The most essential part of a good sermon or teaching

Here’s a wonderful excerpt from one of Spurgeon’s sermons, entitled, Christ Precious to Believers. You can read the entire sermon here. Special thanks to Jared Wilson over at The Gospel Driven Church, for uncovering this gem. Hope you enjoy! It’s a great reminder that Jesus is the Word of God. If the word taught or preached does not convey and create a savoring of Christ in those who speak and hear, then it’s not very good!

A Welsh minister who was preaching last Sabbath 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 this story:

A young man had been preaching in the presence of a venerable divine, and after he had done he went to the old minister, and said, “What do you think of my sermon?”

“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, did you not think my explanation of the text a very good one?” “Oh, yes,” said the old preacher, “very good 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 is a road to London?” “Yes,” said the young man.

“Ah!” said the old divine “and so form every text in Scripture, there is a road to the metropolis of the Scriptures, that is Christ. And my dear brother, your business in 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 he, “I have never yet found a text that had not got a road to Christ in it, and if I ever do find one that has not a road to Christ in it, I will make one; I will go over hedge and ditch but I would get at my Master, for the sermon cannot do any good unless there is a savour of Christ in it.”

One thought on “The most essential part of a good sermon or teaching

  1. David Wiseman says:

    What a wonderful story of how the young should listen to the “more mature.”
    One aspect of preaching that I have heard several times in the last 2 years and do not agree with is a sermon which criticize how other preachers preach. Paul writes in Philippians 1:15-18 regarding who and how the Gospel is preached. Paul states in verse 18, “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.” (NIV)
    Maybe, some preachers need to remember that as long as Christ is in the sermon, the sermon is worth preaching!

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