Wednesday, 1 June 2016

John The Baptist's Style of Ministry

John Chapter 1 vs 6-8: There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

John Chapter 1 vs 19-22: Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.” They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

The message I felt impressed upon to share today is simple, I was reading through John 1 last week when I felt The Holy Spirit draw my attention to John the baptist's style of ministry. His ministry constantly pointed to Jesus, the Bible notes that he confessed freely that he was not The Lord Jesus Christ. As a minister of God and witness of the testimony of Jesus, we must always point those we disciple or preach the good news to on to Jesus Christ. We can not disciple people on to ourselves, they must be discipled on to Jesus.

What is it to disciple to Jesus?

John Chapter 1 vs 35 - 39: The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

We must teach intimacy with The Lord. In the above passage we see two disciples of John the baptist after learning the identity of the Lord Jesus as The Lamb of God from John, they went after The Lord themselves, they followed him until He noticed them and they inquired further to know where He lived; they did not just stop at knowing the address of His house, but they went in and spent the day with him - that is intimacy

John Chapter 3 vs 26 - They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.”

We need to understand the same way John the baptist understood that Jesus is the bridegroom, His church is the bride and as a minister of God (a worker in God's vineyard) our role is to ALWAYS point others to Christ and NOT to ourselves.

We all must learn to know God for ourselves. My job is not to get you to know me but to get you to know Jesus and develop your own relationship with Him. The reality is that God does not have grandchildren, He has only children, therefore it behoves us to develop our intimacy with Him.

Intimacy is to spend time with God - in worship, prayer and His word - we must prioritize that above everything else along with obedience to Him.

As Rev Patrick would say - cheek to cheek - let God know you cheek to cheek, He is your Father.

For the minsters of God (all His children who preach Christ in one way or the other - on the pulpit, as a worship leader, on the street corner, in Bible Study, to our friends, our families, our children) - we must like John learn to say - I am not the answer but I know someone who is - discover Him for yourself, my job is to introduce you to Him and then you must learn to run with Him.

The weaknesses we see in the body of Christ today are as a result of many not racing to know God for themselves and the lack of the message of intimacy. 

I am not Jesus, my job is to get you to Him and for you to understand that you can and must know Jesus for yourself. The disciples in John 1 vs 35 - 39 quoted above, left John and went after Jesus, they spent time with Him, they desired to know Him.

If there is one message we must learn to preach, it is the message of INTIMACY.

It is written: No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. Hebrews 8 vs 11

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