By Elizabeth Prata
We talk all day long. We speak of husbands, plans for the weekend, our physical state, our kids. But do we talk of Jesus? If we do, do we speak of Him often enough?
I am online a lot. I also spend time at work during lunch with colleagues, who are also Christians. I have opportunity to speak of Jesus all day long. But do I? And if I do, is it often enough?
But of what exactly do I speak? I may ask. How do I bring up the topic? I wondered. So I had gone searching for tips on how to better have a Christian conversation. Lo and behold, Charles Haddon Spurgeon had preached on this very topic in 1858. I read the sermon and it simply brought tears to my eyes. They were both tears of conviction for my poor conversation, and tears of joy reading of His excellencies.
We are inundated with hate language all day long from rebellious pagans, and many of us are also treated to the snark, anger, or hateful speech of people claiming to be fellow Christians, too (surely blotting their witness.) I don’t want to fall into the same trap. The Bible says “Your speech must always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” (Colossians 4:6).
How do I do that? How do I develop the habit? Spurgeon’s sermon fills the bill.
I decided to reprint the sermon and also to read it aloud on the podcast. Being a Spurgeon sermon, it is rather long, too long for a 30-minute limit podcast and at 6000 words, too long to expect a busy reader to hunker down and read on a blog. So I am breaking it up into parts, making separations at what I think are logical break points. I am reproducing the sermon day by day over the next few days until it’s finished. I pray you enjoy it as much as I did.
A Sermon (No. 2695) Delivered by C. H. SPURGEON,
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.
On a Lord’s-day Evening in the autumn of 1858.
“They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power.”—Psalm 145:11.
YOU HAVE only to look at the preceding verse, and you will discover, in a single moment, who are the people here spoken of who shall speak of the glory of God’s kingdom, and talk of his power. They are the saints: “All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power.”
A saint will often be discovered by his conversation. He is a saint long before he knows it; he is a saint as being set apart unto salvation by God the Father in the covenant decree of election from all eternity; and he is a saint as being sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called. But he is more especially a saint as being sanctified by the quickening influence of the Holy Ghost, which renders him truly sanctified by making him holy, and bringing him into conformity with the image of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Yet it is not at all times easy to discern a saint except by Scriptural marks and evidences. There is nothing particular about the countenance or dress of a saint to distinguish him from his fellows. The saints have faces like other men; sometimes, they are sadly marred and furrowed by cares and troubles which worldlings do not know. They wear the same kind of garments as other men wear; they may be rich or they may be poor; but, still, there are some marks whereby we can discern them, and one of the special ways of discovering a saint is by his conversation. As I often tell you, you may know the quality of the water in a well by that which is brought up in the bucket; so may we tell a Christian by his conversation.
It is, however, much to be regretted that true children of the Lord often talk too little of him. What is the conversation of half the professors of the present day? Honesty compels us to say that, in many cases, it is a mass of froth and falsehood, and, in many more cases it is altogether objectionable; if it is not light and frivolous, it is utterly apart from the gospel, and does not minister grace unto the bearers.
I consider that one of the great lacks of the Church, nowadays, is not so much Christian preaching as Christian talking,—not so much Christian prayer in the prayer-meeting, as Christian conversation in the parlour. How little do we hear concerning Christ! You might go in and out of the houses of half the professors of religion, and you would never hear of their Master at all. You might talk with them from the first of January to the last of December; and if they happened to mention their Master’s name, it would be, perhaps, merely as a compliment to him, or possibly by accident.
Beloved, such things ought not to be. You and I, I am sure, are guilty in this matter; we all have need to reproach ourselves that we do not sufficiently remember the words of Malachi, “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.”
To Be Continued tomorrow… full sermon here if you want it earlier!