Spurgeon on the Ten Commandments

Charles Spurgeon » Dead Guys Doctrine Sanctification

Like a loving father instructing his children, God gave his people his law—summarized in the Ten Commandments. To help kick off Pastor Mark’s new sermon series, we gathered some quotes about the Ten Commandments from the sermons of the "Prince of Preachers," Charles Spurgeon.

God’s law in man’s heart

From “God’s Law in Man’s Heart,” June 28th, 1885.

  • “It is a perfect law, in which the interests of God and man are both studied; it is not a partial law, but impartial, complete, and covering all the circumstances of life.
  • “When the Lord thus writes his law upon our heart, he makes us to know the far-reaching power and scope of the commandment. He causes us to understand that it touches not only actions and words, but thoughts, ay, and the most transient imaginations, the things that are scarcely born within us, the sights that pass in a moment across the mind, like a stray passenger who passes in front of the camera when a photographer is taking a view. The Spirit of God teaches us that even these momentary impressions are sinful, and that the very thought of foolishness is sin.”
  •  “A man with whom God the Holy Spirit deals is one who does not have to go to the 20th of Exodus to know what the law is; he does not need to stop and ask concerning most things, “Is this right?” or, “Is this wrong?” but he carries within him a balance and a scale, a standard and test by which he can try these things for himself.
  •  “When God writes the law in a man’s heart, he takes the law more to himself than he applies it to anybody else, and his cry is not, “See how my neighbors sin,” but, “See how I sin.” His clamor is not against his brother’s fault, but against his own fault. No longer does he look out for motes in other men’s eyes, but he is most concerned about the beam which he is quite aware is in his own eye, and he prays the Lord to remove it.”
  •  “There is an old Latin proverb which says that ‘things that are written remain,’ and I quote that proverb here believing that it is intended in the text (Hebrews 8:10) to teach us that, when God’s law is written in our hearts, it is retained there.
  •  “The more we know of God, of this life, of the life to come, of heaven and hell, of the person of Christ, of the atonement, and of every other subject that is taught us in the Scriptures, the more we see the evil of sin, and the more we see the delights of holiness.”
  • “Man would not keep the law, he refused to obey it; so God comes, in the splendor of his grace, and changes his will, renews his heart, alters his affections, so that, what man would not do, God does.
  • “See, dear friends, how different is the Lord’s way of working and ours. If you knock down a man who is living an evil life, and put him in chains, you can make him honest by force… but that is not God’s way of acting. He who put man in the Garden of Eden, and never put any palisades around the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but left man a free agent, does just the same in the operations of his grace. He leaves his people to the influences that are within them, and yet they go right, because they are so changed and renewed by his grace that they delight to do that which once they loathed to do. I admire the grace of God in acting thus.”

The perpetuity of the law of God

From “The Perpetuity of the Law of God,” May 21, 1882.

  • “The ten commands are full of meaning—meaning which many seem to ignore. For instance, many a man will allow in and around his house inattention to the rules of health and sanitary precaution, but it does not occur to him that he is trampling on the command, “Thou shalt not kill.” Yet this rule forbids our doing anything which may cause injury to our neighbor’s health, and so deprive him of life.”

The blood of sprinkling

From “The Blood of Sprinkling,” February 28th, 1886.

  • “By the works of the law none can be justified, for by that law we are all condemned. Read the Ten Commandments, and pause at each one, and confess that you have broken it either in thought, or word, or deed. Remember that by a glance we may commit adultery, by a thought we may be guilty of murder, by a desire we may steal. Sin is any want of conformity to perfect holiness, and that want of conformity is justly chargeable upon every one of us. Yet the Lord does not, under the gospel dispensation, deal with us according to law. He does not now sit on the throne of judgment, but he looks down upon us from the throne of grace.”


Want more on the Ten Commandments? Check out Pastor Mark Driscoll’s new sermon series, Ten Commandments: Set Free to Live Free, which focuses on life under the protection, wisdom, and goodness of a Father who loves us.

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