By Charles Spurgeon
Doctrines!” says one, “we are tired of doctrines.”
“For forms and creeds let graceless bigots fight,
He can’t be wrong whose life is in the right.”
The opinion is current that to be fluent and original is the main thing in preaching, and provided a man is a clever orator it is a proper thing to hear him.
The Lord will wither with the breath of his nostrils that cleverness in any man which departs from the simplicity of the truth. There is a gospel, and “there is also another gospel which is not another, but there be some that trouble you.” There is a yea yea, and there is a nay nay; and woe unto those whose preaching is yea and nay, for it shall not stand in the great day when the Lord shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
Search ye, my brethren, and know what the gospel is, and when you do know it, hold it: hold it as with a hand of iron, and never relax your grasp. Grievous wolves have come in among us, wolves of another sort to what were wont to be in the churches, yet, verily, after the same fashion they come disguised in sheep’s clothing. They use our very terms and phrases, meaning all the while something else; they take away the essentials and vitalities of the faith, and replace them with their own inventions, which they brag of as being more consistent with modern thought and with the culture of this very advanced and enlightened age, which seems by degrees to be advancing, half of it to Paganism with the Ritualists, and the other half of it to Atheism with the Rationalists.
From such advances may God save us! May we be enabled to keep the faith, and uphold the truth which we know, by which also we are saved. I, for one, cannot desert the grand doctrine of the atoning blood, the substitutionary work of Christ, and the truths which cluster around it.
And why can I not desert these things? Because my life, my peace, my hope, hang upon them. I am a lost man if there be no substitutionary sacrifice, and I know it. If the Son of God did not die, “the just for the unjust, to bring us to God,” I must be damned; and, therefore all the instincts of my nature cling to the faith of Jesus. How can I give up that which has redeemed my soul, and given me joy and peace and a hope hereafter?
I beseech you, do not waver in your belief, but keep the faith, lest ye be like some in old time, who “made shipwreck of faith and a good conscience,” and were utterly cast away. Woe unto those who keep not the doctrines of the gospel, for in due time they forget its precepts also and become utterly reprobate. In departing from Christ men forsake their own mercies both for life and death. The blessed who die in the Lord are those who “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”