“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 4:4
In Spurgeon’s estimation, the Apostle Paul “was a man of one idea.” Spurgeon believed that “The gospel of Christ had saturated [Paul’s] soul as the dew saturated Gideon’s fleece.” Paul was a man of one aim. “He could think of nothing else, and speak of nothing else, but the glory of Christ crucified.”
Paul’s times were not unlike our own. Spurgeon comments that “Important events in politics transpired in the apostle’s day, but I cannot remember an allusion to them. Great social problems were to be solved, but his one and only solution was the preaching of that great Saviour” who would cleanse the world from its sin. Put simply, “For Paul there was but one thing worth living for, and that one thing was worth dying for. He did not count even his life dear unto him that he might win Christ, and be found in him.”
In the first section of his sermon, Spurgeon called his people, saying, “Let us consider Paul’s name for the gospel: ‘the gospel of the glory of Christ.’” Here Spurgeon noted that “It is very evident that the Apostle felt that the gospel was solely and altogether of Christ.” Spurgeon believed that “The Anointed” was “the one subject of the glad tidings, from beginning to end.” What glad tidings indeed! Spurgeon celebrated that “His death is the birth of our hope; his resurrection is the rising of our buried joy; his session at the right hand of God is the prophecy of our eternal bliss.” Truly “Christ is the author of the gospel, the subject of the gospel, and the end of the gospel.” Christ is all-in-all in the gospel.
But Spurgeon also called his congregation to behold the glory of the gospel in four ways. First, Spurgeon reminded his congregation that “The glory of the gospel, then, lies very much in the glory of our Lord’s person.” Jesus Christ is “Our Redeemer” who was also “a man – man like ourselves, with this exception, that in him there is not taint of natural depravity, and no act of sin ever stained his character.” But Jesus Christ is also “unique: he is the brightness of the Father’s glory,” being begotten and not made, being one with the Father and the Spirit. The glory of Christ’s person only amplified the wonder of his love. “He loved us so, that heaven could not hold him; he loved us so, that he descended to redeem us; and having come among us amid our sin and shame, he loves us still.” All of this caused Spurgeon to exclaim “Love, thou hast reached thine utmost glory in the heart of the divine Saviour!”
Second, Spurgeon called his congregation to remember “his atoning sacrifice.” While the cross was the source of Christ’s “humiliation” and “shame,” these same things when viewed in light of his redeeming work made it his “glory.” To make the point, Spurgeon asked, “Is not the Christ to every loving heart most of all glorious in the death of the cross?” He insisted “On his Cross he bore the whole weight of divine justice in our place.” Indeed, not only was this substitution glorious, it was the very “marrow of the gospel.”
Third, Spurgeon turned his attention to “his resurrection” where he noted that “his glory is more palpable to us.” Jesus Christ “could not be holden by the bonds of death. He was dead: his holy body could die, but it could not see corruption.” Rather, “Rising he sealed our justification.” Accordingly, Spurgeon called his congregation, saying “Let us rejoice that he is not dead, but ever liveth to make intercession for us. This is the gospel to us; for because he lives we shall live also.” Contemplating the collective glory of all these things, Spurgeon cried “Oh the glory of our risen Lord! Consider it deeply, meditate upon it earnestly.”
Fourth, Spurgeon urged his hearers to “lift up your eyes a little higher, and note the glory of our Lord’s enthronement and of his second coming.” Here Spurgeon declared that “He sits at the right hand of God. He that once was hung up upon the tree of shame now sitteth on the throne of universal dominion. Instead of the nail, behold the scepter of all worlds in his most blessed hand.” Indeed, “All things are put under his feet.” Our very Lord Jesus who “was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, is now crowned with glory and honour, and this is the gospel to us.” And Oh, what a glorious gospel it is!
Why you should take up and read:
Charles Spurgeon loved the gospel, and he admired that the Apostle Paul “was a man of one idea,” namely, the gospel. Just like Paul, Spurgeon believed that there was “but one thing worth living for, and that one thing was worthy dying for:” being found in Christ in the gospel. In this sermon Spurgeon extolled the unsurpassed glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ in the gospel. For those wanting to meditate on these things please take up and read.
Here is a link to the Sermon of the Week:https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/the-gospel-of-the-glory-of-christ#flipbook/
Phillip Ort serves as the Director of The Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City while studying in The Residency Ph.D. program.