A Sermon
Intended for Reading on Lord's Day, April 29th, 1894
Delivered by
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

On Thursday Evening, February 23rd, 1888


Provided by
Spurgeon Ministries
Bath Road Baptist Church

To: Spurgeon's Sermons Index - This File Text Version

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday,
and to day, and for ever."
-- Hebrews 13:8

LET me read to you the verse that comes before our text. It is a good habit always to look at texts in their connection. It is wrong, I think, to lay hold of small portions of God's Word, and take them out of their connection as you might pluck feathers from a bird; it is an injury to the Word; and, sometimes, a passage of Scripture loses much of its beauty, its true teaching, and its real meaning, by being taken from the context. Nobody would think of mutilating Milton's poems so, taking a few lines out of Paradise Lost, and then imagining that he could really get at the heart of the poet's power. So, always look at texts in the connection in which they stand. The verse before our text is this, "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation: Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."

Observe, then, that God's people are a thoughtful people. If they are what they ought to be, they do a great deal of remembering and considering; that is the gist of this verse. If they are to remember and to consider their earthly leaders, much more are they to recollect that great Leader, the Lord Jesus, and all those matchless truths which fell from his blessed lips. I wish, in these days, that professing Christians did remember and did consider a great deal more; but we live in such a flurry, and hurry, and worry, that we do not get time for thought. Our noble forefathers of the Puritanic sort were men with backbone, men of solid tread, independent and self-contained men, who could hold their own in the day of conflict; and the reason was because they took time to meditate, time to keep a diary of their daily experiences, time to commune with God in secret. Take the hint, and try and do a little more thinking; in this busy London, and in these trying days, remember and consider.

My next remark is, that God's people are an imitative people, for we are told here that they are to remember them who are their leaders, those who have spoken to them the Word of God, "whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation." There is an itching, nowadays, after originality, striking out a path for yourself. When sheep do that, they are bad sheep. Sheep follow the shepherd; and, in a measure, they follow one another when they are all together following the shepherd. Our Great Master never aimed at originality; he said that he did not even speak his own words, but the words that he had heard of his Father. He was docile and teachable; as the Son of God, and the servant of God, his ear was open to hear the instructions of the Father, and he could say, "I do always those things that please him." Now, that is the true path for a Christian to take, to follow Jesus, and, in consequence, to follow all such true saints as may be worthy of being followed, imitating the godly so far as they imitate Christ. The apostle puts it, "whose faith follow." Many young Christians, if they were to pretend to strike out a path for themselves, must infallibly fall into many sorrows, whereas by taking some note of the way in which more experienced and more instructed Christians have gone, they will keep by the way of the footsteps of the flock, and they will also follow the footprints of the Shepherd. God's people are a thoughtful people, and they are an imitative and humble people, willing to be instructed, and willing to follow holy and godly examples.

One good reason, however, for imitating saints is given in our text; it is because our Lord and his faith are always the same: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." You see, if the old foundation shifted, if our faith was always changing, then we could not follow any of the saints who have gone before us. If we have a religion specially for the nineteenth century, it is ridiculous for us to imitate the men of the first century, and Paul and the apostles are just old fogies who are left behind in the far-distant ages. If we are to go on improving from century to century, I cannot point you to any of the reformers, or the confessors, or the saints in the brave days of old, and say to you, "Learn from their example," because, if religion has altogether changed and improved, it is a curious thing to say, but we ought to set an example to our ancestors. Of course, they cannot follow it because they have gone from the earth; but as we know so much better than our fathers, we cannot think of learning anything from them. As we have left the apostles all behind, and gone in for something quite new, it is a pity that we should not forget what they did, and what they suffered, and think that they were just a set of simpletons who acted up to their own light, but then they had not the light we have in this wonderful nineteenth century! O beloved, it almost makes my lips blister to talk after the present evil fashion, for grosser falsehood never could be uttered than the insinuation that we have shifted the everlasting foundations of our faith. Verily, if these foundations were removed, we might ask in many sense, "What shall the righteous do? Whom shall they copy? Whom shall they follow? The landmarks having gone, what remains to us of the holy treasury of example with which the Lord enriches those who follow Christ?"

To: Spurgeon's Sermons Index - About Charles H. Spurgeon

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:

Spurgeon Ministries

P.O. Box 1673
Kingston, Ontario