No Rocking Horse Necessary

Five Easter BabiesEach Sunday, the Pyromaniacs’ blog (which is really a must-read blog for Christians) features a sermon, devotional or other piece of writing by Charles Spurgeon. So often, it seems as if Spurgeon saw straight into the 21st Century Church. His admonishments seem perfectly tailored to the trends currently rippling throughout evangelical circles, almost as if he was writing prophetically. Of course, in reality 19th Century Christians struggled with the same temptations toward doctrinal dilution that trouble the Church today. Pyromaniacs’ team of writers devote Sundays to Spurgeon precisely because he fought the same battle for the Church to submit to the authority of Scripture that they’re fighting now.

Their March 11, 2012 post, The Sufficiency of Scripture, dovetails so beautifully into our current discussions on this blog that I wanted to direct your attention to it. Spurgeon’s concern, though not specifically with “listening prayer,” is that God’s people not add to the Word of God. He regarded the Bible as being completely sufficient as a medium for hearing God’s voice. He reasons:

The Scriptures in their own sphere are like God in the universe—All-sufficient. In them is revealed all the light and power the mind of man can need in spiritual things. We hear of other motive power beyond that which lies in the Scriptures, but we believe such a force to be a pretentious nothing. A train is off the lines, or otherwise unable to proceed, and a break-down gang has arrived. Engines are brought to move the great impediment. At first there seems to be no stir: the engine power is not enough. Harken! A small boy has it. He cries, “Father, if they have not power enough, I will lend them my rocking-horse to help them.”

We have had the offer of a considerable number of rocking-horses of late. They have not accomplished much that I can see, but they promised fair. I fear their effect has been for evil rather than good: they have moved the people to derision, and have driven them out of the places of worship which once they were glad to crowd. The new toys have been exhibited, and the people, after seeing them for a little, have moved on to other toy-shops. These fine new nothings have done no good, and they never will do any good while the world standeth.

The Word of God is quite sufficient to interest and bless the souls of men throughout all time; but novelties soon fail.

“In them [the Scriptures] is revealed all the light and power the mind of man can need in spiritual things.” Right there, Spurgeon has made his point. Yes, the Holy Spirit reminds us of Scripture as we seek His guidance, and in that respect I can whole-heartedly agree that He speaks to present-day Christians. But until Christ’s return, He will not go beyond Scripture. Christ’s sheep know His voice as we read the Bible because the Holy Spirit living in us causes us to recognize  His voice.

It’s that simple. And that profound.

5 thoughts on “No Rocking Horse Necessary

  1. Before I was saved I was religious as a Seventh day Adventist and read the Bible, but it did me no good, they were dry lifeless words on page after page to me….until the Lord through His Holy Spirit breathed life into those words by making me receptive to His Word. Call it providence if you’d like, I will call it miraculous.


    • I’m glad we agree Debbie Lynne 🙂 I do have a question. In one of CS Lewis’s books (I believe it was Mere Christianity but it might have been Miracles) he mentions Jesus acceleration of the natural process in His feeding of thousands with loaves and fishes, also skipping some of the processes of having to manually catch fish, or harvest the wheat, grind it bake it etc to make bread, but my question is, this still being a natural process that Jesus speeded up to meet the pressing need, would that be providence or miraculous?


      • The Bible calls it a miracle.

        Anyway, I’m not sure Lewis got it right. Christ’s miracles verified His deity, and the two feeding miracles demonstrated Him as the Creator. I don’t agree with Lewis that Jesus merely accelerated a natural process. But then, I disagree with Lewis on a few points (he believed hell was temporary, and eventually everyone would be saved). Please don’t suppose I’d determine anything based on C.S. Lewis.


      • I would agree that the Bible is more right than any individual, you and I of course included. There are many things that I still don’t comprehend in the Bible, probably because the Lord doesn’t need for me to know it at this time, but on the topic of miracles, I disagree with Phil Johnson on a minor point, that acknowledging there are many miracles performed by the Lord every day minimizes and cheapens true miracles. I think most of us cheapen what God does by not acknowledging Him and what He does for us. Anyway, like I said, minor point.


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