LIVING BY REVEALED TRUTH: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles Haddon Spurgeon – Tom Nettles (2013) Part 4

1781911223_bChapter 3: The Metropolitan Tabernacle

The construction of the Metropolitan Tabernacle was a watershed moment in Spurgeon’s ministry.  Nettles remarks, “He believed that the completion of the Tabernacle signaled an advance for the gospel in the whole city.”  Spurgeon’s new pulpit became the sounding board for the doctrines of grace which began in London but echoed around the globe as his  sermons were being printed by the thousands.

Spurgeon articulated and proclaimed a strong Calvinistic message, never compromising the core planks that were formulated at the Synod of Dort.  He preached with a style that was narrative driven but doctrinally rich.

Chapter 4: Preaching the Whole Counsel

The author highlights Spurgeon’s passion to preach Scripture in its entirety.  Dr. Nettles beautifully summarizes the essence of Spurgeon’s ministry: “This is the main glory of ministry, to preach Christ – his substitution, that he became a curse for us, dying the just for the unjust in the stead of his people.  Christ must be preached in a lively, earnest, spiritual manner in order for him to be set forth plainly as crucified, even as Paul did before the Galatians.”

Spurgeon’s bold style is emphasized: “We must preach Christ courageously … Pray the message in before you preach it out.”

While Spurgeon did not necessarily preach verse by verse, he was an expository preacher.  The author notes, “For Spurgeon, true exposition meant, in Puritan fashion, using the whole Bible and all its doctrines in the unfolding of any one portion of Scripture.”  And preaching expository message, for Spurgeon meant doctrine must be the backbone of every sermon: “Full submission to the authority of Scripture demanded that one be ready to embrace every doctrine of the Word of God.”  For Spurgeon, watering down the message was tantamount to compromise.

At the end of the day, faithfulness in the pulpit meant proclaiming the power of the cross.  This is gospel preaching.  Spurgeon declared, “I believe that the best, surest, and most permanent way to fill a place of worship is to preach the gospel, and to preach it in a natural, simple interesting, earnest way.”  Powerful words for pastors to heed in the 21st century – preachers who all too often capitulate to the demands of culture and marginalize the message to appease carnal listeners.

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