22/05/2007

The good old gospel

Those who follow Life on Wings will know that Dan is in the process of moving to Birmingham. He has had to downsize his library temporarily and has loaned to me the vast majority of his books to bless me and the members of the church here.

Included in this glorious library is a significant number of Spurgeon's Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, and the full six volumes of the New Park Street Pulpit. I have just opened volume 1 of the New Park Street Pulpit. While I have all the messages on CD there is still something special about opening a books.

So far I haven't even got onto the opening sermon because I am intrigued by Spurgeon's preface where he speaks with absolute confidence about the divine authority of the messages preached. I found myself wondering about his humilty! However, on reflection, I find in Spurgeon not pride, but a total confidence in the power of the preached Word and God's promise of the Holy Spirit's enabling as we preach His gospel.

We can learn something from this. We have no need to apologise for the Word of God. God has ordained this awesome means (under the power of the Holy Spirit) for the deliverance of souls, and for the good of the people of God. Let us approach the preaching of God's word (whether as hearers or preachers) that God's Word shall accomplish the purpose for which He has sent it (Isaiah 55v11).

In the light of recent blogs about being Reformed and Charismatic, I have been thinking about the importance of being Reformed. I thank God for the Charismatic resurgence through the blogosphere {edit 2013: blog no longer available} and look forward to so much more. At the same time, it helps to remember why we stand on being both Reformed and Charismatic. We don't say we are Reformed to try and build bridges with Reformed Cessationists, but because we believe that Reformed theology is thoroughly biblical. In the light of these reflections, I was interested in Spurgeon's comment about Calvinism in his prologue:

"The word Calvinism, is frequently used here as the short word which embraces that part of divine truth which teaches that salvation is by grace alone, but it is not hence to be imagined that we attach any authority to the opinion of John Calvin, other than that which is due to every holy man who is ordained of God to proclaim his truth. We use the word simply for shortness of expression, and because the enemies of free grace will then be quite sure of what we mean. It is our firm belief, that what is commonly called Calvinism, is neither more nor less than the good old gospel of the Puritans, the Martyrs, the Apostles, and of our Lord Jesus Christ."

The good old gospel. Let what we preach magnify the wonderful grace of God. It is by grace we are saved, through faith, and that is the gift of God (Eph 2v8-9). Praise God for His amazing grace.

2 comments:

Baxter's Boy said...

That's an excellent point. We are not reformed because we want to be more palatable to John Macarthur or Richard Gaffin (although we must love them as brothers in Christ) for desirability alone. We love and appreciate the great Reformed doctrines of the faith because they are biblical! I like your comment about Spurgeon - some may call that pride and call for his humbling but actually surely there is a place for a calm assurance of the anointing of God upon one's ministry because I know Spurgeon and we should see it as a grace gift from God alone!!

So glad my library is in good hands!!

Peter Day said...

Yes,your library is in very good hands! :)

Fuel for the fire!