How God Changes Hearts for His Glory

When the Father sends his Spirit to open blind eyes to the glories of Christ and to melt proud hearts, then hearts will indeed be won, and hatred for God turned to love.

Through his Word God enlightens minds in order that hearts might be healed and won to himself. Preachers, therefore, must avoid vacuousness in their preaching, and they must avoid heartless intellectualism. The object of all true preaching, after all, is the heart, and preaching has failed “unless it makes men tremble, makes them sad, and then anon brings them to Christ, and causes them to rejoice. Sermons are to be heard in thousands, and yet how little comes of them all, because the heart is not aimed at, or else the archers miss the mark.”

 

How Grace Triumphs

As Spurgeon saw it, the new birth of a Christian has to be a work of pure divine grace: the sinful human heart is impotent, unwilling, and wholly unworthy. In fact, he declared, God’s work of new creation is even more glorious than his original work of creation. After all, more than having to create out of nothing, in regenerating hearts God must overturn that which is overtly hostile to himself. Therefore, Spurgeon said, “I believe the Eternal might sooner forgive the sin of ascribing the creation of the heavens and the earth to an idol, than that of ascribing the works of grace to the efforts of the flesh, or to anyone but himself.”1

This provided him with great pastoral comfort as he worked amid all the mass degradation of working-class London. It meant that he was not left supposing that there are some more able and some so dehumanized as to be beyond hope. Rather, because regeneration is a matter of God’s grace and not human worthiness, “there is no indifference so callous, no ignorance so blind, no iniquity so base, no conscience so seared as not to be made to yield, when God wills it, before the might of His strength.”2 When the Father sends his Spirit to open blind eyes to the glories of Christ and to melt proud hearts, then hearts will indeed be won, and hatred for God turned to love. The means God uses are his own Word and truth. As such, the

sermons that are most likely to convert people seem to me to be those that are full of truth, truth about the fall, truth about the law, truth about human nature, and its alienation from God, truth about Jesus Christ, truth about the Holy Spirit, truth about the Everlasting Father, truth about the new birth, truth about obedience to God, and how we learn it, and all such great verities.3

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