Life in This World is All About Jesus
The minister of the Gospel is forbidden from lording over Christ’s sheep because he is one of them (1 Pet 5:1–5). Instead, prayer and ministry of God’s Word should occupy the slave of Christ, entrusted with this stewardship (Acts 6:4).
There are endless ways to occupy oneself in pastoral ministry that are not Word and prayer-centered. Many of these ways tempt pastors into a quest to control people and events. Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd (Jn 10:11, 14), and He always knows the state of His flock. He knows exactly what they need.
Pastors become what God purposes them to be, by setting their hearts to study God’s Word (Ezra 7:10). Meditating on God’s Word, day and night (Ps 1:2), helps to equip the man of God, given the task to equip others, to fulfill their ministries in the body of Christ (Eph 4:11–12).
It must be said that, “You cannot preach what you don’t know.” If the Bible orders the man of God to preach Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor 2:2; 2 Cor 4:5), then it must be the occupation of the preacher to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:18).
It is the Bible’s exclusive prerogative to reveal the excellencies of Jesus Christ (1 Pet 2:9), to whom belongs the glory, both now and to the day of eternity (Eph 3:21; Heb 13:21). Glory is His because, as the Son of God, He is Savior, Lord, Judge, and King, the only Sovereign.
The world does not know the Person and work of the one Mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:5). The god of this world keeps his domain in darkness (2 Cor 4:4; Col 1:13), by deceiving his subjects (Jn 8:44). He assures them they are good people, doing good works. If someone objects and points out some flaw in the world system, the devil spurs the pride of those who wish to make a name for themselves, by becoming, “world changers.”
Preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are not world changers, nor do they aspire to such a task. The reconnaissance of lost souls, also known as the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:18), is the good work prepared beforehand by God (Eph 2:10), for the minister of the New Covenant, in the Spirit (2 Cor 3:6).
When the “world changing” pastor embraces this false gospel, he portrays himself as a “leader” to be followed by other “world changer wannabes.” One can discern this deviation by listening to the minister, prone to preaching himself, instead of preaching Christ (2 Cor 4:5). “Global leadership” for “world changers” is a cult within the church of Jesus Christ. It must be exposed, as yet another manifestation of man-centered theology, which is an evil effort to strip Christ of honor and glory.
Paul’s credibility was waning in the Corinthian church because of hero worship toward the preachers. The congregation had their favorites, and they did not hide their preferences (1 Cor 1:12–17). Paul emphasized that he was not one to pontificate upon his own person and works. He confessed his embarrassment, in having to remind the Corinthians of his resume (2 Cor 12:1, 5).
Does God save His people, by the pedigree of His ministers? May it never be! God is famous (in the Scriptures) for using the weak things, even foolish things, to accomplish His purposes (1 Cor 1:27). One must look at the prophets, even Jesus Himself, to see why the world mocks God’s way of wisdom.
The Savior of the world is a carpenter from Nazareth, a backwater town in a tiny, loathed nation. The King of kings was born in an animal stall and laid in a food trough. The Sovereign God and creator of all things was killed by cruel crucifixion, at the hands of the creatures He Himself created. Do you see why the unregenerate find this to be foolishness, as they perish?
Jesus Christ is the Gospel of God. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8). He is the eternal, unchanging Lord of glory. Therefore, those who preached Jesus in the first, fifth, and fifteenth century all preached the same Savior of sinners. You and I are sinners — uncertain, unpredictable, untrustworthy, and always changing. We must not preach ourselves or pretend to be a lord. There is no room for even one of us to have a “Messiah complex.”
Jesus taught that the greatest among us would be the slave of all (Mt 23:11). In other words, to follow Jesus is to take on the role of a servant, as He did, by coming into the world (Phil 2:5–11). We serve others, especially the household of faith, for the sake of Jesus and His kingdom.
Friend, you are either living for the kingdom of this world, or for the kingdom that is coming in glory (Mt 24:29–31). You are either serving Satan, as a slave of sin (Jn 8:34; Rom 6:6, 16–20), or you are serving the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor 3:5–6). You are either learning the ways of the world, or you are learning Christ from the Bible (Eph 4:20; Col 1:7).
Examine yourself in these matters. Do not be deceived into thinking you can love this world and also love God the Father (1 Jn 2:15). Every man is known by what he loves, whether it is his favorite team, favorite holiday, favorite vacation spot, favorite music, or favorite people.
Christian you must not be double-minded, on this issue of eternity. You know that life in this world is all about Jesus, but is this what the world knows about you? If the inquiry were to be made of those who know you, would they say, “He is all about Jesus, as if Jesus were life itself.” They will, if you preach Christ and only Christ. O Lord, may it be this, and only this, forever, even to the end.
August 12, 2022