“You need nothing but Christ.”
Charles Spurgeon believed with the Apostle Paul that it was “a great privilege to be allowed to preach the gospel.” It was not “drudgery” but was to be entered upon with “intense delight.” This was because as “Heralds of salvation” they carried “the most joyful of all messages.”
Indeed, the office of preaching was invested with weighty responsibility which in turn produced a unique glory. Accordingly, the great evangelist George Whitefield often called his pulpit his “throne” and while preaching was more happy “than if he had assumed the imperial purple.” The glorious gospel of Jesus Christ dignified God’s servant who proclaimed it.
So, it was only natural that Spurgeon charged young men “fired with sacred enthusiasm” to “aspire to this office.” However, the same gospel which dignified God’s servants also humbled them profoundly. As Spurgeon said, “if you would know your nothingness, attempt some great thing for Jesus.” Furthermore, if “you would feel utterly powerless” then the solution was to attempt to “[proclaim] the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Indeed, Christ had the power to save, not man.
In the first section of his sermon, Spurgeon expounded upon “The glorious person” of Jesus Christ. First, Spurgeon noted that “the Lord Jesus Christ was the first promise of God to the sons of men after the fall.”
Indeed, when Jesus the God-man was born to the Virgin Mary he was both “infant, and yet infinite,” he was a “span long” and yet filled “all eternity,” and the babe “wrapped in swaddling bands” was too great for “space to hold him.” And yet, this great God-man, who deserved all human praise, “spent a life in ministry full of suffering” and full “with good to others.”
According to Spurgeon, Jesus Christ “was a man on fire with love.” Indeed, “a man without human imperfections, but with all human sympathies.” A man without sin but full of sorrow. When the world received her messiah they “scourged him,” “mocked him,” and “spat in his face.” In all these things “he was made lower than a slave.” But, Christ “reached his greatest when he stooped the lowest.”
In his sermon, Spurgeon observed that the Apostle Paul “preached the doctrines of the gospel, but he did not preach them apart from the person of Christ.” In Spurgeon’s view, “certainly the doctrines are to be preached,” but they were the “robes and vestments of the man Christ Jesus.” Indeed, the person of Christ was not to be divorced from the doctrines of the gospel.
In the second section of his sermon, Spurgeon focused on “The unsearchable riches Christ.” Here Spurgeon asserted that “Paul had no stinted Saviour to present to a few,” rather he had “a great Saviour to the great masses,” and “a great Saviour to great sinners.”
First, Christ has “unsearchable riches of love to sinners as they are.” Indeed, every sinner’s name was on the “condemned list,” but by belief in Jesus “Christ’s name is put in your stead.” For Spurgeon, “the greatest wonder of divine love” was this, “that it should be set upon us as sinners.”
Second, Christ has “riches of pardon for those who repent of their sins.” By his death Jesus became “immensely rich in pardoning power – so rich indeed that no guiltiness can possibly transcend the efficacy of his precious blood.” Indeed, Christ’s blood is omnipotent and can wash out “blasphemy, adultery, fornication, lying, slander, perjury, theft, [and] murder.”
Furthermore, Christ has “riches of comfort for all that mourn,” “riches of wisdom,” and “riches of happiness.” Indeed, nothing could compare to Christ, as Spurgeon said, “I have had more joy in half-an-hour’s communion with Christ than I have found in months of other comforts.” As a result he charged his hearers to “never tolerate low thoughts of my Lord Jesus.”
In the third, and final, section of his sermon, Spurgeon examined “The royal intention” of his text. He declared that “my Lord Jesus Christ is very strong” and that “all that strength is pledged to help a poor weak sinner to enter heaven.” The Lord Christ was a “great king” who reigns with “irresistible power” which he “swears to give to believers to help them reign over their sins.”
Furthermore, the Lord Jesus “is full of merit” and “every atom of that merit he vows to give to sinners who will confess that they have no merits of the own, and will trust in him.” Accordingly Spurgeon concluded by charging the “poor sinner” to “take my Master, and he will be enough for you.”
“Leave your sins, leave your follies, leave your self-righteousness. Jesus Christ stands at the open door of grace, more willing to receive you than you are to be received by him.”
“You need nothing but Christ.”
Why you should take up and read:
Charles Spurgeon believed with the Apostle Paul that it was “a great privilege to be allowed to preach the gospel.” It was not “drudgery” but was to be entered upon with “intense delight.” This was because as “Heralds of salvation” they carried “the most joyful of all messages,” that lost sinners “need nothing but Christ.” For those wanting to plumb the unsearchable riches of Christ please be encouraged to take up and read.
Here is the link to the Sermon of the Week:https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/the-unsearchable-riches-of-christ#flipbook/
Phillip Ort serves at the Director of The Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City where he is also pursuing a Master of Divinity degree.