by Apostle Arome Osayi
It should be all about Christ crucified
The times are indeed perilous. Believers today prefer to listen to ‘prophets’ rather than to open their hearts to the word of the Lord in diligent study. They prefer to hear, ‘THUS SAITH THE LORD’, than to hear God speak to them directly. The prophetic ministry, much like every other ministry, is designed to boost deeper personal relationship with God. The success of a ministry is measured by how much of Christ is formed in those who are ministered to (Galatians 4:19). Any ministry that discourages personal growth and development is definitely lethal.
General Bible study, corporate prayer meetings and every other meeting in which believers come together in the name of the Lord must have one purpose in view: that believers will be empowered to seek and know Christ for themselves. No ministry or as we call it these days, ministration, should replace and/or deemphasize the importance of personal striving for mastery. It should rather spur people on to personal growth and aggressive development. If this is achieved, people will learn to develop their own prayer life and get answers from God for themselves as opposed to always depending on pastor’s prayer. The five-fold ministry has been designed to facilitate, not decimate, believers’ relationship with Jesus Christ. Prayer is not a life exclusively reserved for the pulpiteers; it is a basic minimum requirement for every believer.
If there is no personal growth and development in the believers, there can be no corporate advance in the church!
Experience Is Important But The Bible Is Most Important
Once and again, we need to remind ourselves the supreme role the word of God plays in the Christian life. God’s word is the only authority by which every subjective experience under heaven can be judged. No experience, no matter how celestially ecstatic, can dwarf the supreme authority of God’s word – the written word, the Bible!
Experience does not authenticate the word of God; God’s word Experience does not authenticate the word of God; God’s word authenticates experience. Why is this important? This is important because it is a basic human tendency to get carried away at the height of excitement or at the trough of depression and take off on a trajectory that has no bearing with God’s will. God’s written word has been given to us as an infallible compass to guide us in the direction of God’s will on life’s tumultuous high sea.
Dear minister, teach Christ crucified, not your experience, so that the faith of God’s people can be founded on Christ and not in the humanity of your experience. Your experience should be used to testify to the truth of Christ’s kingdom and not the other way round. In building the people of God, Christ is the building material, our experiences are the scaffolds.
Whatever is not figured in God’s written word should be totally rejected because the Holy Ghost Himself is restricted by the written word. The Holy Spirit cannot lead any believer outside the circumference of the written word.
‘But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you (which has been carefully documented in the Bible), let him be accursed.’ (Galatians 1:8, KJV, emphasis mine)
Therefore run away from and/or reject any man or woman who claims in lofty expressions that his or her experience is super heavenly; is given by some eight-winged angel and acquired on the border between the second and third heavens and brings in either subtly or blatantly, extrascriptural devices of all kinds. This is especially true of believers with numerous claims of out of body experiences. Further details on this are altogether matters for another discourse. The coordinates of any genuine experience from God must be traceable to the written word, otherwise, it is invalid. I always say God is an experience that can be explained by the Bible.
Paul again wrote:
“Every SCRIPTURE is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action), so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work”. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, AMP, emphasis)
The word SCRIPTURE in the Greek is graphe (pronounced grafay) and it means a written document, a Holy Writ (writings and sayings of an authority that cannot be challenged) and this is basically an immutable document that must be diligently consulted to guide the believer’s journey of faith. From the passage above, it is clear that Scripture is in the centre of God’s dealings with the believer. This is more like the constitutions of nations today by which governments and political entities are administered. For instance, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the document that guides all operations within the political entity called Nigeria. The government, governance and citizens of Nigeria are all guided by the constitution. Anything done outside the provisions of the constitution is termed UNCONSTITUTIONAL! It is the constitutions of nations today that make them different from the barbarian cities of centuries past.
The difference between Scripture and the constitutions of nations is that Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) while nations’ constitutions are man-formulated. The breath of God is actually the Spirit of God. This means the Holy Spirit is the author of the written word. God is not the author of confusion, if He has authored the Bible; He would inspire and empower believers to live by it, not operate beyond it! The difference between the Christian faith system and that of any religion out there is SCRIPTURE! And this is because it is the only book under heaven that testifies of Jesus Christ (John 5: 9)
This means if it cannot be referenced in God’s Holy Writ; it is not worthy of reverence! It does not matter who is saying or doing it. Suffice it to say that there are many UNSCRIPTURAL practices that have pervaded the body of Christ today which are preventing the emergence of the corporate new man in Christ.
As the Lord wills, we shall deemphasize these hereon, and emphasize Christ crucified who the Bible says is the POWER AND WISDOM OF GOD! (1 Corinthians 1:24)
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