Constraining Grace

It will be necessary to premise, that when we here affirm that men should be such and such a thing, we refer to the people of God. We do not wish to speak to them in any legal way. We are not under the law, but under grace. Christian men hold themselves bound to keep all God’s precepts: but the reason why they do so is, not because the law is binding upon them, but because the gospel constrains them: they believe, that having been redeemed by blood divine; having been purchased by Jesus Christ, they are more bound to keep his commands than they would have been if they were under the law; they hold themselves to be ten thousand-fold more debtors to God, than they could have been under the Mosaic dispensation. Not of force; not of compulsion; not through fear of the whip; not through legal bondage; but through pure, disinterested love and gratitude to God, they lay themselves out for his service, seeking to be Israelites indeed, in whom there is no guile. This much I have declared lest any man should think that I am preaching works as the way to salvation; I will yield to none in this. That I will ever maintain—that by grace we are saved, and not by ourselves; but equally must I testify, that where the grace of God is, it will produce fitting deeds. To these I am ever bound to exhort you, while ye are ever expected to have good works for necessary purposes.

Charles Spurgeon

The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, vol. 1 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1855), 158. Vol. 1, Sermon No. 20; Titled: Christ’s People – Imitators of Him; Delivered on Sabbath Click here for a free PDF of this sermon.

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