2 Corinthians 4:5
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
Christianity was first diffused by the proclamation of the living voice, and the same method has always held the most prominent position in the history of the Church and especially of its missions. Yet the success of this method has been in proportion to the prominence which preachers give to their theme in comparison with their own individuality.
I. THE THEME THE APOSTLE DISCLAIMS. "We preach not ourselves."
1. I.e. not about ourselves, as is the way with many. Not our own speculations, our own theories, our own fancies. Not even our own experiences in the religious life.
2. For it was felt by the modest and the wise that such preaching could only be to offer, in many cases, weakness, folly, and ignorance; in all cases human imperfection, and infirmity, to men who know quite enough of all this, and who stand in need of what is superhuman and Divine.
II. THE THEME IN WHICH THE APOSTLE GLORIES.
1. Christ as an historical Person. It was and still is necessary, in the first place, to inform the hearers of the gospel of the actual facts of our Lord's earthly manifestation - his incarnation, his ministry, his humiliation and obedience, his sufferings and death, his resurrection and exaltation. All good, sound doctrine is based upon fact.
2. Christ as a Divine Person; i.e. the Lord. He is to be preached as being what he declared himself to be - one with the Father, the King of angels and of men. It is such an all-sufficient Friend and Helper that mac needs.
"If thou wert less than One Divine,
My soul would be dismayed;
But through thy human lips God says,
"Tis I; be not afraid!'"
3. Christ as a Mediator, complete in all the qualifications needed to discharge the duties of all the orifices he sustains.
4. Christ as a living Person - One who has not ceased to interest himself in men because he is no longer among them in bodily form; but One who, as represented in the Apocalypse, is living with and for those whom he died to save. APPLICATION. There is danger lest those who accept this view of the apostle should be content with the mere reiteration of Christ's name. Be it remembered that Christ should be preached as to the intelligence and to the heart of men. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.