Preaching Christ

Michael Beck

“For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2 Corinthians 4:5)

The preaching of Christ, especially Christ crucified, is not as popular as people suppose. So many would rather tell stories about themselves, putting their own power, wisdom, and glory on display. Jesus is some where in the mix, but He is not front and center. His name is mentioned, but what proceeds is not of, by, and for Him.

Jesus knew this type of “ministry.” He understood why the weightier side of His own ministry was not well-received. “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” (John 5:43) Few had ears to hear His call to live a life of self-denying worship of God. Many were all too eager to hear a man-centered, man-pleasing message.

Religious people can be just as much about themselves as the most worldly egotist. Jesus told them that they did not have the love of God in them. (John 5:42) Where true love for the Father is lacking, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life dominates. (1 John 2:15,16)

The Father captivated the Son. All He said and did proceeded from this adoration. We are to likewise love the Son. We are to love what He is doing, not what we’re doing. We are to love what He is saying, not what we have to say. We don’t aim to captivate people by our brilliance. We go forth in His Name, not our own – shining for His glory, not our own.

And if we are so ruled by the Spirit of Christ, we will surely find the same reception among men that He found. Where we thought we’d be most well-received, we are most despised and rejected. But being known in heaven is far better than being known on earth.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.