Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Graces are better than gifts"

As the Life—So the Fruit

For if these thing be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:8)

"If we desire to glorify our Lord by fruitfulness, we must have certain things within us; for nothing can come out of us which is not first of all within us. We must begin with faith, which is the groundwork of all the virtues; and then diligently add to it virtue, knowledge, temperance, and patience. With these we must have godliness and brotherly love. All these put together will most assuredly cause us to produce, as our life fruit, the clusters of usefulness, and we shall not be mere idle knowers but real doers of the Word. These holy things must not only be in us, but abound, or we shall be barren. Fruit is the overflow of life, and we must be full before we can flow over.

"We have noticed men of considerable parts and opportunities who have never succeeded in doing real good in the conversion of souls; and after close observation we have concluded that they lacked certain graces which are absolutely essential to fruit bearing. For real usefulness, graces are better than gifts. As the man is, so is his work. If we would do better, we must be better. Let the text be a gentle hint to unfruitful professors and to myself also."

- Charles Spurgeon from "Faith's Check Book"

1 comment:

Kimberly said...


This post is a good transition for a topic I wanted to raise: I've heard you mention your belief that there are folks in churches and yes, (even serving in a ministry capacity) who -- while they may consider themselves to be Christians -- might not possess a saving faith or have a personal relationship with Jesus.

While I concur with this, there are two things I wanted to bring up for discussion's sake:

1. Does what's mentioned above possibly start here (consciously or not consciously): "Obedience is not all that important; I'm OK because of God's grace." (While this person may have prayed a prayer, etc., and doesn't walk away from the faith persay, there's just never much fruit or a real desire for the things of God.)

2. If salvation is a result of a person's acknowledgement of their sinful state, need for a Saviour, and subsequent acceptance/belief of/in Christ's death on the cross for thier sins -- what might be the "missing piece" that could put this person into the category described above (i.e. not really saved/having a personal relationship with Jesus)?

I hope these points are clear -- please feel free to ask for clarification, if they're not.

Thanks for any insights/discussion you might offer.