Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My Year With Spurgeon: Week 50

WHAT IS IT TO PREACH THE GOSPEL? There are a variety of opinions concerning this question, and possibly amongst my own audience—though I believe we are very uniform in our doctrinal sentiments—there might be found two or three very ready answers to this question: What is it to preach the gospel? I shall therefore attempt to answer it myself according to my own judgment, if God will help me; and if it does not happen to be the correct answer, you are at liberty to supply a better to yourselves at home. ~ Charles Spurgeon, Preach The Gospel
1. The first answer I shall give to the question is this: To preach the gospel is to state every doctrine contained in God’s Word, and to give every truth its proper prominence. Men may preach a part of the gospel; they may only preach one single doctrine of it; and I would not say that a man did not preach the gospel at all if he did but maintain the doctrine of justification by faith—“By grace are ye saved through faith.” I should put him down for a gospel minister, but not for one who preached the whole gospel. No man can be said to preach the whole gospel of God if he leaves it out, knowingly and intentionally, one single truth of the blessed God. This remark of mine must be a very cutting one, and ought to strike into the consciences of many who make it almost a matter of principle to keen back certain truths from the people, because they are afraid of them. ~ Charles Spurgeon, Preach the Gospel 
There are some truths which God blesses to the conversion of sinners; but are there not other portions which were intended for the comfort of the saint? and ought not these to be a subject of gospel ministry as well as the others? ~ Charles Spurgeon, Preach the Gospel
No truth of God’s Word ought to be withheld, but every portion of it preached in its own proper order. Some men purposely confine themselves to four or five topics continually. Many make theology into a kind of treadwheel, consisting of five doctrines, which are everlastingly rotated; for they never go on to anything else. ~ Charles Spurgeon, Preach the Gospel
The Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, is the standard of the true Christian. ~ Charles Spurgeon, Preach the Gospel
2. Again, am I asked what it is to preach the gospel? I answer to preach the gospel is to exalt Jesus Christ. ~ Charles Spurgeon, Preach the Gospel
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. Ah! my friends, do we not want more exalting Christ in our preaching, and more exalting Christ in our living? ~ Charles Spurgeon, Preach the Gospel
3. The third answer to the question is: to preach the gospel is to give every class of character his due. ~ Charles Spurgeon, Preach the Gospel
Every class of person is to have his due. He who preaches solely to saints at all times does not preach the gospel; he who preaches solely and only to the sinner; and never to the saint, does not preach the whole of the gospel. ~ Charles Spurgeon, Preach the Gospel
4. I had thought of giving one more answer to this question, but time fails me. The answer would have been somewhat like this—that to preach the gospel is not to preach certain truths about the gospel, not to preach about the people, but to preach to the people. To preach the gospel is not to talk about what the gospel is, but to preach it into the heart, not by your own might, but by the influence of the Holy Ghost—not to stand and talk as if we were speaking to the angel Gabriel, and telling him certain things, but to speak as man to man and pour our heart in to our fellow’s heart. This I take it, is to preach the gospel, and not to mumble some dry manuscript over on Sunday morning or Sunday evening. To preach the gospel is not to send a curate to do your duty for you; it is not to put on your fine gown and then stand and give out some lofty speculation. To preach the gospel is not, with the hands of a bishop, to turn over some beautiful specimen of prayer, and then to go down again and leave it to some humbler person to speak. Nay; to preach the gospel is to proclaim with trumpet tongue and flaming zeal the unsearchable riches of Christ Jesus, so that men may hear, and understanding, may turn to God with full purpose of heart. This is to preach the gospel. ~ Charles Spurgeon, Preach the Gospel
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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