From the Heart of Spurgeon
A Psalm for the New Year (S427)

A Psalm for the New Year (S427)

March 4, 2022

This is far from Spurgeon’s most polished sermon, structurally. Some preachers envy Spurgeon’s golden hammer, with which he seems to strike every text so that it falls into three even parts. This one pulls in too many different directions, and its progress is not particularly even. However, it is held together by two threads: adoration of Christ and affection for Christ’s people. That, too, must be recognised. Order and structure, as Spurgeon very much appreciated, are important, and there is no excuse for their neglect in sermon preparation. Nevertheless, even a ragged sermon aimed from the heart to the heart can do much good. That is an encouragement to preachers not to be too much concerned with style and structure over substance, and an encouragement to hearers to be less critics of sermons, more eager hearers of divine truth.

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Abram and the Ravenous Birds (S420)

Abram and the Ravenous Birds (S420)

February 25, 2022

This is the kind of sermon over which people sneer at Spurgeon, and yet I think they may be doing him a disservice. Even the introduction reveals that he believes that there is more than one way to handle his text, and he makes clear that he has chosen to take it in an illustrative sense, as suggesting the challenges of God’s people about the worship of God on the Lord’s day to keep their hearts fixed on their holy business. We might still allow ourselves a smile as regards his exegesis, strictly speaking, but must we not acknowledge the sense and force of the extended simile, and its appropriateness as an illustration for the spiritual battle over undistracted worship? Taking it on its own terms, there is much here to do us much good.

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Fellowship With God (S409)

Fellowship With God (S409)

February 18, 2022

If the last sermon focused on our union with Christ and its fruits, this is on our communion with God, particularly the Father and the Son. In it, Spurgeon gets quite carried away—in a generally helpful fashion!—with the nature of the fellowship we enjoy with the Father, as well as with the Son. He then has a little time about the Christian’s desire arising from such fellowship, which is that others might enter into the same fellowship. Here, the preacher loads himself into the cannon, pleading out of his own experience that others will come to enjoy what he himself has tasted and enjoyed at God’s hand. It is a truly experimental sermon, full of deep feeling and earnest pleading.

 

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The Joint Heirs and Their Divine Portion (S402)

The Joint Heirs and Their Divine Portion (S402)

February 11, 2022

Because of our union with Christ, we are heirs of God together with him. Spurgeon first of all tries to tease out what that means in terms of a judicial reality, its terms and conditions, its certainties and expectations. He then moves on to view the estates we gain, considering the two elements of the inheritance—the more immediate sufferings that we have with Christ, and then the ultimate glories we have in God himself and all that he gives to us. Finally he administers the blessings, calling us to take up both parts of our inheritance, and reminding God’s people that part of our inheritance is gospel labour and fruit. Again, we see a man wrestling to bring high theology into close contact with us as God’s people, both for challenge and for comfort. As so often, there is a careful balance here both in the handling of the text and its application.

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Jacob’s Waking Exclamation (S401)

Jacob’s Waking Exclamation (S401)

February 4, 2022

Here is a very sweet blend of high and warm theology: the omnipresence of God, as grasped by Jacob when he understood that the Lord was truly present with him at Bethel, and what that still means for God’s people today. Spurgeon first uses that episode to demonstrate the fact that God is always present in every place. He then moves on to talk about the spirit or attitude which recognises this weighty reality. Finally, he explains the practical consequences of this conviction that God is everywhere. As so often, there is a measure of penetrating insight not just into the doctrine itself, but also into the way in which that doctrine plays out in the life of a believer. It gives us a window into the heart of the preacher, and tells us something of his own sense. Ultimately, it helps us to appreciate the character of our Lord, who truly and consistently lived before the eye of God.

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The Church—Conservative and Aggressive (S393)

The Church—Conservative and Aggressive (S393)

January 28, 2022

In some ways, this sermon serves as a counterpoint to the last we considered, preached on behalf of the Baptist Missionary Society. There are times when it can seem hard to hold Spurgeon’s convictions together, but here he sets forth a most vigorous insistence upon the church of Jesus Christ (properly defined!) as the appointed agent for the accomplishment of Christ’s saving purposes in the earth. Accurately understood and fervently grasped, what the preacher here declares would, and should, change our disposition to the church, binding us to her and bringing us to a high pitch of commitment and service, in order that the gospel being preached in and from the church might secure the glory of God in the earth. Let us read and heed!

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The Missionaries’ Charge and Charter (S383)

The Missionaries’ Charge and Charter (S383)

January 21, 2022

Preached on behalf of the Baptist Missionary Society, this is Spurgeon at his expansive best. Treading steadily through the text itself, Spurgeon studies out the command that the Lord Christ gives to his disciples. Then he moves on to the argument of the text, the holy logic of Christ’s declaration, sending out his people in accordance with the pattern of his own triumph, granting them both the right and the might to carry out their mission. It underscores the breadth of Spurgeon’s concern for the progress of the gospel, both closer to home and further afield, and his confident expectation that those who go in Christ’s name and power shall accomplish his purposes.

 

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Perfect Cleansing (S379)

Perfect Cleansing (S379)

January 14, 2022

Many of the entries in this section of the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit are records of meetings held for various groupings, or sermons preached by others. We simply choose one of the few of Spurgeon’s sermons, a typically warm and earnest treatment of a promise made through Joel: “For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed” (Jl 3:21). In Spurgeon’s hands, this becomes both a promise of present peace of conscience through the cleansing of remaining guilt and a promise of future perfection by the power of God’s Spirit in our humanity. His intention is to encourage us to strive against sin in confident expectation of the work of God continuing in us until the day of completion.

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The First Sermon in the Tabernacle (S369)

The First Sermon in the Tabernacle (S369)

January 7, 2022

Preached on a Monday afternoon by a man overwhelmed by the occasion, by God’s grace Spurgeon rises to it. Here is that famous statement about Christ as the subject of the ministry in the newly-opened Tabernacle, and here a glorious survey of the person and work of the Redeemer, with sweet notes concerning his excellency, his sufficiency, his beauty, the power of Christ crucified when proclaimed boldly and earnestly. If Spurgeon says he is unable to preach as he wishes, me might wish that we were so incapable, for this is a glorious holding up of Christ Jesus, and a powerful plea for all true ministers to go and do likewise, if they would honour God and bless men.

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Humility (S365)

Humility (S365)

December 31, 2021

A penetrating sermon preached in anticipation of the move into the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Spurgeon identifies the need for a comprehensive humility (before, during and after any act of service), thoughtfully talks about the ways in which humility is tested (both by favours given and denied), offers means of cultivating humility, and then calls himself and his congregation to pursue such a spirit as they move forward together. It is a terrifying thing to preach against pride, because pride so easily rears its head in the very act. Spurgeon, whose many advocates often suggest that he must have struggled greatly with pride, shows us that he is aware as any man of the dangers of the heart being lifted up. It is too easy to wonder about his struggles, and to overlook the challenges to our own hearts.

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