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Charles Finney Print E-mail

Christian Charactercharles-finney

"Whosoever is born of God do not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."
1 John 3:9.

Christian Perfection Part 1

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matthew v. 48.

In the 43rd verse, the Savior says, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy; but I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others?  Do not even the publicans so?  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

Christian Perfection Part 2

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."Matthew v. 48.
In speaking from these words, two weeks ago, I pursued the following order.

CHRIST OUR ADVOCATE

"And if any man sin we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous. And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world,"-1 John ii. 1, 2
 
THE Bible abounds with governmental analogies. These are designed for our instruction; but if we receive instruction from them, it is because there is a real analogy in many points between the government of God and human governments.

Conditions of Being Saved

"What must I do to be saved?" Acts16:30.
I bring forward this subject today not because it is new to many in this congregation, but because it is greatly needed. I am happy to know that the great inquiry of our text is beginning to be deeply and extensively agitated in this community, and under these circumstances it is the first duty of a Christian pastor to answer it, fully and plainly.

Conformity to the World

Be not conformed to this world.  Romans 10:2
It will be recollected by some who are present, that some time since I made use of this text in preaching in this place, but the object of this evening's discourse is so far different that it is not improper to employ the same text again. The following is the order in which I design to discuss the subject of CONFORMITY TO THE WORLD.

Converting sinners a Christian duty

"Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." James  19,20.
A subject of present duty and of great practical importance is brought before us in this text. That we may clearly apprehend it, let us inquire.

Death to Sin through Christ

"Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." -- Romans 6:11.
THE connection of this passage will help us to understand its meaning. Near the close of the previous chapter Paul had said, "The law entered that the offence might abound; but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound, that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord."

Directions to Sinners

"What must I do to be saved?" Acts 16:30
These are the words of the jailer at Philippi - the question which he put to Paul and Silas, who were then under his care as prisoners. Satan had, in many ways, opposed these servants of God in their work of preaching the Gospel, and had been as often defeated and disgraced. But here he devised a new and peculiar project for frustrating their labors.

False Comfort for Sinners

Jobs' three friends insisted that the afflictions which he suffered were sent as a punishment for his sins, and were evidence conclusive that he was a hypocrite, and not a good man, as he professed to be.

God's Love Commended to Us

WHAT is meant here by "commend?" To recommend; to set forth in a clear and strong light. Towards whom is this love exercised? Towards us -- towards all beings of our lost race. To each one of us He manifests this love. Is it not written, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life?"

GOD'S LOVE FOR A SINNING WORLD

Sin is the most expensive thing in the universe. Nothing else can cost so much. Pardoned or unpardoned, its cost is infinitely great. Pardoned, the cost falls chiefly on the great atoning Substitute; unpardoned, it must fall on the head of the guilty sinner.

Governing the Tongue

In remarking upon these words, I will notice:
I. THE RULE BY WHICH THE TONGUE IS TO BE GOVERNED.
II. THE CONDITIONS UPON WHICH IT IS TO BE GOVERNED.
III. SHOW THAT WHERE THE TONGUE IS NOT GOVERNED, THERE IS AND CAN BE NO TRUE RELIGION.

How to Change Your Heart

EZEKIEL xviii. 31. "Make you a new heart and a new spirit, for why will ye die?"
In the former discourse upon this text, I discussed three points, viz.
1. The meaning of the command in the text.
2. Its reasonableness.
3. Its consistency with those passages which declare a new heart to be the gift and work of God.

Justification by Faith

"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." [Gal 2.16.]
THIS last sentiment is expressed in the same terms, in the 3d chapter of Romans. The subject of the present lecture, as I announced last week, is Justification by Faith.

Love of the World

In discussing this subject, I shall pursue the following order:
I. What we are to understand by the love of the world.
II. Who love the world in this sense.
III. That they do not love God.

Means to be Used with Sinners

"Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen." Isaiah. 43:10
In the text it is affirmed of the children of God, that they are His witnesses. In several preceding Lectures I have been dwelling on the subject of prayer, or on that department of means for the promotion of a revival, which is intended to move God to pour out His Spirit. I am now to commence the other department, dealing with the means to be used for the conviction and conversion of sinners.

MORAL INSANITY

"The heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live."-Eccl. ix. 3.
 
THE Bible often ascribes to unconverted men one common heart or disposition. It always makes two classes, and only two, of our race--saints and sinners; the one class converted from their sin and become God's real friends; the other remaining His unconverted enemies.

ON REFUGES OF LIES

"Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place."-Isaiah xxviii. 17.
 
ALL men know themselves to be sinners against God. They know also, that, as sinners, they are in peril and are not safe.

ON THE ATONEMENT

IN this last passage, the apostle states, with unusual fullness, the theological, and, I might even say, the philosophical design of Christ's mission to our world--that is, o set forth before created beings, God's righteousness in forgiving sins.

PRAYER AND LABOR FOR THE GATHERING OF THE GREAT HARVEST

"But when He sow the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest."-Matthew. ix. 36-38.

QUENCHING THE SPIRIT

"Quench not the Spirit."-1 Thess. v. 19.

Stewardship

A steward is one who is employed to transact the business of another, as his agent or representative in the business in which he is employed.

The Backslider in Heart

I cannot conclude this course of lectures, without warning converts against backsliding. In discussing this subject, I will show: 
 
   I. What backsliding in heart is not. 
   II. What backsliding in heart is. 
   III. What are evidences of backsliding in heart. 
   IV. What are consequences of backsliding in heart. 
   V. How to recover from this state.

THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE

"Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled."-Matt. v. 6. 
  
THERE are a great many things in the experience of Christians, which,
traced out in their natural history, are exceeding interesting.

THE EXCUSES OF SINNERS CONDEMN GOD

"Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? Wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?"-Job xl. 8. 
  
ALTHOUGH in the main, Job had spoken correctly of God, yet in his great
anguish and perturbation under his sore trials, he had said some things which were hasty and abusive. For these the Lord rebuked him.

The Holy Spirit of Promise

Text. Gal. 3:14.--That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. This text teaches us:
I. THAT THE BLESSING OF ABRAHAM HAS COME ON THE GENTILES THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.
II. IT TEACHES WHAT THIS BLESSING IS.
III. THAT IT IS TO BE RECEIVED BY FAITH.

THE INNER AND THE OUTER REVELATION

THERE are many who believe that a loose indefinite infidelity has rarely, if ever, been more prevalent in our country than at this time, especially among young men. I am not prepared to say it is an honest infidelity, yet it may very probably be real.

The Prayer of Faith

"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."  MARK xi. 24. THESE words have been by some supposed to refer exclusively to the faith of miracles. But there is not the least evidence of this.

THE SAVIOUR LIFTED UP, AND THE LOOK OF FAITH

"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (This he said, signifying what death he should die.)"-John xii. 32, 33. 
  
IN order to make this subject plain, I will read the passage referred
to-Num. xxi. 6-9. "And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

THE SINNER'S EXCUSES ANSWERED

Elihu also proceeded and said, Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God's behalf. I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker."-Job xxxvi. 1-3

THE SINNER'S NATURAL POWER AND MORAL WEAKNESS

"Of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage."-2 Peter ii. 19. 
  
I PROPOSE in my present discourse to discuss the moral state of the
sinner.

THE SPIRIT NOT STRIVING ALWAYS

"And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man."-Gen. vi. 3.

The Spirit of Prayer

My last lecture[s] but one was on the subject of Effectual Prayer; in which I observed that one of the most important attributes of effectual or prevailing prayer is FAITH.

THE WAGES OF SIN

"The wages of sin is death."-Romans 6:23

THE death here spoken of is that which is due as the penal sanction of God's law.


THE WICKED HEART SET TO DO EVIL

"Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil."-Eccl. viii. 11. 
  
THIS text manifestly assumes that the present is not a state of rewards
and punishments, in which men are treated according to their character and conduct.

To Win Souls Requires Wisdom

The most common definition of wisdom is, that it is the choice of the best end and the selection of the most appropriate means for the accomplishment of that end. "He that winneth souls," God says, "is wise." The object of this Lecture is to direct Christians in the use of means for accomplishing their infinitely desirable end, the salvation of souls.

TRUSTING IN THE MERCY OF GOD

"I will trust in the mercy of God forever and ever."-Ps. 52:8.

VICTORY OVER THE WORLD THROUGH FAITH

"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."-1 John 5:4. 
  
THE discussion of this text naturally leads us to make four inquiries 

   I. What is it to overcome the world? 
   II. Who are they that overcome? 
   III. Why do they overcome the world? 
   IV. How do they do it?

WHERE SIN OCCURS GOD CANNOT WISELY PREVENT IT

"It is impossible but that offences come; but woe unto him through whom they come!"-Luke xvii. 1. 
  
AN "offence" as used in this passage, is an occasion of falling into
sin. It is anything which causes another to sin and fall.  It is plain that the author of the offence is in this passage conceived of as voluntary and as sinful in his act; else the woe of God would not be denounced upon him.

 
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