Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle: 365 Sermons - Thursday, September 12, 2013
The clean and the unclean
‘Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is cloven footed, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.’ Leviticus 11:2–3
There are two tests, but they must both be united. The beast that was clean was to chew the cud: here is the inner-life; every true-hearted man must know how to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the sacred Word. The man who does not feed upon gospel truth is no heir of heaven. You must know a Christian by his inwards, by that which supports his life and sustains his frame. But then the clean creatures were also known by their walk. The Jew at once discovered the unclean animal by its having an undivided hoof; but if the hoof was thoroughly divided, then it was clean, provided that it also chewed the cud. So there must be in the true Christian a peculiar walk such as God requires. You cannot tell a man by either of these tests alone; you must have them both. But while you use them upon others, apply them to yourselves. What do you feed on? What is your habit of life? Do you chew the cud by meditation? When your soul feeds on the flesh and blood of Christ have you learned that his flesh is meat indeed, and that his blood is drink indeed? If so ’tis well. What about your life? Are your conversation and your daily walk according to the description of believers in Christ which is given in the Word? If not, the first test will not stand alone. You may profess the faith within, but if you do not walk aright without, you belong to the unclean. On the other hand, you may walk aright without, but unless there is the chewing of the cud within, unless there is a real feeding upon precious truth in the heart, all the right walking in the world will not prove you to be a Christian.
For meditation: Claiming the inward without displaying the outward is hypocrisy (James 2:26); displaying the outward without desiring the inward is self-righteousness (Luke 18:9–14). Saving faith both admits the need of the inward and displays the outward (Philippians 2:12–13; James 2:22).