The self-giving God.
Charles Spurgeon on the immense gifts given to those who believe.
There are few preachers within the annals of Christendom who possessed more of an aptitude for words quite like Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Throughout his writings, the eminent “Prince of Preachers” utilizes the limits of human language in order to bring to bear the beauty and majesty of God’s grace. Some might disparage him for being long-winded, but, in my mind, Spurgeon’s pastoral and devotional reflections dispense to the reader the privilege of patient reading. That is, reading that demands meditation. Perhaps that sounds more than a little tedious to you. And I suppose you’re right. But notwithstanding the tedium, Spurgeon’s oeuvre is purposefully verbose, as he goes to great lengths to communicate the infinite wonders of the Triune God into the finite phonetics of humankind.
In this snippet from Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning, we profit from his labors as he springboards off of Isaiah 54:5 to reflect on Jesus the Redeemer who gives himself to us. He writes:
Jesus, the Redeemer, is altogether ours and ours forever. All the offices of Christ are held on our behalf. He is king for us, priest for us, and prophet for us. Whenever we read a new title of the Redeemer, let us appropriate Him as ours under that name as much as under any other. The shepherd’s staff, the father’s rod, the captain’s sword, the priest’s mitre, the prince’s sceptre, the prophet’s mantle, all are ours. Jesus hath no dignity which he will not employ for our exaltation, and no prerogative which he will not exercise for our defence. His fulness of Godhead is our unfailing, inexhaustible treasure-house.
His manhood also, which he took up him for us, is ours in all its perfection. To us our gracious Lord communicates the spotless virtue of a stainless character; to us he gives the meritorious efficacy of a devoted life; on us he bestows the reward procured by obedient submission and incessant service. He makes the unsullied garment of his life our covering beauty; the glittering virtues of his character our ornaments and jewels; and the superhuman meekness of his death our boast and glory. He bequeaths us his manger, from which to learn how God came down to man; and his Cross to teach us how man may go up to God. All his thoughts, emotions, actions, utterances, miracles, and intercessions, were for us. He trod the road of sorrow on our behalf, and hath made over to us as his heavenly legacy the full results of all the labours of his life. He is now as much ours as heretofore; and he blushes not to acknowledge himself “our Lord Jesus Christ,” though he is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Christ everywhere and every way is our Christ, forever and ever most richly to enjoy. O my soul, by the power of the Holy Spirit! Call him this morning “thy Redeemer.” (170)
When when we proclaim that Christ gives himself to us, we mean what we say. All that the Lord Jesus is he “bequeaths” and bestows upon us poor and pitiful and putrid sinners, solely on the basis of faith alone. Much like the bridegroom who consigns himself to the one he loves, so, too, does the Christ of God confer all that he is over to those who believe. Which means that we, the Bride of Christ, are made to enjoy and glory in all the gifts which have been imparted to us. Rejoice, Christian, you are his and he is yours.
Grace and peace.
Charles Spurgeon, “June 18,” Morning by Morning; or, Daily Readings for the Family or the Closet (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1866).