O Death, Where is Thy Sting?

by John Murray (1898-1975)

Collected Sermons (2017) – Westminster Seminary Press

“There is a rich, spiritual meal awaiting you in the following pages of Murray’s sermons. It comes from one who spent his life devouring the God-breathed Scriptures in order to feed the sheep of Christ. Every word preached by Murray has its foundation in the Word inspired by God’s Spirit. A proper reading of these sermons will, if Murray’s desire becomes yours, contribute to a life of holiness that has its foundation in the Reformed theology of Scripture. Take, read, and meditate on these sermons. Reformed theology preached is unsurpassed as a catalyst to the worship of the one true and triune God.”

K. Scott Oliphint, from the introduction.

 

To purchase, click here: O Death, Where is Thy Sting? – John Murray

 

 

Chapter 1 – The Power of God unto Salvation

Romans 1:16-17

  • p3 – “We must always remember that the gospel is a proclamation. It is a message, and it is of that message that the apostle Paul is speaking when he says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel.” I am not ashamed of the gospel message. I am not ashamed to proclaim it. We must never forget that that Word of proclamation is the Word of power. It is the Word that transforms men, and it is that Word alone that transforms them, that translates them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God.”
  • p4 – “It is only through the gospel that the Holy Spirit is working unto salvation. And where that gospel is absent, then there is not the regenerating and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit…it is the gospel that is the Word of reconciliation and the Word of salvation unto a lost and perishing world.”
  • p4 – “Therefore, he is drawing our attention to this great pronouncement that it is the gospel that is the Word of reconciliation and the Word of salvation unto a lost and perishing world.”
  • p4 – “The Word of the gospel is the omnipotent power of God operative unto salvation – salvation from sin in its defilement, in its degradation, in its guilt, and in its power. It lifts men out of the degradation and squalor of iniquity and makes them the sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty, clothing them with righteousness and establishing them in the ways of integrity.”
  • p5 – “It is well for us to appreciate this combination in the gospel [power and righteousness] because the gospel is never simply bare omnipotence. Bare omnipotence, as exercised by God himself, could never save a single soul. If we emphasize the omnipotence of God to the prejudice of righteousness, then we fail to appreciate what is at the very center of the provision of God’s grace. Bare omnipotence could, indeed, create this mighty universe. God created the world simply by the command of his will…But not so with salvation. There are certain exigencies that are at stake in this matter of salvation so that salvation can never be wrought by the exercise of bare omnipotence.”
  • p5 – “But not so with salvation. There are certain exigencies that are at stake in this matter of salvation so that salvation can never be wrought by the exercise of bare omnipotence.”
  • p6 – “What is, after all, the essence of sin? People will say sometimes that sin is selfishness. Well, that’s woefully inadequate definition of sin! All selfishness is sin, but sin is not simply selfishness. There’s something far more serious about sin than the fact that we are absorbed in ourselves. Sin is the contradiction of God. When sin came into the world, something came into the world that was the very contradiction of God—the contradiction of his sovereignty, the contradiction of his authority, the contradictions of his holiness, and yes, the contradiction of his righteousness.”
  • p6 – “The wrath of God, of course, is God’s necessary reaction to that which is the contradiction of himself. There must be the wrath of God wherever there is sin because sin is the contradiction of God!…The only thing that can meet human degeneracy is the righteousness of God! And the only thing that can meet God’s own wrath is his own righteousness.”
  • p7 – “The only thing that can meet human degeneracy is the righteousness of God! And the only thing that can meet God’s own wrath is his own righteousness.”
  • p7 – “If there is going to be salvation, then there must be righteousness—righteousness to meet the contradiction that sin offers and righteousness to meet even his own wrath.”
  • p7 – “‘I’m not ashamed of the gospel.’ Why? ‘Because it is the power of God unto salvation.’ And why is it the power of God unto salvation? ‘Because therein the righteousness of God is revealed.'”
  • p11 – “That’s the greatest contradiction to the gospel: human righteousness offered to meet the contradiction of sin and the wrath of God. Oh what a complete insult to God to offer human self-righteousness to the contradiction of sin and to the wrath of God. But in the gospel we have a righteousness that is divine, and that’s the righteousness that can go down to the deepest depths of our degradation and can lift us up from the dunghill and place us among princes and princesses. That righteousness alone is equal to our situation.”
  • p11 – “That’s the grandeur of the gospel: we become the righteousness of God in Christ!”
  • p12 – “First of all, it is the righteousness of God revealed. When Paul here uses that word revealed, he’s not talking simply about that which is made known to us for information. He’s using the word revealed in the sense that you find it frequently in the Old Testament and particularly in the prophet Isaiah: the Word of God in saving action.”
  • p13 – “And faith in its essence is simply self-commitment; it’s entrustment.”
  • p13 – “When Christ becomes the only one who can stand between us and the degradation and contradiction of sin, when Christ becomes to us the only one who can stand between us and the holy wrath of God, then he has become all to us. We have committed ourselves to him, we have entrusted ourselves to him, we have become united to him. And being united to him, we become the righteousness of God in him.”
  • p14 – “Oh, my friend, however degraded you may feel yourself to be, however bound in the bondage of sin you may feel yourself to be, however great may be your consciousness of the contradiction that you are to the gospel and to that which God demands of you, remember that the greatest insult you could offer to God is to offer insult to the sufficiency and the perfection of his righteousness!”
  • p15 – “That’s the greatest insult because you are offering insult to that which is sufficient for the deepest depths of human degradation and meets the highest demands of God’s glory. There is nothing in this universe that offers greater contradiction to God than to offer contradiction to the overture of his righteousness in Christ Jesus!”
  • p15 – “For such people [pilgrims], the more they pilgrimage to the city which hath the foundations [Hebrews 11:10], the more they are being convinced of their own utter helplessness and their own utter vileness. You might think that’s a contradiction, but it is always the case that wherever there is true advance in holiness, in sainthood, that person becomes more and more deeply convinced of his own utter depravity.”
  • p16 – “This is the grandeur of the gospel. I have the confidence that as I make this righteousness my plea, I have not simply something that God will justify, but I have something that God cannot but justify, because it is the righteousness of the Redeemer, a righteousness that is undefiled and undefilable. Remember, my friend, though your faith be at the lowest ebb of a possible exercise, though it be the weakest faith that exists, nevertheless, if it is a faith that looks to Christ as the only plea against human sin on the one hand and God’s wrath on the other, then that is the righteousness that is the power of God unto salvation. It’s yours just as fully with the weakest faith as it is yours with the strongest faith. It is a righteousness of God from faith to faith to everyone that believes.”
  • p17 – “What an awful commentary upon the depravity of human nature when we can be unmoved and indifferent in the presence of that grand thing [gospel of God’s provision] that will be the preoccupation of the saints of God throughout eternal ages.”