Preaching With Purpose

In 1850, aged sixteen, Spurgeon was tricked into preaching his first sermon. At that time, a small preaching group based at St. Andrew’s Street Chapel in Cambridge was used to supplying preachers for the surrounding villages. Impressed by the recently converted teenager, the leader of the group asked Spurgeon to go to the little village of Teversham the next evening, “for a young man was to preach there who was not much used to services, and very likely would be glad of company.”[1]  It was a cunning statement that led him to set off the next day, unsuspecting, with the man he assumed would be preaching. Only then, when he wished the man well, did he find out that he himself was the “young man” scheduled to give the sermon. As they walked, he decided he must speak on the sweetness and love of Jesus, and that his text would be 1 Peter 2:7, “Unto you therefore which believe he [Christ] is precious” (KJV). In that urgent moment, his choice of topic and text was all-revealing, and some twenty years later he wrote, “I am sure it contains the marrow of what I have always taught in the pulpit from that day until now.”[2]

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