The Disciple’s Cross-How You and Your Church Can be Balanced Or How to determine if your church is a balanced and biblical one and weigh your christian life.
Various churches have mushroomed all over the developing world these days, especially in Nigeria. You have literally, the good, the bad and the ugly.How do we tell which one is balanced or biblical?
After about 50 years of baptism into Christ, one feels some obligation to assist younger church members and especially ministers of God seeking to guide their congregation aright, these days of post- modernist philosophy.The Disciple’s Cross is in the book 1 of a 6-course disciple or Church Leaderhip training programme.
It was adapted from materials originally written by Avery W. Willis and copyrighted by the Sunday School Board of the southern Baptist Convention. My wife and I did this six month course in Maitama Abuja in 1994/95 under the teaching of Prof. Charles Wambebe, ECWA church, ABUJA . He was also then the ED/ MD of Nigerian Pharmaceutical Research center, Idu/ Karimu, ABUJA. If my memory recalls his official title well.
Now he is an Apostle and founder of many churches in Uganda. I was privileged to speak with him this year. After the course, we shared it and my then State Pastor in RCCG, made us to share the Good News Evangelistic message, a book 3 chapter, with the senior pastors of our church in Abuja.
Using the yardstick or standard of the Cross of Christ.Imagine your church and your life as the Cross of Christ standing firm. Now ask these questions about your current Church and your own Christian life.Christ- centered Life.
Is Christ at the center of all your church activities? Or your own life? Read, Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
These two or three decades, increasingly, prosperity on earth and or deliverance from demons have dominated tge Church and members.Who cares any more about seeking first the kingdom of God and its righteousness? The Word as the root of Christianity. This is the ministry of teaching and preaching.
The first church in Acts 6:4 the leadership dedicated themselves to, Act 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
At the Cross illustration, read, Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
At the upper beam of the Cross illustration is Prayer . This is the ministry of worship and Intercession. Is your Church praying? Are there intercessors or active prayer warriors in our church or relevant to your life? You must abide in Christ for Him to answer you. This is consistency; it us Holy Spirit in dwelling in a Christian or at the altar.See illustration of .Joh 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.If you are not holy, your prayer , or your worship is an abomination to God .Read, Pro 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.Pro 15:9 The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.
It is unfortunate today, many churches or ministers are dirty, filthy and have made the church a den of robbers. Jesus lamented so in, Mat 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Are our churches a house of prayers? Are you yourself a temple of prayers?
On the horizontal beam, left side is witnessing. This is the ministry of evangelism. In Jhn 15:8 Jesus likens it to fruit- bearing.Joh 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
This is the great Commission, a general command yo all disciples of Christ. Read, Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever. Even the delivered Gardarene demoniac was permitted to witness by giving testimony if his deliverance in Mar 5:19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
Fellowship. Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. This is nurturing, feeding the sheep. Jesus commanded Peter to feed his lambs and sheep. see Jhn 21:15-17.
As a rearer of sheep, I know that each time a shepherd comes to the sheep they expect fresh food. But when a pastor is not reading or learning what can he feed the sheep on? NEMO DAT QUOD NON HABET( You cannot give what you don’ t have)
My concern about nurture or welfare as done today in Nigerian evangelical and Pentecostal churches is that largely it is done wrongly!
They are giving clothes, food, sinking bore holes in rural areas, under cameras and TV and Radio journalists’ lenses and micophibesvrespectively, giving to internally displaced persons and destitutes outside tge church. These are alright but FIRST GIVE TO YOUR STARVING AND IMPOVERISHED MEMBERS. The commandment to love was given by Jesus to disciples, i.e., to church members.
How do we explain pastors or members doling food items to outsiders while th members of their churches are salivating and cringing under pangs of hunger and go I say anger. This attitude apparently reeks of hypocrisy reprimanded by Jesus as demonstrated by the Pharisees. Matt 23:23-25.
Today, I leave you to judge for yourself on your church and your christian life. Are you balanced?
Follow up, a necessary aspect if Pastoring and nurture.
It us sad that new comers, new converts, newly weds are in church, they are not visited! People fall off and nobody notices. Remember the word of our Lord in Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Mat 25:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
Mat 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Which aspects of the five ministries are you weak in?
Which one are you over emphasizing at the expense of others?Is the Cross of your church or your life lop-sided standing only on evangelism?
Or only on welfare? Or only on the word? Or you are all only prayers, no words outside the leaders’?Are you looking at the faster growing churches and seeing that they are more balanced? Or at least they are doing fairly well on two aspects?
You and your church need to be balanced.
My Sermons in Nigeria.
CHRIST’ RESURRECTION, MY HOPE. MY BENEFITS.
At RCCG CHAPEL OF LIFE, RCCG LROVINCE 4 HEADQUARTES,GARKI ABUJA-SUNDAY 16/4/17
Lesson: Matt 28:1-10; 1 Cor 15:3-9.
Alive, alive, my Saviour is alive..He’s alive forever more, the sting of death is gone, / And now he lives/ I have eternal life/ since Jesus is alive…sing Halleluyah
-My soul doth magnify the Lord/My Spirit praises His name.For death could not hold Jesus captive/ Even in the grave, Jesus is Lord Introduction
Let me wish you all, a happy Resurrection or Easter Sunday! The Lord is Risen indeed. It is the major platform on which our faith rests. Luk 24:34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
The story of
Of Easter, Crown, the Cross and Resurrection- Our Benefits.
– THE RESURRECTION. According to MerriemWebster Dictionary, is defined as, in Christianity : the event told about in the Bible in which Jesus Christ returned to life after his death
: the event told about in the Bible in which dead people will be brought back to life before the day of final judgment
Resurrection story recorded by the four Gospels:
We must briefly mentioned the outlines of Crucifixion…Jesus nailed to the Cross at Calvary… about AD 30/33
Resurrection is the physical confirmation of the New Covenant started on Calvary!
All other god’s are dead our us alive
Jesus was tried six times! The trials of Jesus
1. The Jewish trials
A. Before Annas (John 18:12-14)
B. Before Caiaphas (John 18:19-24)
C. Before the Sandedrin (Matthew 27:1-2)
2. The Roman Trials
A. Before Pilate (John 18:28-38)
B. Before Herod (Luke 23:6-11)
C. Before Pilate again (John 18:39-19:16)
Jesus is mocked and beaten (Matt. 27:26-32)
(cf., Isaiah 52:14-53:12 and Psalm 22)
1. Crown of thorns: probably 3 inches long
2. Scourged: not under Jewish Law (40 save one)
But under Roman law, unlimited (60-120) times with a flagellum.
In the hands of probably two Roman professional whippers.
E. The crucifixion (27:33-44)
1. Three parts of the cross.
2. Mockery of the titilus.
3. Golgotha – shape or abundance of skulls.
4. What occurs medically to someone crucified.
5. Crucified naked.
6. Mockery on the cross (II Corinthians 5:21).
F. The death of Christ (27:45-56)
G. Jesus’ burial (27:57-61)
Rom 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
1Co 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:1Co 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
1Co 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
Jesus defeated Satan, death and hell. Paradise is open to all Brlievers in Christ.
Easter as a word, may have been originally coloured by ancient unchristian festivals, but what we celebrate actually is the death and Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We had it foreshadowed by the Passover…the blood of a sinless, blameless lamb was to cover the ancient Israelites’homes and to deliver them from the slavery of Egypt.Read this in, Exo 12:2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.Exo 12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:…Exo 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
But what is Resurrection? In their book A Handbook of Apologetics, Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli, underscored the overarching importance of a resurrection by saying, ‘EVERY SERMON PREACHED BY EVERY CHRISTIAN IN THE NEW TESTAMENT centers on the resurrection. The gospel or “good news” means essentially the news of Christ’s resurrection. The message that flashed across the ancient world, set hearts on fire, changed lives and turned the world upside down was not “love your neighbor.” Every morally sane person son already knew that; it was not news. The news was that a man who claimed to be the Son of God and the Savior of the world had risen from the dead.’
Prophecy of the seed of the woman yo crush the head of the serpent…Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel…
Hos 6:2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.
In the Apostles’ creed, Jesus was crucified, dead and buried,on the third day rose again From the dead
Jesus said so..Luk 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour rose from the dead. The Bible tells the story. It is an historical fact attested to by witnesses; both human and angelic.
Let us trace it from Matthew’s Gospel chapter 28, thus:
The Resurrection took place early Easter Sunday morning.Mat 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week,
Witnesses saw it.came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre…1Co 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:1Co 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.1Co 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.1Co 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
An earthquake…a historic event was taking place.Mat 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake:
Terrible Angels for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. God is rolling away your problems, today.Mat 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:Angels are part of your messengers but be a Christian.. Heb 1:7.. flames of fire
Jesus strikes fear in the hearts of the world military might. Mat 28:4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
Fear not!Mat 28:5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here! Jesus is risen ! Mat 28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
The Empty Tomb..Satan has list the battle…our Federal Head won…we have light, hope, freshness through the grave.
The Great Commission. Go quickly Mat 28:7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
With fear and joy.Mat 28:8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
Jesus is meeting you today.Mat 28:9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
Mat 28:10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
The Benefits of Resurrection
The implications or benefits of Resurrection:
. To Give Us Eternal Life (John 11: 25–27)
To Show His Power over Death (Acts 2: 24; Romans 6: 9)
To Heal Us (Acts 4: 10)
To Forgive Our Sins (Acts 13: 37–38; 1 Corinthians 15: 17)
To Give Life to Our Mortal Bodies (Romans 8: 11)…To Give Us Heavenly, Imperishable Bodies (1 Corinthians 15: 42–48).To Clothe Us with His Image (1 Corinthians 15: 49)…largely culled from, Steven D. Mathewson, Risen: 50 Reasons Why The Resurrection Changed Everything, Baker Books (Grand Rapids, MI, 2013 )
To Justify Sinners (Romans 4: 23–25; Acts 13: 39)
To Unite Us with Him in His Resurrection (Romans 6: 5–8)
To Set Creation Free from Its Bondage (Romans 8: 21–22)
To Intercede for Us at God’s Right Hand (Romans 8: 34; Hebrews 7: 23–25)
To Adopt Us into God’s Family (Romans 8: 23) Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition betwee Nos.1-12, largely culled from, Steven D. Mathewson, Risen: 50 Reasons Why The Resurrection Changed Everything, Baker Books (Grand Rapids, MI, 2013 )
Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Hallelujah! Victory is yours now…Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Resurrection is tge assurance that you shall rise again too; our Hope..Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Sing: because He lives. / I can face tomorrow ..because he lives, all fear is gone/ because I know.. he owns my future and life worth a living… just because He lives.
Can you confidentky say, I you can face tomorriw? If you are not yet linked to Resurrection, you need to accept Jesus as your Lord today. You want to know Jesus today. Read John 3:16-18; 15:5-8; Jhn 1:12. May Christ help and defend you in your Christian life journey. Find a Bible- blieving Church and fellowship, today. Read this in Hebrew 10:25.
Thank God for the platform of Resurrection.
All Roman soldiers, preventing my resurrection, I command you to shake and fall off in Jesus’ name!
The strive is over the battle done . I shall reach my destination in Jesus’ name, amen!