Saturday, March 08, 2008

Spurgeon preached to the "dead"


C. H. Spurgeon believed the Gospel was the great essential "means" used by the Holy Spirit in the New Birth, and this is one of the reasons for his success in making converts to Christ. He believed in preaching the Gospel to the "dead" as indispensable to bringing "dead" sinners to life in Christ.

Here is an example of how Spurgeon preached to the dead:

Now, the gospel regards every man to whom it comes as unable to do anything good. It addresses you, not merely as paralyzed, but it goes farther, and describes you as dead. The gospel speaks to the dead.

I have often heard it said that the duty of the Christian minister is to arouse the activities of sinners. I believe the very reverse: he should rather labor to smite their self-trusting activities dead, and to make them know that all that they can do of themselves is worse than nothing. They can do nothing, for how can the dead move in their graves? How can the dead in sin accomplish their own quickening? The power which can save does not lie in the sinner: it lies in his God. . . .

An equally remarkable thing is that the gospel calls upon men to do what they cannot do, for Jesus Christ said to this paralyzed man, “I say unto thee, Arise, take up thy bed and walk.” He could not rise, could not take up his bed, and could not walk, and yet he was bidden to do it. And it is one of the strange things of the way of salvation that --

“The gospel bids the dead revive;
Sinners obey the voice and live.
Dry bones are raised and clothed afresh,
And hearts of stone are turned to flesh.”

We have to say, in the name of Jesus, to the man with the withered arm — whose arm is so withered that we know he has no power in it, “Stretch out thy hand”; and we do say it in God’s name.

Some of my brethren of a certain order of doctrine say, “It is ridiculous! If you admit that a man cannot do it, it is ridiculous to tell him to do it.”

But we do not mind being ridiculous: we care little for the censure of human judgment. If God gives us a commission, that commission will prevent our suffering very seriously from the ridicule of other people.

“Ezekiel, dost thou not see before thee that valley of dry bones?”

“Yes,” says he, “I see them; they are very many and very dry. Lo! through many a summer the sun has scorched them, and through many a winter the fierce winds have dried them till they are as if they had passed through an oven.”

“Prophet, what canst thou do with these bones? If God means to raise them to life they will be raised: therefore let thou them alone. What canst thou do?”

Listen to him as he makes solemn proclamation. “Thus saith the Lord, Ye dry bones live!”

“Ridiculous, Ezekiel! they cannot live, why speak to them?”

He knows they cannot live of themselves, but he also knows that his Master bids him tell them to live, and he does what his Master bids him.

So, in the gospel, the minister is to bid men believe, and he is to say, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

For this reason alone do we say, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” The gospel bids you believe, albeit that you are dead in trespasses and sins.

“I cannot understand it,” says somebody.

No, and you never will till God reveals it to you; but, when the Lord comes and dwells with you, you will perfectly understand, and see how the exercise of faith on the part of the preacher of the gospel is a part of the divine operation by which dead souls are raised. . . .

The man, though he cannot take up his bed and walk, yet believes that he who told him to do it will give him power to do it, and he does take up his bed and walk: there is the whole of it in a nutshell. He believes, and acts on that belief; and he is restored.

And that is the whole plan of salvation. You believe the gospel, and act upon the truth of it, and you are saved — saved the moment you accept the witness of God concerning his Son Jesus Christ.
[Excerpts from Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 21, Year 1875, Sermon #1269, pages 703-706]

In another sermon, Spurgeon says:

To tell DRY BONES to live, is a very unreasonable sort of thing when tried by rules of logic; and for me to tell you, a DEAD sinner, to BELIEVE in Christ, may seem perfectly unjustifiable by the same rule. But I do not need to justify it. If I find it in God’s Word, that is quite enough for me; and if the preacher does not feel any difficulty in the matter, why should you? . . .

Leave the difficulties; there will be time enough to settle them when we get to heaven; meanwhile, if life comes through Jesus Christ, let us have it, and have done with nursing our doubts"
(Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Sermon #2246, page 119).

Spurgeon's comments reveal how utterly ridiculous it is for Reformed Hybrid Calvinists to try to enlist Spurgeon in their Hybrid Calvinism camp.

In regard to Hybrid Calvinism's "pre-faith regeneration" theory, Spurgeon's comments are most appropriate:

"If I am to preach faith in Christ to a man who is regenerated, then the man, being regenerated, is saved already, and it is an unnecessary and ridiculous thing for me to preach Christ to him, and bid him to believe in order to be saved when he is saved already, being regenerate"
(Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Warrant of Faith, #531, page 532).


At Sunday, March 09, 2008 1:30:00 PM, Blogger My Daily Bread said...

This is great! Thanks for sharing it! I definitely want to use this citation in my writings on the "Hardshell Baptist Cult."

God bless

Stephen Garrett

At Monday, March 10, 2008 9:25:00 PM, Blogger Bob L. Ross said...


My Daily Bread said...

This is great! Thanks for sharing it! I definitely want to use this citation in my writings on the "Hardshell Baptist Cult."

God bless

Stephen Garrett

Yes, you are welcome to use any of my writings amd the quotes from Spurgeon, especially if they will help refute Hardshellism.

I know you, Stephen, to be a most knowledgeable source on Hardshell history and doctrine, and readers of the Flyswatter would be wise to consult your website for such information --

I don't know anyone who has explored this cult more than you.


Post a Comment

<< Home