In his sermon on Song of Songs 1:7, “Love to Jesus“, Charles Spurgeon challenges Christians to love the real Christ and so the challenge to preachers today is; how do we preach Christ? Is Christ real or abstract and doctrinal?
We want to have a real Christ more fully preached and more fully loved by the Church. We fail in our love because Christ is not real to us as He was to the early Church.
The early Church did not preach much doctrine. They preached Christ. They had little to say of truths about Christ. It was Christ Himself—His hands, His feet, His side, His eyes, His head, His crown of thorns, the sponge, the vinegar, the nails. O for the Christ of Mary Magdalene—rather than the Christ of the critical theologian! Give me the wounded body of Divinity, rather than the soundest system of theology.
Let me show you what I mean. Suppose an infant is taken away from its mother and you should seek to foster in it a love to the parent by constantly picturing before it the idea of a mother—and attempting to give it the thought of a mother’s relation to the child. Indeed, my Friends, I think you would have a difficult task to fix in that child the true and real love which it ought to bear towards her who bore it. But give that child a mother. Let it hang upon that mother’s real breast, let it derive its nourishment from her very heart—let it see that mother, feel that mother, put its little arms about that mother’s real neck and you have no hard task to make it love its mother.
So is it with the Christian. We want Christ—not an abstract, doctrinal, pictured Christ—but a real Christ.