CHRIST : THE MESSAGE

SPECIALIZATION : A FOCUS ON A SPECIFIC PART

We live in the days of specialization. We consult one doctor for our eye issues, a different one for our cancer, another for skin disorders, another for surgery, another for pregnancy, and so on. You get the picture. Each treats, diagnoses, and pre-scribes for their area of expertise.

The whole human body has been broken down into areas of specialization to facilitate manís need for better health. Each medical professional has studied extensively a part of the body. If all the parts of the human anatomy and physiology were totaled together, the sum would be a human. Although the sum would be a human form, yet that form would be less than a person.

The human maybe separated into parts, yet we are more than the sum of our parts. Studying the parts of a thing helps us to humanly gain valuable information to understanding it. But, focusing on the parts, even all of the parts; is still less than the whole. The whole is more than the sum of itís parts.

When you hear the phrase, “I love you” , to which part of that person was being addressed? The last time you told someone, “I love you” , which part of that person were you speaking to? You probably were not even thinking about it on that level. You rarely ever hear someone say, I love your right eyeball or I love your left nostril.

Preaching in Christianity may have deteriorated into the Preaching of Specialization. Often sermons target parts of Christ, rather than Christ. Sermons target the beatitudes, parables, miracles, healings, prophecy, blessings, faith, blood, power, anointing, second coming, endtime, sanctification, justification, victory, forgiveness, repentance, holiness, baptisms, overcoming, gifts, baptism of the Holy Ghost, Pentecost, Passover, etc .. Each of these, no doubt does a valuable service for the listeners in targeting their specialized spiritual needs. But, it somehow misses Christ Jesus.

Could it be that much preaching and teaching today focuses on the parts of Christ, rather than on Christ?

Could disciples be coming to church gatherings for a special part of Christ they need, rather than Christ?

Could it be that we love His Power, more than we love him?

Could believers be like a child who climbs upon their parentís lap with hugs and kisses, while the parent knows all the time they are there for something other than just being with the mom or dad?

Could it be that people have been un-knowingly enticed to follow Christ for the loaves & fishes?

Could it be that much of our efforts are about getting in touch with Christís Stuff, rather than in touch with Christ Jesus himself?

RESULTS OF MINISTRY or THE MINISTRY

Am I making the main thing the main thing? It could be possible that we are preaching the Results of the Ministry of Christ Jesus rather than the Ministry of Jesus Christ.

The 1st sermon recorded, after Jesus ascended on high, focused on preaching Jesus Christ, not the stuff of Christ or what Christ brings to the table, so to speak. Acts 2 speaks of unity, wind, fire, tongues, and spiritual utterance of the wonderful works of God. As Peter began to preach that day, he did not speak of unity, tongues, fire, or wind. He preached Jesus of Nazareth crucified and resurrected. The sermon included scriptural support in
“This is That” which Joel spoke and witnessed by David. That Christ Jesus was baptizing with the Holy Ghost; that same Christ Jesus had been crudified, but was now risen and exalted as both Lord & Christ.

The results of the preaching of Jesus Christ came about when the listeners asked What shall we do? The sermon focus was on Christ Jesus. The response and result of the sermon was what they should do now that they believed the sermon. Repentance, water baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and abiding in the apostles doctrine was their response and results to the preaching of Jesus Christ. The message was Christ. The results of the message were miracles of salvation, deliverance, and healing.

When Phillip entered into Samaria in Acts 8, he preached Christ, the Kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ. The results of Phillips preaching of Christ was miracles, healings, water baptisms, and later after Peter & John came, the receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. But, The message was Jesus Christ.

After Phillip had spent a little time in the Ethiopian Eunuchís chariot preaching Jesus to him, which began in Isaiah; the Eunuchís faith response was here is some water is their anything to hinder baptism for meî. Phillip said not if you believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. Again, The message was Christ Jesus.

As Peter stood in the house of Cornelius that day in Antioch; Peter preached Jesus Christ to the hearers. He preached. How God was with Christ, how God anointed Jesus Christ, who the Jews crucified but he resurrected the 3rd day. He preached that faith in Christís name would remitt sins.

That day their believing response to Peterís message brought the almost immediate result of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, speaking in tongues as the Spirit gave utterance; just as it had on the day of Pentecost previously in Jerusalem. Christ was the message.

Paul’s message to the Phillipian Jailer in Acts 16 was the Lord Jesus Christ. Their faith response to the message was baptism even though it was past mid-night. Christ was the message.

Later, when Paul’s evangelistic party came upon believers in Ephesus, he realized he needed to ask them a question. He asked if they had received the Holy Ghost since they believed? Their response to his question was; we donít know anything about it. Paul inquired about their baptism into this way. When the Ephesus believers responded that they came in under John the Baptist’s baptism; Paul immediately began to tell them about Jesus Christ. Their response was water baptism in Christís name and prayerful laying on of hands brought the gift of the Holy Ghost to these believers, just it earlier to other believers. Christ Jesus was the message.

Dear Lord Jesus help us to preach the fullness of you.

In Psalms we hear the prophet say, If the foundations be destroyed what will the righteous do..?

CHRIST IS THE FOUNDATION!

Christ’s stuff is not the foundation! I am not being dis-respectful. But, ... No other foundation can be laid. The foundation of the good news gospel is not Christ’s parables, or faith for miracles, or Christ’s 2nd second coming, or endtime prophecy, .. the list could go on and on. The foundation of the good news is Christ Jesus! It is Him!

IT IS ALL ABOUT HIM. I don’t know if I comprehend it. But I want to do a better job glorifying Jesus.

The ministry of Jesus Christ was spoken to Isaiah in chapter 61, which one day in Nazareth, Jesus made obvious that it applied to him and his ministry.

Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Isa 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Isa 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

Where ever Jesus is preached there will always be a preaching of the good news to the poor, a healing of the brokenhearted, a preaching of deliverance to those held captive by the rulers of darkness, giving of sight to the blind, and setting at liberty those who have been bruised. The acceptable year of the Lord. The ministry of Jesus Christ.