Ampl. Matt. 24:14, “And this good news of the kingdom (the Gospel) will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then will come the end.”
1 Cor. 3:9, “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.”
2 Cor. 6:1, “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.”
The words of Paul mean a lot to every discerning Minister of the Gospel. To be a “labourer” and a “worker together with God” means you are bound to finish the plans and structure that God has put in place for Himself.
No bricklayer comes into site without following the blueprint of the architectural design of the building.
God in Jesus brought only one gospel and a mission, the Good News of God’s kingdom on the earth.
Jesus personally taught His disciple to pray THOU KINGDOM COME, and that was before Pentecost. And that prayer was answered on the day of Pentecost.
This is why He said; Matt. 12:28,
“But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you [before you expected it]” AMP.
So Apostle John emphatically says;
2 John 1:9, “Anyone who runs on ahead [of God] and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ [who is not content with what He taught] does not have God; but he who continues to live in the doctrine (teaching) of Christ [does have God], he has both the Father and the Son,” Ampl.
What should be our priority in doctrine?
The word “KINGDOM” appears 162 times in the New Testament. The word SALVATION appears 40 times. The word Baptism appears 22 times and Baptized 61 times. Grace is mentioned 170 times in both the Old and New Testaments.
The word Grace itself means “divine favor,” “Goodwill,” “that which gives joy” and “that which free gift is;”
Jesus Christ being the greatest of God’s gift of Grace.
John Wesley now classifies this Grace into four types; Prevenient (Anticipatory) Grace, Justifying Grace, Sanctifying Grace and Glorifying Grace.
So looking at the figures above what ought to be our emphasis? Is it what the New Testament is about or just the Gift and the attendant grace from the gift?
Can we say our priority is right when for instance you compare 162 times the word “kingdom” in the New Testament alone to 170 times the word Grace in the entire Bible put together? You are free to judge for yourself.
For that teaching which is called;
“CHRISTOCENTRIC,” meaning “Christ centeredness Gospel” is what we termed “Pauline Theology” or “the Epistles.” Let me quickly state here that Paul’s teaching was not “Christ centered” per se but “kingdom centered.”
Whenever he mentioned the Christ it was to make the people shift their thoughts from Moses to Christ. It was meant to make the Jews get to believe in Jesus and to stop deceiving the Gentile Churches that they must mix Moses with Jesus to be saved.
See it here again; Acts 18:28,
“For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.”
So the point was to let the Jews know that the Christ, the Messiah, they were expecting is The Jesus.
The word Christ is actually talking of the Expected Messiah. So to be “Christocentric” is to be “Messiah centric.” So what you are indirectly proclaiming is that Jesus is the Messiah; and, of course, the Messiah was expected to establish His kingdom. And that is exactly what He did and began reigning as “King Jesus.”
1 Cor. 15: 25, “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under His feet.”
So here again is Paul’s focus of doctrine; Acts 28:23,
“And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.”
Acts 28:31, “Preaching “THE KINGDOM OF GOD,” and teaching THOSE THINGS WHICH CONCERN the LORD JESUS CHRIST, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.”
Therefore if you must follow the way of Paul, being ‘Christocentric’ and the “Pauline Epistles” then follow the way and the focus of Paul’s doctrines; and that’s the KINGDOM OF GOD. For that is what he loved and believed in.
We can’t run after somebody’s statements in settling disputes and forget what he lived and believed; for he lived for the kingdom of God.And the message is simply “The king and His Kingdom”
To be continued…