From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled
“An Old-Fashioned Conversation,” delivered March 16, 1873.
The Lord shuts us up to hopelessness and helplessness in order that he may come, as a God of grace, and display his abounding mercy. All our hope lies in him, and all other hopes are delusions. The great work in conversion is not to make people better, so that they may come to God on a good footing, it is to strip them completely and lay them low, so that God may come to them when they are on a bad footing, or rather on no footing at all, but down in the dust at his feet. The Son of man is come to seek and to cave that which is lost, but it wants* God himself to convince men that they are lost; and the Spirit’s work of soul-humbling is just this – to get man to feel so diseased that he will accept the physician; to get him to feel so poor that he will accept the charity of heaven; to get him to know that he is so stripped, that he will no longer be proud of his fig leaves, but will be willing to take the robe of righteousness which Christ has wrought out.
Conviction is sent to kill the man, to break him in pieces, to bury him, to let him know his own corruption; and all this as a preliminary to his quickening and restoration. We must see the bones in the valley to be dead and dry, or we shall not hear the voice out of the excellent glory, saying, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Ye dry bones live!’” May God in his mercy teach us what all this means, and may we all experience an old-fashioned conversion.
* – that is, it requires
Source : http://www.thedailyspurgeon.com/
These are precious, precious words, impeccably stated and worthy of committing to practical memory. They present a perfect explanation to the Christian of what salvation entails in the life of the saved.
So often it is that one gleans from the banter of certain Christians, while they discuss or contemplate the life(style) of a true brother or sister, that insufficient remarkable change has taken place in the visible life(style) of the subject, to yet regard them as reliably part of the Body. That is, of course, according to their own estimation and understanding of God’s purpose with each elect sheep. That is, additionally, an equally great challenge to the Church, to “get the call” right! Can they do so? Certainly and with ease. May they? When? That is far less clear.
In order for God to display to man the fathomless bounds of His Grace, He needs to use the lost, the reprobate, the willful sinners and the convicted sinners; failing which salvation would have no reason or right.
Yes, Lord let it be so! Not by how we live according to the calculated reasoning and expectations of men, in the “here and now” frame of our momentary lives, relationships and limited understanding. But rather by leaving that all to the perfect judgement of God and the individual relationship between Jesus and His elect sheep.