Monday, June 7, 2010


And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? [John 1:25 KJV]

John answered by saying Isaiah prophesied of him, that although not the Christ, he was:

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. [Isaiah 40:3 KJV]

Baptisms took place for years in that first century of our Christian era. John, the disciples, the apostles, but not Christ.

When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) [John 4:1-2 KJV]

Baptism was not His mission. His words created more followers than John, but that was part of God’s plan. Even as John’s disciples noticed it, John was expecting it.

He must increase, but I must decrease. [John 3:30 KJV]

Paul reached a point where he was grateful that he could name the small handfull of people he baptized:

For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? [1 Corinthians 1:11-13 KJV]

I doubt that Paul, Apollos or Peter put themselves above the others, but followers did. That caused contentions then, as it does today. The error is exalting the man over the mission, over the message of Christ. Some today are followers of a particular preacher rather than followers of Jesus Christ. To what end?

Pick a nationally known preacher from ten to twenty years ago. How has their message held up during that time? How has their witness held up. When we come up with names on the minus side, they failed to put Christ first.

As our preacher put it so well Sunday morning – Christ’s message should be coming from the pulpit each service. In fact, written on the surface of our pulpit, a single line in the upper right hand corner, is this reminder from His word:

Sir, we would see Jesus. [John 12:21b KJV]

Jesus is to increase while we are to decrease. Any attempt on the part of a man occupying a pulpit to reverse that order ends with error. It is possible his congregation errors, too. While a congregation is to support their authority, the man is never to be exalted above the message that Jesus is the promised Christ. No church leader, no church member, is to decrease that message.

Yet, we do.

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