A THOUGHT FOR MINISTERS: How was your sermon?

images (5)“It’s not a sermon until it gets to Jesus.”

      The best sermon is that which is fullest of Christ. A Welsh minister, when preaching at the chapel of my dear brother Jonathan George, was saying that Christ was the sum and substance of the gospel, and he broke out into the following story:

       A young man had been preaching in the presence of a venerable divine, and after he was done, he foolishly went to the old minister and inquired, ‘What do you think of my sermon, sir!’

      “A very poor sermon indeed,” said he. “A poor sermon!”

      “Said the young man, “it took me a long time to study it.”

      “Ay, no doubt of it”

      “Why, then, do you say it was poor –did you not think my explanation of the text to be accurate!”

      “Oh, yes,” said the old preacher, “very correct indeed.”

     “Well, then, why do you say it is a poor sermon? Didn’t you think the metaphors were appropriate, and the arguments conclusive?”

       “Yes, they were very good, as far as that goes, but still it was a very poor sermon.”

       “Will you tell me why you think it a poor sermon?”

       “Because,” said he, ” there was no Christ in it.”

      “Well,” said the young man, “Christ was not in the text; we are not to be preaching Christ always, we must preach what is in the text.

      So the old man said, “Don’t you know, young man, that from every town, and every village, and every little hamlet in England, wherever it may be, there it a road to London?”

       “Yes,” said the young man.

      “Ah!” said the old divine, “and so from every text in Scripture there is a road to the metropolis of the Scriptures, that is Christ. And, my dear brother, your business is, when you get to a text, to say, ‘Now, what is the road to Christ?’ And then preach a sermon, running along the road towards the great metropolis –Christ.”

      “And,” said be, “I have never yet found a text that had not a plain and direct road to Christ in it; and if ever I should find one that has no such road, I will make a road, I would go over hedge and ditch, but I would get at my Master, for a sermon is neither fit for the land nor yet for the dunghill, unless there is a savour of Christ in it.”

“The motto of all true servants of God must be, ‘We preach Christ; and him crucified.’ A sermon without Christ in it is like a loaf of bread without any flour in it. No Christ in your sermon, sir? Then go home, and never preach again until you have something worth preaching.”

“Leave Christ out? O my brethren, better leave the pulpit out altogether. If a man can preach one sermon without mentioning Christ’s name in it, it ought to be his last, certainly the last that any Christian ought to go to hear him preach.” 

–C. H. Spurgeon