12 July 2010

Spurgeon: 'There Is No Adjective'

I try to avoid long-ish posts at all costs, but this one is too meaningful to abbreviate.

Do you understand the gospel as Spurgeon articulates it here? This is biblical. And, in truth, the only lifeline to sanity.
The basis on which a man comes to Jesus is not as a sensible sinner, but as a sinner, and nothing but a sinner.

He will not come unless he is awakened. But when he comes, he does not say, 'Lord, I come to you because I am an awakened sinner. Save me.' Rather he says, 'Lord, I am a sinner. Save me.' Not his awakening, but his sinnership is the means and the way by which he dares to come.

You will, perhaps, perceive what I mean, for I cannot exactly explain myself just now. In reference to the preaching of a great many Calvinistic clergymen, they will say to a sinner, 'Now, if you feel your need of Christ, if you have repented so much, if you have been scoured by the law to such and such a degree, then you may come to Christ on the grounds that you are an awakened sinner.'

I say this is false.

No one may come to Christ on the basis of his being an awakened sinner. A person must come to him as a sinner.

When I come to Jesus, I know I cannot come unless I am awakened, but, nevertheless, I do not come as an awakened sinner. I do not stand at the foot of His cross to be washed because I have repented. I bring nothing when I come but sin. . . .

The gate of mercy is opened, and over the door it is written, 'This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners' (1 Tim 1:15). Between that word 'save' and the next word 'sinners' there is no adjective. It does not say, 'penitent sinners,' 'awakened sinners,' 'sensible sinners,' 'grieving sinners,' or 'alarmed sinners.' No, it only says 'sinners.'

I know this, that when I come, I come to Christ today, for I feel it is as much a necessity of my life to come to the cross of Christ today as it was to come ten years ago. When I come to him, I dare not come as a conscious sinner, or an awakened sinner, but I have to come still as a sinner with nothing in my hands.

Faith is getting out of yourself and getting into Christ. I know that many hundreds of poor souls have been troubled because the minister has said, 'If you feel your need, you may come to Christ.' 'But,' they say,' I do not feel my need, at least not enough. I am sure I do not.' . . .

Oh, away with this wicked antichrist spirit! It is not your soft heart that entitles you to believe. You are to believe in Christ to renew your hard heart, and come to Him with nothing about you but sin. . . .

My dear reader, do let me put this truth home to you: If you will come to Christ as nothing but a sinner, He will not cast you out. . . . If you are the biggest sinner from hell, you are as fit to come to Christ as if you were the most moral and excellent of men. There is a bath: who is fit to be washed? A man's blackness is no reason why he should not be washed, but the clearer reason why he should be. . . . Your poverty is your preparation. . . .

If you have anything of your own, you must leave it all before you come. If there is anything good in you, you cannot trust Christ.
--Charles Spurgeon, Faith (Whitaker House 1995), excerpts from pages 27-35


Gary H. said...

Glorious grace! Amen.

Eric said...

So profound - thank you, Dane.

Fabienne said...

I'm trying to track down this book, but I can't seem to find it! Is it even a book, or a sermon? Is 'Faith' the full title?

Dane Ortlund said...


I'm sorry, I can't seem to find it online either. I suggest trying online used book stores. Faith is the full title, though it used to have a different title (Faith Alone maybe? I don't have it with me right now...). It is a little book of about 7 or 8 sermons/short talks on different aspects of true faith.