WHAT THINK YE OF THE
C. H. Spurgeon, who it goes without
saying is somewhat of a "patron saint" to me, and has been since 1953 when I was
eighteen years of age and I first began to read his sermons, was very dedicated
to Baptist principles and to confessional Calvinistic theology, but he did not
consider these things as being at "the root of the matter" (See sermon
#505, Volume 9, page 217).
Yes, he indeed did often make some very
definite statements in favor of his views, but if you read more of Spurgeon than
a few snippets from sermons, you will see that he had a very broad mind and
heart with respect to other professing Christians with whom he may have
had differences in theology and church practice.
For example, in this
sermon #505 he said that an understanding and belief of the doctrine of
election is not "the root of faith in the sinner's reception of
the gospel" (page 218). He also said the same about the doctrine of "the
perseverance of the saints."
Spurgeon, however, did think that
there are three significant doctrines of Scripture which are very important to
hold on the part of one who professes to be an adherent of Christianity. Those
doctrines are (1) the Trinity, inclusive of the Divinity of Christ, (2) the
vicarious sacrifice of Christ for sins, and (3) justification by faith.
Spurgeon said, "We have been talking about the root of the
matter. Permit me to say that if you are sound on these three points,
the One God in Trinity, the glorious doctrine of the substitution of Christ, in
the place of sinners, and the plan of salvation by simple faith in Jesus, then
inasmuch as these roots of the matter are in you, God forbid that we
should exclude you as heretical. If you are in other points unenlightened, and
groping about in uncertainty, doubtless the Lord will teach you, but we believe
the root of the matter is in you so far as doctrine is concerned."
course, Spurgeon was not by any means suggesting that it is acceptable for a
believer to disregard or neglect other Bible doctrines and practices, but he was
simply saying that if a person is opposed to certain vital doctrines, Spurgeon
did not consider it appropriate to recognize him as being an advocate of
Christianity. Also, Spurgeon does not seem to be making any judgment about their
spiritual state in regard to salvation, even if they did not adhere to the
specified doctrines. He simply says they "cannot be called
He said, "A man with weak eye-sight and imperfect vision
may be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven; indeed, it is better to enter
there having but one eye, than having two eyes and being orthodox in doctrine,
to be cast into hell."
Spurgeon held that "there have been persons but
very little removed from absolute idocy, who have been able to believe" (#669,
Volume 12, page 19).
In another sermon, Spurgeon said, "Whatever else we
cannot see, if a simple trust in Jesus is discernible in a convert, we
need feel no suspicions, but receive him at once as a brother beloved" (#755,
Volume 13, page 329).
Also, "If you really trust Jesus, it is
certain that you are saved, for you have the only evidence of salvation which is
continual with any of us. . . You do not want anything more; you have
passed from death unto life. 'He that believeth on him is not condemned.' 'He
that believeth hath everlasting life'" (#672, Volume 12, pages 59,
We believe Spurgeon spoke the truth on these matters, and therefore
although we have distinct differences with the Pedobaptists (baby baptizers),
nevertheless we believe that any and all of them who have this simple faith in
Jesus, of which Spurgeon spoke, have passed from death to life. Not, of course,
that it happened to them before they were born, or shortly after they were born,
or at their baptisms, or because their parents were believers, as some of them
apparently think -- but rather, because the Word of God became effectual in them
by the blessing of the Holy Spirit unto the creating of simple faith in Jesus
Christ as Savior.
Any one of them who in truth confesses Jesus
Christ as His Savior is our brother in the Lord. -- Bob L. Ross
granted to copy and use this article.
By request, names are
added to my Email List, or removed
Publishers of C. H. Spurgeon's
Sermons & Other Works
Send your snail-mail address for a printed Price
Pilgrim Publications, Box 66, Pasadena, TX 77501
477-4261. Fax: (713) 477-7561