“Our faith is a person; the gospel that we have to preach is a person; and go wherever we may, we have something solid and tangible to preach, for our gospel is a person. If you had asked the twelve Apostles in their day, ‘What do you believe in?’ they would not have stopped to go round about with a long sermon, but they would have pointed to their Master and they would have said, ‘We believe him.’ ‘But what are your doctrines?’ ‘There they stand incarnate.’ ‘But what is your practice?’ ‘There stands our practice. He is our example.’ ‘What then do you believe?’ Hear the glorious answer of the Apostle Paul, ‘We preach Christ crucified.’ Our creed, our body of divinity, our whole theology is summed up in the person of Christ Jesus.”

C. H. Spurgeon, in Lectures Delivered before the Young Men’s Christian Association in Exeter Hall 1858-1859 (London, 1859), pages 159-160.

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6 thoughts on “A Person”

  1. Gary H. says:

    Amen. And Spurgeon rocks.

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  3. Beth Westergreen says:

    Hi Ray!
    When you were our pastor I recall many times when you asked us to “repent of the way we repent” and that “even our goodness is tainted w/ sin” – this is why we so desperately need the Gospel, the person of Jesus -
    Well, David is now 18 and will be headed off to college next year. Sometimes I really wonder how much he listens to or learns from sermons. The other day at dinner, he shared these thoughts w/ our family:
    At Chapel today, the speaker said, “God blesses
    those who work hard” – David mulled that one over and then told us
    that “God blesses me plenty of times when I don’t work hard -
    which is mercy; and then there are times when I do put forth effort, but
    only to impress someone else – so even good stuff I do is tainted w/ sin;
    boy, it just shows how much I really need Jesus” -

    He’s truly growing in an understanding of the Gospel, and what it means to
    walk a life of faith. I’m getting less and less concerned and more and
    more excited about sending him off on his own next year – where he can
    really embrace his own walk w/ the Lord and take up that baton of faith
    and run!

    Thanks for being one of those voices that pointed him in the right direction!
    He WAS listening!! :o)

    1. Ray Ortlund says:

      Thanks, Beth. We miss you all. Please give my best to David.

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Ray Ortlund


Ray Ortlund is senior pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and serves as a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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