The Gospel of Charles Spurgeon

“The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox’s gospel is my gospel. That which thundred through Scotland must thunder through England again.”

Those famous words of Spurgeon resonate with me. For those that do not know my passion is the lessons of history, specifically Church History. I find is humorous that the trials and difficulties that plagued previous generations are the same battles that plague our current generation. Often times we draw on previous generations to add validity to our own points. Case in point, Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, and today.” I always gave Martin Luther, the reformer who is credited with starting the Protestant Reformation, special attention. His practices helped pave the way for a German Revolution,  in fact in the last hundred years his influence was still felt by men like Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. They argued that a life without faith is dead. Works mean nothing if there is not faith and love behind them. This issue of the attitude of service is something that still affects the church today. Spurgeon identified being a Calvinist with being a Christian, Calvinists promote the sovereignty of God, something that seems to be missed in today’s  post-modern world. Pre- Modernity was an age where we looked to God for answers, after the Enlightenment we called ourselves modern because we believed that science held the answers. In today’s post modern world we are skeptical of anyone providing answers. In His sovereignty, God has all the answers. He always has. In His divine wisdom, He revealed some of that wisdom in 66 volumes, neatly packaged. Though God will reveal Himself to us, personally, this is a nice neat guide to the Spirit of things from Him. He has also blessed us with the gift of discernment to help us see whether other things are from Him and in His Spirit, or in our own spirit for our own selfish purposes!Spurgeon believed in the sovereignty of God so much that he called it the gospel itself in his short diatribe, A Defense of Calvinism. He includes, “It is a great thing to begin the Christian life by believing solid doctrine… there are some persons whose minds naturally incline towards the doctrine of free will. I can only say that mine inclines towards the doctrine of sovereign faith… I cannot understand why I am saved, except upon the ground that God would have it so. I cannot, if I ever look so earnestly, discover any kind of reason in myself why I should be a partaker of Divine Grace…When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me…If anyone should ask me what I mean by a Calvinist, I should reply, ‘He is one who says, Salvation of the Lord.’ I cannot find in Scripture any other doctrine than this. It is the essence of the Bible…. I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God is His dispensation of grace, nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people  which Christ wrought upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor.” 

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