Charles Haddon Spurgeon: Preacher of Free Grace, or Religious Idiot?

Spurgeon Freeness-of-Grace

Grant Swart

Of course there are those who do not regard Charles Haddon Spurgeon as a preacher of solely the truth. Admittedly, no man can be perfect by his own means, and even perfect holiness is acceptable to God only through Jesus Christ. There are also those who ignorantly rummage about in the published works of Spurgeon in the hope that they will find some shards of support for their own deceived religious belief system, and thereby falsely portraying the famous and well-beloved preacher as a will-worshipping Arminian, like they themselves have been misled to be.

While many Christians have had the misfortune of making the acquaintance of some unrepentant religious idiots, nevertheless, they do exist in larger numbers and their written works proliferate throughout the digital media – their presence is evidenced clearly by the overabundance of their deceitful and misrepresentative contributions. Now, please don’t get me wrong, I do not refer to them as religious idiots because I regard my own capabilities as superior to theirs in any way. I would not dare do that, because in all honesty, many of them are highly intelligent people and some are even academic giants, with qualifications way beyond my own.

Neither do I refer to them as religious idiots because I harbour some form of hatred for them, quite to the contrary, I must have compassion for their lostness. Why would I resent them? For financial gain or for fame? No, I refer to them as religious idiots because they ascribe false man-made doctrines to the Scriptures and then they promote and cling to a damning form of religion, which is set worlds apart from Christianity. I refer to them as religious idiots because they oppose Christ. Continue reading

CHRIST’S LONELINESS AND OURS

Foot prints in the sand 1

Charles  Haddon  Spurgeon 

NO. 3052

A Sermon published on Thursday , August 8 , 1907 , At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington 

“Jesus answered them, Do you now believe? Behold, the hour comes, yes, is now come, that you shall be scattered, every
man to his own, and shall leave Me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.”
John 16:31, 32

“Do you now believe?” Then it seems that faith held them fast to Christ, but as soon as fear prevailed they were scattered and left their Master alone. Faith has an attracting and upholding power. It is the root of constancy and the source of perseverance under the power of God’s Spirit. While we believe, we remain faithful to our Lord. When we are unbelieving, we are scattered, “every man to his own.” While we trust, we follow closely. When we give way to fear, we ungratefully forsake our Lord. May the Holy Spirit maintain our faith in full vigor that it may nourish all our other Graces! Faith being strong, no faculty of the inner man will languish, but if faith declines, the energy of our spiritual nature speedily decays. If you believe not, you shall not be established, but “the just shall live by faith” to the fullest force of life.

This being noted, our meditation shall now be fixed alone upon the Savior’s loneliness and the measure in which the Believer is brought into the same condition.

I. THE LONELINESS OF THE SAVIOR. Continue reading

Christ’s Resurrection and Our Newness of Life

C. H. SPURGEON

Delivered on Lord’s-day Morning, March 29th, 1891,
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington

(No. 2197)

“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”—Romans 6:4.

I HAVE AFORETIME preached upon the whole verse,* so that this morning I shall take the liberty to dwell chiefly upon the latter part of it—”Like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

The idea that the grace of God should lead us to licentiousness is utterly loathsome to every Christian man. We cannot endure it. The notion that the doctrines of grace give license to sin, comes from the devil, and we scout it with a detestation more deep than words can express. “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”

On our first entrance upon a Christian profession, we are met by the ordinance of baptism, which teaches the necessity of purification. Baptism is, in its very form, a washing, and its teaching requires cleansing of the most thorough kind. It is a burial, in which the man is viewed as dead with Christ to sin, and is regarded as rising again as a new man. Baptism sets forth, as in a picture, the union of the believer with the Lord Jesus in his baptism of suffering, and in his death, burial, and resurrection. By submitting to that sacred ordinance, we declare that we believe ourselves to be dead with him, because of his endurance of the death penalty, and dead to the world and to the dominion of sin by his Spirit; at the same time, we also profess our faith in our Lord’s resurrection, and that we ourselves are raised up in union with him, and have come forth through faith into newness of life. It is a very impressive and vivid symbol, but it is without meaning unless we rise to purity of life.

Continue reading

The Unbroken Line of True Nobles

A SERMON DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, OCTOBER 17, 1875,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

“Instead of your fathers shall be your children,
whom you may make princes in all the earth.”
Psalm 45:16.

WERE you ever perplexed by being drawn with almost equal force in two directions? I have been so. There is a bond which reaches from the cemetery which holds me very fast and, therefore, I desired again, this morning, to have made use of the solemn visitation which so suddenly removed one of our friends from us. But this is the beginning of the week set apart for prayer for the young, and I have felt duty bound to take a part in the celebration and to assist to stir up Sunday school teachers and the members of the Church in general to pray for the blessing of God upon the rising generation.

Now these mourning friends expect a consoling word from me—and these children demand that I plead for them, also! I realized the scene in my study. What was I to do? Between two subjects I might arrive at none and that was not a desirable conclusion. I watched, looked and prayed, and at last I resolved to yield myself to both influences, and I have as nearly as possible done so by selecting this text—“Instead of your fathers shall be your children, whom you may make princes in all the earth.” Continue reading

A Faithful Friend

A sermon (No.120) delivered on Sabbath Morning, March 8, 1857, by C. H. Spurgeon at The Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.

“There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”—Proverbs 18:24.Cicero has well said, “Friendship is the only thing in the world concerning the usefulness of which all mankind are agreed.” Friendship seems as necessary an element of a comfortable existence in this world as fire or water, or even air itself. A man may drag along a miserable existence in proud solitary dignity, but his life is scarce life, it is nothing but an existence, the tree of life being stripped of the leaves of hope and the fruits of joy. He who would be happy here must have friends; and he who would be happy hereafter must, above all things, find a friend in the world to come in the person of God, the Father of his people. Continue reading

Are You Really Looking for an Exit?

By Dr Paul M Elliott

Part 8 of a series. Read part 7.

Our current series addresses these questions: “My church is no longer true to the Word of God on essential Christian truths. What should I do? Should I leave? Should I stay and try to fight error? Will I be guilty of schism if I do either one?”

Some people adopt what they call an “exit strategy” attitude in the face of clear apostasy in their churches. But a recent example shows that often those who adopt this strategy aren’t really looking for an exit. Far too often, they’re looking for an excuse to disobey God.1

A Recent Example

Like the wait-and-see response we discussed in our last article, the “exit strategy” response is another proposed way to supposedly deal with apostasy that rests on the false notion that separation is somehow always premature. Perhaps I can best illustrate the foolishness of this response by recounting what happened earlier in this decade when the once-sound Orthodox Presbyterian Church (in which I was at the time an elder) demonstrated clear apostasy on the Gospel and the doctrine of Scripture.2

Continue reading

Wait and See? What Are You Waiting For?

By Dr Paul M Elliott

Part 7 of a series. Read part 6.

In our current series we’re addressing these questions: “My church is no longer true to the Word of God on essential Christian truths. What should I do? Should I leave? Should I stay and try to fight error? Will I be guilty of schism if I do either one?”

Presently we’re dealing with some of the un-Biblical responses that are common today. In this installment we focus on the position of those who want to adopt a “wait and see” attitude in the face of clear apostasy in their churches.1

It Is Way Past Time

Continue reading

Do Contemporary Problems Mean ‘The End of the Church’?

By Dr Paul M Elliott

Part 6 of a series. Read part 5.

In our current series we’re addressing these questions: “My church is no longer true to the Word of God on essential Christian truths. What should I do? Should I leave? Should I stay and try to fight error? Will I be guilty of schism if I do either one?”

Thus far, we’ve presented the only response that Scripture clearly mandates. Today we begin addressing some of the un-Biblical responses that are common today. We find that Scripture is just as clear in telling us that other “solutions” are unacceptable to God. We begin with the non-solution promoted by cult leader Harold Camping, who says that today’s problems signify “the end of the church.”1

A False Prophet

Continue reading

What Must Christians Do When False Teachers Control a Church?

By Dr Paul M Elliott

Part 5 of a series. Read part 4.

Today we continue to address questions that trouble growing numbers of Christians: “My church is no longer true to the Word of God on essential Christian truths. What should I do? Should I leave? Should I stay and try to fight error? Will I be guilty of schism if I do either one?” Today’s focus is on the proper response when a church is controlled by false teachers.1

Recognizing the Conditions in Which We Live

We live in a time when many nominally Evangelical churches have ceased to bear (and in some cases have never borne) the marks of a true church of Jesus Christ that we discussed in a previous article. Neo-liberals — false teachers concerning the Gospel and much more — are in control of individual churches and even entire denominations, with the aid of the doctrinally indifferent. Typically this does not happen overnight. The downgrade takes years, sometimes even decades.

Continue reading

How Are Christians to Deal With False Teachers?

By Dr Paul M Elliott

Part 4 of a series. Read part 3.

Today we continue the discussion of questions that are troubling growing numbers of Christians: “My church is no longer true to the Word of God on essential Christian truths. What should I do? Should I leave? Should I stay and try to fight error? Will I be guilty of schism if I do either one?” Today’s focus is on the proper Biblical response to false teachers.1

Scripture Gives Clear Instructions

The Holy Spirit has not only instructed us clearly on the marks of a true church and how to recognize false teachers; the Lord also requires believers to adopt a Biblical attitude toward false teachers and conduct ourselves accordingly.

Continue reading

How Can We Recognize False Teachers in the Church?

By Dr Paul M Elliott

Part 3 of a series. Read part 2.

Today we continue the discussion of questions that are troubling growing numbers of Christians: “My church is no longer true to the Word of God on essential Christian truths. What should I do? Should I leave? Should I stay and try to fight error? Will I be guilty of schism if I do either one?” Today’s focus is on the use of the Bible as our sole standard in identifying false teachers.1

Three Marks of a True Church

Scripture teaches that a true church of Jesus Christ bears these three essential marks:

  • the faithful proclamation of the authentic Gospel (Matthew 24:14; Mark 16:15; Romans 1:16-17; Galatians 1:6-9);
  • the faithful administration of Christ’s ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 28:18-19; Acts 2:38-39; Romans 6:3-4; Ephesians 4:4-6; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26);
  • the faithful exercise of Biblical discipline (Matthew 18:15-18; Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 5:11-13; 2 Corinthians 2:6-8, 6:14-15, 13:1; Galatians 6:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15; 1 Timothy 5:20, 6:3-5; Titus 2:15, 3:10-11; 2 John 10-11; Jude 22-23).

Much of the false teaching in the church today centers on problems in these three areas:

Continue reading

Why Did Jesus Tell His Disciples to ‘Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees’?

By Dr Paul M Elliott

Part two of a series. Read part one.

Today we continue the discussion of questions we receive more and more frequently: “My church is no longer true to the Word of God on essential Christian truths. What should I do? Should I leave? Should I stay and try to fight error? Will I be guilty of schism if I do either one?” Our focus in this installment is on the pernicious nature of compromise.1

Why Beware?

Jesus warned His disciples to “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” By this, He meant their heretical doctrine (Matthew 16:5-12). Their doctrine, like much that is found in today’s Evangelical church, was founded primarily on two false principles: preaching a counterfeit salvation by adding works to faith, and debasing the authority of Scripture by subordinating it to the words of fallible men. Why was it necessary for even these men, the twelve who were closest to Christ, to “beware”? It was because they were men of sinful flesh, as we are. It is easy to be deceived.

Continue reading

What Happens When Truth Becomes Optional?

By Dr Paul M Elliott

I’ve counseled Christians from many parts of the world who all wrestled with the same critical question. They express it in many different ways, but the essence is this: “My church is no longer true to the Word of God. I’m not talking about matters on which Christians may legitimately differ. I’m talking about essential Christian truths. What should I do? Should I leave? Should I stay and try to fight error? Will I be guilty of schism if I do either one?”

In a series of questions and answers beginning today, we’ll deal with various aspects of this issue, from the pages of Scripture.

What to Do In Obvious Circumstances

First, let’s deal with the obvious case. Are you in an independent church, or a church that is part of a denomination, that no longer holds to Biblical truth? Does your church, the pastor or teachers in it, the denomination with which it is associated, or colleges or seminaries associated with that denomination, do any of the following? —

Continue reading

Confronting Apostasy: Four Possible Outcomes

By Dr Paul M Elliott

Part nine of a series. Read part eight.

In each of the four possible outcomes, do the right thing, and trust God for the results.

In our last article, we saw that key number five to a Biblically loving response to apostasy is to understand the steps that God’s Word tells you to follow when you find apostasy in the church. We saw that the Bible sets forth a clear process, and that the imperative is to deal with false teaching in the church decisively, and without delay.

Four Possible Outcomes

We saw that there are four possible end results when you confront apostasy in the church.

First, there is the case in which the individual is found, on solid Biblical grounds, to be not guilty of false teaching.

Second, there is the case in which the individual is proved to be guilty of false teaching, and he admits his sin, and repents of it.

Continue reading

Confronting Apostasy: The Biblical Steps

By Dr Paul M Elliott

Part eight of a series. Read part seven.

You need to understand the Biblical steps in confronting apostasy — and how apostates’ allies and enablers may try to block, complicate, or circumvent the process.

We have now come to the fifth and final key to a Biblically loving response to apostasy: You need to understand the steps that God’s Word tells you to follow when you find apostasy in the church. We shall see that the Bible is very clear about this. There is no guesswork involved. God’s Word sets forth a clear process; it tells you exactly and precisely what to do.

Implementing Key 5: Three Vital Principles

Now before we consider the process itself, I believe it is important to emphasize three very important principles once again. We have discussed them before, but I want to stress them because they relate directly to this process.

Continue reading