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18 June, 2013

As I was reading this Spurgeon piece, so much came to mind and really I do not want to say too much. I would rather let the words of such a godly man penetrate your heart and let you ponder on them.

This college that Spurgeon referred to, some godly Christian writers call it a University. But whether it is University or College they are all one in the same. The goal is to study and be trained by Him, at His feet so that He can knock religion out of you as you become spiritually real.

As you lay down your life, you find out He takes you on as His pupil and you are shedding this life that you used to know, layer by layer. Anyone who has become spiritually real in Him knows the pain of this process too well. So many great men of the Bible have been to this University. Men like David, Paul, Joseph, Moses and so many more we have before us as examples. But, because I bought into this saying in the Church “God prepares us according to the plan He has in mind for each one of us” Christians just love throwing those words around without understanding what they truly means to God. Sadly, I found the moment you tell someone about spiritual growth and if they know they are not there, especially when they have been calling themselves Christian for a while, they tend to find shelter through those words.

So, even when God took me to the wilderness, I did not expect it to be as intense, painful and long as it has been because I knew “I was nothing” and God’s plan for me is way too small to go through what these people have been through. So, when this harsh reality of His University training came to my door steps, I painfully accepted it and I was truly thinking, since He took me to this harsh path, He must have a big ministry in mind for me. To my surprise, this path where He strips you off of all those layers and brings you to ruin inwardly to rebuild you has nothing to do with anything specific to one person. It is just the beginning of a process to rebuild you and put you back to the way you should have been to begin with, if Adam and Eve did not sin.

The making of the holy man or woman He wants you to be, the making of that being in a close relationship with Him as you walk with Him like a friend, is no less painful than  those men who walked the path before us. Sure He customizes it a little bit. Like David needed to learn to be skilful in battles and leadership to become the King. Moses needed to know the back of the wilderness really well to lead His people, and he also needed time to shed those egotistical years he spent as the Pharaoh’s son, so his training lasted forty years before God calls him to Himself. But shedding the self-life to become holy and start this life that Adam and Eve shared with Him before their sin, is for all of us. It is a training that prepares us for so much that I would need several posts to talk about them. Nevertheless, once you go through this training, you understand fully well what the Scriptures tell us in 1 John 3:6. It is also a training where once you go through it, you can see how easy it is for Him to work out the sermon of the mount within you.

Suffice to say, when God takes you to this path, you find yourself saying over and over again “oh! This is what you meant?”  It never gets old. That’s when you understand  and you feel like a fool for having tried to work out those little bits and pieces that we set out to throw together to make up our own idea of Christianity, have nothing to do with His plans, if only we would let Him show us and teach us.  I need to stop there because this post is about showcasing the words of Spurgeon. 

Spurgeon In "The College OF Christ"

"Then He opened their understanding—that they might understand the Scriptures." Luke 24:45

Many teachers can bring the Scriptures to the mind—but the Lord alone can prepare the mind to receive the Scriptures. Our Lord Jesus differs from all other teachers; they reach the ear—but He instructs the heart; they deal with the outward letter—but He imparts an inward taste for the truth, by which we perceive its savor and spirit. The most unlearned of men—become ripe scholars in the school of grace—when the Lord Jesus by His Holy Spirit unfolds the mysteries of the kingdom to them, and grants the divine anointing by which they are enabled to behold the invisible!

Happy are we if we have had our understandings cleared and strengthened by the Master! How many men of profound learning—are ignorant of eternal things! They have a veil upon their hearts which the eyes of carnal reason cannot penetrate.

Such was our case a little time ago; we who now see—were once utterly blind! Truth was to us—as beauty in the dark, a thing unnoticed and neglected. Had it not been for the love of Jesus—we would have remained to this moment in utter ignorance—for without His gracious opening of our understanding, we could no more have attained to spiritual knowledge than an infant can climb the Pyramids, or an ostrich fly up to the stars!

The College of Christ is the only one in which God's truth can be really learned. Let us sit at the feet of Jesus, and by earnest prayer call in His blessed aid that our dull wits may grow brighter, and our feeble understandings may receive Heavenly things.

Some useful Quotes:

Dietrich Bonhoeffer    "Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: 'Ye were bought at a price', and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer   "Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession.... Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate."

 Meaning of a Believer: “A believer is someone who responds by accepting this relationship and binding him/herself to Jesus Christ. In practice this means a voluntary surrender of life to Jesus Christ; it is to completely sacrifice your life to the One who has offered Himself”