Skip to main content
MBTS logo link to homepage

Michael Reeves Lectures at Midwestern Seminary for Spurgeon Library Conference

Posted April 26, 2024 by Michaela Classen

KANSAS CITY, Mo—Midwestern Seminary welcomed Michael Reeves to campus on April 24 to deliver a chapel message in concert with the third annual Spurgeon Library Conference.

Reeves, who serves as president and professor of theology at Union School of Theology in Bridgend, England, preached on Spurgeon’s view of Christ’s power to transform the heart.

Midwestern Seminary President Jason Allen said, “I’ve appreciated Dr. Reeves’ books and preaching over the years, and my wife and I have enjoyed thinking together on God’s Word through hearing his sermons. We are delighted to have him here for the Spurgeon Library Conference.”

Reeves’ message addressed the problem of believing in Christ mentally and pursuing moral improvement without true change of heart. He shared, “This problem was wonderfully tackled by Charles Spurgeon, who heralded the great need to be born again.”

Noting Spurgeon’s understanding of sin from Ephesians 2, Reeves said, “Our problem is that in our hearts, naturally, there is a wrong desire and aversion to Christ. Naturally, we are born loving sin and hating God.”

Reeves pointed to John 3, where Jesus teaches the need for true heart transformation through being born again. Reeves contrasted true transformation of the heart with moral self-improvement, showing the latter as driven by love of self, while heart transformation comes from setting one’s eyes on Christ.

He shared how the transformative power of seeing Christ informed Spurgeon’s approach to preaching, saying, “Spurgeon’s message for one and all, for those who are not believers and for those who are believers, was ‘Look to Christ!’ In Christ you will see the glory of God that wins your affections away from your sin and onto Him.”

Reeves highlighted how this change of heart weakens temptation and increases the Christian’s joy in God. Noting that Spurgeon struggled with depression throughout his life yet exemplified joyful worship, Reeves encouraged the audience to rejoice in Christ.

He said, “The Christian life is one of finding our happiness where we are meant to find our happiness: in the true, inexhaustible fountain of delight. When you rejoice in the Lord, you can rejoice at all times.”

To conclude his message, Reeves read the priestly blessing from Numbers 6:24–26, commenting, “Look at this all-glorious Savior, and your heart will change, and you will become like Him.”

Spurgeon Library Conference

Reeves also served as one of the plenary speakers for the Spurgeon Library Conference, which was held in the Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Seminary and featured additional keynote presentations by Thomas Kidd and Geoff Chang.

The Spurgeon Library Conference exists to engage Spurgeon scholarship for the edification of pastors and church leaders.

Chang, curator of the Spurgeon Library and assistant professor of Church history and historical theology at Midwestern Seminary, shared, “Our goal at the Spurgeon Library Conference is that we might look through Spurgeon to encounter the risen Christ, to be encouraged, and to be equipped in our service to our Lord.”

The conference began with a lecture by Kidd, Research Professor of Church History in the John and Sharon Yeats Endowed Chair of Baptist Studies at Midwestern Seminary. Kidd’s lecture addressed Spurgeon’s response to American slavery.

Kidd described Spurgeon’s critiques of slavery, which resulted in many Americans burning Spurgeon’s sermons and denouncing him in the press.

Reflecting on Spurgeon’s courage to preach against slavery, Kidd concluded, “Spurgeon offers a winsome example of a pastor who correctly applied his understanding of biblical Christian ethics to a contemporary moral issue.” Kidd encouraged pastors to be careful about addressing partisan issues while clearly defending biblical morality.

Reeves delivered the second lecture, focusing on Spurgeon’s conviction to preach Christ’s crucifixion.

Noting Scripture’s identification of the cross as God’s power for salvation, Reeves shared, “In the cross of Christ, the truth, wisdom, power, holiness, goodness, love, and sovereignty of God are revealed in all their beauty, winning the hearts of those who look to Him.”

He went on to say, “It was this message of Christ crucified that drew, converted, and transformed people and marked out the tenor of Spurgeon’s extraordinarily fruitful ministry.”

To close the conference, Chang presented a lecture encouraging pastors to embrace Spurgeon’s high view of ecclesiology.

Referencing Spurgeon’s 1891 sermon “The Greatest Fight in the World,” Chang said, “Spurgeon reminded pastors, missionaries, and students that God had placed them there, at this point in history, to defend the gospel.” He added, “The army for the fight is the Church.”

Chang offered six applications to strengthen churches for the fight today: assembling, practicing membership, promoting discipleship, leading by example, engaging in mission, and praying together.

To access more resources from the Spurgeon Library, visit

To watch Reeves’ chapel sermon, click here.

featured image

Latest Videos

Chapel with Michael Reeves – April 24, 2024
April 24, 2024
Fusion Commissioning Ceremony with Joe Allen III – April 23, 2024
April 23, 2024

Latest News