I have the privilege of preaching at the Ordination of Deacons (35 of them) in St Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral tomorrow morning in Sydney. I’d be glad of your prayer for them.
My text is 2 Corinthians 4:5.
For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. [NIV]
Renowned British New Testament scholar, Professor C.K. Barrett says,
It would be hard to describe the Christian ministry more comprehensively in so few words.
It tells you the heart of the gospel Jesus is Lord.
This consistently emerges from the New Testament as the clearest, simplest summary of the Christian message. In addition to my text above, just consider Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 12:3 and Philippians 2:11 for direct example of the confession that “Jesus (Christ) is Lord”.
Think also of Peter in Acts 2:36 and Ananias (with Saul who became Paul) in Acts 9:17 (making sense of Saul’s experience in Acts 9:5).
Just 3 or 4 short words. But so much intrinsically implied by the declaration that Jesus Christ is Lord.
I didn’t have space to include it all in my sermon, but I thought Murray Harris’ list of 8 implications of Jesus’ lordship was outstanding and powerful. [Source: The Second Epistle to the Corinthians (NIGTC), on 2 Cor 4:5]
- It clearly implies that the Christ of faith is the Jesus of history.
- It acknowledges the deity of Christ (e.g. compare Philippians 2:9-11 with Isaiah 45:21-25)
- It asserts the Lord Jesus’ personal rights to absolute supremacy in the universe, in the church and in individual lives.
- It offers triumph over death and hostile cosmic powers.
- It defines the essential basis (or credal foundation) for Christian doctrine.
- It declares everyone’s accountability to the Lord Jesus, who will be the righteous judge of the living and the dead.
- It enables a personal and public declaration of faith, indicating the influence of the Holy Spirit.
- And it repudiates allegiance to former pagan lords (and we might add, modern non-religious ‘idols’ that rule our lives) for loyalty to one Lord.
Meditate a while on that list.
What a responsibility and what a privilege to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord. Little wonder Paul compares all who preach that way to clay jars with a great treasure within!