“I follow Matt Chandler”
“Well, I follow Andy Stanley”
“You need to follow John Piper”
And no, we’re not talking about Twitter over here, although I’m sure many of you who are on twitter do follow at least 1 of the 3 pastors and authors mentioned above. We’re talking about divisions that start to form in the church when we apply our allegiance to the people of God instead of the God who uses those people. In 1 Corinthians 1:10-17, Paul straight up calls out the church of Corinth for applying their allegiances to either Paul, Apollos and later Cephas, over the foundation each one was trying to establish in the Corinthian’s lives: Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3). Whether it’s a “celebrity” preacher or a personal mentor/discipler. We find great division among us when making a mere man of God into a type of false god instead of a servant whom God has used in the church (v. 10). It’s ultimately not about us. In fact, when people confuse our words with Jesus, the cross is emptied of its power (v. 17)
It’s Jesus who ultimately does the work and we need to keep that in perspective. God may have used John Piper to show you how we can find our greatest joy and pleasure in this life through Christ, Andy Stanley to polish off your leadership skills or Matt Chandler when it comes to the importance of belonging to the church. Or maybe He has used Tim Parsons in planting that seed of the Gospel in your heart, and Chad Wiles watered that seed as he plugged you into a connect group where others shared their life with you over God’s Word. Maybe Sam Cirincione and Todd Thomas have been integral in your spiritual growth. God may have used a person in your Connect Group to see what true Gospel community is or your parents when they modeled Jesus’ sacrificial love toward you. Whatever the case and who ever the people… “You are now Christ’s and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor. 3:23). If we forget this, we forget the purpose of the church and feel abandoned when “mere humans” fail us or leave us. Anything good of these people is because of the good we inherited by what Jesus did on the cross and what we received through the resurrection. Center Point Church, let’s keep building on that foundation in others lives while giving all glory to God (not us) while doing so.
- How have you been following a person in certain ways instead of Jesus? Do you see how this can cause division as mentioned in v. 10?
- How can you make it all about Jesus again while appreciating God using those people in your life but not making them into idols?
By: Erik Koliser