Have you ever said if it had not been for the teaching of So-an-So I would still be lost and going to Hell. We all have people we love to hear preach one of my favorite preachers is Loran Livingston from The Central Church of God in Charlotte NC. I began listening to him on the radio before I ever knew what it meant to be a member of the Church of God. I have heard him preach some wonderful and mind altering messages. One thing I really like about his style of preaching is he recognizes the fact that without the anointing and leading of the Holy Spirit he can do nothing. We all have those people who have impacted our understanding of who we are in our relationship with Jesus. When Paul was writing to the Corinthians he had to address an issue related to this very idea and concept. We read about it in 1 Corinthians 1:11-17:
11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
1 Corinthians 1:11-17 (ESV)
You see the Christians of Corinth had begun to divide a lot like we are divided today they began to fall in behind and align themselves with certain teachers of the gospel. It’s not that those who were teaching desired followers but it was a failure to put Jesus in the center of all that they did and a lack of correction about who they truly were to be following.
There is a point here that I need to touch on. In verse 12 it states, “I follow Christ” now that might seem like the right statement to make but there was a problem in Corinth and we are experiencing it today. When these individuals claimed to be following Christ it was; Christ with, it was not what we see and understand of Jesus from the scriptures today. They would profess Christ but would make Him fit into the mold of what they wanted to do. You have seen this in our culture today; people try to say that Jesus was gay; they say he was a vegetarian and the list of Jesus with is long and ever changing. People have for centuries tried to label Christ to make what they are doing seem right. Because of this Jesus With attitude many people today are living in sin and calling it good. I want to close by assuring you that the Jesus of the scriptures cannot be conformed to our personal wants and desires just because we pick and choose the passages we apply to our relationship with Him. We must conform to His will; not Him conform to ours. I encourage you know matter how anointed the teacher or preacher always search God’s word and be sure of what they teach is accurate and not personal opinion. We need more Jesus and less With in our lives. Have a blessed day as you walk in the light of God’s Word.
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