“He must reign.” – 1 Corinthians 15:25
Charles Spurgeon believed that “there is a divine necessity that [King Jesus] must reign.” In his suffering, Christ was the “King of misery.” His “thorn-crown” was “pre-eminent in the sorrow that it signified.” But, “To-day he is the King of glory, enthroned above all principalities and powers.” And so the King “once dishonoured” is “now exalted in the highest heaven.”
Christ’s kingly majesty was such that he merited not “a place, but the chief place.” In Spurgeon’s view only Christ was fit to be cosmic king. First, “he must reign from the very fact of his essential deity,” but also “as man” for “the Lord has made a covenant with David.” Indeed, “the sovereignty of the world” could only be committed to the great “Mediator” and “Intercessor.”
Furthermore, Spurgeon found Christ’s rule a “sweet comfort” for “none can snatch the government from the hand of Jesus.” Since no one “can drive Christ from the headship of the church,” or his “headship of the providence for the church,” his people were entirely secure.
In the first section of his sermon, Spurgeon addressed the question, “What are the reasons for this ‘Must’?” And here, Spurgeon’s response was “sevenfold.” First, Spurgeon declared that “his empire in itself is such as to ensure perpetuity.” Here he noted that while “the most colossal empires have melted like visions of the night….Christ’s kingdom must stand, because it is based upon the law of love.” Indeed, cross enduring, wrath satisfying love.
Second, Spurgeon asserted “he must reign because his Father decrees it.” In his view, “God did not make this world without a plan.” And since “the eternal purpose of God has ordained that Jesus Christ shall reign eternally” it must be so. Third, Spurgeon noted that “divine justice demands it.” After all, God could not be “unjust to his own Son.” Indeed, “Our Lord came into this world to bleed and die that he might have a reward.”
Fourth, Spurgeon remarked that “Christ’s reigning is inwrought into the order of providence.” That is, “Christ’s reigning is woven into the warp and woof of providence.” And while we may not see it, “it is coming.” Fifth, Spurgeon noted that “the Holy Spirit has been given to the church to subserve this glorious end.” The Holy Spirit “is the church’s power” and would ensure the advancement of Christ’s kingdom.
Sixth, Spurgeon believed that “he is naturally the chief of the human race.” Indeed, if the “blind world” had “grace enough to see but half the beauties of Christ” they would bow the knee at once. Seventh, Spurgeon observed that “the power to reign belongs to him.” Monarchs come and go, but “Jesus Christ is no puny pretender to the throne.” Indeed, “as his cause is good, his arm is strong.” Spurgeon knew that one day Christ would come and take his kingdom, and marveled “What a total overthrow the powers of darkness will sustain!”
In the second section of his sermon, Spurgeon offered a few words of “Encouragement.” First, he noted that when Christ reigns “then all our enemies will be subdued.” While believers “fight daily with sin” now, “Jesus, the King of kings, must hold his court in the castle-yard of your heart.” Indeed, one day believers will struggle with sin no more.
Second, Spurgeon noted that “our efforts are not in vain.” If Christ must reign, “then every soldier who fights for Christ is contributing to the victory.” And so the many “silent prayers” and “bitter tears” offered for the cause would “not be wasted.” Indeed, Spurgeon said, “If Christ be glorious, it is all the heaven I ask for. If he shall be King of kings, and Lord of lords, let me be nothing.”
In the third, and final, section of his sermon, Spurgeon delivered his “Admonition.” Here Spurgeon asked, “My hearer, has ever reigned in your heart?” The question was serious, as Spurgeon declared “you who have never submitted yourselves to him…will find his reign as terrible as it is sure.” That is, “He will reign over you, either by your consent, or without it.” Indeed, the rod of Christ’s rule would hold sway over all. The question was whether it would be the “glorious silver scepter of mercy” or the “heavy iron rod.”
Why you should take up and read:
Charles Spurgeon believed that “there is a divine necessity that [King Jesus] must reign.” In his suffering, Christ was the “King of misery,” but, “To-day he is the King of glory, enthroned above all principalities and powers.” The King “once dishonoured” is “now exalted in the highest heaven.” In this sermon Spurgeon meditated on the majesty of King Jesus. For those wanting to do so also please take up and read.
Here is the link to the Sermon of the Week:https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/good-news-for-loyal-subjects#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.