When I married my wife I was working in a certain company. Every day, immediately I left the office I would head straight for home, to see my heart’s desire. I did not pass by the coffee shop or the library or even at a friend’s house. I went straight home. And I can assure you that when I would enter that house and set my eyes on my wife, I would feel something like a “full stop” in my heart. I knew I had arrived home.
Incidentally, that love between me and my wife has simply grown with the passage of time, so you can go ahead and give us a round of applause before you continue reading!
I love the singular focus that the apostles had. The Apostle Paul expressly says, “I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified”. I love that. I love the singular focus that this man of God had.
The apostles did not go meandering all over, touching on this and that and the other ‘subject’. There is a difference between a drunken man and a sober man. A sober man can walk in a straight line; a drunk cannot.
In 2 Corinthians 11:4 Paul talks of “another Jesus”, “another spirit”, and “another gospel”. There are actually heaps of gospels out there! People are preaching on everything!!
I have been hearing the message of the cross preached for close to 20 years and in all that time I have never heard healing taught in our church. And yet we pray for the sick and they get healed.
I have never heard prosperity taught in our churches – and yet the Lord blesses us and meets our needs.
Let me tell you, church: we really need to hear only one message. Only one message – the message of the cross. We don’t need all the topics that are taught in church today. There are teachings even on health and countless other harmless topics, which are probably profitable somehow. But these are of no value to the spiritual man. They are things that are “not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh” (Col. 2:23).
Now, let’s wind up this discussion by seeing what it was about this cross that the apostles focused on. It is good to be singularly focused; but it is even better to know you are focused on something profitable. We need to understand that the apostles did not focus on the cross just for focus’s sake!
THE APOSTLES’ SINGULAR FOCUS ON THE CROSS WAS BECAUSE THEY KNEW IT WAS THE ONLY THING THAT COULD DEAL WITH THE FLESH AND BRING THE CHURCH TO SPIRITUAL MATURITY AND ON TO PERFECTION.
On the flip side, they also knew that a lack of this revelation in the church guaranteed that the flesh would come back wholesale, and the church would never arrive at what Christ had died for.
Take the example of the Corinthians. They were so full of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that they needed to be told to wait in line on one another during ministry times. In other words, that church was literally bursting at the seams with the gifts of the Holy Spirit! Not many churches today would boast of the arsenal that this church had.
And yet, sin was very much alive in this church. What a contradiction! And it was the same with the Galatian church.
But remember the Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:13 that “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” Which means that God faithfully continued working in the midst of these people even though they were unfaithful to Him.
In the same manner, there are preachers today who have robust ministries but who are living in sin.
God is against sin. Any true apostle understands that and he will bring to the church something that sets the people of God free from sin and brings them into the liberty of the true sons and daughters of God. He will bring a revelation of the cross. In other words the message of the cross is the only message that does not compromise with the flesh. All other gospels, in one way or another, compromise with the flesh. Every other gospel has a hidden or open pact with the flesh.
The Apostle Peter writes: “15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:15,16).
Our goal is a holy, sinless life. A life of humility, true love and unity within the Body of Christ.
To be able to arrive at that goal, we need one single thing – that singular revelation of the cross.
[Below: In this church I reminded them of the single, uncompromising message of the cross, the only message that can deal with the flesh]