The Effectual Preacher

"...The Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings..." Isaiah 61:1


These words prophetically describe one great work of the Lord Jesus Christ - He was to come as a preacher. Not only is the eternal Son of God the author of the gospel and the subject of the gospel, he is the only effectual preacher of the gospel. He is "the Messenger of the Covenant". Through his incarnation and death, he created the gospel, and it is he who effectually preaches the gospel.

Christ proclaimed the gospel through the prophets of the Old Testament, in anticipation of his atoning sacrifice. They were his mouthpieces. It was he who went and preached to Noah's disobedient generation, when the longsuffering of God waited while the ark was being prepared. When those holy men of old "prophesied of the grace that should come", it was "the Spirit of Christ within them" testifying "beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow."

During his life upon the earth, our Lord proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom of God, of the love of the heavenly Father for his wayward child, and of God's anointed king. It was Christ who condescended "to seek and save that which was lost". He went to the publicans and sinners, the dregs of society, and proclaimed God's redeeming mercy. Christ himself brought the good news of salvation to the Samaritans.

After his resurrection, it was Christ who commanded his disciples in all ages to proclaim the gospel to every creature, promising the power of his presence. It was Christ who poured out his Spirit on the day of Pentecost, through the merits of his death and resurrection. It was Christ who preached the gospel to Saul of Tarsus, and every preacher today speaks in Christs name. Rather, Christ preaches through him as his ambassador. Every true gospel preacher can say with Paul, "We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."

We preach, but Christ alone preaches effectually. He created the gospel, is the theme of the gospel, and in truth he is the one and only preacher of the gospel. He applies the gospel irresistibly by the Holy Spirit. When Christ preaches, salvation comes.

Don Fortner