! I knew a chapel where an created—when the pulpit is without Christ, the pews eminent divine was to be heard for years. A convert ed Jew, coming to London to visit a friend, set out hip, and he chanced to enter the chapel of this emi - on Sunday morning to find a place of Christian wors ed he had made a mistake—he had turned into a nent divine. When he came back he said that he fear building which he hoped was a Christian place of as sembly, but as he had not heard the name of Jesus all the morning, he thought, perhaps, he had fallen in with some other religionists. I fear that many mod- ern sermons might just as fairly have been delivere d in a Muslim mosque as in a Christian church! We have too many preachers of whom we might complain, “they have taken away my Lord and I know not where they have laid Him.” Christianity without Christ is a strange thing, in deed. And what comes of it where it is held up to t he people? Why, by-and-by there would not be enough pe ople to support the ministry! Empty benches are thout plentiful and the thing gets pretty nearly wound up . Blessed be God for it! I am heartily glad that wi Christ these pretended ministers cannot prosper! Le ave Christ out of the preaching and you shall do nothing. Only advertise it all over London, Mr. Bak er, that you are making bread without flour—put it in every paper, “Bread without flour”—and you may s oon shut up your shop, for your customers will hurry off to other bakers! Somehow there is a stran ge prejudice in people’s minds in favor of bread made with flour, and there is also an unaccountable prejudice in the human mind which makes men think that if there is a gospel, it must have Chris t in it. A sermon without Christ as its beginning, middle and end is a mistake in conception, and a crime in execution! However grand the language, it will be merely much ado about nothing if Christ is not ther e. Yes, and I mean by Christ not merely His example and the ethical precepts of His teaching, but His a - toning blood, His wondrous satisfaction made for hu man sin, and the grand doctrine of, “believe and li ve.” If, “Life for a look at the Crucified One” is ob- scured, all is dark! If justification by faith is n ot set in the very forefront in the full blaze of l ight, noth- ing can be accomplished! Without Christ in the doct rine you shall do nothing! Further, without acknowledging always the absolute supremacy of Christ, we shall do nothing. Jesus submitted to as absolute Lord! I hear many pretty things is much complimented, nowadays, but He is not about Christ from men who reject His gospel. “Lives of Christ” we have in any quantity! Oh for one . 4 Tell someone today how much you love Jesus Christ Volume 27
5 Sermon #1625 Without Christ—Nothing 5 d of the Church, and Lord of all! I should greatly who would set Him forth in His glory as God, as hea know Him by communion with Him, and by reverent- like to see a, “Life of Christ,” written by one who bout Jesus which I read nowadays seem to have been ly sitting at His feet! Most of the pretty things a scope at a great distance and know Him, “accord- written by persons who have seen Him through a tele ing to Matthew,” but not according to personal fell owship! Oh, for a “Life of Christ,” by Samuel Ruthe r- ford or George Herbert, or by some other sweet spir it to whom the ever-blessed one is such a familiar friend! Certain modern praises of Jesus are written upon the theory that, on the whole, the Savior has th Century and may be allowed given us a religion that is tolerably suited to the enlightenment of the 19 to last a little longer. Jesus is commended by thes e critics and somewhat admired as preferable to mos t teachers—but He is, by no means, to be blindly foll owed. It is fortunate for Jesus that He commends Himself to the “best thought” and ripest culture of the period, for, if He had not done so, these wise gen- imes! Of course they have, every now and then, to tlemen would have exposed Him as being behind the t rectify certain of His dogmas, especially such as j ustification by faith, or atonement, or the doctrin e of lder and less enlightened period, and there- These are old-fashioned things which belong to an o election! ing. The doctrines of grace, according to the infal lible fore they adapt them by tearing out their real mean ves them, and they settle off old-fashioned believe rs critics of the period, are out of date—nobody belie as non-existent! Christ is rectified and squared—an d His garment without seam is taken off, and He is dressed out in proper style—as by a West-End clothi er. Then He is introduced to us as a remarkable teacher, and we are advised to accept Him as far as s no He goes. The wise ones tolerate Jesus, but there i telling what is to come—the progress of this age is so astonishing that it is just possible we shall, before long, leave Christ and Christianity behind! Now, what will come of this foolish wisdom? Nothin g but delusions, mischief, infidelity, anarchy, and all manner of imaginable and unimaginable ills! The fact is, if you do not acknowledge Christ to b e all, you have virtually left Him out and are withou t Him! We must preach the gospel because Christ has r- ic. We must preach the gospel as ambassadors delive revealed it. “Thus says the Lord,” is to be our log ing their message—that is to say, in the King’s nam e—by an authority not their own. We preach our nvenient and profitable, but because Christ has com - doctrines, not because we consider that they are co manded us to proclaim them. We believe the doctrine s of grace, not because the enlightenment of the cause they are true and are the voice of God! Age o r age sets its wonderful imprimatur upon them, but be hrist, and must hate Him—if it would boldly de- no age has nothing to do with us. The world hates C nounce Christ it would be to us a more hopeful sign than its deceitful Judas kiss. We keep simply to this—the Lord has said it, and we care not who appr oves or disapproves. Jesus is God and head of the Church—and we must do what He bids us and say what He tells us—if we fail in this, nothing of good will come of it. If the Church gets back to her loy alty, she shall see what her Lord will do, but with out Christ as absolute Lord, infallible teacher and hon ored King, all must be failure even to the end. Go a little further—you may have sound doctrine an d yet do nothing unless you have Christ in your spirit. I have known all the doctrines of grace to be unmistakably preached and yet there have been no cted and scarcely desired. In former years many conversions—for this reason—that they were not expe orthodox preachers thought it to be their sole duty to comfort and confirm the godly few who by dint o f great perseverance found out the holes and corners in which they prophesied. These brethren spoke of sinners as of people whom God might possibly gather in if He thought fit to do so—but they did not car e much whether He did so or not. As to weeping over s inners as Christ wept over Jerusalem; as to ventur- ing to invite them to Christ as the Lord did when H e stretched out His hands all the day long; as to l a- menting with Jeremiah over a perishing people—they had no sympathy with such emotions and feared that they savored of Arminianism. Both preacher and congregation were cased in a hard shell and lived as if their own salvation was the only design of th eir existence. If anybody did grow zealous and seek conversions, straightway they said he was indiscree i- t, or conceited. When a church falls into this cond tion it is, as to its spirit, “without Christ.” Wha t comes of it? Some of you know by your own observa - tion what comes of it! The comfortable corporation exists and grows for a little while, but it comes t o nothing in the long run. And so it must—there can b e no fruit-bearing where there is not the Spirit of e Spirit of the Lord rests upon you, causing you to ago- Christ as well as the doctrine of Christ. Unless th nize for the salvation of men even as Jesus did, yo u can do nothing! s Christ. Volume 27 Tell someone today how much you love Jesu 5
6 6 Sermon #1625 Without Christ—Nothing But above all things we must have Christ with us i n the power of His actual presence. Do we always think of this—“Without Me you can do nothing”? We a re going out this afternoon to teach the young— shall we be quite sure to take Christ with us? Or o th- n the road shall we suddenly stop and say, “I am wi out my Master and I must not dare go another step”? The abiding consciousness of the love of Christ in We can no more convert a sinner without Christ than we our soul is the essential element of our strength. e the human will—power to enlighten the intellect a s could light up new stars in the sky! Power to chang o repentance and faith—must come to the things of God and to influence the mind as t from the entirely ts together for an address and say, “Now, that is a Most High. Do we feel that? Or do we put our though we rest there? If so, we can do nothing at all! Th e strong point, and that will produce effect.” And do power lies with the not with the servant! The might is in the hand, not in the weapon! We mu st Master, have Christ in these pews and in these aisles—and i n this pulpit—and Christ down in our Sunday school! And we must have Christ at the street corne r when we stand there to talk of Him! And we must d, or we shall do nothing! We have, then, before us feel that He is with us even to the end of the worl a vision of total failure if we attempt, in any way, to do without Christ. He says, “Without Me you can do nothing.” It is in the that the failure is most conspicuous. doing You may talk a good deal without Him. You may hold congresses, conferences and conventions. But doing is another matter! Without Jesus you can talk any quantity, but without Him you can do nothing. The most eloquent discourse without Him will be all ge a bottle of smoke. You shall lay your plans, arran your machinery, and start your schemes, but without the Lord you will do nothing! Immeasurable cloud- land of proposals and not a spot of solid doing lar ge enough for a dove’s foot to rest on—such shall b e the end of all! You may have all the money that gen erosity can lavish, all the learning that your univ ersi- ties can supply, and all the oratory that the most gifted can lay at your feet, but, “without Me,” say s Christ, “you can do nothing.” Fuss, flare, firework s and failure—that is the end of it! “Without Me yo u nothing.” nothing” and the world dying “Do can do nothing.” Let me repeat those words again, “Do around us! Africa in darkness, China perishing! Ind ia sunk in superstition, and a church which can do nd the multitude fainting and dying! The rock to be nothing! No bread to be handed out to the hungry, a smitten and the water of life to leap out for the t hirsty, but not a drop forthcoming because Jesus is not armies, the world dies for need of you, and yet, “y there! Ministers, evangelists, churches, salvation ou can do nothing” if your Lord is away! The age shall advance in discovery, and men of science shall do their little best, but you shall do “nothing” without Christ—absolutely nothi ng! You shall not proceed a single inch upon your toilsome way, though you row till the oars snap with the strain! You shall be dr ift- ed back by winds and currents unless you take Jesus at into the ship. Remember that all the while the gre Husbandman is watching you, for His eye is on every vine branch. He sees that you are producing no grapes, and He is coming round with that sharp knif e of His, cutting here and there! What must become of you who produce nothing? It makes one’s very sou l curdle within him to think that we should live to do nothing! Yet I fear that thousands of Christians get no further than this! They are not immoral, di s- honest, or profane—but they do nothing! They think of what they would like to do, and they plan and they propose—but they do nothing! There are plenty buds, but not a single grape is produced, and all because they do not get into that vital, overflowin g, effectual communion with Christ which would fill t unto the glory of God! There is a vision, then, o f the them with life, and compel them to bring forth frui failure all along the line if we try to do without Christ. IV. But now, fourthly, I hear A VOICE OF WISDOM, a stil l small voice which speaks out of the text and says to us who are in Christ, let us ackno wledge this. Down on your knees, bow your mouths in the dust, and say, “Lord, it is true! Without you w e can do nothing, nothing whatever that is good and acceptable in the sight of God! We have not ability of ourselves to think anything of ourselves, but our ability is of God.” Now, do not speak thus, as if y o ou paid a compliment which orthodoxy requires you t make—but from the deeps of your soul, smitten with an absolute self-despair, acknowledge the truth unto God. “To will is present with me, but how to p erform that which I would, I find not. Lord, I am a good-for-nothing do-nothing! I am a fruitless, barr en, dry, rotten branch without You, and this I feel in my inmost soul. Be not far from me, but quicken me by Your presence.” hing. Let us cry to Him that we may never be with- Next, let us pray. If without Christ we can do not k eat His abiding presence. He comes to those who see out Him! Let us, with strong crying and tears, entr . 6 Tell someone today how much you love Jesus Christ Volume 27
7 Sermon #1625 Without Christ—Nothing 7 ship with Him, let us plead that the fellowship Him—let us never cease seeking! In conscious fellow be so knit and joined to Jesus that we may be one should always be unbroken. Let us pray that we may in. Master and Lord, let the life floods of Your gr ace spirit with Him, never to be separated from Him aga st be thus supplied or we can produce nothing! never cease to flow into us, for we know that we mu Brothers and sisters let us have much more prayer t han has been usual among us. Prayer is appointed to convey the blessings God ordains to give—let us con stantly use the appointed means, and may the result be always increasing from day to day. Next, let us personally cleave to Jesus. Let us no t attempt a life of separation, for that would be t o seek the living among the dead! Do not let us depar t from Him for a single minute! Would you like to b e caught at any one second of your life in a conditio n in which you could do nothing? I must confess I should not like to be in that state, incapable of d efense against my enemies, or of service for my Lor d. If ss of mind, and you should feel quite incapable of an awakened one should come before you under distre doing any good for him—what a sad perplexity! Or if you did not feel incapable, and yet should really be so—and what if you should, therefore, talk on in a religious way but know no power in it? Would it not be a sad thing? May you never be in such a stat e that you would be a do-nothing, with opportunitie s afforded and yet without strength to utilize them! If you are divided from Christ, you are divided fro m the possibility of doing good; cling therefore to t he Savior with your whole might, and let nothing ta ke you away from Him—no, not for an hour! Heartily sub mit yourselves, also, dear friends, to the Lord’s headship and leadership, and ask to do everything i n His style and way. He will not be with you unless you accept Him as your Master. There must be no qua rrel about supremacy—you must yield yourself up absolutely to Him, to be, to do, or to suffer accor ding to His will. When it is wholly so, He will be with you, and you shall do everything that is required o f you. Wonderful things will the Lord perform through you when once He is your all in all! Will w e not have it so? Him all with Once more—joyfully believe in Him. Though without Him you can do nothing, yet things are possible! Omnipotence is in that man who has Christ in him! Weakness, itself, you may be, but you shall learn to glory in that weakness becau se the power of Christ rests upon you if your union Oh for a grand confidence in Christ! We have not and communion with Christ are continually kept up! believed in Him, yet, up to the measure of the hem of His garment, for even that faith made the sick infinite Deity! Oh for the splendor of the faith woman whole! Oh to believe up to the measure of His ts! May God bring us there! Then shall we bring for th which measures itself by the Christ in whom it trus much fruit to the glory of His name. V. And now, lastly. While I was listening to my text, as a child puts a shell to its ear and listens till it hears the deep sea rolling in its windings, I heard within my text A SONG OF CONTENTMENT. “Without Me you can do nothing.” My heart said, “Lo rd, what is there that I want to do without You? There is no pain in this thought to me. If I can do without You, I am sorry to possess so dangerous a power. I am happy to be deprived of all strength ex cept that which comes from You. It charms, it exhil a- of rates, and delights my soul to think that You are m y all. Your have made me penniless as to all wealth my own that I might dip my hand into Your treasury! You have taken all power away from every sinew and muscle of mine that I may rest on Your bosom.” “Without Me you can do nothing.” Be it so, brothers and sisters are you not all agr eed? Do you wish to have it altered, any of you tha t love His dear name? I am sure you do not, for suppo se, dear friends, we could do something without Christ? Then He would not have the glory of it. Who wishes that? There would be little crowns for our poor little heads, for we should have done somethin g without Him. But now there is one great crown for that dear head which once was pierced with thorns—f or all His saints put together cannot do anything without Him! The goodly fellowship of the apostles, the noble army of martyrs, and the triumphant host of the redeemed by blood, all put together, can do nothing without Jesus! Let Him be crowned with maj- esty who works in us both to will and to do of His own good pleasure! For our own sakes, for our Lord’ s sake, we are glad that it is so! All things are mor e ours by being His! And if our fruit is His, rathe r than our own, it is none the less, but all the more ours ! Is not this rare music for a holy ear? I feel so glad that without Christ we can do nothing because I fear tha t if the Church could do something without Christ she would try to live without Him! If she could tea ch the school and bring the children to salvation nto a Sunday school again. If we could preach suc- without Christ, I am afraid Christ would never go i s Christ. Volume 27 Tell someone today how much you love Jesu 7
8 8 Sermon #1625 Without Christ—Nothing sus Christ would seldom stand on high among the peo - cessfully without Jesus, I suspect that the Lord Je rint- ple again. If our Christian literature could bless men without Christ, I am afraid we should set the p ing press going, and never think about the Crucifie d One in the matter. If there could be work done by the Church without Jesus, there would be rooms into which He would never be invited—and these ull of horror. would soon become a sort of Blue Beard’s chambers f A something that we could do with- out Christ? at machinery tremendously, and all the Why the mass of the Church would get to working th g for the whole Church that she must rest would be neglected—and so it is a blessed thin have Christ everywhere! “Without Me you can do nothing.” As I listened to the song within these words I beg an to laugh—I wonder if you will laugh, too? It ught of those who are going to destroy the orthodox was to myself I laughed, like Abraham of old. I tho doctrine from off the face of the earth; how they b ge- oast of the decline and death of old-fashioned evan lism! I have read once or twice that I am the last of the Puritans; the race is all dying out! To this I ob- merit— but not last as ending the race! There are many oth ers ject—I am willing to be esteemed last in eology is decaying, and that nobody believes it. It is all who are steadfast in the faith! They say our old th a lie! But wise men say so, and therefore, we are bound to conside r ourselves obsolete and extinct. We are, in their esteem, as much out of date as antedi luvians would be could they walk down our streets. Yes, they are going to quench our coal and blot us out from Israel! Newspapers and reviews, and the general intelligence of the age all join to dance u pon our graves! Put on your night-caps, you good pe o- ple of the evangelical order, and go home to bed, a nd sleep the sleep of the righteous, for the end of you ng- is come! Thus say the Philistines, but the armies o f the Lord think not. The adversaries exult exceedi tle about Him. They do not work in His Spirit, nor ly, but Christ is not with them. They know very lit cry Him up, nor extol the gospel of His precious blood— and so I believe that when they have done—their an do nothing.” If this is true of apostles, much m little best will come to nothing! “Without Me you c ore Him, I am sure His foes can do nothing against Him! of opposers! If His friends can do nothing without an do nothing without Him, I am sure His adver- If they who follow His steps and lie in His bosom c saries cannot—and so I laughed at their laughter, a nd smiled at their confusion. I laughed, too, because I remembered a story of a New England service when the pastor, one after- noon, was preaching in His own solemn way, and the good people were listening or sleeping, as their minds inclined. It was a substantial edifice where they assembled, fit to outlive an earthquake. All w ent on peacefully in the meeting house that afternoon t ill suddenly a lunatic jumped up, denounced the min - ister and declared that he would at once pull down the meeting house about their ears! Taking hold of e one of the pillars of the gallery, this newly annou nced Samson repeated his threat! Everybody rose. Th women were ready to faint. The men began to rush to the doors, and there was danger that the people ! There was about to be a great tumult. No one would be trampled on as they rushed down the aisles gle could see the end of it, when suddenly one cool bro ther sitting near the pulpit produced calm by a sin sentence. “Let him try!” was the stern sarcasm whic h hushed the tempest! gospel and crush out the doctrines of grace! Are Even so, today the enemy is about to disprove the t, my reply to the adversary’s boast that he will p ull you distressed, alarmed, astounded? So far from tha TRY! Amen. down the pillars of our Zion is only this —LET HIM The C. H. Spurgeon Collection Adapted from , Version 1.0, Ages Software. PLEASE PRAY THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL USE THIS SERMON TO BRING MANY TO A SAVING KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST ! By the grace of God, for all 63 volumes of C. H. Spurgeon sermons in Modern English, and 574 Spanish translations, visit: www.spurgeongems.org . 8 Tell someone today how much you love Jesus Christ Volume 27