Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s Creed

The following is an excerpt from Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s first sermon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, the church’s new location:

“I would propose that the subject of the ministry in this house, as long as this platform shall stand, and as long as this house shall be frequented by worshippers, shall be the person of Jesus Christ.  I am never ashamed to avow myself a Calvinist; I do not hesitate to take the name of Baptist; but if I am asked what is my creed, I reply – ‘It is Jesus Christ’.

My venerated predecessor, Dr. Gill, has a body of divinity, admirable and excellent in its way; but the body of divinity to which pin and bind myself forever, god helping me, is not his system, or any other human treatise; but Jesus Christ, who is the sum and substance of the gospel, who is in himself all theology, the incarnation of every precious truth, the all-glorious personal embodiment of the way, the truth, and the life.”  (emphasis added)

In other words, Spurgeon didn’t major in minors.  He knew to put Jesus Christ before his denomination and so on.  In fact, Spurgeon had a paedobaptist as principal of his college.   I believe this is a good model for all of us.  Rather than allowing our views on secondary and tertiary issues–though important–to divide us.

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7 Responses to Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s Creed

  1. Jon Hughes says:

    Spurgeon could be pretty partisan regarding Calvinism:

    “…there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else.”

    Where does that leave Arminians? Do they not preach Christ and Him crucified in Spurgeon’s estimation? Do they not have the gospel??

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  2. TC says:

    Jon, even ol’ Spurgeon had feet of clay. I personally believe he was too zealous in his Calvinism (others may disagree with me).

    You’re correct about the implications of Spurgeon’s “Calvinism is the gospel.” I’ve always objected to such a statement.

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    • Jon Hughes says:

      You’re absolutely right, TC.

      Although I love his “all men means ALL men, not SOME men” sermon from 1 Timothy 2:4. That’s Spurgeon at his brilliant best!

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      • TC says:

        Yes, an excellent sermon indeed, featuring honest wrestling with the text of Scripture against a doctrinal position.

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  3. Colin Heath says:

    If I delved into the Internet held records I could probably find one of his sermons/writings where he commented on Arminians. He expected to meet them (most?) in Eternity. If my memory is correct he suspected they had more self doubt about their destiny than he did but when they looked entirely to Christ, then they were saved , perhaps in spite of as much as because of……..(my take). Can someone find the quote?

    Meanwhile I see the Gospel as far greater than Calvin, Arminus, Luther, Zwingli, Cranmer or anyone else. These wonderful people have done so much to point us and guide us, but they remain fallible and fallen .

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    • Jon Hughes says:

      Amen, Colin.

      I get in trouble sometimes with certain ‘zealous brethren’ for going much further – by affirming that Catholics *can* be genuinely saved believers. On this I like what N.T. Wright says: “It’s faith in Christ that saves, not faith in justification by faith.”

      Maybe we’ll all grow up one day.

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  4. TC says:

    Colin, yes, we all remain fallible and fallen and need to learn from each other, especially with those we disagree.

    Jon, I love that Wright quote. :D

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