@ReadingSpurgeon: 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 – The Two Effects of the Gospel (NPSP1S26)
Although the gospel is a sweet savour in every place it produces different effects in different persons. This is the starting point for this sermon by C. H. Spurgeon on 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 – “For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish; to the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?”
He divides his sermon into three particulars.
I. The gospel produces different effects
To some the gospel is the savour of death unto death, but “we are not to blame the Gospel for this. It is not the fault of God’s truth.”
It is the savour of death to those who hate the truth because it hardens them in their sins when they hear it, and for some the gospel will increase their damnation at the last great day.
“It seems to horrible a thought for us to venture to utter that the Gospel of Christ will make hell hotter to some men than it otherwise would have been.”
It makes their damnation even more dreadful because they sin against greater light, and because it is great sin to reject the scheme of mercy God has devised.
But to others the gospel is the savour of life unto life, when they savingly heard the voice of mercy.
“If it ever has been “a savour of life,” it will always be “a savour of life,” because it says it is not a savour of life unto death, but a “savour of life unto life.”
II. The minister is not responsible for his success
The minister is responsible for what he preaches, but not for how people respond to his message.
This why he is called in the Bible an ambassador and a fisherman and a sower. The ambassador carries terms of peace but is not responsible for whether those he goes to accept those terms. The fisherman is not responsible for the quantity of fish he catches. The sower is not responsible for the harvest.
III. To preach the gospel is high and solemn work
“A man ought to feel first that he has a solemn call to it. Next, he ought to know that he really possesses the Spirit of God, and that when he speaks, there is an influence upon him that enables him to speak as God would have him, otherwise he has no business in the pulpit.”
This is why they need the prayers of his people. “To have no one to pray for me would place me in a dreadful condition.”