We do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord. (2 Cor 4:5)
This is the way the Apostle Paul describes his preaching amongst the Corinthians. Earlier on in the chapter, he tell us that he has turned his back on any other preaching except the plain statement of the truth. He assumes that there is a truth to be told. It can be known and it can be verified.
Not only is there a truth to be known, but he tells that truth in such a way that the hearer will recognize Paul’s honesty, and will pay attention to the message accordingly (2 Cor 4:2). They are treated with respect, for he does not try to trick them or to “tamper with God’s word” (v. 2).
What is that truth he tells them? That Jesus is the Christ and that he is the Lord. There are at least three ideas in the concept that Jesus is the Christ.
Firstly, Jesus is ruler over God’s world
This is beautifully illustrated in Psalm 2. In verses 1-3, we see that the whole world, represented by their rulers, are in rebellion against the living God. In response to this, God laughs at them and scoffs. He terrifies them in his anger, and he does this by installing his king on Zion’s holy hill (v. 6). God has appointed the Lord Jesus as ruler over the entire world.
God declares to this king “You are my son, this day I have become your father”. God’s promise to the king is breathtaking: “Ask of me and I will make the nations your inheritance and the end of the world your possessions” (v. 8). The promise that God made to Abraham that through him would all the nations of the world be blessed is now caught up with the monarchy. God’s universal blessing will be when the Lord Jesus exercises his rule throughout the world. He is ruler, and we should respond to him in repentance and obedience.
Secondly, Jesus is judge of the entire world
Psalm 2 illustrates this again. God tells us that his king will “dash them to pieces like pottery” (v. 9). He is not to be trifled with. All will stand before him, and all will give an account to him. The Apostle Paul describes it this way:
God commands all people everywhere to repent because he has fixed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man he has appointed and he has given assurance of this by raising him from the dead. (Acts 17:30)
Finally, Jesus is the saviour of his people
Through his sin-bearing death and glorious resurrection, Jesus has made a way for forgiveness, for all to flee to him for mercy. Psalm 2 tells us, “Blessed are all those who take refuge in him” (v. 12).
These three aspects call for a response to Jesus of repentance and obedience and to trust him as the deliverer on the Day of Judgement.
Finally, that Jesus is the Lord means that he is God, and as such, is to be honoured as the Father is. It is a challenge to make sure in our preaching that these aspects of the person and work of the Lord Jesus are not neglected.