By Don Willis
Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah from God, the only hope for lost mankind. The Apostle Paul said, “I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). Philip preached Jesus to the Eunuch (Acts 8:35). Preachers today should be content to preach Jesus and him crucified. But, what does it mean to preach Jesus?
Preach His Divine Person
Jesus Christ is the Son of God! He existed from eternity as the Word. He became flesh for a few years in order to save mankind. He lived a perfect life. He performed many unquestionable miracles. He died a vicarious death upon a cruel cross. As he had predicted, after three days, he was raised victorious from the grave. He ascended into Heaven where he sits and rules at the right hand of God, serving as Priest and Intercessor for saints.
Preach His Cross
Paul admonished, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14). Jesus died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3). The blood of Christ is the only medium that can erase sins. The blood of the Old Law (i.e., that of bulls and goats) could not take away sins. Paul, Peter nor Apollos died for our sins. Why wear their names? Jesus died for our sins, and we should be content to wear his name. There is salvation in no other name (Acts 4:12).
Preach His Gospel
It is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). Jesus left the Holy Spirit to guide the apostles into all truth. The Apostles spoke by the inspiration of God’s Spirit. In Bible times, Paul would affirm that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Jude 3 said the faith was once (for all) delivered unto the saints. We need no other. If Jesus’ gospel completely furnished his people, any different gospel would destroy the completeness. If Jesus’ gospel would save, any additional gospel would not save. (Read Gal. 1:6-9; 2 John 9; Rev. 22:18-19.)
Preach His Salvation
Since Jesus died for our sins and he has all authority; he alone has the right to direct mankind as to how to be saved. Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mk. 16:16). Modern denominationalism denies what Jesus said. But, the doctrine of man cannot save. Depend upon Jesus. His blood has the power to cleanse from sin . . . but he will save only those that obey him (Heb. 5:9). One fails to understand the controversy over baptism. Why not simply accept what Jesus said, and obey him? He is the Hope of Glory!
Preach His Church or Kingdom
Christ did not come to establish a church among many. Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church” (Mt. 16:18). This church or kingdom had its beginning on the first Pentecost following the resurrection of our Lord (Acts 2). Saved individuals were added to Christ’s church (Acts 2:41,47). Jesus prayed for unity (Jn. 17:20-21). We are called in one body (Eph. 2:16; 4:4; 1:22-23). Jesus’ church or kingdom is ruled by his law. Churches with differing creeds, articles of faith, organizational structures, etc. have departed from truth, and people who depend on salvation through these churches are following rules not given by Jesus!
Preach His Morality
Jesus called his people to holiness. Born again individuals are called new creatures (Jn. 3:3,5; 2 Cor. 5:17). As Jesus is holy, we are to be holy (1 Pet. 1:15). One is cautioned not to be self-righteous, for salvation is by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8). The world needs to see God’s people standing for that which is right!
Yes, the world needs to hear preachers proclaiming Jesus! But, do not proclaim a partial gospel. Declare the whole counsel of God. Will you accept Jesus?
Guardian of Truth XXXI: 17, p. 523
September 3, 1987