«Sermon #3279 Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 1 “EVER THIS OUR WAR CRY—VICTORY, VICTORY!” NO. 3279 A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, ...»
Notice, too, that a part of the description of this victory represents the Lord as Himself dividing the spoil “with the strong.” Not merely with great enemies did Christ wrestle, but with strong powers. I might give you a hundred illustrations of this, but I prefer to give you just one. When the Lord Jesus Volume 57 www.spurgeongems.org 3 4 “Ever This Our War Cry—Victory, Victory!” Sermon #3279 Christ came into my heart—came to battle there—He did, indeed, divide the spoil with the strong, for I was strong willed and desperately set on mischief—and for a while I was in the hands of strong despair, out of which it seemed impossible that I could escape. The bands which held me were of iron, tough as steel, hardened in the fires of hell! And yet this day I am His, for He has won me and taken the prey from the mighty! I have been, just now, to see our venerable elder White. He is dying. I looked at his venerable beard as he sat up in bed, and I looked at the bright face that shone above it—and I was charmed at the joyful sight! He said, “I have no trouble. I have not a troubled thought. I am the happiest man in the world—I am going home and I rejoice in it! Though I am perfectly satisfied to wait.” Death is just nothing at all to him! Just like a dear sister who went from us some time ago. When I went to see her, you might have thought she was going to be married, she was so happy in prospect of departing!
Charles Wesley once said, “They may say what they will about Methodism, but our people die well.” That is my comfort—our people die well—they die gloriously triumphant in the Lord! When I think of it, I can see how my Lord divides the spoil with the strong. Death comes and he says, “That is mine.” He has taken the poor, wrinkled body! And Christ smiles, and lets him have it, for He takes for His share, the soul, the life! And as He bears him off, He takes the best part of the spoil! He has left death the husk, but He has, Himself, secured the kernel! Yes, the day will come when He will take the body, too, out of the custody of death, for not a wreck or a rag of all His saints shall remain in the domains of death.
There is a resurrection of dead bodies as well as an immortality of spirits! Glory be to Christ! In this way, here and hereafter, He divides the spoil with the strong! Strong is death, but still stronger the omnipotent Son of God!
There is another aspect under which we may speak of the glory of Christ’s victory, He will share it with His people. The second paragraph of the text is, “He shall divide the spoil with the strong.” That is, He will divide it out, and allot portions to all those who came to the help of the Lord against the mighty.
Just as David after Ziklag, when he had taken the prey from the Amalekites, sent portions all round to his friends in Judah, so, when the King Eternal takes the spoil, He will give a share to you and to me if we have been faithful to Him. There shall be a portion even for us whom the Lord made strong for Himself in the day of battle. Does it not make your heart laugh to think of it? Jesus wins the victory, but He will not enjoy it alone—He will glorify His people. Even the sick folk that go not down to the battle, shall have their share of the spoil, for this is David’s law, and the law of the Son of David, that they that abide with the stuff shall share with those that go down to the fight. He will give to each faithful sufferer or worker a portion of the prey. Make haste, O Champion, make haste to give to every one of us a prey of divers colors, meet for the necks of them that take the spoil!
III. Thus we have seen that Christ will win the victory, and the victory will be glorious. Now let us declare, thirdly, that THE RESULTS OF THIS VICTORY WILL BE VERY SUBSTANTIAL.
Let me remind you that in consequence of what our Lord has done, myriads of souls will be redeemed. How many will escape from sin and death and hell to live forever is not revealed. We have every reason to believe that a number that no man can number out of every nation, and people, and kindred, and tongue shall praise their redeeming Lord. Christ’s death will not spend its force in the conversion of here and there one, but He will see of the travail of His soul and will be satisfied. And we are convinced that no little thing will satisfy Him. The great result of our Lord’s death will be the eternal salvation of untold myriads!
Next to that will be the overthrow of every form of evil which now reigns in the world, and the extermination of religions falsehood, vice, drunkenness, war and every horrible mischief born of the fall and of human depravity. Christ will conquer these and there shall be new heavens and a new earth, wherein shall dwell righteousness. Forever and ever boundless honors shall be given to Christ for His victory over every force of evil. The seed of the woman shall trample on the serpent.
As the result of Christ’s death, Satan’s power will be broken. He will no longer go forth to rule among the nations.
Death also will have lost its dominion over the sons of men. The Son of David shall restore that which He took not away. More than our first father lost, shall Christ bring back. There shall be substantial glory to Himself in the lives of His people on earth, in their deaths and in their lives forever.
4 www.spurgeongems.org Volume 57 Sermon #3279 “Ever This Our War Cry—Victory, Victory!” 5 Glory shall be brought to God of a new and unusual kind. A light will be shed upon the character of God which so far as we know, could not have come to us by any other means except by the death of the only begotten. Hallelujahs louder than before shall rise up before the throne of God. Praises shall ascend unto God such as Creation never produced, “for You were slain, and have redeemed us unto God by Your blood, and we shall reign forever and ever.” Now, my brothers and sisters, do not get into a state of fright and fear about the Christian religion.
Do not go to your chambers and sigh, “Everything is going to the bad, and we shall all be eaten up by the devil.” Nonsense! There is a stronger arm yet than that black arm of Satan! In God’s eternal goodness resides a power and majesty that cannot be found in the infernal malevolence of the devil! I know which is the winning side—I am sure of it. Though we may drearily imagine that things go amiss and fancy that the vessel is ready to break up and become a wreck, she will enter the harbor yet with all her cargo safe—and from every wave that tossed her and every wind that beat upon her she shall derive eternal advantage! Courage, brothers and sisters, we are not beaten and we are not going to be beaten!
We are succeeding all along the line. Shout victory, universal victory, from stem to stern of the good old ship! Not a foe has been able to live upon her deck. Give the enemy’s black hull another broadside.
When you think that the crew of the Black Prince are about to board us, grasp your pikes and give them a warm reception! This good ship bears the Red Cross at her masthead, and shall never be taken, but shall win the victory as surely as God lives and His Son lives who has risen from the dead!
IV. So I close with this last remark. THE WHOLE OF THIS VICTORY RESULTS FROM CHRIST’S OWN WORK.
Lend me your best attention for two or three minutes, because this is the pith and marrow of it all.
“Therefore will I divide Him a portion”—that is logic. Why this, “therefore”? What is the argument?
Christ shall divide with the strong because—how does it run? “Because His doctrinal teaching is singularly in keeping with the progress of the age”? I have heard that observation and smiled at it.
“Because His gospel is preached with such remarkable eloquence and singular clearness?” Indeed not!
Why, then, will Christ win the victory? The answer is, “Because He has poured out His soul unto death.” If God, Himself, deigns to take upon Himself our nature and in that nature pours out His life like a libation even unto death—if, I say, He thus pours out His life—it is impossible to conceive that He will be defeated! Blasphemy may imagine it, profanity may speak it, but truth abhors the idea that Jesus can be baffled! A dying God? It is an inaccurate expression, yet I know of no expression that is so accurate!
God putting Himself into human form, so as to be capable of suffering and death, cannot suffer and die in vain! He must, He shall, He will win that for which He died! He must reign, “because He has poured out His soul unto death.” Listen again, here is the second reason, “He was numbered with the transgressors.” This is mentioned secondly, as if there was something even more in that than in the first. To die is wonderful condescension, but for the pure and Holy One to deign to be numbered with the transgressors, and stand as if He had, Himself, transgressed, though transgress He never did, nor could—I say this is more wonderful! If Jesus did that, then He must win the victory! When I am dispirited, where do I find encouragement? Where the stars of Bethlehem burn and where men make merry on their Christmas days? No, their mirth is weariness to a heavy heart! I will tell you where I go for comfort—to Gethsemane, to Golgotha, to the Garden and to the tomb. Christ cannot have suffered there in vain!
Christ cannot have been despised, slandered and actually numbered with transgressors—and all for nothing! It cannot be! It cannot be! Death and hell, you can defeat armies of men, but the crucified treads you down! When our champion of the pierced hands comes to the front, the battle no longer wavers! We glory in His death and in His making common cause with transgressors!
But this is not all. It is added, “And He bore the sin of many.” This denotes His actual and literal substitution—His acting as the sin bearer. This is something more than being numbered with the transgressors. He actually takes the sin of the transgressors and bears their burden upon His own shoulders by a wondrous system of substitution which is easier to be believed than to be explained!
Because He did this, He must conquer! He must conquer! Sin cannot be victorious if Jesus has carried it Volume 57 www.spurgeongems.org 5 6 “Ever This Our War Cry—Victory, Victory!” Sermon #3279 on His shoulders and hurled it into His sepulcher! If the darkest days were to come and all the churches of Christ were to be extinguished, if there were left only one Christian and he as good as dead by reason of weakness, yet might he believe that God, from the dead, would raise up seed unto His Son and fulfill His covenant, and keep His word! It must be so. The offering of Christ’s soul for sin secures to Him a seed forever!
And lastly, there is this fourth reason given, “He made intercession for the transgressors.” I can conceive you praying, my dear friend, and God’s not hearing you. But if the man who was despised and rejected should say, “Rise, poor suppliant, rise, and I will take your place.” And if the Blessed and Beloved of the Father whose eyes are as the eyes of the morning, and whose lips are as lilies dropping sweet smelling myrrh, kneels down and prays, “My Father, by My blood, and wounds, and agony, save this sinner,” why, it must be done! And if He says, “Father, give Me those whom I have redeemed,” it must be done! And if He pleads, “Father, keep them by Your word,” it must be done! And if He prays, “Father, make them one, as We are,” it must be done! And when He shall ask, “Father, give them power and victory,” it must be done! And when He shall ask, “Father, let My servants all become champions and send them forth, East, West, North, and South against idolatry, and infidelity, and Popery, and clothe them with the Holy Spirit,” why then it must be done! The power of Christ’s intercession is irresistible! Queen Mary reckoned the prayers of John Knox to be worth many regiments, but what shall I say of the prayers of Jesus, the Son of God? They are with us today! While we are sitting here, and troubling our minds about the Lord’s work, and saying, “What shall we do?” and, “What will come of it?” and all that, Jesus is pleading! Hush till your hearts leave off beating—till not a thought is heard!
You may hear Him saying, “Father, I will.” Here is the power of the church! The plea of Christ with authority before the throne of God is the majestic force upon which the church depends! “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Therefore pluck up courage. Jesus will yet win. You weak, fainthearted ones, rejoice! The victory is sure, not because of anything you are, or of anything you can do, but for Jesus’ sake! In the name of the Lord we set up our banners. Hallelujah!
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: JOHN 19:14-37.
Verse 14. And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he said unto the Jews, Behold your King! [See Sermon #1353, Volume 23—ECCE REX—Read/download the entire sermon, free of charge, at http://www.
spurgeongems.org.] They had accused Him of being a king, or of pretending to be one. Pilate had scourged Him, the soldiers had mocked Him, and there He stood—a piteous spectacle of woe. What cruel sarcasm there was in the tones of the Governor when he said to the Jews, “Behold your King.”
15. But they cried out, away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him! Pilate said unto them, Shall I crucify your King? “How could you call Him, King, and bring against Him a charge of setting up a rival kingdom when you, who would be His subjects, are all crying out, ‘Crucify Him’? ‘Shall I crucify your King?’” How false they were their own actions proved.
15. The chief priests answered, we have no king but Caesar. They said this with all the coolness in the world. The mob had been stirred up and excited, but the chief priests, the principal ecclesiastics of the day, coolly said, “We have no king but Caesar.” Did they not recollect that the scepter was not to pass away from Judah until Shiloh came, so that, as it had evidently passed away, Shiloh must have come? After all their Bible reading, did they not know that? Oh, how easy it is to read much of Scripture and yet to know little about its teaching! Dear friends, let us not join the Jews in refusing to have Christ as King. They cried, “Away with Him, away with Him,” when He was set before them as King. Let us not do that, but let us rather accept the crucified as our Master and Lord, and cheerfully bow at His feet.