Category Archives: Charles Spurgeon

Solas of the Reformation

Sermon(s) on the Five Solas

What are the Five Solas?

Paul Alexander (Grace Covenant Church/Elgin, IL) recently preached a sermon on the Five Solas of the Protestant Reformation (Sola Scriptura: Scripture Alone; Solus Christus: Christ Alone; Sola Gratia: Grace Alone; Sola Fide: Faith Alone; Soli Deo Gloria: The Glory of God Alone): Listen to the Sermon or Read the Sermon. In previous years, Larry McCall has offered a helpful six-part series on these doctrines: Listen to the Series. Understanding the Solas of the Reformation aids us in guarding the deposit of the gospel which has been entrusted to us. You can find more information on the Five Solas at Monergism.


Charles Spurgeon:

“I like to think that every day I am a monument of mercy, that every day a fresh display of sovereign grace is made to me; every day my Father feeds me, my Savior cleanses me, the Comforter sustains me. Every day new manifestations of the loving-kindness of the Lord break forth upon my wondering soul and give me fresh visions of His miraculous love.”

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In Need of Grace

There’s a great old hymn entitled “I Need Thee Every Hour” that captures our need of God’s grace to sustain us.  In fact, as the following hymn suggests, God’s provision of grace comes chiefly through the presence of our Savior:

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord; no tender voice like Thine can peace afford. I need Thee, O’ I need Thee; every hour I need Thee; O’ bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee. I need Thee every hour; stay Thou nearby; temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh. I need Thee, O’ I need Thee; every hour I need Thee; O’ bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee. I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain; come quickly and abide, or life is vain. I need Thee, O’ I need Thee; every hour I need Thee; O’ bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee. I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will; and Thy rich promises in me fulfill. I need Thee, O’ I need Thee; every hour I need Thee; O’ bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee. I need Thee every hour, most Holy One; O’ make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son. I need Thee, O’ I need Thee; every hour I need Thee; O’ bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.

There are times in my life when I am more mindful of my need of grace than others. Tonight happens to be one of them. Sometimes my awareness is clothed in gratitude for my salvation and a desire for sanctification.  And, sometimes it stems from feeling helpless as a result of my sin or the challenges of living in a fallen world with fallen people. That’s when desperation and despair drive me to desire grace. Whether I acknowledge it or not, I am always utterly dependent on God’s grace throughout each moment of every day. There is absolutely no hope apart from God’s grace, and there will be no spiritual growth without it. The more consistently I acknowledge this fact, the better off I will be and the more gloriously will God be reflected through me.

The late Puritan pastor, John Owen, had a keen understanding of this human condition. He acknowledged that the Holy Spirit uses means to deliver God’s grace to us when He initiates regeneration; He then excites that grace within us throughout our sanctification. It’s a beautiful mess as God takes graceless sinners and establishes His grace within them. Nothing could be more marvelous and mind-blowing than that…

“God inclines our hearts to duties and obedience principally by strengthening, increasing, and exciting the grace we have received, and which is inherent in [believers]; but we neither have nor ever shall have, in this world, such a stock of spiritual strength as to do anything as we ought without renewed co-operations of grace.” (John Owen, The Holy Spirit, 491).

Charles Spurgeon made a similar observation when he wrote, “One thing is past all question; we shall bring our Lord most glory if we get from Him much grace.”  (An All-Around Ministry).

Oh, how desperately I feel my need of  God’s grace. I pray for both His provision of it and a growing sense of my own deep need of it.

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Filed under Charles Spurgeon, John Owen, Quotes, Sanctification, Tribbett

An Undivided Heart

We have but one life to live, and but one heart from which to give… May they both be undivided in their faithful devotion to God…

Psalm 86:11-12 “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.   I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.”

Charles Spurgeon comments on these verses: “Our minds are apt to be divided [among] a variety of objects, like trickling streamlets which waste their force in a hundred runnels; our greatest desire should be to have all our life-floods poured into one channel and to have that channel directed toward the Lord alone.”


We are naturally disposed toward having divided, distracted, ever-wandering hearts.  We gravitate toward those things that seem to satisfy our momentary longings, and yet realize that even those objects of affection are fleeting at best.  As believers, we are called to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  It’s pretty much the greatest commandment, according to Jesus (Matt. 22:34-40; Cf. Deut. 6:5).  However, anyone who is the least bit self-aware will realize the profound difficulty of such a charge.

To love God with an undivided heart, a satisfied soul, an undistracted mind, and every ounce of one’s strength is entirely impossible.  Yet, King David serves as our example in asking God to give him an undivided heart that he might “fear” His name.  David was seeking something that could not be accomplished apart from the gracious provision of God.  He was seeking to be awestruck by the person of God, to be amazed by the majesty of His power, and to be intoxicated by the beauty of His glory.  In essence, David wanted to be so captivated by God’s love that he could not help expressing unending love and undivided devotion back to Him.  Such praise–such obedience–would simply be the overflow of a grateful heart to the God who had been immeasurably gracious to it. David wanted to worship God with every part of his being.  He wanted to offer his entire person, his whole heart to fearing the Lord and obeying His word. David was a man of intense passion and yet, without the help of God, those passions would always be divided among lesser things.

Without the grace of God, one cannot have an undivided heart, a single-minded focus, a satisfied soul, or the necessary strength to stand-fast in the face of hardship.  It’s simply impossible.  However, with God all things are possible as we embrace Jesus Christ and yield to the power of His Holy Spirit.  Therefore, we must ask the God, the Giver of all good things (Matt 7), to give us an undivided heart so that we may fear His name. Only in fearing God will we be able to humbly and obediently walk in His ways (Ecclesiastes 13:12).  The gospel that saves sinners like us, is the same gospel that God uses to change us.  He does this so that we may come to love Him with an undivided love…

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Filed under Charles Spurgeon, Theological Reflection, Tribbett