READ: ME, YOU, NOT THEM! - Akande M. Olatunji

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Starting his message, he said, "Pastor lagbaja(name withheld) preached about how God sometimes refuses to answer us, how He deafens His ears against our requests, and how He forsakes us. And pastor Lagbaja said the truth."

Of course, the congregants he preached to exclaimed "RHEMA" to these baseless erroneous sentiments!

And this got me thinking.

He further said, "I used to worship in a Church where they preached that God would never forsake us. Thank God I left the Church. And the place I currently fellowship, the Pastor is always on point."

I began to wonder again, "why do people run out of what they think is "ERROR" into another "ERROR."

This man opened his message with what HIS PASTOR PREACHED. My God! Where have we missed it!

We live in a day where spiritual deception of every kind is running rampant through the Body of Christ.

The Word of God and the Person of Jesus Christ have been forsaken in favor of "MY PASTOR SAID."

Faith has been replaced with gimmicks, rituals, and formulas as to how to get God moving.

Now, permit me to preach.

Jesus pro-actively approached His disciples and asked them in Matthew 16, “Who do MEN say that I am?”

The disciples gave a number of answers, all of which, of course, were incorrect.

But then Jesus asked them, “Who do YOU say that I am?”

Note the KEY WORDS: MEN and YOU.

Now, right there in that question, we have unfolded a great Truth: It does not matter what OTHER PEOPLE say about Jesus Christ.

For YOU and I, it matters only what WE believe!

Can you see that Jesus is here talking about a PERSONAL REVELATION of Christ?

And a PERSONAL FAITH that emerges from it? “Who do YOU say that I am?”

That centers it down to Christ and myself. No one else, at that point, is in the picture.

There are many professing Christians who simply believe what others tell them is the Truth.

Their faith is based upon peer-pressure, although they would not call it that.

Many have faith in leaders – “If this popular TV evangelist believes this, it must be true.”

Or, “This many people could not be deceived. What they all believe and teach must be true.”

So they follow the crowd.

Millions just accept false teaching because they are afraid to not accept it.

But few professing Christians have realized that their personal faith is to be based on a personal revelation of Jesus Christ TO them, and IN them.

Again: “Who do YOU say that I am?”

Paul also said, “Christ in YOU, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27).

He did not say, “Christ is only realized through a GROUP.”

No.

We must EACH receive a personal and individual revelation of Jesus Christ because we must each receive Jesus Christ Himself by being made one with Him in spirit. (I Cor. 6:17)!

So once again, we see the great significance of Jesus’ question: Who do YOU say that I am? Not, who do OTHERS say that I am – that is not the question upon which everything hinges – but who do YOU say that I am?

Oh, as I type, I'm dancing in spirit.

After Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ, Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, for FLESH and BLOOD has not revealed this to you, but My Father in heaven (has revealed this to you).”

Can we grasp what Jesus is saying? He is saying that this revelation of Jesus as the Christ did not come from any, “flesh and blood,” source.

It did not come TO the DISCIPLES FROM OTHER PEOPLE.

Neither did it come from the disciple’s own, “flesh and blood,” that is, it was not something that they mustered up out of themselves.

No.

This revelation came from the OUTSIDE of the disciples INTO them FROM the outside – from the Father!

Amen?

Jesus stated that Peter and the others had NOT received this revelation of Jesus through the means of flesh and blood.

They had not fabricated a Jesus from out of their religious tradition.

They were not walking in the imagination of their religion minds.

Likening it to today's world, we can simply put it that THEY had not FABRICATED their PASTOR'S WORDS at the EXPENSE of a PERSONAL REVELATION through the WORD!

They would continue to have problems doing that, of course, but this day – this revelation – they had received personal, individual, one-on-one revelation from the Father Himself.

And because of this, Jesus was able to say:

Jesus was able to say, “Blessed are you."

Now, all of this is actually background. It is background that ought to bring us to the focal point of this passage.

And that focal point is this: The revelation of Jesus Christ to us in an INWARD way – that PERSONAL and INDIVIDUAL revelation that only God can give, not your favourite TV preacher, is THE ROCK upon which the church is built, and in fact,Jesus Christ is the Rock -- and the revelation of Christ in us is the foundation of all that God is going to do and build in our lives from that point forward.

Jesus stated this directly, although it is one of those passages that has often been misapplied.

He said, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood has not revealed Me to you –but My Father in heaven has revealed Me to you. And it is upon THIS ROCK – the solid foundation of this revelation of Myself IN YOU that I will build my people.”

Oh, how I wish we all understand this!

Now, let me summarise my point in a more simpler form:

God uses ministry, fellowship, and preachers to help us along in the Body of Christ. This is undisputable.

But in the final analysis, regardless of the vehicle God may use, it must result in this personal revelation of Jesus Christ.

Conclusively, learn to STUDY THE WORD PERSONALLY!

Stay blessed.

#Olatunji

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