“And you who have passed from a state of trembling hope into that of lively faith, I beseech you call him so. Let your faith say, as you see him suffering, bleeding, dying, “Thus my sins were washed away.” But let not your faith stay there. As you see him sweating, toiling, living a self-denying laborious life, say,“Thus the law was kept for me.”
COME UP TO THE FOOT OF SINAI NOW, AND IF YOU SEE ITS LIGHTNINGS FLASH, AND HEAR ITS THUNDERS ROAR, BE BRAVE, AND SAY LIKE MOSES, “I WILL ASCEND ABOVE THOSE THUNDERS, I WILL STAND ENWRAPPED WITHIN THE STORM-CLOUD, AND I WILL TALK WITH GOD, FOR I HAVE NO CAUSE FOR FEAR, THERE ARE NO THUNDERBOLTS FOR ME; FOR ME NO LIGHTNING FLASH CAN SPEND ITS ARROW, I AM PERFECTLY, COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED IN THE SIGHT OF GOD, THROUGH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF JESUS CHRIST.” SAY THAT, CHILD OF GOD!”
Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon (June 19, 1834 – January 31, 1892) was a British Particular Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as the “Prince of Preachers”. He was a strong figure in the Reformed Baptist tradition, defending the Church in agreement with the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith understanding, and opposing the liberal and pragmatic theological tendencies in the Church in his day.
Spurgeon is known for a lot of things. But judging by some of the quotes I’ve come across, it seems that his message of grace has not been widely heard.
He once said:“I sometimes wonder that you do not get tired of my preaching, because I do nothing but hammer away on this one nail. With me it is, year after year, ‘None but Jesus!’ Oh, you great saints, if you have outgrown the need of a sinner’s trust in the Lord Jesus, you have outgrown your sins, butyou have also outgrown your grace, and your saintship has ruined you!”
What exactly did he say about the Grace message? Take a look below. I’m inclined to think that he was not just a Grace preacher; he was a Radical Grace preacher. What Spurgeon said are in open and closed inverted commas. I will italicize what the Radical Preachers say today.
1. CS: “No doctrine is so calculated to preserve a man from sin as the doctrine of the grace of God. Those who have called it ‘a licentious doctrine’ did not know anything about it. Poor ignorant things, they little knew that their own vile stuff was the most licentious doctrine under heaven. If they knew the grace of God in truth, they would soon see that there is no preservative from lying like a knowledge that we are elect of God from the foundation of the world. There is nothing like a belief in my eternal perseverance, and the immutability of my Father’s affection, which can keep me near to Him from a motive of simple gratitude.”
Notice what Joseph Prince says, “Grace does not give license to sin rather it produces gratitude to God.”
2. CS: “When God accepts a sinner, He is, in fact, only accepting Christ. He looks into the sinner’s eyes, and He sees His own dear Son’s image there, and He takes him in.”
Joseph Prince and John Nelson Darby says “You are accepted because of Christ’s righteousness, not yours.”
3. CS: “Born, as all of us are by nature, an Arminian, I still believed the old things I had heard continually from the pulpit, and did not see the grace of God. When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me.”
RC Sproul says Irresistible Grace teaches it is God who regenerated you to believe. (RC Sproul)
4. CS: “You will find all true theology summed up in these two short sentences:Salvation is all of the grace of God. Damnation is all of the will of man.”
5. CS: “God never punishes his children in the sense of avenging justice. He chastens as a father does his child, but he never punishes his redeemed as a judge does a criminal. It is unjust to exact punishment from redeemed souls since Christ has been punished in their place. How shall the Lord punish twice for one offense?”
Joseph Prince says God does not punish the same sins twice.
6. CS: “There is no point upon which men make greater mistakes than upon the relation which exists between the law and the gospel. Some men put the law instead of the gospel: others put the gospel instead of the law; some modify the law and the gospel, and preach neither law nor gospel: and others entirely abrogate the law, by bringing in the gospel. Many there are who think that the law is the gospel, and who teach that men by good works of benevolence, honesty, righteousness, and sobriety, may be saved. Such men do err.
CS: On the other hand, many teach that the gospel is a law; that it has certain commands in it, by obedience to which, men are meritoriously saved; such men err from the truth, and understand it not. A certain class maintain that the law and the gospel are mixed, and that partly by observance of the law, and partly by God’s grace, men are saved. These men understand not the truth, and are false teachers. This morning I shall attempt—God helping me to show you what is the design of the law, and then what is the end of the gospel. The coming of the law is explained in regard to its objects: “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound.” Then comes the mission of the gospel: “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”
Joseph Prince and John Nelson Darby said “To preach that you have to balance grace and law is not balance, it is mixture. That is the ministry of condemnation.”
7. CS: “Grace puts its hand on the boasting mouth, and shuts it once for all.”
8. CS: “If grace does not make us differ from other men, it is not the grace which God gives His elect.”
Joseph Prince says “Grace magnifies the Law. It is only when we preach Grace, the Law is magnified. There is no way the law can be kept by men. It could only be kept by Christ. Otherwise, we will boast about keeping it”.
9. CS: “We believe, that the work of regeneration, conversion, sanctificationand faith, is not an act of man’s free will and power, but of the mighty, efficacious and irresistible grace of God.”
10. CS: “The bridge of grace will bear your weight, brother. Thousands of big sinners have gone across that bridge, yea, tens of thousands have gone over it. Some have been the chief of sinners and some have come at the very last of their days but the arch has never yielded beneath their weight. I will go with them trusting to the same support. It will bear me over as it has for them.”
11. CS: “If heaven were by merit, it would never be heaven to me, for if I were in it I should say, ‘I am sure I am here by mistake; I am sure this is not my place; I have no claim to it.’ But if it be of grace and not of works, then we may walk into heaven with boldness.”
Paul Anderson Walsh says “We are as righteous as Jesus because He became sin for us.”
12. CS: “We hold that man is never so near grace as when he begins to feel he can do nothing at all.”
Joseph Prince says “I believe in the law but the purpose which God gave it and that is to bring men to the end of themselves.”
13. CS: “From the Word of God I gather that damnation is all of man, from top to bottom, and salvation is all of grace, from first to last. He that perishes chooses to perish; but he that is saved is saved because God has chosen to save him.”
Sanctification is fully the work of God. (Jerry Bridges)
14. CS: “I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, ‘You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself.’ My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will.”
Restful Increase and Rhythms of Grace are 2 main messages Joseph Prince preaches.
15. CS: “I believe the doctrine of election, because I am quite certain that, if God had not chosen me, I should never have chosen Him; and I am sure He chose me before I was born, or else He never would have chosen me afterwards; and He must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why He should have looked upon me with special love.”
Boast about His love for you and not about your love for Him. A message title from Joseph Prince
16. CS: “If the faith whereby I have laid hold on Christ to be my Savior be altogether wrought in me by the Holy Ghost through grace, then I defy the devil to take away that which he never gave me or to crush that which Jehovah Himself created in me. I defy my free will to fling what it never brought to me. What God has given, created, introduced, and established in the heart, He will maintain there.”
17. CS: “He bids you, he commands you. Let that be your warrant. “This is the commandment, that ye believe on Jesus Christ whom he hath sent.” If you cannot say it with a loud voice, yet with the trembling silence of your soul let heaven hear it. Yes, Jesus, “All unholy and unclean, I am nothing else but sin, yet I dare with fervent venture of these quivering lips to call thee, and to call upon thee now, as the Lord my righteousness.”
My righteousness is a human being. His name is Jesus. (Watchman Nee, Joseph Prince , Paul Anderson Walsh)
CS: And you who have passed from a state of trembling hope into that of lively faith, I beseech you call him so. Let your faith say, as you see him suffering, bleeding, dying, “Thus my sins were washed away.” But let not your faith stay there. As you see him sweating, toiling, living a self-denying laborious life, say,“Thus the law was kept for me.”
COME UP TO THE FOOT OF SINAI NOW, AND IF YOU SEE ITS LIGHTNINGS FLASH, AND HEAR ITS THUNDERS ROAR, BE BRAVE, AND SAY LIKE MOSES, “I WILL ASCEND ABOVE THOSE THUNDERS, I WILL STAND ENWRAPPED WITHIN THE STORM-CLOUD, AND I WILL TALK WITH GOD, FOR I HAVE NO CAUSE FOR FEAR, THERE ARE NO THUNDERBOLTS FOR ME; FOR ME NO LIGHTNING FLASH CAN SPEND ITS ARROW, I AM PERFECTLY, COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED IN THE SIGHT OF GOD, THROUGH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF JESUS CHRIST.” SAY THAT, CHILD OF GOD!
18. CS: “In spiritual things, when God has raised a desire, He always gratifies it; hence the longing is prophetic of the blessing. In no case is the desire of the living thing excited to produce distress, but in order that it may seek and find satisfaction.”
19. CS: “Free grace can go into the gutter, and bring up a jewel!”
20. CS: “If one dear saint of God had perished, so might all; if one of the covenant ones be lost, so may all be; and then there is no gospel promise true, but the Bible is a lie, and there is nothing in it worth my acceptance. I will be an infidel at once when I can believe that a saint of God can ever fall finally. If God hath loved me once, then He will love me forever.”
21. CS: “A lying doctrine will soon beget a lying practice. A man cannot have an erroneous belief without by-and-by having an erroneous life. I believe the one thing naturally begets the other.Of all men, those have the most disinterested piety, the sublimest reverence, the most ardent devotion, who believe that they are saved by grace, without works, through faith, and that not of themselves, it is the gift of God.”
Right believing leads to Right Living is a familiar phrase used by Joseph Prince.
As such I find it strange that many who read Spurgeon would actually think Radical Grace believers are believing a false doctrine. I hope this changes their minds.