Published June 11, 2013
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the great 19th century British preacher, was so popular that he was called the "Prince of Preachers." He is said to have preached to more than ten million people during his lifetime. And, indeed, his daily devotionals and other writings are still widely read today.
On last weekend's broadcast, I included a song from the Primitive Quartet called "Ye Must Be Born Again" that was, in fact, primarily a recitation originally written by Spurgeon and only slightly modified by the Primitives.
Because it's such a simple but powerful message as is the Gospel itself I wanted to provide it for you here.*[In John 3:7, Christ told Nicodemus "Ye must be born again."]
Regeneration is a subject which lies at the very basis of salvation, and we should be very diligent to take heed that we really are "born again," for there are many who fancy they are, who are not.
Be assured that the name of a Christian is not the nature of a Christian; and that being born in a Christian land, [or a Christian home] and being recognized as professing the Christian religion is of no avail whatever, unless there be something more added to it the being "born again" [by the power of the Holy Spirit].
[To be born again] is a matter so mysterious that human words cannot describe it. "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." Nevertheless, it is a change which [can be] known and felt known by works of holiness, and felt by a gracious experience.
This great work is supernatural. It is not an operation which a man [can] perform for himself: a new principle is infused, which works in the heart, renews the soul, and affects the entire man. It is not a change of my name, but a renewal of my nature, so that I am not the man I used to be, but a new man in Christ Jesus.
To wash and dress a corpse is a far different thing from making it alive: man can do the one, God alone can do the other. If you have then, been "born again," your acknowledgment will be, "O Lord Jesus, the everlasting Father, Thou art my spiritual Parent; unless Thy Spirit had breathed into me the breath of a new, holy, and spiritual life, I had been to this day dead in trespasses and sins.' My heavenly life is wholly derived from Thee; to Thee I ascribe it."
[Thank God] "my life is hid with Christ in God. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who liveth in me." May the Lord enable us to be well assured on this vital point, for to be unregenerate is to be unsaved, unpardoned, without God and without hope.
Spurgeon's first two (unbracketed) paragraphs above are as timely and crucial today as ever probably more than ever. Too many people call themselves Christians but don't even know what that truly means. They are not really "born again." They may put on the appearance but don't have the substance. These are those whom Spurgeon was addressing. And, as he said, "May the Lord enable us to be well assured on this vital point..."
*Changes to the original made by the Primitive Quartet are enclosed in square brackets.
PS: See my recent related column about "Facades" and my earlier columns, "Is He Truly Lord?" and "Where's The Evidence?"
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