23 May 2010

Let God Be Magnified

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
posted by Phil Johnson

The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from "Our Watchword," a sermon delivered on Sunday morning, 1 October 1871, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London.

he world is dull and sleepy, and utterly indifferent to the glory of God in the work of redemption. We need to tell it over and over and over again, that God is great in the salvation of his people.

There are many who will rise up and deny God's Glory; revilers of all sorts abound in rage; but over and above their clamor, let the voice of truth be heard, "Let God be magnified."

They cry, "the Bible is worn out." They doubt its inspiration, they question the deity of Christ, they set up new gods that have lately come up, that our fathers knew not.

Let us confront them with the truth, let us oppose them with the gospel, let us overcome them through the blood of the Lamb, using this one only war-cry, "Let God be magnified." Everywhere in answer to all blasphemy, in direct conflict with profanity, let us lift up this voice with heart and soul. "Let God be magnified."

C. H. Spurgeon


Will Marks said...

I'm glad God timed Spurgeon's preaching so well, that he became so famous and left us such a rich legacy!

Pierre Saikaley said...

Spurgeon...preacher's preacher.

donsands said...


Simply serving the Lord 24/7 is a joy, but being able to come to a Spirit filled local church and glorify and worship the Lord is the best.
I'm still blessed-up from church yesterday. And to read a little CH Spurgeon this morn is a blessing. Thanks.

JackW said...

It seems ironic that we need to magnify the largest thing in the universe.

Nash Equilibrium said...

yeah what does "magnify" mean in modern-day language?

Christopher said...

I liked Piper's explanation of this: There are two types of "magnify": 1. To make something small look bigger in order to see the details of it. 2. To take something far away and bring it closer to see the details of it. Of course, he was advocating for explanation number 2.

GOD, if definition number 2 is the correct one, has magnified Himself first. He brought Himself closer, revealing Himself more and more until ultimately Christ Jesus. Them we, in response to GOD magnifying Himself, magnify GOD by glorying in the "details". I think that sounds good, but, hey, I could be WAY OFF.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Yes, I was just wondering why we use words like "magnify" when describing God-related matters, when we don't use them in any other context... when there are perfectly appropriate modern words around that are understandable to the unchurched?

I hate to be accused of being a contextualizer (I'm not) but sometimes I feel the Christian buzzwords are counterproductive and, unnecessary.

I'm clearly off on a tangent, though. Sorry.

Christopher said...

The Bible was taken out of its KJV settings and placed into NIV, ESV, NASB, etc...for those very same reasons. The message is lost if people have no clue what you are talking about.

For example, I remember in seminary a professor talked about a group in the middle of the desert who had not been reached by the Gospel yet. A missionary goes out there and explains to them how their sins can be washed whiter than SNOW! Snow?! Yeah, it's in the Bible, but do you explain what "snow" is or do you say what makes sense? Maybe "magnify" should be looked at in the same way.

Mike Riccardi said...

"Magnify" just means to be made to look bigger or greater. From magna (big) and ficare (to make). That's why we call Mary's song the Magnificat, because she says, "My soul exalts [or magnifies] the Lord."

Surely Spurgeon (and Mary) means it in the telescope sense -- the way we make an entire planet look bigger from our point of view.

Venus is absolutely huge, but because of our inability to see it, it looks woefully small. We use a telescope to magnify Venus. We don't actually increase its mass, or add anything to it; we're simply overcoming our poor vision.

Similarly, our sinfulness and propensity to idolatry makes God look woefully "small," or insignificant, less compelling, less glorious. Magnifying Him isn't increasing His glory or adding anything to Him; it is simply overcoming our vision -- clouded by sin -- to see Him as big, and significant and compelling and glorious, as He actually is.

Nash Equilibrium said...

I notice "magnify" occurs in the NIV only once. I thought it strange that the translators would see fit to remove it becqause it's now only churchspeak, but then not do a thorough job of it!

Let God be exalted!

Matt said...

Spurgeon hit it again!

His Grace

Anonymous said...

The Prince of Preachers for a reason...world