“The light of the glorious gospel of Christ.” —2 Corinthians 4:4
Paul was a man of one idea. The gospel of Christ had saturated his soul as the dew saturated Gideon’s fleece. He could think of nothing else, and speak of nothing else, but the glory of Christ crucified. Important events in politics transpired in the apostle’s day, but I cannot remember an allusion to them. Great social problems were to be solved, but his one and only solution was the preaching of that great Saviour who is to cleanse the Augean stables of the world. For Paul there was but one thing worth living for, and that one thing was worth dying for. He did not count even his life dear unto him that he might win Christ, and be found in him. Hence his spirits rose or sank according to the prosperity or decline of the kingdom of Christ. When he writes an epistle, his mood varies according to the spiritual condition of the people to whom he writes. If their faith growth exceedingly, and if from them sounds forth the word of God, then is he jubilant in his tone; but if they are declining in grace, if there are divisions among them, if false doctrine is ravaging them like a wolf in the sheep-fold, then he is solemn in spirit, and he writes with a heavy hand. In this case Paul laments the condition of those who could not see what was so plain to himself— namely, the gospel of the glory of Christ. He saw most clearly the glory of his Lord, and that precious gospel which is built up thereon, and he marvelled that others could not see it also. Considering their case with care, he sorrowfully perceived that they must first have shut their eyes by wilful unbelief, and that, therefore, Satan had exercised his evil power, and had utterly blinded them. The blaze of the gospel is so bright that, even with their eyes averted, some measure of light must have entered their minds, unless some special evil power had operated to hold them in darkness. The devil himself must have blinded them, and even he found it a great task to shut out the glorious light, and to accomplish it he had to assume all his power as “the god of this world.” It needed that the cunning with which he apes the Godhead should be put forth to the full to close the perceptive faculties of men against the clear and forcible light of the truth of the gospel. The light of the glorious gospel, like that of the morning dawn, would have been seen even by dim eyes, had not the infernal prince blindfolded the thoughts of men, and made their minds as dark as his own. The light of the gospel is intense, and by a faithful ministry it is flashed in the very faces of men; and therefore, in fear of losing his subjects, the prince of darkness hastens to blind their eyes. Jesus comes to give sight, and Satan comes to destroy it. They each know the value of those eyes by which men look and live. The battle rages at the mental Eye-gate. The conflict between the two champions is raised upon the question— shall men behold the light, or shall they abide in darkness?
Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Delivered Sunday Morning, March 31, 1889
at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 35, Sermon No. 2077
“The Gospel of the Glory of Christ”