We preach not ourselves
By Sparta Live | June 19, 2017 6:45 am
By Derrick Coble – West Sparta church of Christ
The Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is hidden to some people in the world, namely those who are lost. In fact, this is what Paul told the saints at Corinth when he said, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not . . . (2 Cor. 4:3,4a).
Unfortunately, it is the case that as it was in Paul’s day, far too many people are religiously blind, wandering aimlessly about, grasping for anything but the truth. Perhaps, this is why Paul made certain that the Corinthians knew this one principle: “For we preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor. 4:5).
Paul wanted all people to understand that the message he preached was from the Lord and not of himself because he was inspired (2 Cor. 4:6). In like manner, the message preached by the church of our Lord today is rejected by millions, but, like Paul, it is a message that can be defended by the inspired Word (2 Tim. 3:16,17).
We preach not ourselves in word or deed. The church that Jesus built (Mat. 16:18) can and must only speak the oracles of God (1 Pet. 4:11). In other words, whatever inspired words are written for all today within the pages of the Bible, that is what must be spoken. Paul said, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Col. 3:17). Therefore, anything that one does in religion (in preaching or practice) must be done by the authority of God Himself.
As a matter of fact, the only person who has ever lived on earth who was able to preach himself was Jesus. For this reason, it is very important that every soul in every nation “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). When a man thinks he can stand all alone and speak where God has not spoken, he must “take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).
We preach not ourselves in doctrine. There is only one doctrine for all the world—the doctrine (teaching) Jesus has provided (Acts 13:12). The one doctrine today is the same doctrine that Paul preached in his day. However, some have strayed away from that one doctrine and have perverted it entirely. Timothy was told, “Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine” (1 Tim. 4:16). The doctrine of Christ should not be changed, but some have corrupted the simplicity of it (2 Cor. 11:3). The truth of the Lord cannot come from men but only from God.