Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spurgeon: what is it to preach the gospel?


Bob's Note: The following from Spurgeon is an example of why we prefer reading a Spurgeon sermon over anything we have heard preached today by any of those who claim to be "Reformed," "Sovereign Gracers," "Five Pointers" and "Founders."

C. H. Spurgeon
New Park Street Pulpit, Vol. 1, Year 1855, Sermon No. 34.
The following excerpt is from page 263:

Am I asked what it is to preach the gospel?

I answer, to preach the gospel is to exalt Jesus Christ. Perhaps this is the best answer that I could give. I am very sorry to see very often how little the gospel is understood even by some of the best Christians.

Some time ago there was a young woman under great distress of soul; she came to a very pious Christian man, who said “My dear girl, you must go home and pray.”

Well I thought within myself, that is not the Bible way at all. It never says, “Go home and pray.”

The poor girl went home; she did pray, and she still continued in distress. Said he, “You must wait, you must read the Scriptures and study them.”

That is not the Bible way; that is not exalting Christ; I find a great many preachers are preaching that kind of doctrine. They tell a poor convinced sinner, “You must go home and pray, and read the Scriptures; you must attend the ministry;” and so on.

Works, works, works -- instead of “By grace are ye saved through faith.”

If a penitent should come and ask me, “What must I do to be saved?” I would say, “Christ must save you -- believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

I would neither direct to prayer, nor reading of the Scriptures nor attending God’s house; but simply direct to faith, naked faith on God’s gospel.

Not that I despise prayer -- that must come after faith. Not that I speak a word against the searching of the Scriptures -- that is an infallible mark of God’s children. Not that I find fault with attendance on God’s word -- God forbid! I love to see people there. But none of those things are the way of salvation.

It is nowhere written -- "He that attendeth chapel shall be saved,” or, “He that readeth the Bible shall be saved.” Nor do I read -- “He that prayeth and is baptised shall be saved;” but, “He that believeth,” -- he that has a naked faith on the “Man Christ Jesus,” -- on his Godhead, on his manhood, is delivered from sin. To preach that faith alone saves, is to preach God’s truth.

Nor will I for one moment concede to any man the name of a gospel minister, if he preaches anything as the plan of salvation except faith in Jesus Christ, faith, faith, nothing but faith in his name.

But we are, most of us, very much muddled in our ideas. We get so much work stored into our brain, such an idea of merit and of doing, wrought into our hearts, that it is almost impossible for us to preach justification by faith clearly and fully; and when we do, our people won’t receive it. We tell them, “Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” But they have a notion that faith is something so wonderful, so mysterious, that it is quite impossible that without doing something else they can ever get it.

Now, that faith which unites to the Lamb is an instantaneous gift of God, and he who believes on the Lord Jesus is that moment saved, without anything else whatsoever.


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