Saturday, April 10, 2010

How may a young man know... (Pt 1)

...whether he is called or not?

An intensely helpful and contemplative allocution by Charles Spurgeon regarding the call to Pastoral Ministry. The following excerpts and series is taken from his book, Lectures to My Students.

1 Timothy 4:16
"Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you."

Every workman knows the necessity of keeping his tools in a good state of repair, for "if the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength. Though Michael Angelo, the elect of fine arts, understood the importance of his tools, that he always made his own brushes with his own hands, and in this he gives us an illustration of the God of grace, who with special care fashions for Himself all true ministers.

It is true that the Lord...can work with the the faultiest kind of instrumentality, as He does when He occasionally makes very foolish preaching to be useful in conversion; and He can even work without agents, as He does when He saves men without a preacher at all, applying the word directly by His Holy Spirit; but we cannot regard God's absolutely sovereign acts as a rule for our action. He may, in His own absoluteness, do as pleases Him best, but we must act as His plainer dispensations instruct us.

We shall usually do our Lord's work best when our gifts and graces are in good order, and we shall do worst when our gifts and graces are out of trim.

We are, in a certain sense, our own tools, and therefore must keep ourselves in order. If I want to preach the gospel, I can only use my own voice; therefore I must rain my vocal powers. (7)

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