I have learned much about preaching by reading Charles Spurgeon. Whether it is reading what he says about preaching or watching his example of preaching by reading his sermons, it is evident that his nickname, the "Prince of Preachers" is fitting.
I was struck again by his example as I recently read through a sermon of his entitled, "The Blood-Shedding." A simple yet powerful title. Fitting, for the title accurately represented his sermon. It was simple, yet powerful. The text he preached was one little phrase within Hebrews 9:22 - "Without shedding of blood is no remission." His approach to this text was simple, but not shallow. Spurgeon stuck to his text. He did not go to the right or the left of it. He dove down into the depths of it. He did not zigzag from the text. He expounded upon it for all it was worth.
Spurgeon's approach was simple. He explained the text in such a convincing way that the hearer had to make a choice about what he would do with the confrontation of these truths. He was content to stick to the topic at hand in his text. He didn't feel the need to add his own flare to it. The ability to apply deep theological truths in a simple way to the hearers is the great task of the preacher. If anyone could master such a task, Spurgeon did. Martin Luther also did this well, a few hundred years before Spurgeon. This is one of the reasons the Reformation took off like it did and drew major support from the common German citizen. There is something powerful about having the profound glories of almighty God brought to bear in a palpable way. Through this, the simple man may realize that the truths of God are for him!
I once heard someone say that "preachers are less like chefs and more like butlers. We don't create something new in the kitchen, we just deliver the food without messing it up." This is the task of the preacher, to deliver the Word of God to the People of God in an easily edible form. It is, after all, our job to "feed the sheep." Let us be good at feeding.
I want to include the outline of Spurgeon's sermon that I mentioned above which I have extracted from his manuscript. I hope this will show his simple, yet powerful approach. The Lord gifted Spurgeon to help his congregation not just see the text in 2D, but to see it from every angle, as if he pulled it up from the pages of Scriptures and turned it every which way to gaze upon it in 3D.
The Blood-Shedding by C.H. Spurgeon
"Without shedding of blood is no remission." - Hebrews 9v22
The negative expressed in the text: there is no remission without blood
Decisive in it's character: the text is clear
Universal in its character: there are no exceptions
How perpetual the text is: it stands forever
The positive implied: there is remission with blood shedding - Christ