Charles Spurgeon’s ministry was marked by a daring desire to do great things for God. In his lifetime, Spurgeon became the most popular and influential preacher in the world — but not by just telling people what they wanted to hear. He was unafraid to take unpopular opinions, even if it cost him his reputation. His voice was confident and strong, proclaiming the true gospel. He saw thousands saved and discipled because of his witness, not only in his native London but all over the globe.
Surely, Spurgeon was a man of great strength.
But Spurgeon’s enduring influence was not built on his own strength at all! He confessed often his weakness and insufficiency in light of so great a task as gospel ministry. Spurgeon’s spiritual strength came from God alone. He knew this well, even as a young preacher, full of confidence and zeal.
“I feel that my voice fails me, and with it my very powers of thought too, and therefore I can only turn to my comrades in arms, in the good war of Christ, and I say to them, brethren, you and I can do nothing of ourselves; we are poor puny things; but let us attempt great things, for God is with us; let us dare great things, for God will not leave us.”
In Lost Sermon no. 108, “Man’s Weakness and God’s Strength”, teenage Spurgeon reminds his hearers of their complete inability apart from the work of God.
"Man has done much, but there is a limit to his power, and let him not boast of what he can do, for his strength is but derived from the Omnipotent."
Primarily, salvation only comes as a gift from God. The very idea of salvation is too high for man’s thoughts, not to mention the obedience necessary to obtain it. No one — not Spurgeon, Luther, Wesley or Edwards; not even Peter, Paul, John, or James — can embrace faith by human means.
"The embracing of grace by the simple act of faith never has been done by man alone in a single instance."
And yet, where man falls short, God steps in. Not only is man completely inadequate, but with God all things are possible. His hand is not too short to save even the vilest of sinners. God can be trusted to sovereignly fulfill all of his plans, purposes, and promises. All things, whether already come or yet to come, are possible for a God of unlimited strength and perfect power.
Where did Spurgeon draw his strength? From God alone.
“Sinner, quit vain confidence. Look to the Strong One”
Read an excerpt from “Man’s Weakness and God’s Strength” below, and make sure not to miss The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon, vol. 2, available now.
About The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon
In 1857, Charles Spurgeon–—the most popular preacher in the Victorian world—–promised his readers that he would publish his earliest sermons. For almost 160 years, these sermons have been lost to history. In 2017, B&H Academic began releasing a multi-volume set that includes full-color facsimiles, transcriptions, contextual and biographical introductions, and editorial annotations. Written for scholars, pastors, and students alike, The Lost Sermons of C.H. Spurgeon will add approximately 10 percent more material to Spurgeon’s body of literature. Click here for an interview between Jared Wilson and Christian George about the Lost Sermons project.