Andrew Fuller Friday: On What the Apostles Preached about Christ

We preach “Christ Jesus the Lord.” This is the grand theme of the Christian ministry. But many have so little of the Christian minister about them, that their sermons have scarcely any thing to do with Christ. They are mere moral harangues. And these, forsooth, would fain be thought exclusively the friends of morality and good works! But they know not what good works are, nor do they go the way to promote them. “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”.… Preach Christ, or you had better be any thing than a preacher. The necessity laid on Paul was not barely to preach, but to preach Christ. “Woe unto me if I preach not the gospel!”.… Some are employed in depreciating Christ. But do you honour him. Some who talk much about him, yet do not preach him, and by their habitual deportment prove themselves enemies to his cross.… If you preach Christ, you need not fear for want of matter. His person and work are rich in fulness. Every Divine attribute is seen in him. All the types prefigure him. The prophecies point to him. Every truth bears relation to him. The law itself must be so explained and enforced as to lead to him.… Particularly,

1. Exhibit his Divinity and glorious character.—The New Testament dwells much on his being the Son of God—equal with God. It was this that heightened the gift of him, John 3:16. Hence the efficacy of his blood, 1 John 1:7. Hence the condescension of his obedience, and the dignity of his priesthood. Heb. 4:14–16. Hence the greatness of the sin of rejecting him, John 3:18; and of apostacy, Heb. 10:29.

2. Hold up his atonement and mediation as the only ground of a sinner’s hope.—It is the work of a Christian minister to beat off self-righteous hope, which is natural to depraved man, and to direct his hearers to the only hope set before them in the gospel. Be not concerned merely to form the manners of your congregation, but bring them to Christ. That will best form their manners. The apostles had no directions short of this: “Repent, and believe the gospel.” They never employed themselves in lopping off the branches of sin; but laid the axe to the root. Your business with the sins of mankind is, to make use of them to convince your hearers of the corruption of their nature, and their need of a radical cure.

3. Hold up the blessings of his salvation for acceptance, even to the chief of sinners.—“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” The gospel is a feast, and you are to invite guests. You may have many excuses and refusals. But be you concerned to do as your Lord commands. And when you have done your utmost, there will still be room. Dwell on the freeness, and fulness, and all-sufficiency of his grace, and how welcome even the worst of sinners are, who, renouncing all other refuges, flee to him.

4. Preach him asthe Lord,” or Lawgiver, of his church, no less than as a Saviour.—Christ’s offices must not be divided. Taking his yoke, and learning his spirit, are connected with coming to him. Believers are “not without law unto God, but under the law to Christ.”

The preaching of Christ will answer every end of preaching. This is the doctrine which God owns to conversion, to the leading of awakened sinners to peace, and to the comfort of true Christians. If the doctrine of the cross be no comfort to us, it is a sign we have no right to comfort. This doctrine is calculated to quicken the indolent, to draw forth every Christian grace, and to recover the backslider. This is the universal remedy for all the moral diseases of all mankind.…

Fuller, A. G. (1988). “On Preaching Christ,” Sermon XLIX in Sermons and Sketches. The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller: Memoirs, Sermons, Etc. (J. Belcher, Ed.; Vol. 1, pp. 503–504). Sprinkle Publications.

By |May 5th, 2023|Categories: Andrew Fuller Friday, Blog|

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