Jesus Christ Himself – The Substance Of The Gospel
By Charles H. Spurgeon (1834 – 1892)
“Jesus Christ Himself” is the Substance of the Gospel, and therefore how closely should we study Him. While He was here He taught His disciples, and the object of His teaching was that they might know Him, and through Him might know the Father. As He walked with the two disciples to Emmaus, they had a wide choice of subjects for conversation, but He chose the old theme, and “beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). No topic was half as important or profitable! No mere man may come to teach himself, but this divine One can have nothing better to reveal, for He Himself, the incarnate God, is the chief of all the truths of God!
This also, beloved, is the work of the Holy Spirit. “He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine and shall show it unto you” (John 16:14). The Holy Spirit reveals Christ to us and in us. Whatever things Christ has spoken while He was here, the Holy Spirit opens to the mind and to the understanding. The Comforter is the instructor, and Jesus is the lesson.
I dare say you long to know a thousand things, but the main point of knowledge to be desired is Jesus Himself. This was His teaching, and this is the Holy Spirit’s teaching – and this is the end and objective of the Bible! Moses, Isaiah, and all the prophets spoke of Him – and the things which are recorded in this Book were written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, and that believing you might have life through His name. Precious is this Book, but its main preciousness lies in its revealing Jesus Himself! It is the field which contains the pearl of great price, the case which encloses heaven’s brightest jewel. We have missed our way in the Bible if its silken clue has not led us to the central chamber where we see Jesus Himself!
We have never been truly taught of the Holy Spirit, and we have missed the teaching of the life of Christ unless we have come to abide in Jesus Himself. To know Him is our beginning of wisdom, and our crown of wisdom. To know Him is our first lesson on repentance, and our last attainment as we enter heaven. Our ambition is that we may know the love of Christ by which passes knowledge. May the Lord grant that the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.
Beloved, because Jesus is the sum of the Gospel, He must be our constant theme. “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Gal. 6:14). “…I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). So spoke men of old, and so say we. When we have done preaching Christ we had better have done preaching; when you have done teaching in your classes Jesus Christ Himself, give up Sunday school work, for nothing else is worthy of your pains! Put out the sun, and light is gone, life is gone; all is gone.
He who is the study of the saints must be the daily theme of ministers if they would feed the flock of God! No theme so moves the heart, so awakens the conscience, so satisfies the desires, and so calms the fears. God forbid we should ever fail to preach Jesus Himself! There is no fear of exhausting the subject, nor of our driving away our hearers, for His words are still true, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me” (John 12:32).