How to proclaim Christ (even at Christmas) by Spurgeon

Reasons why we hesitate to proclaim Christ to other people

  1. We might not feel worthy because of our own lack of devotion to Christ in our personal life?
  2. We don’t know where to begin or what  exactly we should say?
  3. We are afraid of insulting the unbeliever by something that we say and thus turning them off to the Gospel altogether?
  4. We think the person we are talking to will never come to believe anyways?

It is not about us. It is all about Christ and the power of God’s word. We forget that when we worry about these peripheral issues. In Isaiah 55:11 it is written:

…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

In looking at several commentaries on this verse, this particular one was the most impactful, because it reminds one that it is not about us the messenger, nor our delivery (the talk/speech we give) but it’s all about the Word of God which we must use to proclaim Christ’s Salvation and reconciliation to God:

That whatever is his design in giving the gospel, it shall be accomplished. It is never spoken in vain, and never fails to produce the effect which he intends. The gospel is no more preached in vain than the rain falls in vain. And though that often falls on barren rocks, or on arid sands; on extended plains where no vegetation is produced, or in the wilderness ‘where no man is,’ and seems to our eyes in vain, yet it is not so. God has a design in each drop that falls on sands or rocks, as really as in the copious shower that falls on fertile fields. And so the gospel often falls on the hard and barren hearts of men. It is addressed to the proud, the sensual, the avaricious, and the unbelieving, and seems to be spoken in vain, and to return void unto God. But it is not so. He has some design in it, and that will be accomplished. It is proof of the fullness of his mercy. It leaves people without excuse, and justifies himself. Or when long presented – apparently long in vain – it ultimately becomes successful, and sinners are at last brought to abandon their sins, and to turn unto God. It is indeed often rejected and despised. It falls on the ears of people apparently as the rain falls on the hard rock, and there are, so to speak, large fields where the gospel is preached as barren and unfruitful of any spiritual good as the extended desert is of vegetation, and the gospel seems to be preached to almost entire communities with as little effect as is produced when the rains fall on the deserts of Arabia, or of Africa. But there will be better and happier times. Though the gospel may not now produce all the good effects which we may desire, yet it will be ultimately successful to the full wish of the widest benevolence, and the whole world shall be filled with the knowledge and the love of God. (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

Here is also a Spurgeon sermon that is a model on how to preach Christ crucified to an unbeliever. In it he addresses

  1. What we preach? In order to preach the gospel fully, there must be a very clear description of the person of Christ, and we preach Christ as God
  2. To whom are we to preach this?  “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”
  3. How are we to preach Christ crucified? Boldly!

Preaching Christ Crucified

August 23, 1863

by  C. H. Spurgeon

(1834-1892)

“We preach Christ crucified.” — 1 Corinthians 1:23.


© Copyright 2001 by Tony Capoccia.  This updated file may be freely copied, printed out, and distributed as
long as copyright and source statements remain intact, and that it is not sold.  All rights reserved.

Verses quoted, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
©1978 by the New York Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

This sermon, preached by Tony Capoccia, is now available on Audio Cassette or CD: www.gospelgems.com 

In the verse preceding our text, Paul writes, “Jews demand miraculous signs.” They said, “Moses performed miracles; let us see miracles performed, and then we will believe,” forgetting that all the miracles that Moses did were completely eclipsed by those which Jesus did while he was on the earth as the God-man. Then there were certain Judaizing teachers who, in order to win the Jews, preached circumcision, exalted the Passover, and endeavored to prove that Judaism might still exist side by side with Christianity, and that the old rites might still be practiced by the followers of Christ. So Paul, who was “all things to all men so that by all possible means he might save some,” put his foot down, and said, in effect, “Whatever others may do, we preach Christ crucified; we dare not, we cannot, and we will not alter the great subject matter of our preaching, Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Then he added, “and Greeks look for wisdom.” Corinth was the very eye of Greece, and the Corinthian Greeks sought after what they regarded as wisdom; that is to say, the wisdom of this world, not the wisdom of God, which Paul preached. The Greeks also treasured the memory of the eloquence of Demosthenes and other famous public speakers, and they seemed to: think that true wisdom must be proclaimed with the graces of skillful elocution; but Paul writes to these Corinthian Greeks, “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but with the demonstration of the Spirit and of power; that your faith would not be based in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

Now, today, there are some who would be glad, if we would preach anything except Christ crucified. Perhaps the most dangerous among them are those who are continually crying out for intellectual preaching, by which they mean preaching which neither the heavens nor the preachers themselves can comprehend, the kind of preaching which has little or nothing to do with the scriptures, and which requires a dictionary rather than a Bible to explain it. These are the people who are continually running around, and asking, “Have you heard our minister? He gave us a wonderful sermon last Sunday morning; he quoted Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin, and he gave us some charming pieces of poetry, in fact, it was overall an intellectual treat.” Yes, and I have usually found that such intellectual treats lead to the ruination of souls; that is not the kind of preaching that God generally blesses to the salvation of souls, and therefore, even though others may preach the philosophy of Plato or adopt the arguments of Aristotle, we preach Christ crucified,” the Christ who died for sinners, the people’s Christ, and “we preach Christ crucified” in simple language, in plain speech such which the common people can understand.

I am going to try to put our text into practice by telling you, first, what we preach; secondly, to whom we preach it; and, thirdly, how we are to preach it.

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