Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) on Christian maturity

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“Look at the corn in the field, it holds its head erect while it is green, but when the ear is filled and matured, it hangs its head in graceful humbleness. Look at your fruit trees, how their blossoming branches shoot up towards the sky, but when they begin to be loaded with fruit, since the riper the fruit the greater its weight, the branch begins to bow, until it needs oftentimes to be propped up and to be supported, lest it break away from the stem. Weight comes with maturity, lowliness of mind is the inevitable consequence.

Growing Christians think themselves nothing. Full-grown Christians know that they are less than nothing. The nearer we are to Heaven in point of sanctification, the more we mourn our infirmities, and the humbler is our estimate of ourselves. Lightly laden vessels float high in the water, heavy cargo sinks the boat to the water’s edge. The more Grace, the more the need of Grace is felt. He may boast of his Grace who has none. He may talk much of his Grace who has little, but he who is rich in Grace cries out for more, and forgets that which is behind.

When a man’s inward life flows like a river, he thinks only of the Source, and cries before his God, ‘All my fresh springs are in You.’ He who abounds in holiness feels more than ever that in him, that is in his flesh, there dwells no good thing. You are not ripened, my Brothers and Sisters, while you have a high esteem of yourself. He who glories in himself is but a babe in Christ, if indeed he is in Christ at all. When you shall see death written on the creature, and see all your life in Christ. When you shall perceive even your holy things to have iniquity in them, and see all your perfectness in Him who is altogether lovely. When you shall lie prostrate at the foot of the Throne, and only rise to sit and reign in Him who is your All, then are you ripening, but not till then.”

– Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), Ripe Fruit, Sermon No. 945, August 14, 1870

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