Excerpt from:Soul-Saving Our One Business
Paul does not even say that he tried to moralize men. The best promoter of morality is the gospel. When a man is saved, he becomes moral; he becomes more, he becomes holy. But to aim first at morality is altogether to miss the mark; and if we did attain it,—as we shall not,—yet we should not have attained that for which we were sent into the world. Dr. Chalmers’ experience is a very valuable one to those who think that the Christian ministry ought to preach up mere morality, for he says that in his first parish he preached morality, and saw no good whatever arising out of his exhortations. But, as soon as he began to preach Christ crucified, then there was a buzz, and a stir, and much opposition, but grace prevailed. He who wishes for perfumes must grow the flowers; he who desires to promote morality must have men saved. He who wants motion in a corpse should first seek life for it, and he who desires to see a rightly ordered life should first desire an inward renewal by the Holy Spirit. We are not to be satisfied when we have taught men their duties towards their neighbours, or even their duties towards God; this would suffice for Moses, but not for Christ. The law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. We teach men what they ought to be, but we do far more; by the power of the gospel, applied by the Holy Ghost, we make them what they ought to be by the power of God’s Spirit. We put not before the blind the things that they ought to see, but we open their eyes in the name of Jesus. We tell not the captive how free he ought to be, but we open the door, and take away his fetters. We are not content to tell men what they must be, but we show them how this character can be obtained, and how Jesus Christ freely presents all that is essential to eternal life to all those who come and put their trust in Him.
Now observe, brethren, if I, or you, or any of us, or all of us, shall have spent our lives merely in amusing men, or educating men, or moralizing men, when we shall come to give in our account at the last great day, we shall be in a very sorry condition, and we shall have but a very sorry record to render; for of what avail will it be to a man to be educated when he comes to be damned? Of what service will it be to him to have been amused when the trumpet sounds, and heaven and earth are shaking, and the pit opens wide her jaws of fire, and swallows up the soul unsaved? Of what avail even to have moralized a man if still he is on the left hand of the Judge, and if still, “Depart, ye cursed,” shall be his portion? Blood-red with the murder of men’s souls will be the skirts of professing Christians, unless the drift, and end, and aim of all their work has been to “save some.” Oh! I beseech you, especially you, dear friends, who are working in Sunday and Ragged Schools, and elsewhere, do not think that you have done anything unless the children’s souls are saved. Settle it that this is the top and bottom of the business, and throw your whole strength, in the name of Christ, and by the power of the Eternal Spirit, into this object—if by any means you may save some, and bring some to Jesus that they may be delivered from the wrath to come. [Click here for rest of Sermon]
Charles Haddon Spurgeon