For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 2 Cor. 4:5

This verse could have been written without “we do not preach ourselves but” and just have read, “For we preach Christ Jesus as Lord…” But the emphasis here is on our identity viz a viz Jesus. In other words, we are not Lord, we are bond-servants. Jesus is Lord and He has paid the price that renders us bond-servants to one another. Moreover, we’re not bond-servants in a vacuum, but bond-servants of those we “preach to” (disciples, those we pastor, other believers, etc.).

Who am I preaching as Lord? Sometimes me and not Jesus. It looks like this: I have to make my dreams happen. I have to provide for myself. I have to protect myself. It boils down to “me”, which at its essence is pride. Ick.

Who do I believe I am? What do I “preach” (say, think) about my purpose, mission, and identity? To the extent my answer does not conform to “your bond-servant for Jesus’ sake,” then I’m out of step with the Gospel.