C.H.Spurgeon's Testimony

 

 

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THE CONVERSION OF
CHARLES SPURGEON
(His Personal Testimony)

Related Resource: Frank Boreham's book "A Bunch of Everlastings" - Chapter 14 = C H Spurgeon's Text - subtitled "Snow, Snow, Snow".

 "Turn to Me & be saved, all the ends of the earth
 for I am
God & there is no other
. "
Isaiah 45:22

In my conversion, the very point lay in making the discovery that I had nothing to do but

 

To look to Christ
and I should be saved.

 

I believe that I had been a very good, attentive hearer; my own impression about myself was that nobody ever listened much better than I did. For years, as a child, I tried to learn the way of salvation; and either I did not hear it set forth, which I think cannot quite have been the case, or else I was spiritually blind and deaf, and could not see it and could not hear it; but the good news that I was, as a sinner, to look away from myself to Christ, as much startled me, and came as fresh to me, as any news I ever heard in my life. Had I never read my Bible? Yes, and I read it earnestly. Had I never been taught by Christian people? Yes, I had, by mother, and father, and others. Had I not heard the gospel? Yes, I think I had; and yet, somehow, it was like a new revelation to me that I was to ''believe and live.'' I confess to have been tutored in piety, put into my cradle by prayerful hands, and lulled to sleep by songs concerning Jesus; but after having heard the gospel continually, with line upon line, precept upon precept, here much and there much, yet, when the Word of the Lord came to me with power, it was as new as if I had lived among the unvisited tribes of Central Africa, and had never heard the tidings of the cleansing fountain filed with blood, drawn from the Savior's veins.

When, for the first time, I received the gospel to my soul's salvation, I thought that I had never really heard it before, and I began to think that the preachers to whom I had listened had not truly preached it. But, on looking back, I am inclined to believe that I had heard the gospel fully preached many hundreds of times before, and that this was the difference,--that I then heard it as though I heard it not; and when I did hear it, the message may not have been any more clear in itself than it had been at former times, but the power of the Holy Spirit was present to open my ear, and to guide the message to my heart….

I sometimes think I might have been in darkness and despair until now had it not been for the goodness of God in sending a snowstorm, one Sunday morning, while I was going to a certain place of worship. When I could go no further, I turned down a side street, and came to a little Primitive Methodist Chapel. In that chapel there may have been a dozen or fifteen people. I had heard of the Primitive Methodists, how they sang so loudly that they made people's heads ache; but that did not matter to me. I wanted to know how I might be saved, and if they could tell me that, I did not care how much they made my head ache. The minister did not come that morning; he was snowed up, I suppose. At last, a very thin-looking man, a shoemaker, or tailor, or something of that sort, went up into the pulpit to preach. Now, it is well that preachers should be instructed; but this man was really stupid. He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had little else to say. The text was,--'

LOOK UNTO ME, AND BE YE SAVED,
ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH.

Isaiah 45:22KJV

He did not even pronounce the words rightly, but that did not matter. There was, I thought, a glimpse of hope for me in that text. The preacher began thus:--'

'My dear friends, this is a very simple text indeed. It says, 'Look.' Now lookin' don't take a deal of pains. It ain't liftin' your foot or your finger; it is just, 'Look.' Well, a man needn't go to College to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look. A man needn't be worth a thousand a year to be able to look. Anyone can look; even a child can look. But then the text says, 'Look unto Me.' Ay!'' said he, in broad Essex, ''Many on ye are lookin' to yourselves, but it's no use lookin' there. You'll never find any comfort in yourselves. Some look to God the Father. No, look to Him by-and-by. Jesus Christ says, 'Look unto Me.' Some on ye say, 'We must wait for the Spirit's workin'.' You have no business with that just now. Look to Christ. The text says, 'Look unto Me.' ''

Then the good man followed up his text in this way:--

''Look unto Me; I am sweatin' great drops of blood. Look unto Me; I am hangin' on the cross. Look unto Me; I am dead and buried. Look unto Me; I rise again. Look unto Me; I ascend to Heaven. Look unto Me; I am sittin' at the Father's right hand. O poor sinner, look unto Me! Look unto Me!''

When he had gone to about that length, and managed to spin out ten minutes or so, he was at the end of his tether. Then he looked at me under the gallery, and I daresay, with so few present, he knew me to be a stranger. Just fixing his eyes on me, as if he knew all my heart, he said,

''Young man, you look very miserable.''

Well, I did; but I had not been accustomed to have remarks made from the pulpit on my personal appearance before. However, it was a good blow, struck right home. He continued,

''and you always will be miserable--miserable in life, and miserable in death,--if you don't obey my text; but if you obey now, this moment, you will be saved.''

Then, lifting up his hands, he shouted, as only a Primitive Methodist could do,

''You man, look to Jesus Christ. Look! Look! Look! You have nothin' to do but to look and live.''

 

I saw at once the way of salvation. I know not what else he said,--I did not take much notice of it -- I was so possessed with that one thought. Like as when the brazen serpent was lifted up, the people only looked and were healed, so it was with me. I had been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard that word, ''Look!'' what a charming word it seemed to me! Oh! I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away. There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun; and I could have risen that instant, and sung with the most enthusiastic of them, of the precious blood of Christ, and simple faith which looks alone to Him. Oh, that somebody had told me this before, ''Trust Christ, and you shall be saved.''…

It is not everyone who can remember the very day and hour of his deliverance; but, as Richard Knill said, ''At such a time of the day, clang went every harp in Heaven, for Richard Knil was born again,'' it was e'en so with me. The clock of mercy struck in Heaven the hour and moment of my emancipation, for the time had come. Between half-past ten o'clock, when I entered that chapel, and half-past twelve o'clock, when I was back again at home, what a change had taken place in me! I had passed from darkness into marvelous light, from death to life.

 

Simply by looking to Jesus, I had been delivered from despair, and I was brought into such a joyous state of mind that, when they saw me at home, they said to me, ''Something wonderful has happened to you;'' and I was eager to tell them all about it….I have always considered, with Luther and Calvin, that the sum and substance of the gospel lies in that word Substitution, --Christ standing in the stead of man. If I understand the gospel, it is this: I deserve to be lost for ever; the only reason why I should not be damned is, that Christ was punished in my stead, and there is no need to execute a sentence twice for sin. On the other hand, I know I cannot enter Heaven unless I have a perfect righteousness; I am absolutely certain I shall never have one of my own, for I find I sin every day; but then Christ had a perfect righteousness, and He said, ''There, poor sinner, take My garment, and put it on; you shall stand before God as if you were Christ, and I will stand before God as if I had been the sinner; I will suffer in the sinner's stead, and you shall be rewarded for works which you did not do, but which I did for you.'' I find it very convenient every day to come to Christ as a sinner, as I came as the first. ''You are no saint,'' says the devil. Well, if I am not, I am a sinner, and Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Sink or swim, I go to Him; other hope I have none. By looking to Him, I received all the faith which inspired me with confidence in His grace; and the word that first drew my soul--''Look unto Me,''--still rings its clarion note in my ears. There I once found conversion, and there I shall ever find refreshing and renewal.

THE POWER OF
GOD'S WORD

Charles Haddon Spurgeon experienced the power (dunamis) of God's Word which is

able (dunamai in present tense = God's Word continually has this inherent or intrinsic ability - no other writing can make such a claim - Application: Focus your attention on the Word, not men's writings about the Word!) to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2Timothy 3:15-note).

James echoes the dunamis power of God's Word...

Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able (dunamai in present tense = continually able) to save your souls. (James 1:21-note)

The Scriptures themselves do not save but they do point to Christ Jesus, the One Who saves  unregenerate sinners who exercise sincere faith (2Timothy 1:5-note) in Him.

Paul describes the energizing effect of the Word of God in his first epistle to the Thessalonians...

And for this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received (paralambano) from us the Word of God's message, you accepted (dechomai) it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the Word of God, which also performs (energeo - energizes, works effectively - present tense = the Word of God continually performs) its work in you who believe. (1Thessalonians 2:13-note)

Related Resource: Inductive Study on the Power of God's Word

Spurgeon who experienced the power of God's Word, went on to become one of the greatest preachers of God's Word. The following Spurgeon anecdote beautifully illustrates the supernatural power of God's Word...

The renowned preacher C H Spurgeon once tested an auditorium in which he was to speak that evening. Stepping into the pulpit, he loudly proclaimed,

Behold the lamb of God
Who takes away the sin of the world.
(Jn 1:29)

Satisfied with the acoustics, he left and went his way. Unknown to him, there were two men working in the rafters of that large auditorium, neither one a Christian. One of the men was pricked in his conscience by the verse Spurgeon quoted and became a believer later that day! Such is the penetrating power of God's eternal word!

Little wonder that Paul is so insistent on our "preaching of the Word" (2Ti 4:2-note)

 

RELATED RESOURCES

Spurgeon's Gems on Prayer
Spurgeon's Devotional - Faith's Checkbook

January - March

April - June

July - September

October - December

Spurgeon's Sermons on Ruth

Spurgeon on the Attributes of God

Spurgeon on Daniel - Devotionals
Spurgeon on the Psalms - Sermons and Devotionals Indexed by Scripture
Spurgeon on the Psalms - Part 1 - Full Devotionals from Morning and Evening Indexed by Scripture
Spurgeon on the Psalms - Part 2 - Full Devotionals from Morning and Evening Indexed by Scripture

 

 


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Last Updated July, 2013

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