Monday, 1 March 2010

Is it Christ or our denominations?

Sphere: Related Content “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” 1 Cor 1:23-24 (KJV)

Have you wondered why it is difficult to see in our churches what the apostles saw after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus? Have you wondered why transformed lives are rare to find among those who respond to our messages?
If we want to experience what the apostles experienced, we must sit back and ask ourselves, what is it that they did that we are not doing? And what is it that they did not do that we have immersed ourselves in today?

Everything we do is supposed to revolve around Christ. Our lives are to revolve around Christ. He is the One that God has given to be our Signpost and Landmark in this race of life. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We look up to Him as our example. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith…” Heb. 12: 2. We are to fix our eyes on Him as the Author, Pioneer, Leader, Instructor, Finisher and Perfecter of our faith. He has left for us an example and Peter admonishes us to follow in His steps. (1 Pet.2: 21). God is raising a people that will conform to the image of His own Son and He has made Him the firstborn among many brethren. (Rom.8: 29). He is the One we are to emulate and not any person else. At the end, our lives will be measured by how we conformed to Christ. Today there are many ‘heroes’ and ‘untouchables’ in many denominations that members are focused upon as examples. They stand and speak as if they are gods which are above human laws and scrutiny. Actually, everything centers around them. The denominational barriers do not allow members to interact with other members of the body of Christ. The ‘sheep’ belong to them. The church ‘fishes’ are all theirs for exploit. Indeed, they are the center of attraction. But that is not the way God planned it to be. He planned it that Christ will be the center of whatever we do in our churches and our lives must revolve around Him.

Not just our lives, but also our message and preaching must center on Christ. God has not left us here to preach any pastor or overseer, no matter how ‘powerful’ or ‘holy’ that man may be. The existence of denominations means that we will always have different understandings on some issues. However, the central and common focus must be Christ. The apostles preached Christ. What do we preach today? Saul, immediately after his conversion in Damascus preached Christ in the synagogues (Acts 9: 20). From our text above, we see that Paul and his team preached Christ. When persecution scattered the disciples, Philip went to Samaria and preached Christ (Acts 8: 5). We saw the result of such preaching in verses 7 – 8. There are some people that their message is, “which church do you attend?”, “come to my church, my pastor is very powerful”, “if you come to our church, all your problems will be over” etc. There are some churches that if anything happen to their pastor or overseer today, everything will collapse. We preach men of God. We preach our denominations as the best. We preach everything except Christ. We invite people to the pastor instead of inviting them to Christ. We present our churches instead of presenting Christ who alone can save. He is the power of God and the wisdom of God. The message around Christ is simple and not confusing but the teachings around any other thing or person in the church can lead astray and focus people wrongly, oftentimes throughout their lifetime. It is only the Word of God that brings eternal results.

Inasmuch as our lives and messages must revolve around Christ, our service and the motive of our ministries are to revolve around Christ also. It is true that several people answer Christians for many reasons, also, many people serve God in churches for many reasons. Of course, if the pastor of a church is serving God for the wrong reason, most likely, the members of the church will also have wrong motives for serving God. A man sometime ago wrote a book, “The man God uses”; but today we want to serve the god man uses – a god man can direct at his own will to solve his problems and accomplish his lusts. A Christo-centric service is one that is done ultimately to bring glory to Christ and to bring about God’s purpose in Christ to come to pass.

There are many reasons why everything about us must revolve around Christ. All human systems will one day collapse and they cannot stand the test of time but one built around Christ will last forever. When Christ is not the center, people will have wrong focus. They will have their focus on something else apart from Christ. When Christ is not the center, people will spend their lifetime serving the denominational organization without serving Christ. May we not wake up one day in eternity and suddenly discover that we have wasted our lives here on earth serving and protecting our denominations without serving God’s purpose. It’s all about Christ and not about our denominations!
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