We preach Christ, and not just the benefits that he offers. This is part of the commitment to ‘Trinitarian personalism’ advocated by Scott R. Swain. He concludes:
Often the commitment to being “Christ-centered” in preaching leads to sermons whose central point is the atonement or justification. Now mind you, one cannot preach Christ without preaching the atonement and justification. But there is a marked difference between preaching the crucifixion and preaching “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2). And there is a marked difference between preaching justification and preaching “him who justifies the ungodly” (Rom 4:5). The former falls short of, while the latter serves, the Bible’s trinitarian personalism.
Jesus Christ is not the solution to a puzzle, whether that solution is derived by means of a sophisticated homiletical method or a sophisticated hermeneutical method. Jesus Christ is God the Son in person. Someone, not something, is the central subject matter and scope of Scripture. Someone, not something, should be the central subject matter and scope of Christian preaching.
As Sinclair Ferguson is wont to emphasize in his teaching and to exemplify in his preaching, Christian preaching is about “placarding” the Son of God incarnate, the second person of the Trinity, before the eyes of men and women, boys and girls (Gal 3:1). Though preaching involves the presentation of ideas and moral instruction, it involves so much more as well. And this “so much more” is trinitarian and personal. In preaching, we are heralds of the king, announcing that he has come and that he is coming again. In preaching, we are friends of the bridegroom, wooing the bride to embrace her beloved Lord. In preaching, we are ministers of the new covenant, presenting Jesus Christ, clothed in all the promises of the gospel, and summoning hearers to engage him in covenant union and communion.
He, someone not something, is the supreme subject matter and scope of Christian preaching: God the Son incarnate, clothed with the promises of the gospel, crucified and risen, ascended and coming again. This, it seems to me, is the fundamental implication of trinitarian personalism for Christian preaching.