Tuesday, September 11, 2012
With The Weapon Of Love
He did not use that form of power which is peculiar to the world even for unselfish purposes. I can conceive a man even apart from the Spirit of God rising superior to riches, and desiring only the promotion of some great principle which has possessed his heart; but you will usually notice that when men have done so, they have been ready to promote good by evil, or at least they have judged that great principles might be pushed on by force of arms, or bribes, or policy. Mahomet had grasped a grand truth when he said, “There is no God but God.” The unity of the godhead is a truth of the utmost value; but then here comes the means to be used for the propagation of this grand truth, — the scimitar. “Off with the infidels’ heads! If they have false gods, or will not own the unity of the godhead, they are not fit to live.”
Can you imagine our Lord Jesus Christ doing this? Why then the world would have conquered him. But he conquered the world in that he would not employ in the slightest degree this form of power. He might have gathered a troop about him, and his heroic example, together with his miraculous power, must soon have swept away the Roman empire, and converted the Jew; and then across Europe and Asia and Africa his victorious legions might have gone trampling down all manner of evil, and with the cross for his banner and the sword for his weapon, the idols would have fallen, and the whole world must have been made to bow at his feet. But no, when Peter takes out the sword, he says, “Put up thy sword into its sheath, they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Well did he say, “My kingdom is not of this world, else would my servants fight.”
And he might if he had pleased have allied his church with the state, as his mistaken friends have done in these degenerate times, and then there might have been penal laws against those who dared dissent, and there might have been forced contributions for the support of his church and such like things. You have read, I dare say, of such things being done, but not in the Gospels, nor in the Acts of the Apostles. These things are done by those who forget the Christ of God, for he uses no instrument but love, no sword but the truth, no power but the Eternal Spirit, and, in the very fact that he put all the worldly forces aside, he overcame the world.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Christ, The Overcomer Of The World," delivered December 3, 1876. Image by Steve Dunleavy on Flickr under Creative Commons License.