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Spurgeon’s "Building the Church"

Posted by on Jul 30, 2008 in church history, gathering, ordinances/sacraments | 14 comments

These are excerpts from Charles H. Spurgeon’s sermon entitled “Building the Church” (or “Additions to the Church”) concerning Acts 2 which he gave on April 5, 1874.

I want you to notice this, that they were breaking bread from house to house, and ate their food with gladness and singleness of heart. They did not think that religion was meant only for Sundays, and for what men now-a-days call the House of God. Their own houses were houses of God, and their own meals were so mixed and mingled with the Lord’s Supper that to this day the most cautious student of the Bible cannot tell when they stopped eating their common meals, and when they began eating the Supper of the Lord. They elevated their meals into diets for worship: they so consecrated everything with prayer and praise that all around them was holiness to the Lord. I wish our houses were, in this way, dedicated to the Lord, so that we worshipped God all day long, and made our homes temples for the living God… 

Does God need a house? He who made the heavens and the earth, does he dwell in temples made with hands? What crass ignorance this is! No house beneath the sky is more holy than the place where a Christian lives, and eats, and drinks, and sleeps, and praises the Lord in all that he does, and there is no worship more heavenly than that which is presented by holy families, devoted to the fear of the Lord.

To sacrifice home worship to public worship is a most evil course of action. Morning and evening devotion in a little home is infinitely more pleasing in the sight of God than all the cathedral pomp which delights the carnal eye and ear. Every truly Christian household is a church, and as such it is competent for the discharge of any function of divine worship, whatever it may be. Are we not all priests? Why do we need to call in others to make devotion a performance? Let every man be a priest in his own house. Are you not all kings if you love the Lord? Then make your houses palaces of joy and temples of holiness. One reason why the early church had such a blessing was because her members had such homes. When we are like them we will have “added to the church those who were being saved.

(HT: Jeff)


14 Comments

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  1. 7-30-2008

    Wow, that isn’t something I would have thought of coming from Spurgeon, I will have to read the entire sermon.
    Thanks for the tip Alan.

  2. 7-30-2008

    Jason,

    I was surprised at this quote when I saw it on Jeff’s blog. That’s why I looked up the entire sermon for the context. I’ve never heard anything like this from Spurgeon. Of course, those who generally quote Spurgeon are usually interested in other topics.

    -Alan

  3. 7-30-2008

    That is fascinating. Spurgeon is well respected by Christians that “go to church” today, yet if I were to make such a statement I would be renounced by those same people. They would take nothing I said seriously.

  4. 7-31-2008

    Mark,

    I’ve found that many important figures in church history recognized the discrepancy between Scripture and church practices of their day. But, many didn’t know what to do about it, or were not allowed to do anything about it by their leaders.

    -Alan

  5. 5-31-2011

    Muy interesante! I’d love to translate this excerpt without identifying it as coming from Spurgeon) and then hand it out at one of the next Baptist pastor meetings. I can only imagine the scandal it would cause and consternation when the true author was identified. I might just do it anyway!

  6. 5-31-2011

    Reminds me of a time I was visiting Spain. I took a long car ride through the countryside from Madrid to Sevilla. As I came up over a rise in the rolling hills, I looked down before me upon a small town in the distance. In the center of the town was a church with a tall white steeple. I said to the Lord, “that’s what it should look like everywhere. The church at the center of every town”. The Holy Spirit said “No, look again”. I looked and realized there was an antenna in the form of a cross on EVERY house in the town. The moment I saw this, the Holy Spirit said “That’s the way it should be”. I’ve never forgotten that.

  7. 5-31-2011

    Guy,

    I’d love to hear the responses as well.

    Colleen,

    Thanks for the comments. Yes! The church is everywhere.

    -Alan

  8. 11-2-2012

    Good quote. Thanks!

    I was thinking yesterday that with all the emphasis body-life folk (such as myself) give to participation by the whole assembly when the church gathers, if individual believers are not walking with the Lord throughout each week, they will not have much to contribute even when the meeting welcomes their contributions.

  9. 11-5-2012

    Rick,

    Yes, exactly. Our ability to build up others is related to how much God has built us up individually.

    -Alan

  10. 4-16-2013

    Truly amazing – coming from Spurgeon! I just saw that this was posted on 2008. Alan, you are a prophet! ;-)

  11. 4-16-2013

    Awesome. Thank you for posting. I will be sharing this for sure.

  12. 4-17-2013

    Thanks, Alan, for this interesting excerpt from Spurgeon.

  13. 6-6-2013

    A very interesting post on Spurgeon’s sermon. I was surprised by what he said but blessed as well. If our worship does not begin in the home, why do we think our worship in a church building will be any better? Good thoughts on this. Thank you for sharing this!

  14. 6-9-2013

    Barbara,

    Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed this post.

    -Alan

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  2. Charles Spurgeon On Simple Church? | Simple Church Alliance - [...] think Alan Knox for first bringing this excerpt to my attention.  Alan’s blog can be found here and is …