Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lloyd-Jones and Spurgeon on the offense of the cross

“The offence of the cross is this – that I am so condemned and so lost and so hopeless that if He, Jesus Christ, had not died for me, I would never know God, and I could never be forgiven. And that hurts; it annoys; it tells me that I am hopeless, that I am vile, that I am useless; and as a natural man I do not like it.” (Lloyd-Jones, David Martyn. Romans: An Exposition of Chapter 1 ; the Gospel of God. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1985. Print.266)

In a sermon entitled The Offense of the Cross, C. H. Spurgeon explains the offense of the cross:

Our limits forbid any attempt to be elaborate and we commence by saying that “the offense of the Cross” lies, first, in the way in which it deals with all human wisdom ... But there is something in the Cross of Christ which hurts men’s pride even more than this! And that is, it is opposed to all their notions of human ability ... And the Cross offends men, yet again, because it goes clean contrary to their ideas of human merit ... But there is another offense which is a very grievous one and the world has never forgiven the Cross that “offense” yet—it will not recognize any distinctions between mankind

Spurgeon continues on the preaching of the gospel, or lack of it, and the ensuing offense:

If the Cross of Christ is an offense and always was an offense, what is the reason why so many professed Christians go on so easily from January to December and never have any trouble about it? Old John Berridge said, “If you do not preach the Gospel, you may sleep soundly enough. But if you preach it faithfully, you will hardly have a sound place in your skin, for you will soon have enemies enough assailing you.” How is it that we never hear of any slander against a great many ministers? Everything goes easily and comfortably with them. Nobody is ever offended with their preaching. People go out of their chapel doors and say, “What a nice sermon! It was just the thing for everybody, and nobody could be offended.” They do not fully preach the Gospel, or they would be sure to offend some people! Suppose that somebody says to me, “Do you know that Mrs. So-and-So was fearfully offended with your last sermon?” That is no trouble to me if I know that I have preached the Truth of God! A celebrated preacher was once told that he had pleased all his hearers. “Ah,” he said, “there is another sermon lost.”

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