18 July 2010

Plain Truth vs. Knowledge Falsely So-Called

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 "Forts Demolished and Prisoners Taken," Spurgeon's sermon on 2 Corinthians 10:5, preached Sunday morning, 11 May 1879 at the Met Tab.

lain truth is in this wonderful century of small account; men crave to be mystified by their own cogitations. Many glory in being too intellectual to receive anything as absolute certainty: they are not at all inclined to submit to the authority of a positive revelation. God's word is not accepted by them as final, but they judge it and believe what they like of it.

This is madness. I speak to those who believe in the Scriptures, and I say if, indeed, there be a revelation, it becomes us to be silent before it, and accept it without dispute. The Lord knows what he is better than we can ever know, and if he has been pleased to speak in his Word plainly and solemnly, it is ours to believe what he says, because he says it.

It may be all very well to prove that such and such a revelation of God is consistent with reason, consistent with analogy, consistent with a thousand things; but the spirit which needs such argument is a spirit of rebellion against God. If there be a revelation, every part of it is of authority, and must be believed. Human thought is not the arbiter of truth, but the infallible Word is the end of all strife.

It is not ours to say what the truth must be, or what we think it should be, or what we would like it to be, but reverently to sit down with open ear and willing heart to receive what God has spoken.

If an astronomer were to forbear to examine the stars, and teach an astronomy invented in his own brain, he would be an idiot: and those who treat theology in like fashion are not much better.

"Surely," saith one, "we ought to modify our beliefs by public opinion, and the current of thought."

I say "no" a thousand times. The incorruptible word of God liveth and abideth forever, and is incapable of modification. To modify is to adulterate and nullify it, and render it of none effect, so that it becomes another gospel, and, indeed, no gospel.

The thought of tampering with revealed truth is vicious, and ought not to be tolerated by any Christian for a second. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a thing which is to be moulded according to the fashion of the period: it is "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and for ever."

Whether the Greek philosophy rules or is exploded, whether some more modern theory blazes up or smoulders down, is small concern of ours, for we are set to preach the one unvarying gospel of Jesus Christ, with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.

No man was ever led to a saving faith by our meeting him halfway and consenting to his unbelief. No real faith was ever wrought in man by his own thoughts and imaginations; he must receive the gospel as a revelation from God, or he cannot receive it at all.

Faith is a supernatural work wherever it is found, and if we think that we can beget faith in ourselves or others by the use of the fleshly weapons of philosophy we shall certainly be foiled. The Scriptures pressed home by the Holy Ghost are God's power unto salvation, and not men's cogitation's and imaginations.

There is the revealed gospel, reject it at your peril; there is Jehovah's revelation of himself to men, receive it or be lost; this is the ground to go upon if we would speak as the oracles of God. God grant that proud thinkers may come upon this ground and become believers.

C. H. Spurgeon


Mike Riccardi said...

That is simply outstanding. No man ever came to faith by our meeting him halfway and consenting to his unbelief. That's spiritual gold for those who have ears to hear.

Edwards has said it similarly, as I unfolded a bit here. A sample:

This evidence that [the] spiritually enlightened have of the truth of the things of religion, is a kind of intuitive and immediate evidence. They believe the doctrines of God's word to be divine because they see divinity in them, i.e. they see a divine, and transcendent, and most evidently distinguishing glory in them; such glory as, if clearly seen, doesn't leave room to doubt of their being of God and not of men.

Mike said...

Beautifully said. Going over a similar sermon by John Owen at my blog. How I wish the Body would be as devoted to the Word of God as men like Spurgeon, Edwards and Owen were, and like MacArthur encourages us, not surrender anymore ground in the battle for the truth and authority of scripture.

Blue Collar Todd said...

I am trying to find anything Spurgeon said on Matthew 25:40, specifically "the least of these my brothers". The Left is seeking to make this about the poor and really turn the Gospel into a message of liberation from economic oppression. Every once in a while I will comment over at Sojourners, and I took issue with the way Jim Wallis interpreted something else Jesus said. It seems a major line of demarcation is coming to our churches over the message of Jesus and with how to interpret Matthew 25. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Mike Riccardi said...


Take a look at Kevin DeYoung's thoughts as well.

That's number 4 in a series on 7 passages on social justice, which he actually finished today.

Blue Collar Todd said...


Thanks, that confirmed what I have been thinking about that passage. I think there is going to be major battle over that verse and it will have consequences for our churches.