Christ – The Power of the Pulpit

“Yet is this the truth which gives the pulpit all its power. Its facts, its doctrines, its duties, its scrutiny, its rebukes, its invitations, its threatening, its promises, its consolations, its motives, its worship, its ordinances, and more than all, its ATONING SAVIOUR, himself the beginning and the end, the first and the last – this is the truth which constitutes the power of the pulpit. ‘I have determined to know nothing among you’, says the great Apostle of the Gentiles, ‘save Jesus Christ, and him crucified’. The pulpit is powerless where the cross of Christ is not magnified. Christ must be the theme, the scope, the life, the soul of the pulpit. It may have literature, and the enticing words which man’s ‘wisdom teacheth’; but it has no powerful attraction of God’s truth, where Christ is wanting. The preacher may not hope to see the strong cords of earth broken, the fetters of gold dissolved, or any of the fascinations of sin disturbed by which the spell-bound mind is held in bondage, until he throws around it the stronger attractions of redeeming love. There is a wondrous power in the pulpit where the cross is lifted up, and where, instead of attracting men to himself, the minister of God would fain attract them to his and their Saviour. What savours not of the cross of Christ, belongs not to the work of a Christian minister. A sinner, saved by grace, who is a preacher of glad tidings to his fellow-men, will keep as near the cross as he can. He may sometimes make a larger circuit around it that at other times because it unfolds ‘the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God’; but his favourite themes are drawn from it, and the arrows he makes the most use of are dipped in its blood. ‘Christ is my armoury’, says the lovely preacher, McCheyne, ‘I go to him for the whole armour of God – the armour of light. My sword and my buckler, my sling and my stone are all laid up in Jesus’. In no other way can the dark depraved, obdurate mind be brought under the enlightening , convincing, converting, sustaining, purifying influence of God’s truth.”

The Power of the Pulpit by Gardiner Spring

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