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What Makes for Difference Among Disciples of Christ Across Denominations?: How The Church Becomes One Entity Under Christ Jesus

By Gboyega Adedeji       Sep 22, 2022

What Makes for Difference Among Disciples of Christ Across Denominations?: How The Church Becomes One Entity Under Christ Jesus

We want to quickly look at something that we must be sensitive in our spirit to. We want to examine: What Makes for Difference Among Disciples of Christ Across Denominations. We are using the word denominations to represent different units of the church. The church mega, the church, according to some people that they call some churches mushroom churches. Whether mushroom or mega, whether a monoculture or multicultural church, whether a church of the White or the church of the Blacks, even though we could differ in many of these things, we want to see what makes the difference beyond the name. Beyond the names what is the real thing that makes the difference?


In another way, what is it that separates between two people? What is it that can determine the outcome or the expectation or the future of two people, two places, or two or many atmospheres? Do we differ or are we different by just our name or there is something else that makes our difference? We are not going to so much examine what connects us together as a matter of focus, but we will see how what makes our difference is also what makes our oneness.


So, let us quickly read the book of Revelations chapter 12:11, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Now, it looks as if they died, yet they overcame. You know, somebody can be alive and still be defeated. It looks as if they were dead, or were about to die, yet they were going to that point in victory. And the question is, how did they get to the point where they became overcomers? The Bible says they got to the point “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the Word of their testimony.”


Now we are looking at the Disciples of Christ, and it is assumed that for you to be a disciple of Christ, you have already entered into the fold by the blood of the Lamb: we can already say that you're a member of the family of Christ through the blood of Jesus. So, the blood becomes an essential component of your being as a disciple. We assumed as a disciple, you already have in operation in your life, the blood of Jesus, the blood of the Lamb. Even though many of us may not control the blood that flows within our spiritual life, we may be able to have a control on the word of our testimony. The Bible says, “And they overcame the dragon by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of their testimony.”


So, we are skipping the blood of the Lamb having the impression that the blood is enough, it is everywhere. Once a man gives birth to a child, you may not have to do too much work, as long as the child is growing, there is a tendency that the blood of the father is flowing in the baby. So, they will share things. Do we understand? So, we are not going to focus too much on the blood right now, let us focus on the word of their testimony. Bible says: “They overcame…” not minding the name of their units, whether it is the Redeemed Christian Church of God, or the Living Faith Church, or the Potter's House or Peace House.


Without emphasizing their denominationalism, the focus is on the word “they.” They overcame by the Word of their testimony. O, even though they were many, there is something they use as a people to achieve victory, and we can sum it up as the Word of their testimony. Don’t forget, they could have different testimonies, but the Word of their testimony became the instrument through which they achieved victory over the Satan or the dragon. Based on overcoming by the Word of your own testimony, don't forget that your testimony will be different from my testimony, but the Word of your testimony can make you have victory or make you be defeated. So, we want to examine that word now further.


Let us go to Hebrews chapter 4:2, the Bible says, “For indeed, the gospel, the good news, the message of the Kingdom, the word of God was preached to us as well as to them.” Whether the matter is about us or them, the matter is talking about the disciples of Christ or the would-be disciples of Christ. Whether they are Jews, or they are Romans or Greeks, they are men and women that Christ has a plan, an agenda for. And the Bible says, the Gospel was preached to them, the message of the Kingdom was preached to them and us, but the Word which they heard or read did not profit them, not been mixed with faith in those who heard it. It profited us because it was mixed with faith in our hearts. It didn't profit them, not because the Word was lacking, not because there was not enough grace in the Word, not because there was not enough life in the Word, but because they didn't have enough faith to receive it.


So, the issue was not with the Word, but the faith. We are many who are exposed to the same word, but we profit differently based on the faith that is in our hearts. Talking about the heart that receives the mercy of God, mercy looks like a substance that is available everywhere, but it is not obtainable by everyone. What is the difference between those who enjoy mercy and those who don't enjoy mercy? The difference is not the mercy, but the posture of their hearts. Now look at it now. The word is preached, the Good News is preached, “Your tomorrow will be all right;” you said, “Amen”. But does the amen come from the understanding, the acceptance of that Word that said, “by tomorrow, you will be all right?”


So, the Word can come over you, the prophecy can come over you, but the question is, does the prophecy meet enough faith in your heart to work with? The Bible says, “Fight good warfare of faith,” there is the warfare of faith and you have to fight it. The question is what are you going to use to war the warfare of faith? You will need a Word, there must be a Word that is mixed with that faith that can produce activity of warfare in your life. The Bible says, “They did not get profit from the Word,” they heard it. We could say they read it. Somebody sat them down and spoke into their lives. Somebody laid hands on them. Yet their lives didn't become according to the order of the laying, the prophecy, and the declaration. Messages were sent to them; advice and counselling were sent, but it didn't make any difference in their lives, not because those messages were weak, but because they were weak in faith; they didn't believe what they heard.


So, we must not blame our difference on the partiality of God. But we must blame our difference on our difference in faith — how we choose to receive the Word of God. The kind of heart that we present to God and say, “Lord, here is my heart, sow on it. Yes, my heart, plant on it, make good use of it.” What kind of heart do we bring to God and say, “God, I am making my heart available for your service”. Let's go again to Romans chapter 10, having seen how faith is beginning to uncover itself as a difference maker among men. So, even though we read the same Bible that has Genesis to Revelation, we have differences in revelation. Even though we pray in name of Jesus Christ, we have different experiences.


Whether white garment or red garment, or black garment, we wear clothes, and we say ‘in Jesus’ name’, but we get different results. Less we become doubtful in our hearts, and say, “is it that God of today is different from God of the Bible? Wait, before you go to that level, understand that the faith in your heart may be different from the faith in the heart of men and women in the Bible. Romans chapter 10 from verse 14:


14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who [b]preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”


It's not enough to just bring the glad tidings of good things, it is also important that the people receive the glad tidings with faith. “But they have not all,” that is not to say that none of them obeyed, some indeed obeyed. Even though we call all of them Christians, believers, and disciples, all of them don't become great people in the hands of God, not because God is being partial, but because they did not all obey. I'm sure you know that this obedience does not take place in the church. It doesn't take place in the crowd; it takes place in our hearts. It comes to us individually; where we are, where we sleep. We are confronted with the opportunity to either obey what we hear or disobey what we hear, but we choose based on the faith of our heart.


While we all say, “preach it, Pastor, preach it. Man of God, preach it. Woman of God, preach it.” We all do those things together in unison, but when we have to make the difference, when we have to make the decision, the decisions are made by us separately, quietly, and individually. And that is where we differ. That is where we begin to deviate, we begin to go to different parts. The Bible says, “but they have not all obeyed the gospel.” For Isaiah said, “Lord, who has believed our report. So then, Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” And the Bible says, “Lord who has believed our reports?”


So, there is a place for believing before obedience. When a man believes the Word, he has heard, and he chooses to obey, it means the Word that is spoken to him happened to mix with faith in his heart, because we will never obey what we doubt. If we will do something, it is because we have believed it. And the Bible says, “Faith comes by hearing”. Perhaps, we must get things in perspective. The faith of God comes from hearing the Word of God.


In Luke chapter 1:45, the Bible says, Elizabeth speaking concerning Mary, said, “Blessed is she who believed,” like God spoke to you yesterday, you were in a meeting or you were even walking with your friend, somebody that has the Holy Spirit, and God gave you a Word through him or her, and you believed. The Bible says, “Blessed are you,” because you believed. And what will happen? The Bible says, “There will be a fulfilment of those things which were told you from the Lord.”  So, the word that has come to you, the Bible says because you chose to believe it, “There will be a fulfilment of it”. And you are blessed because of that.


Do you realize that even though God could have great intentions towards us, and He speaks His mind concerning us or over us, you have the prerogative of believing it or disbelieving it? As mighty as God is, He doesn't do much to turn around our beliefs. You can still choose to say, “Lord, I believe what you have.” Mary said, “Let it be unto me,” she was not under any threat. God didn't threaten her. We've listened to the message over and over, we've read it, angel Gabriel didn't tell her, “If you refuse this, you will die.” No! She chose to accept it. She said, “Let it be unto me”. The Word that has come to me doesn't look very exciting but that’s the will of the Lord for my life, and I believe it.” “Even though it has never happened before in our generations, it will start with my life. A new thing can start with me, I believe it.”


O, that you had a dream and you're like, wow! This idea is so great, it can never happen, that does not show that you are a good disciple. God has shown you that thing, God has spoken to you through dreams or a vision or His Word or messages, and the Word has come to you, what do you do with it? If you will end up getting pregnant, if you will end up getting your solution to the world, then it must start from you believing what you hear; don't doubt the Word of God and go back to God and say to God, “you are a failure, how can I be your disciple, and my life is this messed up?” But you must come to a place where you ask yourself the question, what are the Words that God has sent to me, how many of them have I allowed to be mixed with faith in my heart. How many of them have I erected a wall of defense and say this thing can never be. If the Lord should open the windows of heaven, how shall these things be?


God cannot be working hard to make things happen in our lives and we are working hard to block them from happening. Now, imagine God working hard to make you a nation, a great nation, Of course, you may be small now or you're a nobody now, but God is raising a nation out of you, God is raising a mother in Israel out of you, God is raising the father of nations out of you, God is raising the builder of nations of destinies, the repairer of the bridges, the restorer of homes, God is raising out of you but you are working so hard to frustrate God. And then when you look back at 55 and you say, “my mates have gone well ahead of me,” it is no God that is at fault, go back and ask: how have you cooperated with God; does God struggle with men when He gives His Word and you don't accept it, will God make sure the word comes to pass?


Look at Hezekiah for an example, I have this perspective about him and have always seen him as a bad leader. He was told by God, “You are going to die, put your house in order”. But he didn't die because he didn’t agree. He turned his face to the wall and started weeping bitterly. We expected him as a king to carry himself with dignity, and said, “Lord, let it be unto me according to your Word”. He would have died.  God didn't complain about him that He wanted to kill him because he was bad. He had been a good person pleasing God and doing the right things in the eyes of God. God said He was going to die; he did not accept it, and it didn’t happen.


In another light, if God says you will be great, but you do not accept it, will you be great? Of course, you will not be great because God said but you said no. It will not happen. God says it, I believe it, that settles it. But God says it, I frown at it, I am always stubborn at it, then the matter is now a matter of it can be or it may not be. But when a woman says, “Let it be unto me, according to the Word of God,” then it will only be God that can change it. And far be it from God who has proposed a thing to change his mind. But God has said it and you struggle with it, you are like “it is well.”


Do you get how we make things difficult in our relationship with God? Our attitude must become: “God says it, let it be unto me just as He has said”. Let it be unto me according to the Word of God; no matter how big or how small let it be unto me. Let it not be that you are thinking through it before you say, ‘yes’; except it is not God who is speaking to you. God may not speak to us with the voice of thunder or the voice of many glasses of water but could decide to use one insignificant brother to just come and gist and laugh with you, and you despised it. You are thinking God will speak but God is speaking through people. God didn’t speak to King Hezekiah directly; he heard the counsel of God through a prophet of God. So, you should start asking questions, the words that I'm hearing that look like people speaking in the name of God, how many of them have I discarded or how many of them have I accepted?


Do you struggle with the Word of God? The Bible says, “The gospel that was preached to us was preached to them”. We are talking about the Word of God coming through the voices of men, yet they represent the Word of God. It didn't profit them just as it has profited us because they didn't believe it, the way we believed it. It is our responsibility to always believe the Word that God says or sends to us. Don't go about struggling with the word. Don't think you know everything. Don't think you can figure everything; if God says it, believe it.


God is the only One who can make a thing that is not to be. The Bible says, “He calls the things that be not as though there were.” If God says you are tall, and you're confused about it, He can make you tall from the moment He speaks to you; your duty is to believe. At what point will you get to, that you will start asking God, this word I have received, is it from you or not from you? If God says, “It is from Me,” instantly, I believe; let it be unto me according to the Word. Don't begin to say no, the economy is not okay. Naira and Dollar are very difficult, travel is difficult, to go to school is difficult. Don't begin to think like that. Say, “I believe it and that settles it”.


Look at what the Bible says, “The blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony,” what are the words that they testify about? Let's quickly read Matthew chapter 9 from verse 27-31:


Do you believe that I can do this in your life? Do you believe that Jesus can do this in your life? Do you believe that the ward when you 27 When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”28 And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, “See that no one knows it.”


“Do you believe that I (Jesus) can do this in your life? Do you believe that the power of God can become real in your situation? They said, “Yes, Lord, we believe,” and He said, “in proportion, to the degree of your belief, let it be unto you”. You believe so much, let so much be upon your life, but if you believe little, let little happen in your life. It is the greatness of our faith that determines our greatness in this kingdom. We are all disciples, so He happens to love all of us, yet we don't all believe what He speaks to us. God loves you, God loves me, but God is speaking to you and me, yet I am not believing Him, but you are believing, then you will become better in His hands than myself. It is according to our faith. If I believe more, it will become better also for me.


James chapter 1 from verse 5-8, chapter 2 from verse 14-18, and verse 22. The Bible says, “If anyone of you lacks wisdom,” I don’t know what you lack, the Bible says, “let him ask of God”. Let his or her focus be on God, the One who can give. He gives liberally without holding back, but let anyone who is asking ask in faith, let him ask with faith, not doubting because anyone that doubts is like the wave of the sea that tossed to and fro; unstable in all his ways. Let no such a person think, he will receive anything from the Lord. So, don't think your life will profit you in doubt. The Bible says, “The Word didn’t profit them because it didn't mix with faith in their hearts.


Look at it, you could be in the church forever or from 1962 to 2026; you could be in the church, but if you don't believe the Word of God that you hear in the church, nothing will happen to you.  So, when you hear it, let the Word mix with faith in your heart, and with that faith, do things. In that context, the Bible says, “Ask with faith”. Yours may not be to ask, but to do faith or speak in faith or plant in faith or get married in faith. That man doesn't look rich, but accept him in faith by the Word of the Lord. That woman doesn't look too beautiful but accepts her by faith. The Bible says, “Whatever you do, do it without doubt.” Once you doubt, you have made a mess of the whole thing that God is doing. Don't start a journey with God and begin to doubt: will God even take me to the end, you're making a mess of it. Your doubt stinks.


Imagine you trying to carry a child of one year old up, I might fall?” Would you feel happy or proud of yourself? No matter how much you want to show your happiness in carting the child, because of the faithlessness of that child, you are discouraged. In some way, we can discourage God with our faithlessness. When we believe in God, God is moved to act on our behalf. When Abraham believed God, the Bible says, “It was counted unto him for righteousness”. When Abraham believed God, God told him to sacrifice his son, he believed the Word he heard. He believed and he went into action. And when he got to the point where he was supposed to kill his son, God said, “Stop, now I see that you can believe Me and believe Me to the end, here is a provision for you”.


The Bible says, “At the mountain of need, it shall be provided.” When it looks as if everything will collapse if God doesn't show up if you remain faithful, not wavering, not double-minded, not thinking if God wants to fail me, once I notice am about to fail or see the failure, the failure is looking at me in the eyes, once I take three steps to failure, I will just compromise; God will never show up. But what will your compromise do to God, will it make Him less of God, your compromise will only destroy you. Sometimes, we make it looks like God is desperate for us. Like you're the only one existing in the universe that believes in God and loves God, no, you're not the only one. So, you have to let God know that you believe in Him, He is able. Jesus said, “Do you believe I'm able to do this? Do you believe I'm able to calm this storm in your life?


Do you believe I'm able to provide these resources? This wedding that is looking at you in the eye, do you believe I'm able to make it happen?” “I believe, Lord!”


Ephesians chapter 4 from verse 4-16, there is something important again to note there: There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” From here, what is our difference again? Our disposition to Him. He is One God, unchangeable; you can be sure He is there for you, but you are hardly sure. If you are sure God will always be there, why do you doubt? God is always there; you are the one that is not sure if He will be there. God will always help and save you, but you're not always sure. We have one God; the same God of Elijah is the God of Bro. Gboyega. But does Bro. Gboyega shares the faith of brother Elijah?


7 But to each one of us, grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” 9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) 11 And He gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the [e]edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.


Our focus is “Till we all come to the unity of the faith”. You're a member of this church, somebody is a member of that church, even though we believe differently, and our lives become different, the joy of God, the purpose of the gifts, of the ascension, the gift gifts of Christ, the purpose of the fivefold ministry is to bring all of us to the place of unity in the faith. You believe in the real thing; I believe in the real thing. When the word is spoken to us, you believe as I also believe, so our lives become as God has written. That is where God is taking us. Even though we differ, and we experience different things because we believe differently, the purpose, goal, or target is that we should all become one in our faith. We come to a place where, we hear it, and we believe what we hear.


In Romans chapter 12:3-8, Apostle Paul was admonishing people, He said, “God has given to each one of us a measure of faith, and anyone that does anything, let them do it in the proportion faith.” So, whatever you do in the body of Christ, let it be according to your faith. Let it be according to your faith. So, if you want to do great things, then you must have great faith. It is time for us to believe in God for more. Start believing in God for more. Through God, we can do valiantly, overcome, leap over the wall, bring down mountains, and beat the mountains small. Through God, we can do great things, but we have to believe, don't doubt, we are better off when we are all believers; not some of us believe but some are doubting.


We are strongest when there is no weak link in the chain. But when some of us are forming spiritual muscles, and some of us are very doubtful, we cannot call ourselves a house of God or the temple of God, such is a temple with broken walls. It's a temple with cracks the enemy can creep in. And what is our difference? Our lack of faith. What is the difference between Peter, James, John, and Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon? He didn't believe that the salvation of Israel will come from Jesus. If he had believed he wouldn't sell Jesus for 30 shekels of silver. He doubted. And the moment he doubted, even though he was the money keeper, he began to follow Jesus from afar to the point that he got backslide.


How do you believe? Do you walk according to your belief? Do you speak? The Bible says, “We believe therefore we speak” I believe therefore I speak; I do things. I believe; therefore, I get married. I believe therefore, I start a new school.




Article Source:  Centre for New Dimension Leadership


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Article Tags: Makes, Disciples, Difference, Christ Jesus, Denominations, Church, Believers
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Gboyega Adedeji Gboyega AdedejiGboyega AdedejiGboyega AdedejiGboyega Adedeji

Mentored By Jesus Christ | Writer | Inspiring Speaker | Publisher | Coach | Builder | FOUNDER @ Fridayposts, Hubpile, Witicles| President/CEO at Centre for New Dimension Leadership | Entrepreneur | Husband & Father. Engaging me will change you!

I am a Nigerian and an Ambassador of Christ sent to Nigeria for the cause of His Kingdom. By divine-making, I read, teach and speak. I am a Dad to my children and a husband to my lovely wife Omolara. Simply, I am a Writer, Teacher, Coach, Leadership Developer, Conference Speaker and Publisher among others. I am a Creative Managing Partner at kpInspirationals, a media outfit based in Abuja. For more about me, Visit my profile page on Webnigerians, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

. Call Gboyega at +2347033823104 to see how he can help you & your business succeed!

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What Makes for Difference Among Disciples of Christ Across Denominations?: How The Church Becomes One Entity Under Christ JesusWhat Makes for Difference Among Disciples of Christ Across Denominations?: How The Church Becomes One Entity Under Christ JesusWhat Makes for Difference Among Disciples of Christ Across Denominations?: How The Church Becomes One Entity Under Christ Jesus

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