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21 October, 2013

Things that accompany Salvation - Part 4


REV. C. H. Spurgeon, September 20, 1857


"Things that accompany Salvation."—Hebrews 6:9.


    III. And now comes SALVATION IN ALL ITS FULLESS. The "things that accompany Salvation" make a glorious march in the forefront of it—from Election down to these precious opening buds of virtue in the sinner's heart. What a goodly array! Sure the angels do sometimes fly along in admiration, and see this long array that heralds Salvation to the heart. And now comes the precious casket set with gems and jewels. It is of God-like workmanship; no hammer was ever lifted on it, it was smitten out and fashioned upon the anvil of Eternal blight, and cast in the mould of Everlasting Wisdom; but no human hand hath ever defiled it, and it is set with jewels so unutterably precious, that if heaven and earth were sold they could never buy another Salvation!

 And who are those that are close around it? There are three sweet sisters that always have the custody of the treasure—you know them, their names are common in Scripture—Faith, Hope, and Love, the three divine sisters; these have Salvation in their bowels and do carry it about with them in their loins.Faith, who layeth hold on Christ, and trusteth all in him; that ventureth everything upon his blood and sacrifice, and hath no other trust. Hope, that with beaming eye looks up to Jesus Christ in glory, and expects him soon to come: looks downward, and when she sees grim Death in her way, expecting that she shall pass through with victory.

 And thou sweet Love, the sweetest of the three, she whose words are music and whose eyes are stars; Love, also looks to Christ and is enamoured of him; loves him in all his offices, adores his presence, reverences his words, and is prepared to bind her body to the stake and die for him, who bound his body to the cross to die for her. Sweet Love, God hath well chosen to commit to thee the custody of the sacred work. Faith, Hope, and Love—say sinner, hast thou these three? Dost thou believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Dost thou hope that through the efficacy of his merits thou shalt see thy Maker's face with joy? Dost thou love him? Say, couldst thou repeat after me,
"Jesus! I love thy charming name,
'Tis music to my ear;
Fain would I sound it out so loud
That earth and heaven might hear.
Yes, thou art precious to my soul,
My transport and my trust;
Jewels to thee are gaudy toys,
And gold is sordid dust."

Have you these three graces? If so, you have Salvation. Having that, you are rich to all intents of bliss; for God in the Covenant is yours. Cast your eye forward; remember Election is yours, Predestination and Sovereign Decree are both yours; remember, the terrors of the law are past; the broken heart is mourning; the comforts of religion you have already received; the spiritual graces are already in the bud, you are an heir of immortality, and for you there is a glorious future. These are the "things that accompany Salvation."

    IV. Now you must have patience with me for just a few more minutes; I MUST BRING UP THE REAR GUARD. It is impossible that with such a van guard, grace should be unattended from behind. Now see those that follow Salvation. As there were fair bright cherubs that walked in front of it—you remember still their names—Humility, Repentance, Prayer, and a tender Conscience—there are four that follow it, and march in solemn pomp into the sinner's heart. The first of these is Gratitude—always singing, "Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name." And then Gratitude lays hold upon its son's hand; the name of that son is Obedience. "O my master, "saith the heart, "thou hast done so much for me; I will obey thee"—
"Help me to run in thy commands,
'Tis a delightful road;
Nor let my heart, nor hands, nor feet,
Offend against my God."

In company with this fair grace is one called Consecration—a pure white spirit that hath no earthliness; from its head to its foot it is all God's, and all gold. Hear it speak—
"All that I am and all I have
Shall be for ever thine;
What e'er my duty bids me give,
My cheerful hands resign.
And if I might make some reserve,
And duty did not call,
I love my God with zeal so great,
That I would give him all."

Linked to this bright one, is one with a face Serene and solemn, called Knowledge, "Then shall ye know when ye follow on to know the Lord." Those that are saved understand mysteries, they know the love of Christ; they "know him, whom to know is life eternal."

    Now, have you these four? They are rather the successors of Salvation than the heralds of it. "Oh yes," the believer can say, "I trust I have Gratitude. Obedience, Consecration, and Knowledge." I will not weary you, but there are three shining ones that follow after these four, and I must not forget them, for they are the flower of them all. There is Zeal with eyes of fire, and heart of flame a tongue that burneth, a hand that never wearies and limbs that never tire. Zeal, that flies round the world with wings swifter than the lightning's flash, and finds even then she wings too tardy for her wish. Zeal, ever ready to obey, resigning up itself for Christ, jealously affected always in a good thing. This Zeal always dwells near one that is called Communion.

This, sure, is the goodliest of all the train; an angel spiritualised, an angel purified and made yet more angelic, is Communion. Communion calls in secret on its God; its God in secret sees. It is conformed to the image of Jesus; walks according to his footsteps, and lays its head perpetually on his bosom. And as a necessary consequence, on the other side of Communion—which with one hand lays hold of Zeal, is Joy—joy in the Spirit. Joy, that hath an eye more flashing than the world's merriment ever gave to mortal beauty, with light foot trips over hills of sorrow, singing in the roughest ways, of faithfulness and love.

Joy, like the nightingale, sings in the dark, and can praise God in the tempest and shout his high praises in the storm. This is indeed a fitting cherub to be in the rear of Salvation. Do not forget these other three; they are after works of the Spirit, they are high attainments—Zeal, Communion, and Joy.

Now I have almost done. Just in the rear is Perseverance, final, certain and sure. Then there follows complete Sanctification, whereby the soul is purged from every sin, and made as white and pure as God himself. Now we have come to the very rear of the army; but remember as there was an advance guard so far ahead that we could not see them, so there is a rear guard so far behind that we cannot behold them now. Let us just try to see them with the eye of faith. We have seen the army; we have traced it from the Thundering Legion, guided by the Holy Spirit, till we have finished it by complete Sanctification.

 Hark, I hear the silver trumpet sound; there is a glorious array behind. A guard, far, far back are coming following the steps of the conquering heroes, that have already swept our sins away. Do you not see in the fore part there is one, whom men paint a skeleton. Look at him, he is not the King's terrors. I know thee, Death, I know thee. Miserably men have belied thee. Thou art no spectre, thine hand bears no dart; thou art not gaunt and frightful. I know thee, thou bright cherub: thou hast not in thy hand a dart, but a golden key that unlocks the gates of Paradise. Thou art fair to look upon, thy wings are like the wings of doves, covered with silver and like yellow gold. Behold this angel Death, and his successor Resurrection.

 I see three bright things coming; one is called Confidence, see it! it looks at Death; no fear is in its eye, no palor on its brow. See holy Confidence marches with steady steps, the cold chill stream of Death doth not freeze its blood. See behind it its brother Victory; hear him, as he cries, "O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave where is thy victory?" The last word, "victory," is drowned amidst the shouts of angels.These bring up the rear. Angels bear the spirits of the redeemed into the bosom of the Saviour—
"Far from a world of grief and sin,
With God eternally shut in,
T
hey are for ever blest."

And now follow everlasting songs—"Praise him, praise him, King of kings and Lord of lords; he hath gotten him the victory. Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, world without end! Hallelujah, yet again!" Let the echoes of eternity perpetually cry, "Hallelujah! for