Below are excerpts from a sermon preached by Charles Haddon Spurgeon about how Christ is the glory of his people. As is often the case, Spurgeon throws in comments about the implications for preaching. I have modernized some of the spelling and added the headings but the rest is excerpted from Spurgeon’s sermon.
[Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “Christ the Glory of His People,” In The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1868: 457-468.]
“A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”—Luke 2:32.
We must read this passage literally, for so Simeon intended it. The Lord Jesus Christ, though once despised and rejected by his own countrymen, is the great honor and splendor of God’s people Israel. It is reckoned an honor to a nation when eminent persons are born of its stock and lineage; but Israel can claim the palm above all lands, for she can say that our Lord sprang out of Judah. Put together all the heroic and famous names of Greece and Rome; add all the literary splendors of Germany, and the flashing beauties of France; combine with these the blazing fame of Milton and Shakespeare, of Bacon and of Newton in our own land—and all countries put together cannot compass so great a glory of manhood as can the nation of the Jews, for they can claim not so much Moses, and David, and the prophets, as Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews, in whom dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
If you feel a right, you will confess that there is not a drop of blood in your veins which does not belong to Jesus, nor a hair on your head which is not his. All the Isle of Man now belongs to Jesus, and you will count it foul scorn that sin should have a lodgment within the territories which belong to your liege Lord and Master: from within the triple kingdom of your spirit, soul, and body, you will, to the best of your power, hunt out every rebel against the dominion of your Lord Jesus.
Don’t Merely Preach About the Gospel; Preach the Gospel
There are some preachers we know of, and I suppose there will always be some of the genus, who preach, preach, preach, but they never preach what is Israel’s glory. They talk of anything but Christ. Oh! how often have I heard the complaint from Christian people, “Sir, our minister is a talented man, on the whole a sound man doctrinally, and he preaches to us a great deal about the gospel; but oh! we wish he would preach the gospel, not preach about it, but preach the thing itself: O that he would preach Christ!”
A Sermon Without Christ, it is an Awful, a Horrible Thing
The best sermons are the sermons which are fullest of Christ. A sermon without Christ, it is an awful, a horrible thing. It is an empty well; it is a cloud without rain; it is a tree twice dead, plucked by the roots. It is an abominable thing to give men stones for bread, and scorpions for eggs, and yet they do so who preach not Jesus. A sermon without Christ! As well talk of a loaf of bread without any flour in it. How can it feed the soul?
Men die and perish because Christ is not there, and yet his glorious gospel is the easiest thing to preach, and the sweetest thing to preach; there is most variety in it, there is more attractiveness in it than in all the world besides; and yet so many will gad abroad and make their heads ache, and turn over those heavy volumes, to get something which shall be nothing better than a big stone to roll at the mouth of the sepulcher, and shut in Christ as though he were still dead.
O brethren, let us if we cannot blow the silver trumpet, blow the ram’s horn, but let the blast always be Christ, Christ, Christ! Always let us make the walls ring with the dear name of the exalted Savior, and let us tell men that there is salvation in no other, but that there is salvation and life for them in Jesus—life for them now, life for every soul that looks to Jesus, depending alone in him.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Dear teachers in the school, continue always telling the children about Jesus. Dear friends who work in any way for the Lord’s glory, here is your one topic. The old proverb is, “Cobbler, stick to your last;” so, Christian, “Stick to your text,” and let the text be Jesus Christ. Let no glitter or show tempt you away from that. This cool snow of Lebanon: be not taken away to drink of the tepid streams that mock the thirsty soul. This gold of Ophir: there is none like it; seek no other. This is the grandest pasture to wander in—this glorious subject—Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! Let him be preached, since he is the glory of Israel.