A Sermon
Published on Thursday, January 1st, 1914.
Delivered by
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

On Thursday Evening, September 3rd, 1868


Provided by Spurgeon Ministries, Bath Road Baptist Church

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"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."
-- Hebrews 13:5

OBSERVE the way in which the apostles were accustomed to incite believers in Christ to the performance of their duties. They did not tell them, "You must do this or that, or you will be punished; you must do this, and then you shall obtain a reward for it." They never cracked the whip of the law in the ears of the child of God. They knew the difference between the man who was actuated by sordid motives and the fear of punishment, and the new-born man who is moved by sublimer motives, namely, motives that touch his heart, that move his regenerated nature, and that constrain him, out of affection, to do the will of him that sent him. Hence the address here is not, "Be content, or else God will take away what you have," but "Be content, and have naught to do with covetousness, for he hath said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

The promise is made the argument for the precept. Obedience is enforced by a covenant blessing. He hath said, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee"; what then? Shall I be discontented and covetous? Nay! but for the very reason that he has made, by his promise, my very safety absolute and unconditional, assuring me, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee," for that reason I will keep out of my conversation covetousness and every other evil thing, and will seek to walk contentedly and happy in the presence of my God. See, brethren, this gospel motive. It is a free grace argument. It is not a weapon taken from the arsenal of Mount Sinai, but taken from the region of the cross, and from the council-chamber of the covenant of love.

Another thing in the text, to which I would call your notice is this: that an inspired apostle, who might very well have used his own original words, nevertheless in this case, as indeed in many others, quotes the Old Testament. "He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Behold, then, the value of Holy Scripture. If an inspired man quotes the text, as of divine authority, much more should we so regard it, who are without such inspiration. We should be much in searching the Scriptures, and when we want to clench an argument, or answer an opponent, it would always be well for us to take our weapon from the grand old Book, and come down with "He hath said." Oh! there is nothing like this for force and power. We may think a thing, but what of that? Our thinkings are but of little worth. General authority and universal opinion may sustain it, but what of that? The world has been more frequently wrong than right, and public opinion is a fickle thing. But "He hath said," that is to say, God hath said--immutable truth and eternal fidelity have said; God that made heaven and earth, and that changeth not, though nations melt like the hoar frost of the morning; God who ever liveth when hills, and mountains, and this round world, and everything upon it shall have passed away--"He hath said." Oh! the power there is in this, "He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." So, then, let us be much in searching the Scriptures, much in feeding upon them, much in diving into their innermost depths, and then afterwards much in the habit of quoting them, using them as arguments for the defence of truth, as weapons against error, and as reasons to call us to the path of duty, and to pursue it.

But now to come to the promise itself, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." I shall call your attention, first of all, to:--

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This file from the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit is provided to ICLnet and the internet community by the Bath Road Baptist Church, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The sermons are available in booklet form at the following address. There is no charge for this service:

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