As a Christian woman, I find myself drawn to great and influential Christian authors and preachers. I glean information from these great thinkers and speakers on their relationships with Christ. The internet is a rich resource for finding a Christian blogger, preacher or teacher to follow. In this age of constant following on social media, I have to remind myself that no one is greater to follow than Jesus Christ and the Bible as the ultimate great read.
In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul talks to the Corinthians about divisions within the church. He tells the Corinthians not to follow him or Apollos but Jesus Christ. The believers in Corinthian were using their leaders and teachers as a means to divide them. This is so relevant to modern-day Christianity. Christians today proudly proclaim their church and pastor as a point of identifying our Christian status. “I go to the First Missionary Baptist Church of the Holy Jesus Christ* on MLK and Jackson with Pastor James T Smith III. I’m sure you’ve heard of us! Where’s your church and who’s your pastor?” or ” Did you read the new book from Pastor James Johnson*?” But Paul calls out the Corinthians on this very thing. He tells them that this behavior is causing church division and shows their immaturity in Christ, then growth and maturing as Christians.
But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?
Paul tells the church that he and Apollos are only workers in the field, helping to grow and build the body of Christ. Ultimately the Lord God is the one who provides the increase, the faith, and growth of the church. The field workers themselves are not to be followed or worshiped – only Jesus Christ is to be followed and glorified.
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
Paul does acknowledge that any field worker for Christ need only to look to the gospel of Jesus Christ as the foundation, as he has done for the Corinthian church.
According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder, I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
In today’s world of many bloggers, teachers, preachers to follow, I want to ensure that I am not placing these field workers above my Lord Jesus Christ. Only Jesus has died for my sins. Only Jesus has shown me how to live justly and righteously. Only Jesus has saved me. No great speaker or preacher can do more for me than my foundation, who is Jesus Christ.
Thank you for reading my blog!
What are some of your thoughts on following? Who do you follow and why? How do you keep your perspective on following Christ first?
* These are fictional names I came up with. These are not in reference to an actual church or pastor that I know of.