To preach the gospel is to exalt Jesus Christ. Perhaps this is the best answer that I could give. I am very sorry to see very often how little the gospel is understood even by some of the best Christians.

Some time ago there was a young woman under great distress of soul; she came to a very pious Christian man, who said “My dear girl, you must go home and pray.” Well I thought within myself, that is not the Bible way at all. It never says, “Go home and pray.” The poor girl went home; she did pray, and she still continued in distress. He said, “You must wait, you must read the Scriptures and study them.”

That is not the Bible way; that is not exalting Christ; I find a great many preachers are preaching that kind of doctrine. They tell a poor convinced sinner, “You must go home and pray, and read the Scriptures; you must attend the ministry;” and so on. Works, works, works—instead of “By grace are ye saved through faith,” If a penitent should come and ask me, “What must I do to be saved?” I would say, “Christ must save you—believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” I would neither direct to prayer, nor reading of the Scriptures nor attending God’s house; but simply direct to faith, naked faith on God’s gospel. Not that I despise prayer—that must come after faith. Not that I speak a word against the searching of the Scriptures—that is an infallible mark of God’s children. Not that I find fault with attendance on God’s word—God forbid! I love to see people there.

But none of those things are the way of salvation. It is nowhere written—”He that attends church shall be saved,” or, “He who reads the Bible shall be saved.” Nor do I read—”He that prays and is baptised shall be saved;” but, “He who believes,”—he that has a naked faith on the “Man Christ Jesus,”—in his Godhead and his manhood, is delivered from sin.

– Charles Spurgeon

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