Quest. But must nothing be preached but Christ?
Ans. I answer, Nothing but Christ, or that that tends to Christ. If we preach threatenings, it is to cast men down, that we may build them up. If a physician purge, it is that he may give cordials. Whatsoever is done in preaching to humble men, it is to raise them up again in Christ; all makes way for Christ. When men are dejected by the law, we must not leave them there, but raise them up again. Whatever we preach, it is reductive to Christ, that men may walk worthy of Christ. When men have been taught Christ, they must be taught to walk worthy of Christ, and of their calling,’ Col. 1:10, that they may carry themselves fruitfully, and holily, and constantly, every way suitable for so glorious a profession as the profession of Christian religion is. The foundation of all these duties must be from Christ. The graces for these duties must be fetched from Christ; and the reasons and motives of a Christian’s conversation must be from Christ, and from the state that Christ hath advanced us unto. The prevailing reasons of an holy life are fetched from Christ. The grace of God hath appeared’ saith St Paul, ‘ it hath shined gloriously’ – ‘teaching us to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, and righteously, and holily, in this present evil world,’ Titus 2:12. So that Christ is the main object of preaching. This made St Paul, when he was among the Corinthians, to profess no knowledge of anything but of Christ, and him crucified; ‘ to esteem and value nothing else. He had arts and tongues and parts. He was a man excellently qualified, but he made show of nothing in his preaching, and in his value and esteem, but of Christ, and the good things we have by Christ.
Now Christ must be preached wholly and only. We must not take anything from Christ, nor join anything to Christ. …It is a destructive addition, to add anything to Christ. Away with other satisfaction. The satisfaction of Christ is enough. Away with merits. The merits of Christ are all-sufficient. -Richard Sibbes in The Fountain Opened