Tag Archives: Preaching

“The invitation is as free as the blessing is full” by Charles Spurgeon

“Everything that I believe to be in God’s Word I shall preach, whether my hearers accept it or not. It is to me a great comfort that such numbers do receive my teaching; and I never feel surprised when I meet with those who do not.

I do not expect everybody to eat everything that I put on the table. I may flavour a dish with too much salt or too much pepper at times, but your own prayerful judgments will guide your tastes.

We must preach all the truth; and this one thing is certain, we shall never give up loving the souls of men, or cease from trying to bring in the lost from the highways and hedges.

We shall throughout life echo that blessed call of our Lord Jesus— ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’

Labourers and burden-bearers shall hear continually that gracious word; and if they do not come to Jesus, their blood shall be upon their own heads, for the invitation is as free as the blessing is full.

The gospel trumpet rings out clearly over hill and dale. ‘The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’

We cannot make men come; that is the work of the Holy Spirit; but we can persuade them by the love of Jesus and by the terrors of the Lord.

We can preach Christ to sinners if we cannot preach sinners to Christ; and we know that the Lord’s word shall not return unto Him void.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, The Sword and Trowel: 1883 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1883), 207–208.

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“Even till the moss shall grow on mine eyebrows” by John Bunyan

“I have determined, the Almighty God being my help and shield, yet to suffer, if frail life might continue so long, even till the moss shall grow on mine eyebrows, rather than thus to violate my faith and principles.”

–John Bunyan, A Confession of My Faith, The Works of John Bunyan, Volume 2 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1692/1991), 2: 594. John Bunyan died on August 31, 1688.

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“We set forth a most tender Father, a bleeding Saviour, and a faithful Comforter” by Charles Bridges

“Love is the grand distinctive mark of our office. It exhibits salvation flowing from the bosom of Divine mercy.

We set forth a most tender Father, a bleeding Saviour, and a faithful Comforter. The spirit of every discourse should be: ‘God is love.’ (1 John 4:8)

Therefore, we should so cast ourselves into the mould of our commission, that we may infuse its very life and character throughout our ministry.

‘Speaking the truth in love’ (Eph. 4:15) is perhaps, in a few words, the most complete description of our office. Love should pervade the whole tone of our Ministry.

Tender seriousness commends our office as Ambassadors of a God of love. A scolding Minister only proves he does not understand his errand. No man was ever yet scolded out of his sins.

The Apostles were used to address their people with language expressive of earnest endearment. The extant epistles of the primitive Fathers, the most earnest discourses of Cyprian and Augustine, and the homilies of Chrysostom, are strongly imbued with this character.

The amiable Fenelon observes: ‘I would have every Minister of the Gospel address his hearers with the zeal of a friend, with the generous energy of a father, and with the exuberant affection of a mother.’

This spirit of love must deeply imbue even the language of reproof. We must ‘exhort,’ but ‘with all long-suffering.’ (2 Tim. 4:2)

Meekness, gentleness, and patience must stamp our instruction of the opponents of the Gospel. (2 Tim. 2:24-25) We must wound their consciences as sinners, not their feelings as men.

Trembling, faltering, lips– the index of a heart touched with the melting sympathies of Christ– best become us, as guilty sinners speaking to our fellow-men, not more guilty than ourselves.

We are not arguing, however, for that sensitive delicacy, which refrains to wound, when the patient shrinks. The compulsion of love is the mighty lever of operation.

Love is the life, power, soul, and spirit of pulpit eloquence. Entreating rather than denouncing is the character of our office.

And it is the delivery of our Master’s message with the looks and language of His own manifested tenderness that attracts and triumphs over the hearts of a willing people.

We wonder not at the Apostle’s success, when we read, that at Ephesus he ‘ceased not for three years to warn everyone of them night and day with tears.’ (Acts 20:31)

The Christian pastor, of all men in the world, should have an affectionate heart.

When he preaches, it is the shepherd in search of the strayed sheep, and the father in pursuit of its lost child.

‘The love of Christ will constrain us’ (2 Cor. 5:14) all to some clear evidence of our tender love to His flock.

Love, continual, universal, ardent love is the soul of all the labour of a Minister.”

–Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry, with an Inquiry into the Causes of Its Inefficiency (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1830/2020), 356, 357, 358, 359-362.

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“Enjoy God in everything and enjoy everything in God” by Charles Simeon

“If we have much of this world, we shall have a high enjoyment of it, because we shall make it the means of benefiting our fellow-creatures, and of honouring our God.

If, on the other hand, we have little of this world, we shall still be happy, because, in having God for our portion, we can lack nothing.

There are but two lessons for the Christian to learn: the one is, to enjoy God in everything; the other is, to enjoy everything in God.

The one ennobles the rich; the other elevates the poor: and all who have learned these lessons are, and must be, happy.”

–Charles Simeon, “The Vanity of the Creature; Sermon 827: Ecclesiastes 1:2,” Horae Homileticae, Vol. 7: Proverbs to Isaiah 26 (London: Holdsworth and Ball, 1833), 7: 325.

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“A half-truth masquerading as the whole truth” by J.I. Packer

“A half-truth masquerading as the whole truth becomes a complete untruth.”

–J.I. Packer, “‘Saved by His Precious Blood’: An Introduction to John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ,” A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1990), 126.

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“The gospel is the best news that ears ever heard” by Thomas Goodwin

“Our commission is to tell this message to all and every man in the world. And upon this ground, that reconciliation is to be obtained from God for them, to entreat them to be reconciled.

And when men accordingly seek it, as thus revealed to them, though by us, it is as if God had done it:

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”(2 Cor. 5:20-21)

‘As though God,’ and, ‘I in Christ’s stead,’ says the apostle.

And this, my brethren, is to preach the gospel unto men, which is the best news that ears ever heard, or tongues were employed to utter, which took up God’s thoughts from eternity, and which lay hid in His breast, which none but He and His Son knew, which, if it were but for the antiquity of the story of it, it is worth the relating, it being the greatest plot and state affair that ever was transacted in heaven or earth, or ever will be.”

–Thomas Goodwin, “The One Sacrifice,” The Works of Thomas Goodwin, Volume 5 (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage, 1862/2006), 5: 482.

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“Our need of revival is indeed very great today” by Iain Murray

“Our need of revival is indeed very great today. It may be that a generation of freshly-anointed preachers is already being prepared. Whether that is so or not, when such men are sent forth by Christ we can be sure of certain things.

They will not be identical in all points with the men of the past, but there will be a fundamental resemblance.

They will be hard students of Scripture.

They will prize a great spiritual heritage.

They will see the danger of ‘unsanctified learning’.

While they will not be afraid of controversy, nor of being called hyper-orthodox, they will fear to spend their days in controversy. They will believe with John Rice that ‘the church is not purified by controversy, but by holy love’.

They will not forget that the wise, who will shine ‘as: the stars forever and ever’, are those who ‘turn many to righteousness’ (Dan. 12.3).

They will covet the wisdom which Scripture attributes to the one ‘that winneth souls’ (Prov. 11.30).

But their cheerfulness will have a higher source than their work. To know God Himself will be their supreme concern and Joy.

They will therefore not be strangers to humility.

And their experience will not be without trials and discouragements, not least because they fall so far short of their aspirations.

If they are spared to live as long as John Leland they will be ready to say with him at last: ‘I have been unwearedly trying to preach Jesus, but have not yet risen to that state of holy zeal and evangelical knowledge, that I have been longing after’.

Whether their days be bright or dark they will learn to say with Nettleton that ‘the milk and honey lie beyond this wilderness world’.”

—Iain H. Murray, Revival and Revivalism: The Making and Marring of American Evangelicalism, 1750-1858 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1994), 386-387.

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