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28 June, 2013

A Warning To Believers-Part 4

"Let no man beguile you of your reward."
 Colossians 2:18

By Charles Spurgeon

Let no man domineer over you, again, by judging your motives. Men will always give as bad a reason as they can for a good man's actions. It seems to be innate in human nature never to give a man credit for being right if you can help it, and often tender minds have been greatly wounded when they have been misrepresented, and their actions have been imputed to sinister and selfish motives, when they have really desired to serve Christ. But do not let your heart be broken about that. You will appear before the judgment-seat of Christ: do not care about these petty judgments-seats of men. Go on with your Master's work dauntlessly and fearlessly. 

Let them say, as David's brethren said of him, "Because of thy pride and the naughtiness of thy heart to see the battle, art thou come." Go you and get Goliath's head, and bring it back, and that shall be the best answer to these sneering ones. When they see that God is with you, and that he has given you the triumph, you shall have honour, even in the eyes of those who now ridicule you. 

I think sometimes the Christian should have very much the same bravado against the judgment of men as David had when Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out and said, "How glorious was the king of Israel today, who uncovered himself today in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants," and he said, "It was before the Lord, and I will yet be more vile than thus." Let your eye be to God, and forget the eyes of men. Live so that, whether they know what you do, or do not know, you will not care, for your conduct will bear the blaze of the great Judgment Day, and, therefore, the criticisms of earth do not affect you. Let no man domineer over you.

So may I put it in another light--let no man sway your conscience so as to lead you. I am always anxious, my dear hearers, that, whatever respect I may ever win from you--and I trust I may have your esteem and your affection--yet that you will never believe a doctrine simply because I utter it, but unless I can confirm it from the Word of God, away with it. 

If it be not according to the teaching of the Lord and Master, I beseech you follow me not. Follow me only as far as I follow Christ. And so with every other man. Let it be God's truth, God's Word, the Holy Spirit's witness to that Word in your soul, that you are seeking after, but rest, I pray you, never short of that, for if you do your faith must stand merely in the wisdom of men, and when the man who helped you to believe is gone, perhaps your faith may be gone too, when most you need its comforting power. No; let no man domineer over you, but press forward in the Christian race, looking unto Jesus, and looking unto Jesus only.

But now a third meaning belongs to the text. A happy circumstance it is, this dark night, that the preacher does not need to use his manuscript, for if he did his sermon must certainly come to an end now. But here is this point, "Let no man beguile you of your reward." It may mean this:--


Let no man deprive you of the present comfort which your faith should bring to you. Let me just for a few minutes have your attention while I speak upon this. Dear brethren, you and I, if we are believers in Christ, are this day completely pardoned. There is no sin in God's book against us. We are wholly and completely justified. The righteousness of Jesus Christ covers us from head to foot, and we stand before God as if we had never sinned. Now let no man rob you of this reward. Do not be tempted by anything that is said to doubt the completeness of a believer in Christ. Hold this, and, as you hold it, enjoy it. Do not let the man, yourself, whom you have most to fear, beguile you. 

Even though conscience should upbraid you, and you should have many grave reasons for doubt, as you imagine, yet if you believe in Jesus, stand to it--"There is, therefore, now no condemnation to me, for I am in Christ Jesus; he that believeth on him is not condemned; I have believed,and I am not condemned, neither will he permit condemnation to be thundered against me, for Christ has borne my sin for me, and I am clear in him." Let no man beguile you of the reward of feeling that you are complete in Christ.

Further, you who have believed in Jesus Christ are safe in Christ. Because he lives, you shall live also. Who shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord? He has said, "I give unto my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand." Now there are some who will tell you that you are not safe, and that it is dangerous for you to believe that you are. Let no man beguile you of this reward. You are saved. If you are believing on him, he will keep you, and you may sing, "Now unto him that is able to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before his presence with exceeding great joy, unto him be glory." Hold to that blessed truth that you are in Jesus--safe in Jesus Christ.

There is a third blessed truth, that not only are you pardoned and safe in Christ, but you are accepted at this moment, in the Beloved. Your acceptance with God does not rest upon anything in you. You are accepted because you are in Christ, accepted for Christ's sake. Now sometimes you will get robbed of this reward if you listen to the voice which says, "Why, there is sin in you still; your prayers are imperfect; your actions are stained." Yes, but let no man beguile you of this conviction that, sinner as you are, you are still accepted in Christ Jesus.

The Lord grant that you may feel this within, and let no man beguile you of your reward as long as you live. May you live and die in the enjoyment of it, beloved, for Christ's sake. Amen.