Dr. Nettles continues to guide readers on a fascinating account of Spurgeon’s ministry by beginning with his first sermon and first pastorate. Spurgeon himself admitted, “I felt my own inability to preach.” Yet the rookie preacher acknowledged from the beginning that God had his number. Spurgeon affirmed the irresistible sovereign grace that God wielded upon his life, the One who “had plucked me as a brand from the burning, and set me upon a rock, and put a new song in my mouth, and established my goings.”
Spurgeon affirmed the doctrines of grace at the beginning of his ministry and finished strong as a five point Calvinist. He proclaimed, “I am a Calvinist … It is Calvinism they want in London, and any Arminian preaching will not be endured.” My how times have changed. These days, a tepid Arminianism dominates many pulpits, especially in America. And when the doctrines of grace wane, the church diminishes in power and gospel effectiveness. But most of all, the glory of God is obscured.
One notable feature is the power that was manifest in Spurgeon’s pulpit from the onset of his ministry. He remarked, “The pulpit is no place for weak, stunted, deformed, wretched-looking men.” He maintained his commitment to Calvinism with bold resolve while at the same time fleeing from the erroneous doctrine of hyper-Calvinism. Indeed, this man was made for gospel ministry.