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“Without me ye can do nothing.”
1. The saint can do nothing in relation to himself – 4:00
2. The sinner can do nothing in relation to himself – 30:02
3. The saint can do nothing in relation to the sinner – 42:01
The following are select quotes from this sermon.
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Have you not often heard that mighty men who have outlived hundreds of battles have been slain at last by the most trivial accident? And has it not been so with professed Christians? They stood uprightly in the midst of the greatest trials; they have outlived the most arduous struggles, and yet in an evil hour, trusting to themselves, their foot has slipped under some slight temptation, or because of some small difficulty. John Newton says: “The grace of God is as necessary to create a right temper in Christians on the breaking of a china plate as on the death of an only son.” These little leaks need the most careful stopping.
If thou standest among thy fellow-men as the angels stand among the fallen spirits—a chosen one, distinguished from them, yet remember, it was not any goodness in thyself that made thee to be chosen, nor has it been any of thine own efforts, or thine own power, which has lifted thee out of the miry clay, and set thy feet on the rock, and established thy goings. Off with thy crown from thy proud head, and lay down thine honours at the feet of him who gave them to thee. Come with cherubim and seraphim and vail thy face and cry, “Not unto us, not unto us, but unto his name be all the glory for ever and ever.”
Do we not make most of our trials through our boasting, and do we not kindle our own furnace with the fuel of our pride? If we were more childlike, resting more simply on the Spirit’s power, should we not be more happy? Does not God our Father hide his face, because to see his face too much might make us exalted above measure?
Oh! we might be always on the mountain-top if we had not such dizzy heads and such slippery feet. We might always have our mouths full of sweetness if it were not that we are so weak that we cannot bear these sweet things always, and must have a draught of wormwood that we may be brought back again by a bitter tonic into a healthy state of soul. I pray you seek to lie flat on the ground before our God, for every inch we rise higher than that, is an inch too high; not an inch heavenward, but an inch hellward. Every grain of self-strength we gain is a grain of weakness, and every particle of self-reliance is but a new particle of poison infused into our veins. From all reliance upon self, and all carnal security, good Lord deliver us!
Though thou canst not pay the debt, for thou art utterly bankrupt, it is still thy duty to pay it. God has not remitted his law because thou hast lost power to obey. Nay, even the gospel itself does not take back one of its precepts because thou canst not fulfil them in and of thyself. Still doth God demand of thee that thou shouldst “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength;” though thou canst no more do this than thou canst fly.
I feel in my own conscience that I were not clear of man’s blood unless I did aver that any conversion which does not bear in it a consciousness of man’s total loss and ruin—any conversion which does not teach man the fact that he can do nothing, is a conversion from which he needs be converted, and a repentance which needs to be repented of.
I do not expect the natural man to receive a spiritual truth. If you have received it, I thank God for it. He that strippeth you will clothe you. He that has killed you this morning will quicken you. He that has made you feel that you can do nothing, will give you strength to do all things. If you could see the bottom of your own treasury that there is not a farthing left in it, if you could feel your own emptiness, I am sure you would soon see Christ’s fulness, and would discover that he is able to save unto the uttermost them that come unto God by him; that though we can do nothing he can do all things; that though we can neither begin nor end, “He is Apha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the author and the finisher of our faith.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon