‘And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and to preach Jesus Christ.’ Acts 5:42
Suggested Further Reading: 2 Peter 2:1–3
He has, by one sacrifice, for ever put away sin. We shall never preach Christ unless we have a real atonement. There are certain people nowadays who are making the atonement a sort of compromise, and the next step is to make the atonement a display of what ought to have been, instead of the thing which should have been. Then, next, there are some who make it to be a mere picture, an exhibition, a shadow—a shadow, the substance of which they have not seen. And the day will come, in which in some churches the atonement shall be utterly denied, and yet men shall call themselves Christians, while they have broken themselves against the corner-stone of the entire system. There is a limit to the charity of Christians, and there can be none whatever entertained to the man who is dishonest enough to occupy a Christian pulpit and to deny Christ. It is only in the Christian church that such a thing can be tolerated. I appeal to you. Was there ever known a Buddhist who denied the basic doctrine of his religion? Was there ever known a Muslim man who cried down the Prophet? It remains for Christian churches only to have in their midst men who can bear the name of Christian, while they slander the deity of him who is the Christian’s God, and speak lightly of the efficacy of his blood who is the Christian’s atonement.
For meditation: Do you get taken in by half-truths? What does the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross mean to you? It does, for instance, give us an example of how to suffer (1 Peter 2:21), but to major on that is to miss the point. The essence of his death was that he bore our sins and their punishment in our place and for our deliverance (1 Peter 2:24). Have you thanked and trusted him to save you?
N.B. This was Spurgeon’s first sermon in the newly-built Metropolitan Tabernacle and in his Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit series.
Sermon no. 369
25 March (1861)