"I'll tell you exactly what I was told: You're all picking sides, going around saying, "I'm on Paul's side," or "I'm for Apollos," or "Peter is my man," or "I'm in the Messiah group." 13 I ask you, "Has the Messiah been chopped up in little pieces so we can each have a relic all our own? Was Paul crucified for you? Was a single one of you baptized in Paul's name?"" 1 Cor 1:12-13 (The Message Bible)
More people have the wrong understanding of JESUS today than ever before. The reason is that most never read about him for themselves, they only heard about him from less accurate accounts of third parties and biased representatives. Most people today can only tell about JESUS to the extent of the perspective, culture, ideological leaning and disposition of whoever introduced them to Christ, and those who instructed them thereafter. We want to use Apostle Paul’s perspective versus others as an example here.
The best accounts of JESUS’ physical life were from the gospels and the writers. Though the accounts of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John were accurate historical reports, yet Apostle Paul’s reports, though equally valid, were mostly experiential. Apostle Paul’s renderings, writings and messages of and about Christ JESUS, born out of his personal salvation and ministry experience, were penned down to tell his own truthful perspective. He effectively wrote to encourage both saints who lived in his times and those of us still living in these times. He did not have all the knowledge of Christ. Others like Peter, James, Jude, John provided us other sides of Christ JESUS too. None of today’s sectional leaders have full knowledge of Christ. And, no sets of books can tell or instruct us about Christ like the gospels, and especially, the accounts of JESUS’ spoken words. JESUS’ own words should tell us more about His nature, His person, His position, His preferences and His principles than anyone else’s points-of-view, no matter how well respected and revered that person can be. So are you fully aware of the nature of JESUS, or, you live in Christ by a man-made point-of-view?
As much as Apostle Paul’s letters have been needful and continue to be needful to the body of Christ, we cannot live by his points-of-view alone, to the detriment of JESUS’ wider points-of-view as accounted in the gospels. For us to have clearer understanding of the person, nature and purpose of JESUS, we ought to rely more on the accounts of JESUS’ ways, words, defined wishes and wills, as articulated in the multifaceted views of the gospels. This writing is not to take anything away from Apostle Paul and his Holy-Spirit-inspired writings; rather, it is to inform us that there is more of Christ, and, about Christ, than he or any one man alone provided us.
We need the balance of any man’s words with words of other writers in the Bible and especially, JESUS’ written words, to understand JESUS and how Christian ministry should be adequately conducted. Many have limited understanding of JESUS today because they are only Apostle Paul-messages biased. In the same way many are under-informed, ignorantly deformed and biased by their denominationally-divisive preferred points-of-view! According to the words of Apostle Paul, Christ is not divided into Paul, Cephas and Appolos. We are not to be Paul or Cephas-like, believers and Christian ministries and ministers should be Christ-like!
Since the days of Apostle Paul, thousands and thousands of other Ministers have inadequately influenced the body of Christ by their limited experiential points-of-view and have made caricature-reinforced views of who JESUS is, what he stands for, what he represents and how Christian ministry should be conducted. That has not been a totally bad thing except that it limited many believers to one-sided or some-sided, as opposed to, all-sided or well-rounded views of who JESUS fully is.
That is why such personality-influenced views of JESUS, accounts largely for ever-increasing reasons for church-splits, denominations, varying doctrines and divisions among Christ followers. Even Apostle Paul stated that he only saw parts of the whole picture of Christ. (1 Cor. 13:12) No single minister (dead or alive) had or has a full view or full account of JESUS. Even Moses, in the Old Testament, who sought to see God physically, was only permitted to see a glimpse of the backsides of God.
Today’s ministry leaders ought to learn to be less dogmatic and try to accommodate other Bible-valid points of views that may be on the other side of their human-taught points of view. Some knowledge could be as opposed to themselves as different sides of the same coin. At least the same God who can say “stand still”, can also say “go” or “fight”. The same JESUS who says “go ye into all the world” also says “wait until”. The same God who asked for Isaac to be sacrificed was able to ask for a ram to be sacrificed instead! So why must anyone insist on man-made religious points-of-views ministry as against Christ-like multifaceted ministry?
So, what do we need to know about JESUS now?
1. He fully represented the Kingdom of God, displaying, exhibiting, and enforcing heaven’s creative nature here on earth
2. He sought out ordinary humans to do exactly what he did, And ask the chosen ones to continue to do greater things while he lived here and even after He exited the physical world.
3. He still makes Himself available through the Holy Spirit, who abides within those who accept Him and continue to be His.
What is the lesson for today’s believer? 1. I am JESUS’ representative today. I am to display, exhibit and enforce heaven’s desire here on earth. 2. I am JESUS’ hands and feet to meet other’s physical and spiritual needs in my areas of influence. 3. I should be a carrier of His Holy Spirit. I ought to let the Holy Spirit workout God’s will, in, and through me.
These are my prayers which you can make yours too: “Lord JESUS, I need you to help me expand on my current knowledge of you. I want to know more of you. I want to understand you beyond human perspectives. I yield my will to you, that your Holy Spirit may find daily expressions through me. I want you to use me as your point of contact here on earth. Please use me for your glory and to be able to meet needs of people around me. I ask that you manifest your power in my life and in the lives of those that you will use me to help. I receive your help and fresh anointing today. In JESUS name I prayed. Amen. ”