VIDEO de la CIRESARII (Part 1) Sarbatoare Aniversare 10 ani cu Vladimir Pustan – Ridica-te si mergi mai departe

VEZI PAGINA Vladimir Pustan PREDICI

Pozele de la pagina Ciresarii Facebook

Programul Duminica Dim. 19 Mai 2013

Ridica-te si mergi mai departe

Vladimir Pustan: As vrea sa fac o sinteza a mesajului pe care Ciresarii l-au predicat de atatia ani.Un mesaj simplu, dar cu efect asupra oamenilor. Daca ar fi sa-i dau un titlu l-as intitula ‘Ridica-te si mergi mai departe’.

Cu nici un chip nu as dori sa cred ca dumneavoastra nu va doriti sa ajungeti in cer. Eu cred ca doriti si as vrea sa va invat sa nu calariti calul gresit, ca s-ar putea ca sa aveti o deceptie ingrozitoare a vietii si a vesniciei. (referinta la cal: Fr. Pustan a povestit cum un jockey a cazut impreuna cu un alt jockey, dar s-a sculat a luat calul si a castigat cursa, numai sa afle ca a luat calul celuilalt jockey si la cursa calul e castigator, nu jockey). Si stiti care e calul gresit? Acela care spune, „N-are rost sa mai mergem inainte, pentru ca tu esti cazut. Am vrut sa caut in Biblie un om perfect al lui Dumnezeu si o cadere uriasa si o ridicar uriasa. M-am gandit la David, dar e floare la ureche ce i s-a intamplat lui David pe langa ce i s-a intamplat lui Petru. Diferenta intre David si Petru este ca David niciodata n-a reusit sa fie sus. Ci zilnic, cand sus, cand jos. Petru a fost intotdeauna sus, pana la un moment dat. Caderea i-a fost brutala. Ridicarea i-a fost extraordinara si a continuat sa ramana sus. Ramanem la Petru.

Niciodata n-a fost onul acesta de jumatate de masura. Si niciodata n-a stiut ce stim noi: n-a stiut ce inseamna sa fii caldicel. El n-a avut temperaturi intermediare. El a fost fie sus cu Dumnezeu, fie foarte jos, renegandu-l total pe Dumnezeu. A fost entuziast, pregatit, a fost si avertizat. David n-a fost avertizat. Dar Isus Hristos i-a spus lui Petru cu o seara inainte: Vezi ca Satana vrea sa te cearna la noapte, asa cum se cerne graul. Ai grija Petre.

In momentul in care te vei impiedica, sa nu te obisnuiesti cu tarana. Daca ai venit in dimineata aceasta sa vezi oameni care au stat tot timpul in picioare ti-ai ales o biserica gresita. Aici sunt oameni care au gustat, nu odata, ce inseamna tarana spirituala. Aici sunt oameni care au trait drama de a le fi fost rusine, nu odata, ci de mai multe ori, in relatia cu Dumnezeu. Oameni cazuti, dar in toti anii acestia  i-am invatat ca atunci cand ajung in tarana trebuie sa se ridice. Nu vreau sa predic o evanghelie usoara astazi, pentru ca mi-e frica de ce spunea unul dintre marii filozofi Nehbur crestinilor acelui timp, „Nu vreau niciodata sa predic un Dumnezeu nemanios, care aduce oamenii fara pacat intr-o imparatie dara judecata, prin lucrarea unui Hristos fara cruce.” Eu vreau sa spun ca Dumnezeul nostru e si bun si manios. Eu vreau sa va spun ca Dumnezeul nostru va duce si judecata  si bataia pe umar ‘bine sluga buna si credincioasa’. Ca Dumnezeul nostru l-a trimis pe Hristos, ca mantuirea noastra sa nu se faca decat prin cruce. Sa nu uitati niciodata pretul nespus de mare pe care Hristos la platit pentru voi. Dar, a te obisnui cu tarana inseamna reumatism spiritual care duce la moarte.

As vrea sa nu uitati cateva lucruri, atunci cand veti cadea spiritual si caderea poate sa fie in cele mai variate moduri. Dar, rezultatul este acelasi: jos la pamant, cerul inchis, Dumnezeu plecat, tu fara putere sa te mai rogi, fara putere ca sa privesti in ochi pe Dumnezeu, sa mai privesti in ochii oamenilor, negandu-L pe Isus Hristos, uitand tot ce ai invatat o viata intreaga- ramanan langa Isus Hristos pana atunci, in cercul intim de ucenici ai Lui si dintr-o data sa te simti ca intre tine si Dumnezeu e iarna! Ce sa nu uitati in ziua aceea?

(1) Nimeni nu e perfect

Toti au pacatuit si toti pacatuiesc. Nimeni nu-i perfect. Toti cadem. Asta e primul lucru. Unii se impiedica pe cale. Altii se prabusesc, Petru s-a prabusit. In Ioan cap. 18, m-am tot gandit de ce L-a negat pe Isus Hristos. „Esti si tu unul dintre ucenicii Lui?” Stiti ce a zis? „Nu. Nu sunt, nu L-am cunoscut, nu am fost ucenicul Lui.” De ce L-a negat pe Domnul Isus? Pentru o gramada de motive, dar Ioan parca e singurul care spune ceva. Stiti cine era unul dintre cei care l-au intrebat? Nu slujnica. Ioan mai zice un cuvant in Ioan 18. Era Malhu. Tocmai ii taiase o ureche Petru. Il intreaba din nou si spune, „Nu!” O negare completa.

Nici unul din noi nu e imun la pacat. A fost cel mai bun ucenic al lui Hristos. Hristos avea un cerc interior, format din 3 persoane pe langa El: Petru, Ioan si Iacov. A fost cel mai puternic .A fost 2 ani cu cel mai bun Invatator care a existat sub soare. A fost omul care a vazut minunile lui Dumnezeu si a cazut lamentabil. Sa stiti ca Dumnezeu n-a fost surprins. Dumnezeu nu-i surprins cand pici tu. Stiti de ce? Stie natura noastra. Stie ca suntem din Adam facuti si Adam a fost primul care a pacatuit. Si Dumnezeu stie ca nu suntem mai buni decat El. Stie ca Adamul din noi lucreaza in fiecare zi cadere. In Romani 3:23 spune ca toti au pacatuit si sunt lipsiti de slava lui Dumnezeu. De aceea, oamenii trebuie sa inteleaga ca nu exista perfectiune pe pamantul acesta si in momentul in care cauti perfectiunea spirituala si vrei sa ajungi acolo sus, prin mijloacele tale, o sa fii deceptionat de atatea ori, ca nu o sa reusesti. Si o sa cazi, caderea va fi mai mare cu cat te crezi mai sus si de neatins. „Toti sa cada,” zice Petru, „Eu nici intr-un caz nu o sa ma leapad de Tine.”

In fiecare din noi este o samanta de Petru si o samanta de Iuda. In fiecare dintre noi este un potential vanzator de Hristos- prin atitudinile noastre, prin vorbele noastre, prin trairile noastre, prin ceea ce facem in fiecare zi. Il vindem pe Isus Hristos cu un pret mai marunt decat Iuda. De multe ori, nici macar de frica nu-L vindem, ci de plictiseala. Sa nu spuneti ca pruncilor nostri le este frica, de aceea se uita pe sait pornografic. Nici vorba. Sunt plictisiti, nu le-am dat de lucru. Cu atat mai mare caderea cu cat credeti ca noi- cele mai dureroase scrisori care le primesc sunt cu, „Frate dar cum se poate ca s-a intamplat cu el, ca a fost botezat cu Duhul Sfant?” Ca si cum noi Penticostalii am fi imuni. Fratilor, nici unul dintre noi sa nu se considere prea grozav spiritual. De aceea, intelege-l pe celalalt. De aceea, intelege-l pe celalalt cand pica, pentru ca urmatorul esti tu. Priveste-l pe celalalt langa tine. Nu cauta perfectiune pe pamant, ca nu o sa o gasesti- nici spiritual, nici din punct de vedere al familiei, nici al fratilor. Aici nu este biserica perfecta. Biserica perfecta va fi doar in cer, mireasa lui Isus Hristos. Aici sunt oameni care in fiecare zi se lupta sa nu cada. Dar, se intampla sa pice.

(2) Indiferent ce faci, Isus e inca prietenul tau

Credeti ca n-a auzit Hristos ca zice Petru lucrul asta? „Uite Petre, nu-ti aduce aminte de Mine?” „Nu.” „Nu-ti aduci aminte de soacra? Nu te-ai ridicat tu din val?” „Nu.” „M-ai uitat?” M-am gandit asa, cand i-a spus Isus, „Spuneti ucenicilor si lui Petru sa ma astepte in Galileia..” parca am avut senzatia ca vrea Isus Hristos sa-l cheme separat pe el. Statea Isus pe mal, ucenicii nu prinsesera nimic toata noaptea. Petru stia ca intre el si Hristos e gheata. Si in loc sa auda cuvinte de mustrare pe mal, aude si el, ca si toti ceilalti un cuvant fantastic, de neimaginat pentru noi, „Veniti de pranziti, ca v-am facut de mancare.” Cum adica? Noi sa pacatuim si El, duminica sa zica, „Haideti ca avem cina.” Daca cineva iti greseste numai putin, nu mai vorbesti cu el. In relatia cu fratii, nu-i mai dau ‘Buna Ziua’. Si zice Isus, „Petre, m-ai vandut. Mai baiatule, hai sa-ti dau sa mananci.”

Sa-ti pregateasca Domnul micul dejun, tradator ce esti? Pacatosule. Cand noi, ca biserica, de atatea ori, daca am auzit de un frate ca e jos la pamant, ne-am dus si am sarit cu ciomegile pe el. In loc sa tacem si sa ne rugam pentru el impreuna l-am povestit prin tot Beiusul. Si da-i cu maciucile pe el. Da-i cu pumnii pe el, asa-i trebuie si lui si familiei lui! Ai vazut unde duce banul? Mandria? Tineretea? In loc sa zicem, „Sa te iubeasca Hristos, indiferent ce ai facut in viata…” „Dar a fost mare pacatul!” Indiferent de ce ai facut, Hristos e inca prietenul tau. Un prieten mai ai. Ti-a mai ramas un prieten- Isus Hristos! O sa se lepede multi de tine, cum te-ai lepadat tu de ei. O sa se lepede multi de tine, cum te-ai lepadat tu de Hristos. Dar Hristos nu o sa se lepede niciodata de tine. „Te-am sapat in palmile mele,” zice Isus. Te-am platit cu pret de sange, nu cu aur si argint. In iad poti sa mergi nemantuit, suta la suta. Dar nu neiubit, Hristos o sa te iubeasca si cand o sa te trimita spre iad. Talharul l-a injurat pe Isus. Aducetiva aminte ca amandoi L-au injurat, talharii si Isus Hristos il duce in rai? Pe unul care cu doua ore inainte Il injura? Ii spune Isus, „Azi vei fii cu Mine in rai?”

Zice Isus Hristos (catre Petru), „Ma iubesti?” L-a intrebat cu ‘agapeo’ (dragoste neconditionata, dragostea totala, jertfitoare). Si Petru ii raspunde cu alt cuvant. „Te iubesc (fileo- nu zice agapeo, care inseamna dragoste bazata pe ce simti la un moment dat). Hristos ii zice, „Ma iubesti cu tot ce ai, cu tot sufletul tau, cu mintea ta, cu trupul tau, cu viata ta? Ma iubesti pana la cruce, Petru?” Si Petru zice, „Te iubesc ‘fileo’, in functie de ce simt si acuma asta simt.” Cei mai multi il gratulăm pe Hristos cu dragoste ‘fileo’- „Te iubesc, daca ma simt bine, daca imi dai, daca imi faci. Vin la biserica daca nu ploua. Te iubesc daca ma tii sanatos si daca-mi dai paine. Te iubesc daca simt astazi. Daca am chef, citesc Biblia, daca am chef, merg la biserica, daca am chef daruiesc, daca n-am chef nu daruiesc; nu fac nimic pentru ca nu simt.” Zice Hristos, „Dragostea aceea sa ti-o scoti din cap, ca n-am nevoie de aceea. Am nevoie de o dragoste care inseamna cruce. O dragoste jertfitoare, un agapeo.” (20:00)

(3) Trebuie sa intelegi ca pacatul tau are consecinte

Zice Isus, „Ma iubesti tu mai mult decat acestia?” Aici sunt doua lucruri ciudate. Cuvantul ‘acestia’, la noi (Romani) se poate traduce oricum, la Greci  e cuvantul larg- orice putea sa-i spuna Hristos. Ma iubesti mai mult ca pe acestia? Intrebarea pare ca ar fi prosteasca. Noi intrebam pe vremuri, copiii din sat, „Mai, pe cine iubesti mai tare pe maicata sau pe taicatau?” Isus nu cauta raspunsuri din acestea. Comentatorii Biblie zic ca se referea la barcile lui Petru, pescuitul. „Ma iubesti mai mult deact viata aceasta, Petru?” Intre el si Isus Hristos se facuse gheata, pentru ca, intr-adevar, pacatul te afecteaza pe tine, afecteaza familia, afecteaza biserica, afecteaza marturia ta.  Dar cel mai tare afecteaza relatia ta cu Hristos. Dintr-o data, intre ei doi se intampla ceva. Vorbeau protocolar. Daca erau prieteni si nu se intamplase ceva intre ei, nu mai trebuia sa se puna intrebarea asta. Stiti cand suntem fara de cuvant? Cand spunem dupa aceea, „Ma pe cuvantul tau? E asa cum zici? Hai sa semnam, sa facem un act intre noi.” Nu mai exista relatia aia de prietenie totala. Era iarna, „Ma iubesti tu mai mult decat ei?” Pune Isus intrebari.

Intotdeauna, pacatul tau distruge relatia cu Dumnezeu si zicem, „Stim ca Dumnezeu nu asculta pe pacatosi.” Rugaciunile-s fara putere. Bucuria nu exista. Se intampla ca Il pierzi pe El. „Petre, intelegi ce-ai pierdut, cand te-ai indepartat de Mine? Eu nu mai am incredere in tine,” zice Isus, „Sunt prietenul tau, dar traiesc asa dureroasa ideie ca oricand, Petre, poti sa o faci inapoi. Eu, pana acuma am fost total cu tine, Petre. Dar deja, in tine exista pericolul recidivei ca ai facut-o odata. Daca ai fi inteles Petre, ai fi plans cu amar pacatul asta, dar tu esti recidivist. Ai plans cu amar si dupa aceea te-ai dus dupa pesti. Era al doilea pacat pe care Petru il facuse. Primul pacat e ca se lepadase de Isus Hristos. Al doilea pacat e ca nu mai ascultase, „Du-te spune ucenicilor si lui Petru sa ma astepte in Galileia. Nu pe mare. Ce cauti pe mare, Petru?” „Dar, Tu m-ai invitat, ma duc sa prind peste.” „Eu am crezut ca trebuie sa stai numai in biserica in rugaciuni, sa dai cu capul de scaune si sa-ti plangi pacatul, si tu te duci dupa pesti?”

Am ajuns la concluzia ca la cei mai multi, pocainta e mai slaba decat pacatul care l-au facut. Sunt aici cu fratii din biserica si se mai intampla la noi ca am zis, „Pentru chestia asta, pentru cateva luni l-as tine de la cina.” Sareau in sus, „Cum adica vreo 3 luni?” Biserica primara te tinea vreo 6 ani. Adica, tu sa te ierti primul, pe tine? Daca nu iti plangi pacatul, inseamna ca nu-ti pare rau de el. Inseamna ca poti sa-l faci usor, iarasi. Veti spune, ce lucru marunt este faptul ca zic c a vin la 5 si vin la 6. Toata lumea intarzie. Satana intarzie, va spun eu. Pentru ca noi avem un al cuvant: Da al vostru sa fie ‘DA’. Te duci prin apa si prin foc, daca ai spus la ora 5. E un lucru marunt. Fratilor, intarzierea cu oamenii dovedeste intarzierea cu Dumnezeu. Cine-si poate permite sa piarda un ceas dintr-un cuvant, poate sa-si permita sa piarda si ora de partasie cu Dumnezeu. E acelasi lucru. Imi spune ca pacatul acesta e marunt si ca toata lumea il face. Pacatele mici ne distrug. Nu spuneti ca pacatul dumneavoastra e marunt, ca toata lumea-l face. A lui Petru nu a fost nici macar marunt, a fost unul mare. Pacatul intotdeauna are consecinte. (27:00)

(4) Trebuie sa te confrunti cu pacatul,

sa-l marturisesti si sa te lepezi de el 

Trebuie sa recunosti pacatul. Unul dintre lucrurile speciale din textul acesta este (din limba Greaca spune) ca Domnul Isus Hristos i-a asteptat la un foc de carbuni. De doua ori se foloseste focul de carbuni. Grecii sunt atenti la cuvinte. Noi zicem, „Am facut un foc.” La Romani, focul e foc. Da, dar la greci, focul cu lemne e foc cu lemne si de doua ori apare in Bible foc cu carbuni. Stiti cand apare celalalt foc cu carbuni? Cand s-a lepadat la foc Petru, era tot foc de carbuni (zice limba greaca). „Petre, iti mai aduci aminte de focul ala, intre noi doi? Hai ca te vad aici asa mandru si te vad pe barca Petre. Dar iti mai aduci aminte in urma cu cateva zile, un foc asa? Hai sa stam langa asta.” Si cand a vazut focul si-a adus aminte. „Tu chiar vroiai sa spui ca nu ai pacatuit? Tu chiar vroiai sa ma minti pe Mine ca n-ai pacatuit?” Dragilor, i-a pus focul in fata, exact focul acela de carbuni ca sa isi aduca aminte. De ce? Ii pacatul tau, pune-l in fata. Asa cum Il ai necurmat pe Domnul in fata ochilor tai, asa trebuie sa-ti ai si pacatul pe care l-ai facut, in fata ochilor tai.

Pentru ca spune Ioan- daca ne marturisim pacatele si ne lasam de ele, daca le spunem inaintea lui Dumnezeu, El este credincios si drept sa ne ierte pacatele si noi sa fim curatiti de orice nelegiuire. Cu o singura conditie: Recunoasteti pacatul.  Intotdeauna pune vina pe altii: diavolul, ceasul rau, fratii, tu l-ai facut, eu l-am facut, Eva, Adam, nu m-a crescut, femeia asta nu mi-a spus nimic. Toti: Sarpele e de vina, Adam, Dumnezeu e de vina. Dam vina pe o gramada de factori, numai noi nu suntem vinovati. Recunaosteti-va pacatul: Acesta e pacatul, l-am facut, vin inaintea lui Dumnezeu cu el, ca daca nu iti pune Dumnezeu intr-o zi foc. Si de obicei, nu-l mai pune in fata, ci-l pune in tine. Dragilor, nu putem sa jonglam cu asta la nesfarsit ca ne apasa.

(5) Isus are inca un scop si o misiune pentru tine

Paste mieluseii Mei, paste oitele Mele. Normal, un asemenea om nu trebuia sa mai stea in fata oamenilor. Noi l-am fi pus undeva mai in spate. Dar Hristos nu gandeste asa. Zice Isus, „Eu stiu ce e in tine, Eu stiu ca tu nu poti fii decat numai la extreme. Tu poti sa fii ori incandescent, ori rece. Vreau,” zice Isus, „sa te folosesc, cum n-am folosit pe nimeni.” Mam gandit la un moment dat, nu faptul ca a fost rastignit cu capul in jos pe cruce a fost pretul care a trebuie sa-l plateasca pentru pacate. Ci lucrarea. Stiti de ce? A fost cea mai grea lucrare pe care a avut-o cineva de facut vreodata. Sa stai in fata oamenilor si sa-i confrunti cu propriile lor pacate. Cine-i ca el in Fapte cap. 2? Atunci Petru s’a sculat în picioare cu cei unsprezece, a ridicat glasul, şi le -a zis: Mantuitiva din mijlocul acestui neam ticalos. Acest Hristos, pe care voi l-ati rastignit si eu l-am negat, acest Hristos va poate ierta pacatele astazi, va poate umple cu Duhul Sfant astazi, va poate duce spre pocainta astazi. Omul care nu are nici o frica, pentru ca in dragoste nu este frica.

De obicei, noi ii scoatem la reforma pe cei care pacatuiesc. Cine credeti dumneavoastra ca ar putea sa le vorbeasca tinerilor despre a  nu se droga? Cel care a fost odata acolo. Cine credeti ca ar fi cel mai bun despre a vorbi tinerilor ce inseamna sa fugi de acasa si sa-ti lasi parintii cu ochii in soare si lacrimile in vant? Fiul risipitor. Cine credeti dumneavoastra ca ar putea vorbi ce inseamna si un pacat facut la batranete? Un batran care l-a facut si care s-a lepadat de el si astazi traieste langa Hristos. Cine credeti ca ar putea sa spuna ce inseamna atatea si atatea pacate, mai bine decat cel ce le-a facut?

  • Numai diavolul vine si spune, „Nu-i pacat.
  • Numai diavolul vine si spune, „Acuma, daca l-ai facut nu mai exista scapare.”
  • Numai diavolul vine si spune, „Acuma taci din gura.”
  • Numai diavolul vine si spune, „Locul tau e acolo in spate.”

Cea mai mare calamitate care ti se poate intampla nu e sa ramai singura sau singur. Cea mai mare calamitate care ti se poate intampla nu e sa ai leucemie. Cea mai mare calamitate care ti se poate intampla vreodata nu e sa nu ai paine, sau sa ajungi la ciorba saracilor. Cea mai mare calamitate care ti se poate intampla este ca sa-L pierzi pe Hristos.

C.H.Spurgeon -The Holy Spirit and the One Church (Classic)

spurgeon
A Sermon
(No. 167)

Delivered on Sabbath Morning, December 13, 1857, by the
REV. C. H. Spurgeon
at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.

„These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”—Jude 1:19.

HEN a farmer comes to thrash out his wheat, and get it ready for the market there are two things that he desires—that there may be plenty of it, of the right sort, and that when he takes it to market, he may be able to carry a clean sample there. He does not look upon the quantity alone; for what is the chaff to the wheat? He would rather have a little clean than he would have a great heap containing a vast quantity of chaff, but less of the precious corn. On the other hand, he would not so winnow his wheat as to drive away any of the good grain, and so make the quantity less than it need to be. He wants to have as much as possible—to have as little loss as possible in the winnowing, and yet to have it as well winnowed as may be. Now, that is what I desire for Christ’s Church, and what every Christian will desire. We wish Christ’s church to be as large as possible. God forbid that by any of our winnowing, we should ever cast away one of the precious sons of Zion. When we rebuke sharply, we would be anxious lest the rebuke should fall where it is not needed, and should bruise and hurt the feelings of any who God hath chosen. But on the other hand, we have no wish to see the church multiplied at the expense of its purity. We do not wish to have a charity so large that it takes in chaff as well as wheat: we wish to be just charitable enough to use the fan thoroughly to purge God’s floor, but yet charitable enough to pick up the most shrivelled ear of wheat, to preserve it for the Master’s sake, who is the husbandman. I trust, in preaching this morning, God may help me so to discern between the precious and the vile that I may say nothing uncharitable, which would cut off any of God’s people from being part of his true and living and visible church; and yet at the same time I pray that I may not speak so loosely, and so without God’s direction, as to embrace any in the arms of Christian affection whom the Lord hath not received in the eternal covenant of his love.
    Our text suggests to us three things: first, an inquiry—Have we the Spirit? secondly, a caution—if we have not the spirit we are sensual; thirdly, a suspicion—there are many persons that separate themselves. Our suspicion concerning them is, that notwithstanding their extra-superfine profession, they are sensual, not having the Spirit; for our text says, „These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”
    I. First, then, our text suggests AN INQUIRY—Have we the Spirit? This is an inquiry so important, that the philosopher may well suspend all his investigations to find an answer to this question on his own personal account. All the great debates of politics, all the most engrossing subjects of human discussion, may well stop to-day, and give us pause to ask ourselves the solemn question—”Have I the Spirit?” For this question does not deal with any externals of religion, but it deals with religion in its most vital point. He that hath the Spirit, although he be wrong in fifty things, being right in this, is saved; he that hath not the Spirit, be he never so orthodox, be his creed as correct as Scripture-ay and in his morals outwardly as pure as the law, is still unsaved; he is destitute of the essential part of salvation—the Spirit of God dwelling in him.
    To help us to answer this question, I shall try to set forth the effects of the Spirit in our hearts under sundry Scriptural metaphors. Have I the Spirit? I reply, And what is the operation of the, Spirit? How am I to discern it? Now the Spirit operates in divers ways, all of them mysterious, and supernatural, all of them bearing the real marks of his own power, and having certain signs following whereby they may be discovered and recognised.
    1. The first work of the Spirit in the heart is a work during which the Spirit is compared to the wind. You remember that when our Saviour spoke to Nicodemus he represented the first work of the Spirit in the heart as being like the wind, „which bloweth where it listeth;” „even so;” saith he, „is every one that is born of the Spirit.” Now you know that the wind is a most mysterious thing; and although there be certain definitions of it which pretend to be explanations of the phenomenon, yet they certainly leave the great question of how the wind blows, and what is the cause of its blowing in a certain direction, where it was before. Breath within us, wind without us, all motions of air, are to us mysterious. And the renewing work of the Spirit in the heart is exceedingly mysterious. It is possible that at this moment the Spirit of God may be breathing into some of the thousand hearts before me; yet it would be blasphemous if any one should ask, „Which way went the Spirit from God to such a heart? How entered it there?” And it would be foolish for a person who is under the operation of the Spirit to ask how it operates: thou knowest not where is the storehouse of the thunder; thou knowest not where the clouds are balanced; neither canst thou know how the Spirit goeth forth from the Most High and enters into the heart of man. It may be, that during a sermon two men are listening to the same truth; one of them hears as attentively as the other and remembers as much of it; the other is melted to tears or moved with solemn thoughts; but the one though equally attentive, sees nothing in the sermon, except, maybe, certain important truths well set forth; as for the other, his heart is broken within him and his soul is melted. Ask me how it is that the same truth has an effect upon the one, and not upon his fellow: I reply, because the mysterious Spirit of the living God goes with the truth to one heart and not to the other. The one only feels the force of truth, and that may be strong enough to make him tremble, like Felix; but the other feels the Spirit going with the truth, and that renews the man, regenerates him, and causes him to pass into that gracious condition which is called the state of salvation. This change takes place instantaneously. It is as miraculous a change as any miracle of which we read in Scripture. It is supremely supernatural. It may be mimicked, but no imitation of it can be true and real. Men may pretend to be regenerated without the Spirit, but regenerated they cannot be. It is a change so marvellous that the highest attempts of man can never reach it. We may reason as long as we please, but we cannot reason ourselves into regeneration; we may meditate till our hairs are grey with study; but we cannot meditate ourselves into the new birth. That is worked in us by the sovereign will of God alone.

„The Spirit, like some heavenly wind,
Blows on the sons of flesh,
Inspires us with a heavenly mind,
And forms the man afresh.”

But ask the man how: he cannot tell you. Ask him when: he may recognize the time, but as to the manner thereof he knoweth no more of it than you do. It is to him a mystery.
    You remember the story of the valley of vision. Ezekiel saw dry bones lying scattered here and there in the valley. The command came to Ezekiel, „Say to:these dry bones, live.” He said, „Live,” and the bones came together, „bone to his bone, and flesh came upon them;” but as yet they did not live. „Prophesy, son of man; say to the wind, breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” They looked just like life: there was flesh and blood there; there were the eyes and hands and feet; but when Ezekiel had spoken there was a mysterious something given which men call life, and it was given in a mysterious way, like the blowing of the wind. It is even so to-day. Unconverted and ungodly persons may be very, moral and excellent; they are like the dry bones, when they are put together and clothed with flesh and blood. But to make them live spiritually it needs the divine afflatus from the breath of the Almighty, the divine pneuma, the divine Spirit, the divine wind should blow on them, and then they would live. Say, my hearer, hast thou ever had any supernatural influence on thine Heart? For if not I may seem to be harsh with thee, but I am faithful: if thou hast never had more than nature in thy heart, thou art „in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity.” Nay, sir, sneer not at that utterance; it is as true as this Bible, for tis from this Bible it was taken, and for proof thereof hear thou me. „except a man be born again (from above) of water and of the Spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” What sayest thou to that? It is in vain for thee to talk of making thyself to be born again; thou canst not be born again except by the Spirit, and thou must perish, unless thou art. You see, then, the first effect of the Spirit, and by that you may answer the question.
    2. In the next place, the Spirit in the word of God is often compared to fire. After the Spirit, like the wind, has made the dead sinner live, then comes the Spirit like fire. Now, fire has a searching and tormenting power. It is purifying, but it purifies by a terrible process. Now, after the Holy Spirit has given us the life of Christianity, there immediately begins a burning in our heart: the Lord searches and tries our reins, and lights a candle within our spirits which discovers the wickedness of our nature, and the loathsomeness of our iniquities. Say, my hearer, dost thou know anything about that fire in thine heart? For if not, thou hast not yet received the Spirit. To explain what I mean, let me just tell a piece of my own experience, by way of illustrating the fiery effects of the Spirit. I lived careless and thoughtless; I could indulge in sin as well as others, and did do so. Sometimes my conscience pricked me, but not enough to make me cease from vice. I could indulge in transgression, and I could love it: not so much as others loved it—mine early training would not let me do that—but still enough to prove that my heart was debased and corrupt. Once on a time something more than conscience pricked me: I knew not then what it was. I was like Samuel, when the Lord called him; I heard the voice, but I knew not whence it came. A stirring began in my heart, and I began to feel that in the sight of God I was a lost, ruined, and condemned sinner. That conviction I could not shake off. Do what I might it followed me. If I sought to amuse my mind and take it off from serious thoughts it was of no use; I was obliged still to carry about with me a heavy burden on my back. I went to my bed, and there I dreamed about hell, and about „the wrath to come.” I woke up, and this dreary nightmare, this incubus, still brooded on me. What could I do? I renounced first one vicious habit, then another: it mattered not; all this was like pulling one firebrand from a flame, that fed itself with blazing forests. Do what I might, my conscience found no rest. Up to the house of God I went to hear the gospel: there was no gospel for me; the fire burned but the more fiercely, and the very breath of the gospel seemed to fan the flame. Away I went to my chamber and my closet to pray: the heavens were like brass, and the windows of the sky were barred against me. No answer could I get; the fire burned more vehemently. Then I thought, „I would not live always; would God I had never been born!” But I dared not die, for there was hell when I was dead; and I dared not live, for life had become intolerable. Still the fire blazed right vehemently; till at last I came to this resolve: „If there be salvation in Christ, I will have it. I have nothing of my own to trust to; I do this hour, O God, renounce my sin, and renounce my own righteousness too.” And the fire blazed again, and burned up all my good works, ay, and my sins with them. And then I saw that all this burning was to bring me to Christ. And oh! the joy and gladness of my heart, when Jesus came and sprinkled water on the flame, and said, „I have bought thee with my blood; put thy trust in me; I will do for thee what thou canst not do for thyself; I will take thy sins away; I will clothe thee with a spotless robe of righteousness; I will guide thee all thy journey through, and land thee at last in heaven.” Say, my dear hearer, Dost know anything about the Spirit of burning? For if not, again I say, I am not harsh, I am but true; if thou hast never felt this, thou knowest not the Spirit.
    3. To proceed a little further. When the Spirit has thus quickened the soul and convinced it of sin, then he comes under another metaphor. He comes under the metaphor of oil. The Holy Spirit is very frequently in Scripture compared to oil. „Thou anointest mine head with oil; my cup runneth over.” Ah! brethren, though the beginning of the Spirit is by fire, it does not end there. We may be first of all convinced and brought to Christ by misery; but when we get to Christ there is no misery in him, and our sorrow results from not getting close enough to him. The Holy Spirit comes, like the good Samaritan, and pours in the oil and the wine. And oh! what oil it is with which he anoints our head, and with which he heals our wounds! How soft the liniments which he binds round our bruises! How blessed the eye-salve with which he anoints our eyes! How heavenly the ointment with which he binds up our sores, and wounds, and bruises, and makes us whole, and sets our feet upon a rock, and establishes our goings! The Spirit, after he has convinced, begins to comfort; and ye that have felt the comforting power of the Holy Spirit, will bear me witness there is no comforter like him that is the Paraclete. Oh! bring hither the music, the voice of song, and the sound of harps; they are both as vinegar upon nitre to him that hath a heavy heart. Bring me here the enchantments of the magic world, and all the enjoyments of its pleasures; they do but torment the soul and prick it with many thorns. But oh! Spirit of the living God, when thou dost blow upon the heart, there is not a wave of that tempestuous sea which does not sleep for ever when thou biddest it be still; there is not one single breath of the proud hurricane and tempest which doth not cease to howl and which doth not lie still, when thou sayest to it, „Peace be unto thee; thy sins are forgiven thee.” Say, do you know the Spirit under the figure of oil? Have you felt him at work in your spirits, comforting you, anointing your head, making you glad, and causing you to rejoice?
    There are many people that never felt this. They hope they are religious; but their religion never makes them happy. There are scores of professors who have just enough religion to make them miserable. Let them be afraid that they have any religion at all; for religion makes people happy; when it has its full sway with man it makes him glad. It may begin in agony, but it does not end there. Say, hast thou ever had thine heart leaping for joy? Hath thy lip ever warbled songs of ecstatic praise? Doth thine eye ever flash the fire of joy? If these things be not so, I fear lest thou art still without God, and without Christ; for where the Spirit comes, his fruits are, joy in the Spirit, and peace, and love, and confidence, and assurance for ever.
    4. Bear with me once more. I have to show you one more figure of the Spirit, and by that also you will be able to ascertain whether you are under his operation. When the Spirit has acted as wind, as fire, and as oil, he then acts like water. We are told that we are „born again of water and of the Spirit.” Now I do not think you foolish enough to need that I should say that no water, either of immersion or of sprinkling, can in the least degree operate in the salvation of a soul. There may be some few poor creatures, whose heads were put on their shoulders the wrong way, who still believe that a few drops of water from a priest’s hands can regenerate souls. There may be such a few, but I hope the race will soon die out. We trust that the day will come when all those gentry will have no „other Gospel” to preach in our churches, but will have clean gone over to Rome, and when that terrible plague-spot upon the Protestant Church, called Puseyism, will have been cut out like a cancer, and torn out by its very roots. The sooner we get rid of that the better; and whenever we hear of any of them going over to Rome, let them go—I wish we could as easily get rid of the devil, they may go together—we do not want either of them in the Protestant Church, anyhow. But the Holy Spirit when he comes in the heart comes like water. That is to say, he comes to purify the soul. He that is to-day as foul a liver as he was before his pretended conversion is a hypocrite and a liar; he that this day loveth sin and liveth in it just as he was wont to do, let him know that the truth is not in him, but he hath received the strong delusion to believe a lie: God’s people are a holy people; God’s Spirit works by love, and purifies the soul. Once let it get into our hearts, and it will have no rest till it has turned every sin out. God’s Holy Spirit and man’s sin cannot live together peaceably; they may both be in the same heart, but they cannot both reign there, nor can they both be quiet there; for „the Spirit lusteth against the flesh, and the flesh lusteth against the Spirit;” they cannot rest, but there will be a perpetual warring in the soul, so that the Christian will have to cry, „O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” But in due time the Spirit will drive out all sin, and will present us blameless before the throne of his Majesty with exceeding great joy.
    Now, my hearer, answer thou this question for thyself, and not for another man. Hast thou received this Spirit? Answer me, anyhow; if it be with a scoff, answer me; if thou sneerest and sayest, „I know nothing of your enthusiastic rant,” be it so, sir; say, nay, then. It may be thou carest not to reply at all. I beseech thee do not put away my entreaty. Yes or no. Hast thou received the Spirit? „Sir no man can find fault with my character; I believe I shall enter heaven through my own virtues.” It is not the question, sir. Hast thou received the Spirit? All that thou sayest thou mayest have done; but if thou hast left the other undone, and hast not received the Spirit, it will go ill with thee at last. Hast thou had a supernatural operation upon thine own heart? Hast thou been made a new man in Christ Jesus! For if not, depend on it, as God’s Word is true, thou art out of Christ, and dying as thou art thou wilt be shut out of heaven, be thou who thou mayest and what thou mayest.
    II. Thus, I have tried to help you to answer the first question—the inquiry, Have we received the Spirit? And this brings me to the CAUTION. He that has not received the Spirit is said to be sensual. Oh, what a gulf there is between the least Christian and the greatest moralist! What a wide distinction there is between the greatest professor destitute of grace, and the least of God’s believers who has grace in his heart. As great a difference as there is between light and darkness between death and life, between heaven and hell, is there between a saint and a sinner; for mark, my text says, in no very polite phrase, that if we have not the Spirit we are sensual. ” Sensual!” says one; „well, I am not converted man—I don t pretend to be; but I am not sensual.” Well, friend, and it is very likely that you are not—not in the common acceptation of the term sensual; but understand that this word, in the Greek, really means what an English word like this would mean, if we had such a one—soulish. We have not such a word—we want such a one. There is a great distinction between mere animals and men, because man hath a soul, and the mere animal hath none. There is another distinction between mere men and a converted man. The converted man hath the Spirit—the unconverted man hath none; he is a soulish man—not a spiritual man; he has got no further than mere nature and has no inheritance in the spiritual kingdom of grace. Strange it is that soulish and sensual should after all mean the same! Friend, thou hast not the Spirit. Then thou art nothing better—be thou what thou art, or whatsoever thou mayest be—than the fall of Adam left thee. That is to say, thou art a fallen creature, having only capacities to live here in sin, and to live for ever in torment; but thou hast not the capacity to live in heaven at all, for thou hast no Spirit; and therefore thou art unable to know or enjoy spiritual things. And mark you, a man may be in this state, and be a sensual man, and yet he may have all the virtues that could grace a Christian; but with all these, if he has not the Spirit, he has got not an inch further than where Adam’s fall left him—that is, condemned and under the curse. Ay, and he may attend to religion with all his might—he may take the sacrament, and be baptized, and may be the most devout professor; but if he hath not the Spirit he hath not started a solitary inch from where he was, for he is still in „the bonds of iniquity,” a lost soul. Nay, further, he may pick up religious phrases till he may talk very fast about religion; he may read biographies till he seems to be a deep taught child of God; he may be able to write an article upon the deep experience of a believer; but if this experience be not his own, if he hath not received it by the Spirit of the living God, he is still nothing more than a carnal man, and heaven is to him a place to which there is no entrance. Nay, further, he might go so far as to become a minister of the gospel, and a successful minister too, and God may bless the word that he preaches to the salvation of sinners, but unless he has received the Spirit, be he as eloquent as Apollos, and as earnest as Paul, he is nothing more than a mere soulish man, without capacity for spiritual things.
    Nay, to crown all, he might even have the power of working miracles, as Judas had—he might even be received into the church as a believer, as was Simon Magus, and after all that, though he had cast out devils, though he had healed the sick, though he had worked miracles, he might have the gates of heaven shut in his teeth, if he had not received the Spirit. For this is the essential thing, without which all others are in vain—the reception of the Spirit of the living God. It is a searching truth, is it not, my friends? Do not run away from it. If I am preaching to you falsehood, reject it; but if this be a truth which I can substantiate by Scripture, I beseech you, rest not till you have answered this question: Hast thou the Spirit, living, dwelling, working in thy heart?
    III. This brings me, in the third place, to THE SUSPICION. How singular that „separation” should be the opposite of having the Spirit. Hark! I hear a gentle man saying, „Oh! I like to hear you preach smartly and sharply; I am persuaded, sir, there are a great many people in the church that ought not to be there; and so I, because there is such a corrupt mixture in the church, have determined not to join anywhere at all. I do not think that the Church of Christ now a days is at all clean and pure enough to allow of my joining with it. At least, sir, I did join a church once, but I made such a deal of noise in it they were very glad when I went away. And now I am just like David’s men; I am one that is in debt and discontented, and I go round to hear all new preachers that arise. I have heard you now these three months; I mean to go and hear some one else in a very little time if you do not say something to flatter me. But I am quite sure I am one of God’s special elect. I don’t join any church because a church is not good enough for me; I don’t become a member of any denomination, because they are all wrong, every one of them.” Hark ye brother, I have something to tell you, that will not please you. „These be they that separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.” I hope you enjoy the text: it certainly belongs to you, above every man in the world. „These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.” When I read this over I thought to myself, there be some who say, „Well, you are a dissenter, how do you make this agreeable with the text, ‘These be they who separate themselves;’ ” you are separated from the Church of England. Ah, my friends, that a man may be, and be all the better for it; but the separation here intended is separation from the one universal Church of Christ. The Church of England was not known in Jude’s day: so the apostle did not allude to that. „These be they who separate themselves,”—that is from the Church of Christ; from the great universal body of the elect. Moreover, let us just say one thing. We did not separate ourselves—we were turned out. Dissenters did not separate themselves from the Church of England, from the Episcopal church; but when the Act of Uniformity was passed, they were turned out of their pulpits. Our forefathers were as sound Churchmen as any in the world, but they could not take in all the errors of the Prayer Book, and they were therefore hounded to their graves by the intolerance of the conforming professors. So they did not separate themselves. Moreover, we do not separate ourselves. There is not a Christian beneath the scope of God’s heaven from whom I am separated. At the Lord’s table I always invite all Churches to come and sit down and commune with us. If any man were to tell me that I am separate from the Episcopalian, the Presbyterian, or the Methodist, I would tell him he did not know me, for I love them with a pure heart fervently, and I am not separate from them. I may hold different views from them, and in that point truly I may be said to be separate; but I am not separate in heart, I will work with them—I will work with them heartily; nay, though my Church of England brother sends me in, as he has done, a summons to pay a churchrate that I cannot in conscience pay, I will love him still; and if he takes chairs and tables it matters not—I will love him for all that; and if there be a ragged-school or anything else for which I can work with him to promote the glory of God, therein will I unite with him with all my heart. I think this bears rather hard on our friends—the Strict Communion Baptists. I should not like to say anything hard against them, for they are about the best people in the world, but they really do separate themselves from the great body of Christ’s people. The Spirit of the living God will not let them do this really, but they do it professedly. They separate themselves from the great Universal Church. They say they will not commune with it; and if any one comes to their table who has not been baptized, they turn him away. They „separate,” certainly. I do not believe it is willful schism that makes them thus act; but at the same time I think the old man within has some hand in it.
    Oh, how my heart loves the doctrine of the one church. The nearer I get to my Master in prayer and communion, the closer am I knit to all his disciples. The more I see of my own errors and failings, the more ready am I to deal gently with them that I believe to be erring. The pulse of Christ’s body is communion; and woe to the church that seeks to cure the ills of Christ’s body by stopping its pulse. I think it sin to refuse to commune with anyone who is a member of the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ. I desire this morning to preach the unity of Christ’s church. I have sought to use the fan to blow away the chaff. I have said no man belongs to Christ’s church unless he has the Spirit; but, if he hath the Spirit, woe be to the man that separates himself from him. Oh! I should think myself grossly in fault if at the foot of these stairs I should meet a truly converted child of God, who called himself a Primitive Methodist, or a Wesleyan. or a Churchman, or an Independent, and I should say, „No, sir, you do not agree with me on certain points; I believe you are a child of God, but I will have nothing to do with you.” I should then think that this text would bear very hard on me. „These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.” But would we do so, beloved? No, we would give them both our hands, and say, God speed to you in your journey to heaven; so long as you have got the Spirit we are one family, and we will not be separate from one another. God grant the day may come when every wall of separation shall be beaten down! See how to this day we are separate. There! you will find a Baptist who could not say a good word to a Poedo-Baptist if you were to give him a world. You find to this day Episcopalians who hate that ugly word, „Dissent;” and it is enough for them that a Dissenter has done a thing; they will not do it then, be it never so good.
    Ah! and furthermore, there are some to be found in the Church of England that will not only hate dissent, but hate one another into the bargain. Men are to be found that cannot let brother ministers of their own church preach in their parish. What an anachronism such men are! They would seem to have been sent into the world in our time purely by mistake. Their proper era would have been the time of the dark ages. If they had lived then, what fine Bonners they would have made! What splendid fellows they would have been to have helped to poke the fire in Smithfield! But they are quite out of date in these times, and I look upon such a curious clergyman in the same way that I do upon a Dodo—as an extraordinary animal whose race is almost, if not quite extinct. Well, you may look, and look and wonder. The animal will be extinct soon. It will not be long, I trust, before not only the Church of England shall love itself, but when all who love the Lord Jesus shall be ready to preach in each other’s pulpits, preaching the same truth, holding the same faith, and mightily contending for it. Then shall the world „see how these Christians love one another; ” and then shall it be known in heaven that Christ s kingdom has come, and that his will is about to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
    My hearer, dost thou belong to the church? For out of the church there is no salvation. But mark what the church is. It is not the Episcopalian, Baptist, or Presbyterian: the church is a company of men who have received the Spirit. If thou canst not say thou hast the Spirit, go thy way and tremble; go thy way and think of thy lost condition; and may Jesus by his Spirit so bless thee, that thou mayest be led to renounce thy works and ways with grief, and fly to him who died upon the cross, and find a shelter there from the wrath of God.
    I may have said some rough things this morning, but I am not given much to cutting and trimming, and I do not suppose I shall begin to learn that art now. If the thing is untrue, it is with you to reject it; if it be true, at your own peril reject what God stamps with divine authority. May the blessing of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit rest upon the one church of Israel’s one Jehovah. Amen and Amen.

(source Spurgeon.org)
C.H.Spurgeon -The Holy Spirit and the One Church (Classic)

You’re On the Planet to Make God Look Good

Piper: Everything in your life, everything you say, everything you think, everything you feel, everything you do, all the relationships you have, have to do with God. One of the great things about preaching in the same church for 27 years (this was in 2007) is that the mission of the church and the mission of the preacher tend to merge. And the mission goes like this: I exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things, for the joy of all peoples, through Jesus Christ.

So, when I say, „Everything you say, everything you do, everything you think, everything you feel, all the relationships you have have to do with God, I have something way more specific in mind than just ‘have to do with God’. I believe that God has ordained your existence, and everything you do, and say, and think and feel, and all the relationships  you have, have ordained those so they would make God look good.

You’re on the planet in order to say things, do things, think things, feel things, be in relationships in such a way as to make Jesus Christ  look like He really is, namely SUPREMELY VALUABLE. That is the mission statement of my life, I would like it to be the mission statement of everybody’s life

And, you should ask, „Do I devote my life, and I mean, down to the details. Do I devote the way I study, what I eat, what I drink, what I wear, how I do my hair, what movies I watch, what websites I go to and how long I stay there, what car I drive, where I live, how I do my work, where I work, what jokes I tell and like to hear, what kind of language I use, who my friends are, why, how I spent all my leisure time.” Are you asking how all those things do that, how all those things spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things, for the joy of all peoples?

How do I do all those things so that I make Christ look really great? So that I do them in a way that communicates ‘He is more valuable to me than all those things, than anything else?

VIDEO by DGJohnPiper from the message „Don’t Waste Your Life” September 19, 2007 (Photo above via thepraiseandworshipconnection.blogspot.com)

Related posts

Most Americans Don’t Understand Love

Piper: Most Americans don’t know what love is. I’ll state a definition that they might agree with and then I’ll give it a biblical translation. Maybe you would find people who would agree with the definition: Love is doing whatever you’ve got to do, at whatever cost to yourself, to make people as happy as they can be  forever. It cost Jesus His life to do this, to make people as happy as they can be  forever.

The biblical translation for that is this: Love is whatever you have to do, at whatever cost to yourself to help people have an all satisfying passion for Jesus forever. Those are synonymous definitions because Christ is the only source of everlasting joy. If you reject Christ, you don’t have joy- forever.

Therefore, the definition of love is eating, drinking, and doing whatever you do, in order to help people cherish Christ above all things. Seeing Him and savoring Him above all things. And that becomes massively helpful in what movies you watch, what you eat, what you drink, where you go, how you spend your time. Are people seeing in you and in your values- Christ as supremely important? Are you doing things that will cause them to read off of your life that you seem to be drawing your life from another place? That’s what love is gonna prompt you to show.

VIDEO by DGJohnPiper from the message „Don’t Waste Your Life” September 19, 2007

Related posts

Blogosfera Evanghelică

Vizite unicate din Martie 6,2011

free counters

Va multumim ca ne-ati vizitat azi!


România – LIVE webcams de la orase mari