Preach Christ or go home—and 5 similar Spurgeon quotes I cherish

spurgeonI imagine pressurized steam shooting out of Charles Spurgeon’s ears at the mention of a preacher who neglects the topic of Calvary. Christless preaching was Spurgeon’s hot button. And on this topic he produced some choice quotes. Here are 6 of my favorites:

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. [Exposition of Acts 13:13-49 published in 1904]

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. [sermon: “A Prayer for the Church” (1867)]

Leave Christ out of the preaching and you shall do nothing. Only advertize it all over London, Mr. Baker, that you are making bread without flour; put it in every paper, “Bread without flour” and you may soon shut up your shop, for your customers will hurry off to other tradesmen. … A sermon without Christ as its beginning, middle, and end is a mistake in conception and a crime in execution. However grand the language it will be merely much-ado-about-nothing if Christ be not there. And I mean by Christ not merely his example and the ethical precepts of his teaching, but his atoning blood, his wondrous satisfaction made for human sin, and the grand doctrine of “believe and live.” [sermon: “Christ the Glory of His People” (3/22/1868)]

Sooner by far would I go to a bare table, and eat from a wooden porringer something that would appease my appetite, than I would go to a well-spread table on which there was nothing to eat. Yes, it is Christ, Christ, Christ whom we have to preach; and if we leave him out, we leave out the very soul of the gospel. Christless sermons make merriment for hell. Christless preachers, Christless Sunday school teachers, Christless class leaders, Christless tract distributors—what are all these doing? They are simply setting the mill to grind without putting any grist into the hopper, all their labor is in vain. If you leave Jesus Christ out, you are simply beating the air, or going to war without any weapon with which you can smite the foe. [sermon: “Why the Gospel is Hidden” (2/11/1866)]

I know one who said I was always on the old string, and he would come and hear me no more; but if I preached a sermon without Christ in it, he would come. Ah, he will never come while this tongue moves, for a sermon without Christ in it—a Christless sermon! A brook without water; a cloud without rain; a well which mocks the traveler; a tree twice dead, plucked up by the root; a sky without a sun; a night without a star. It were a realm of death—a place of mourning for angels and laughter for devils. O Christian, we must have Christ! Do see to it that every day when you wake you give a fresh savor of Christ upon you by contemplating his person. Live all the day, trying as much as lieth in you, to season your hearts with him, and then at night, lie down with him upon your tongue. [sermon: “A Bundle of Myrrh” (3/6/1864)]

What was the subject? What was Peter preaching upon? He was preaching Christ and him crucified. No other subject ever does produce such effects as this. The Spirit of God bears no witness to Christless sermons. Leave Jesus out of your preaching, and the Holy Spirit will never come upon you. Why should he? Has he not come on purpose that he may testify of Christ? Did not Jesus say, “He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you”? Yes, the subject was Christ, and nothing but Christ, and such is the teaching which the Spirit of God will own. Be it ours never to wander from this central point: may we determine to know nothing among men but Christ and his cross. [sermon: “The Mediator, Judge, and Savior” (5/30/1880)]

24 thoughts on “Preach Christ or go home—and 5 similar Spurgeon quotes I cherish

  1. Ah, great stuff. As one who aspires to be the oldest youth worker in America, I am wrapping up by 7th teen camp of the summer, and somewhere around my 180th of my camp speaking “career.” I continue to be stunned at the basic Biblical ignorance of the majority of students who come from “good, evangelical churches,” much less the less than conservative…Will we ever learn that it remains the “foolishness of preaching”, the written Word proclaiming the living Word that is effectual? All the bells/whistles/dramas/powerpoints/interaction etc are merely “frills” that CAN be used effetively, but only as it is complimentary to the proclamation of the Word…and “that which is of first importance.”
    Thanks for these quotes; I’ll share a couple of them with the students this morning…

  2. What an encouragement!!! Thanks!

    This gem summed it up…”A sermon without Christ as its beginning, middle, and end is a mistake in conception and a crime in execution.”

  3. I love you for this clarifying and life-giving message about Jesus and His relevance to each one of us .
    I thank Him first everyday for His redeeming love that saved a wretch like me and changed me to be better husband and father and Grandfather , my whole family Knows this too that they need to love Him and serve Him with all their heart , I pray that this will be the purpose of their lives and all to whom they serve .

    Thank you for revealing these truths about Jesus to your readers.

    George Williams

  4. Super quotes – I love his analogies! Bread without flour, insane, and yet many sermons are “intellectually great” and “theologically correct” but how could they leave out Christ… it happens, and these quotes need to be spread out again to many of today’s pastors, sadly I say this, and hopefully your site will blow up with hits, to read these!” God Bless you for posting them!

  5. […] this problem as did Michael Horton in his book Christless Christianity.   Here are three quotes Tony shares from Spurgeon’s messages: The motto of all true servants of God must be, “We […]

  6. […] Preach Christ or go home! The ever quotable Spurgeon on preaching. I love this quote: 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. 8 Ways that Twitter can benefit the Christian This is useful and helpful blog post from a friend in Melbourne on how Twitter can benefit Christians. I’m make this reservation with the caveat that Twitter isn’t something everyone should jump onto – but for those who have it to use it wisely. The Incarnation on Twitter Speaking of Twitter, Stephen Altrogge has begun a nice little campaign to flood Twitter with Systematic Theology (tag #systheol). I recently got a mention on his blog for attempting to Tweet the Incarnation. […]

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