IN LAST week's edition, we discussed that true servants of Jesus Christ do not preach and teach just anything they like. No, Christ's servants do not do that. They gladly take instructions from the Lord Jesus Christ, who ordered His ministers to travel to villages, towns and cities to preach the gospel and make disciples, baptise them and finally teach them to observe all that He had commanded them (Matthew 28:18-20).
Now, the apostles understood the instructions of the Lord to mean that they should go and preach and teach about Jesus Christ. And so when the apostles received power after the Holy Spirit had come upon them, they went about bearing witness about the risen Lord. In other words, they preached and taught nothing except Jesus Christ.
The message about the Lord Jesus Christ was to them the greatest theme or subject for preaching and teaching for sinners to believe in Jesus Christ, repent of their sins and be sealed with the promised Holy Spirit for the day of redemption. And preaching and teaching about Jesus Christ is necessary for believers to know and grow in Him, and eventually conform to His glorious image.
Consequently, in the book of Acts of the Apostles, we read about the early ministers greatly preaching and teaching about Jesus Christ. Peter preached and taught about Jesus Christ (Acts 2); Philip preached and taught about Jesus Christ (Acts 8); Stephen bore witness about Jesus Christ (Acts 7) and John taught and wrote about Jesus Christ.
One servant who greatly preached and taught about Jesus Christ was the apostle Paul. He was given great grace for that great work. Paul, a Pharisee, who was knowledgeable in the Law of Moses, the prophets and Psalms preached and taught about nothing except Jesus Christ. In his letter to believers in Colossae, Paul wrote of Jesus, “Him we preach.” He decided to know nothing to speak and write about except the risen and reigning Lord. He did that to make disciples for the Lord.
“When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening, he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the prophets.
He lived there for two years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance” (Acts 28 23, 30-31).
From these passages of Scripture, we clearly see the main message the early servants of Christ preached and taught. In fact, they were not disobedient to heavenly instructions. They actually feared God and committed themselves to the Word of His grace that is able to save sinners by grace through faith in Christ Jesus, and perfect believers for eternal salvation.
Today, what do we hear most pastors preach and teach? Many preach and teach about everything except Jesus Christ. Deep messages about the deity, pre-existence, birth, miracles, doctrines, death, burial, resurrection and second coming of Jesus Christ have completely been abandoned by many.
A pastor who does not preach and teach about Christ Jesus is false and a peddler of the gospel. He will not build on the foundation the foundational apostles laid and be led by the Holy Spirit to build the Church of God. A servant of Christ knows Christ and bears witness about Christ; he hears the voice of Christ and so preaches and teaches the Word of Christ.
Now, I should let you know the significance of teaching about Christ. When a pastor teaches about Christ, his congregants learn about Christ. Students learn what their teacher teaches them. The Lord Jesus Christ is the subject for preaching and teaching to Christians. The early ministers knew this. That is why they prioritised the teaching and preaching of Jesus Christ. Other things they talked about like money were just supplementary.
Teaching about Christ Jesus is necessary for learning about Christ and learning about Christ is necessary for knowing Christ and knowing Christ is necessary for growing in Christ and growing in Christ is necessary for conforming to the image of Christ and finally conforming to the image of Christ is necessary for inheriting the Kingdom of God.
Indeed, learning Christ must be the focus of every born again child of God. The Lord Jesus was the first to encourage His followers to learn of Him (Matthew 11:28-29). We are to learn from His gentleness, humility, meekness, obedience, kindness, goodness, patience, love, joy, faithfulness, righteousness, purity, preaching and teaching.
When the believers in Ephesus failed to walk in the ways of the Lord, the apostle Paul wrote to remind them that their conduct did not show what they learnt about Christ. He wrote, “… you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding … to practise every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!” (Ephesians 4: 17-20)
By James Quansah
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