Make a Beeline to the Cross

The focus, the goal of every sermon is to present Christ. The great English preacher Charles Spurgeon is famous for saying that wherever he took his text, he always made a beeline to the cross. 

Not every sermon preached in evangelical churches is about Christ. This is not to say that they are unbiblical. Many of them do a great job of exegeting a particular text. In so far as the sermon goes, it is biblical. The preacher may teach principles of Scripture. He may enjoin his listeners to obey God’s precepts.

He may do all these things but still not preach Christ. To preach Christ is to preach the gospel. And it can be done—and should be done—every time, regardless of any particular passage the preacher might be covering.

This is not to deemphasize the importance of doing sound exegesis. It is crucial to handle a text in light of the author’s intent and in light of the literary context of the passage. Separating a text from its original setting is like sending a small child out on the streets unaccompanied, making them vulnerable to horrible abuses.

Still, once the text is rightly understood and handled, it has not been given its full voice until this question is answered: what is this passage telling us about Jesus Christ? After all, according to Jesus Himself, all Scripture points to Him (John 5:39). The two disciples on the road to Emmaus were privileged to hear Christ interpret for their understanding of how all Scripture, in every place, bore witness to Him (Luke 24:27).

Take a moment and ask yourself if this mandate is in fact what you actually believe as a preacher. Practice will never exceed belief. But if you do believe that Christ can be found in every text, then your practice will be like that of Spurgeon, and you will find yourself making a beeline to the cross no matter you find yourself in the whole counsel of God.

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