13 February 2011

The Epitome of Calvinism; the Essence of the Gospel; the Antidote for False Doctrine

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 "God Alone the Salvation of his People," a sermon preached on Sunday morning, 18 May 1856, at the New Park Street Chapel in Southwark, London.

od "only is our rock and our salvation." If any one should ask us what we would choose for our motto, as preachers of the gospel, we think we should reply, "God only is our salvation."

The late lamented Mr. Denham has put at the foot of his portrait, a most admirable Iext, "Salvation is of the Lord" Now, that is just an epitome of Calvinism; it is the sum and the substance of it. If any one should ask you what you mean by a Calvinist, you may reply, "He is one who says, salvation is of the Lord."

I cannot find in Scripture any other doctrine than this. It is the essence of the Bible. "He only is my rock and my salvation." Tell me anything that departs from this and it will be a heresy; tell me a heresy, and I shall find its essence here, that it has departed from this great, this fundamental, this rocky truth, "God is my rock and my salvation."

What is the heresy of Rome, but the addition of something to the perfect merits of Jesus Christ—the bringing in of the works of the flesh, to assist in our justification? and what is that heresy of Arminianism but the secret addition of something to the complete work of the Redeemer?

You will find that every heresy, if rough to the touchstone, will discover itself here, it departs from this, "He only is my rock and my salvation."

C. H. Spurgeon


radar said...

Nice. It takes me 100 words to say what Spurgeon gets across in 10.

Matt said...

He was the most eloquent man. I second radar. I read Spurgeon and always think - "How does he say it so clearly yet so beautifully and so briefly?"

Neal Doster said...

It appears that many Christians think that they are Arminian or Calvinist base on each one's difinition of it. They define the other group with words that the other would say is a caricature of them. What is an objective definition of each position/doctrine that the otherside would agree is an accurate decription of their belief?

Steve said...

I find what Spurgeon said very disappointing. Both Calvinism and Arminianism both teach that we're saved by grace through faith in Christ (all alone). I have many of Phil Johnson's sermons on CD and he has openly said that Arminians are truely saved, just wrong on many points. I am a Calvinist but I think those kind of comments are false and only cloud up the issues at stake.

James Scott Bell said...

I agree with Steve that Spurgeon overshot here.

ANiMaL (richard) said...

I find disagreement without evidence to be much like truth without love. If you don't agree with Spurgeon give evidence there in. Spurgeon believes salvation from beginning to end is all the work of God, he sees arminiasm interjecting the work of man somewhere after the beginning. Am I close? My best friend and I are actively having this debate near daily and I keep telling him he's really just a Caalvanist and doesn't know it yet.

Unknown said...

Heresy is far too powerful a word.

CR said...

I don't believe Spurgeon overshot at all, and Spurgeon does not take the position that Arminians are damned. I for one don't believe one's position on the Calvinist/Arminians debate impacts salvation (I know some people do), but one's position in that debate certainly affects experience of salvation. Spurgeon said as much in another sermon saying how miserable it is to be an Arminian.

The reason why the Arminian position doesn't necessarily impact salavation is because Arminians are not consistent, if they were, then it would be a damning position to be in.

Neal Doster said...

Good observations CR, but are you suggesting calvinism is consistent?