IN THE last week’s edition, we discussed that a Christian must not follow a Pastor simply because he has the ability to inspire or he is eloquent. Moreover, our reason for following preachers must not be based on their popularity, large congregation, riches or their ability to work miracles. These are not wrong; they are certainly great things, but a minister who follows Jesus Christ is to be followed.
A man who is filled with the Spirit of Christ walks with Christ, faithfully preaches and lives the Word of Christ, is an ambassador of Christ. He is worth following. We should not follow Pastors blindly. The Apostle Paul boldly urged his church members to follow him because he himself followed Christ (1 Corinthians 11: 1).
The early servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God knew that Jesus Christ was the greatest subject for preaching and teaching. The post-modern ministers of the gospel and Christians in general ought to understand that Christ is teachable, knowable, learnable and livable even though He is immeasurable, unfathomable, and incalculable. Yes, Christ’s depth, height and width are incomprehensible.
He is worthy to be studied, learned and worshipped as He is peerless, ageless, timeless, endless, limitless, classless, sinless, and faultless. Christ is undying, unfailing and unchanging. He is the Son of God.
In Christianity, Jesus Christ is the greatest theme to study and know. And He is the One we are called, prepared and sent to preach or teach to make Him known to others. We cannot make Christ Jesus known if we do not first know Him. To preach or teach about Christ Jesus is to communicate His person and messages to others. Every other thing a servant of Christ may study, know and teach is a mere addition.
Jesus Christ is the subject the world denigrates, despises and rejects because the people of the world do not know Him. Thus they glory in their wisdom, might and riches; the world seeks and places material things especially money far above God while true Christians place God far above these things. In other words, the world’s priority is physical property whilst Christians’ priority is God (Matthew 6: 31-33).
Therefore a person who claims to be a servant of Christ, but makes material things the priority of his or her preaching and teaching is a dishonest, disloyal, and a false servant of the Lord. True servants of Christ preach and teach Christ, and consider the teachings about wealth creation as other things or mere additions. A worldly- minded preacher may disagree and scoff at this, but he who is filled and controlled by the Spirit of Christ will praise God for it.
Christianity is all about Jesus Christ. It is from Christ. It is of Christ. It is for Christ. It is in Christ. It is with Christ. It is under Christ. It begins with Christ. It ends with Christ and rests with Christ to the glory of the Father. There can never be Christianity without Christ.
When we read our Bible, we see how the first Apostles preached and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ because He is all humanity needs. A true Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor or Teacher does not teach or preach what they like. They proclaim what their Lord has instructed or taught them to.
The Lord Jesus Christ called, trained, and prepared the first Apostles for years with the messages contained in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. After that He sealed their preparation with the anointing or empowerment of the Holy Spirit to teach and preach about Him (Acts 1:8).
And in obedience to Jesus Christ’s commands, the leaders of the first Church including Deacons went about proclaiming Christ, testifying about His birth, ministry, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and second coming. Those preachers were genuinely filled with the Spirit of Christ and so had no option but to preach and teach Christ, knowing that He is the unique theme of the Bible.
Peter, Stephen, Philip, Paul and all the others ministers preached Christ Jesus, something they loved to do daily; the severe persecutions notwithstanding. This, they did with the strong persuasion that only the name Jesus Christ was and is vested with power and authority to save man from the bondage of sin for eternal salvation.
A Christian minister who will not preach and teach about Jesus Christ to make His deity, incarnation, ministry, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and promised return known is not only false, but also fearful. He is afraid he may be attacked, and suffer persecution. Such a clergyman is not worth following.
Yes, everyone who genuinely loves Christ, goes to Christ, follows Christ and preaches or teaches about Christ, receives attacks of all forms. The devil may not instigate people to attack you if you merely mention the name of Jesus Christ in your preaching and teaching about money and other things, but only if you preach the gospel in truth with miracles, signs and wonders to honour and glorify God.
FROM James Quansah, Kumasi