"We Preach Christ"           

I Corinthians 1:23


     In the apostolic age the singular message of the church, the singular subject upon which gospel preachers preached, (to all people, in all places, at all times), was Jesus Christ himself. "Daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ" (Acts 5:42). The words "preach", "preached", and "preaching" appear thirtyseven times in the Book of Acts. Every time, without exception, the subject preached was Jesus Christ.

     Gradually the church departed from its central, fundamental message and began to preach up ceremonies, creeds, church offices, and systems of doctrine. THEY WENT FROM PREACHING CHRIST TO PREACHING ABOUT CHRIST! What a sad commentary on church history!

     Had anyone asked Peter what he believed, he would have said, "I believe Christ." Were John asked to show his creed, he would have pointed upward to heaven and said, "I believe him who died for me and rose again. His teachings are my doctrine. His example is my rule of life." To those early disciples Christ was not a notion, a theory, or a doctrine, but a Person, One whom they had seen with their eyes, handled with their hands, and walked with in sweet communion. They knew Christ, trusted Christ, and loved Christ. When their preachers stood up to preach, they talked about Christ.

     IT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY AND THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EVERY MAN WHO IS SENT OF GOD TO PREACH THE GOSPEL, EVERY TIME WE STAND TO PREACH IN GOD'S NAME, TO PREACH JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED. "Preaching is the chariot that carries Christ up and down the world" (Richard Sibbes). I take a back seat to no one when it comes to instructing men and women in the doctrine of Christ; but I know, as Andrew Bonar put it, "There is a wide difference between preaching doctrine and preaching Christ." Doctrine is to Christ what a dress is to a woman. It is the woman that gives shape and beauty to the dress, not the other way around. It is Christ who gives shape and beauty to doctrine. I am in full agreement with Richard Baxter in this matter. He said, "If we can but teach Christ to our people, we teach them all." OUR MESSAGE IS CHRIST! "WE PREACH CHRIST!" That is more than a slogan. It is a duty!


Don Fortner