Posted by: Billy Marsh | May 25, 2008

Spurgeon Says Christ is Better than All Books

Charles H. Spurgeon

In preparing for this week’s Sunday school lesson for the Gospel of John class at Redeemer Church, I read a sermon by Charles H. Spurgeon on John 21:16 and immediately was reminded why he has been labeled “the Prince of Preachers.” He writes 18 pages on Jesus’ simple question posed to Peter on the seashore, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Often, when I hear that someone has found so many things to say on such a small part of Scripture, I wonder how much of its content is nothing more than rambling; yet, I found those thoughts in my head quickly rebuked by both Spurgeon and the Lord as I became more aware of how rich Scripture is and how little I plumb its depths. Even more so, I was blown away by Spurgeon’s unfailing ability to bring to light such convicting application. Needless to say, I am glad that the Lord led me to this obscure message hidden away in the tenth volume of Spurgeon’s sermons. Line after line my affections, motivations, and sinful heart were sifted and searched by the simple question, as if Jesus were standing directly in front of me asking it to my face, “Billy, do you love me?” Spurgeon’s words and insights from this passage were greatly needed on my end, and I hope that the following quote ministers just as much to you. This is only one small passage in the sermon, but serves as an example of the wealth of introspective application of the sermon that grips your soul for all 18 pages of exposition with respect to the question, “Lovest thou me?”

Brother, you may turn over the pages of your book, you may digest doctrine after doctrine, you may take up theological propositions and problems, and you may labor to solve this difficulty and expound that text, and meet the other question, till, somehow or other, the heart grows as dry as the leaves of the volume, and the book-worm feeds on the soul as well as the paper eating its way into the spirit. It is, therefore, a healthy thing for the Lord to come into the study and close the book, and say to the student, “Sit still a while, and let me ask thee, ‘Lovest thou me?’ I am better than all the books and studies; hast thou a warm, human, living love to me?”

I hope many of you are very diligent students–if you teach in the Sunday school you ought to be, if you preach in the streets or in cottage meetings you ought to be. How shall you fill others if you are not full yourselves? But at the same time look most of all to the condition of your heart toward Christ. To know is good, but to love is better. If thou wilt study thou canst solve all problems; yet if thou lovest not, thou hast failed to comprehend the mystery of mysteries, and to know the most excellent of sciences. Knowledge puffeth up, but love buildeth up. Look well, then, to the question, “Lovest thou me?” ~ Spurgeon, “Lovest Thou Me?”, vol. 10, 331.

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Responses

  1. Well said as always.

  2. My thoughts excactly!

  3. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation :) Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Lafayette.

  4. Something good to remember and be reminded of..


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