All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16, KJV)
There was great openness about Christ. There was an utter absence of anything like the Jesuitical plan of saying one thing and meaning another, or using expressions that had double meaning in them. It is true that our Lord did not explain to the great mass of the people all that He said to them, for they were so stupid that they would not receive it.
But, at the same time, there was nothing that His hearers really needed to know that He concealed from them. He carried His heart where all might read it and even in His common teaching to the multitude, there was, if they had but had eyes to see it, all that He taught to His disciples in the most private place.
There was no wish, on His part, to keep back any Truth of God that ought to be made known to those who gathered to hear Him. I have heard it said that there are certain Truths in God’s Word which it is better for us not to preach. It is admitted that they are true, but it is alleged that they are not edifying. I will not agree to any such plan! This is just going back to old Rome’s method.
Whatever it has seemed good to God’s wisdom to reveal, it is wise for God’s servants to proclaim. Who are we that we are to judge between this Truth of God and that and to say that this we are to preach, and that we are to withhold? This system would make us to be, after all, the judges of what Christ’s Gospel is to be! It must not be so among us, Beloved—that would be assuming a responsibility which we are quite unable to bear.
Every Doctrine of God’s Word is good! Every Truth in the Bible is precious! The omission of any one part of it, willfully, and with design, may so impair the whole of our testimony that, instead of being like Hermon, “wet with dew,” our ministry will be like the accursed Gilboa, upon which no dew descended. Whatever the Lord has taught you by His Spirit, my Brother, tell to others!
According as you have opportunity, reveal to them what God has revealed to you. Remember how Christ Himself charged His disciples, “What I tell you in darkness, that speak in light; what you hear in the ear, that preach upon the housetops” (Matthew 10:27). And, today, the sublime and majestic Truths of God which cluster around the Sovereignty of God are as much to be proclaimed as the softer, most tender and apparently more winsome words which tell of infinite mercy to the chief of sinners!
All truths are to be preached in due proportion—there is a time for this, and a time for that—and none must be omitted. There is a particular stone which is to be the key of the arch, and another which is to go on this side, another lower down and yet another still lower down—and the omitting of any one stone, because it does not happen to be of what we reckon to the orthodox shape for usefulness, may spoil the whole bridge and it may come down with a crash! Oh, that we may so build in our teaching that our building will last throughout eternity!
At the end of our ministry, may we be able to say, “I have kept back nothing; all that Christ taught me, I have taught to others and so I have made full proof of my ministry.” Christ was able to appeal to those who had heard Him and who could tell what His testimony had been. May God give us Grace to imitate Him in this respect!1
- An expanded version of Charles Spurgeon, At the Master’s Feet [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005], September 6. It should also be noted that I don’t necessarily agree with everything Spurgeon says in the sermon Christ Before Annas from which this text is taken.
However, I do fully agree with his over-all point that we should faithfully proclaim everything that God reveals to us in Scripture as we understand it. You can read this sermon from Charles Spurgeon in its entirety here: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/spurgeon/sermons49.ix.html, accessed 9/6/14. ↩