The Message - Sermon

Evangelism Part 2: Leadership

Evangelism Part 2: Leadership: Follow the Leaders

We can listen and obey our Pastors on everything they tell us to do, only if we know that it is the right thing to do, however,   we are not aware if they are practicing what they preach. We can be a listener and a doer of the word of God afar from our Pastor’s behavior. We can live a righteous living without the Pastor’s shadow and must always have to remember that we are the church and the domain to rule our kingdom. We must be aware that we are not falling into the hands of deceitful leaders especially those that are just playing church.

As Christians, we must follow the word of God as it is our obligation and responsibility to correct things that we see are wrong; enlighten and equip confused believers, strengthen and encourage those who are losing faith if they are witnessing something wrong is happening inside the congregation. This becomes an issue when we are not aware of what Jesus said in Matthew 23: NIV. “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you, but do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

Pharisees played an important role in Jesus’ life and teachings and they became the big influencers against the growth of the New Testament believers until Pauls’ ministry came into existence.  This resulted in the competition between the Old Testament believers faithful to Moses’ law against Paul’s writings under the New Testament. . If we will follow Jesus’ teachings and the apostles, we will be under the law given by God to Moses, while under the New Testament.  Believers are not under the law but grace.

The religious plagiarization era began when two or more different religious groups competed to convert the same individual or group of individuals that have already been converted by the competing sect. Some groups made their tenet more convenient for potential converts to get as many as they can. It is the number of converts that they called, saved, and not what was written. These people who lead the conversion also preach that heaven rejoices when someone is saved. The saved person has been removed from the consequences of sin and eventually becomes the child of God, and has been forgiven of sins.

Paul’s ministry turns into a journey of many challenges especially when his new converts have been plagiarized. He made his teachings more acceptable to new believers because of a more easy approach to salvation; no more skin circumcision, no longer under the law of Moses but under grace, no more mandatory tithings but giving what the heart’s desire, to help the relative in needs before anyone and if you do not do these things you are worse than the unbelievers. Justification by faith alone without work is very confusing since it was brought to the knowledge of the believers. Because James the brother of Jesus said that “faith without work is dead”. What more do the new believers need when Paul makes it so easy to be saved.

When we follow Paul as our leader, we almost forget to follow Jesus’ teachings which his apostles continued after his death and resurrection. Paul is a Jew and a Roman citizen, he is very knowledgeable with the Old Testaments under the tutorship of Gamaliel. He was also a persecutor of Christians who claimed to have met Jesus on his way to Damascus to persecute more Christians and a self-made apostle of the Gentiles.

Jesus on the other hand taught about the Father and the kingdom at hand. He taught us to love God and to love our neighbors more than ourselves, the forgiveness of people who have wronged us, and to love our enemies if they throw you a stone throw them back a bread, which is an allegorical statement that means to gain friendship with them. When Jesus said “ I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven”

As we follow Jesus’ commandments about the righteous living, to exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees who observed the law (Old Testament); According to Matthew 5:21–26 and 5:27–30, Jesus also held that observance of the law, not only the natural but also spiritual. Hatred takes over when love is not around and the desire of the lust overwhelms the work of the spirit. Sins are wrong,  they offend God when we do something against His will, and we know that we miss the mark, therefore,  we must take a u-turn before the consequences happen.

A good leader produces good followers that would eventually become a leader. The Bible said to respect the leaders and to get this respect the leader needs to earn their trust.

Hebrews 13:17 ESV— Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Romans 13:1-14 ESV—Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.

God is all in all

Bishop Joseph

Dr. Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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