In the first part of the article, we gave a general overview of the dangers in honoring men above the treshold the Bible permits. In this concluding part, we mentioned other subtle ways the enemy of our souls try to lure us into this common trap.
BEWARE LES’T YOU ACCEPT A MAN AS INFALLIBLE:
We must never honour any man to the level that we become blind to the Bible or Truth. Every honour we give men must be subjected to the Almighty God. There is always the danger that we can become blinded by the errors of any man we honour, more so to read the Scripture through their views alone because we honour them. If we ever get to that point, we have gone beyond the boundary of honour.
Any man is fallible, only God is infallible. What turned many denomination to the sorry state they are today is when believers do not know when they have exceeded the threshold of honour to men. The patriarchs were men of honour. They accorded honour to one another, but in that honour, when duty calls, they were not blinded from chastisening any erring brother with truth. Any honour you give that prevents or constrains you from correcting those you honor with the truth is not a godly honour.
Luther at the Diet of Worms
WHEN GOD MANIFEST THROUGH A MAN AND HE FAILS TO RETURN THE GLORY:
If you are being honoured, be careful lest you take the honour that belongs to Christ or God. Even Jesus Christ, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father, was never ready to take the honour that belongs to God and that was why Jesus never ascribed the title of “Father” to himself but to God. “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” Matt. 23:9. Also, when Peter and John healed the man at the beautiful gate and men began to honour them, they quickly refuted it and asked that the honour be returned to God; they turned the eyes of the people to God.
“With the crowd surrounding him, Peter said to them all, “People of Israel, listen to me! Why are you so amazed by this healing? Why do you stare at us? We didn’t make this crippled man walk by our own power or authority. The God of our ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has done this. For he has glorified his Servant Jesus”. Acts 3:12-13
Today one danger we face with miracles is that some boast of the wonders of God and takes the honour to themselves. It is dangerous to the minister taking the honour that belongs to God and it is also dangerous to the people because the people will no longer look to God or Christ as the performer of the miracle. Rather, they will beging to look at the man.
When great miracles happened through Paul and Barnabas at Lystra, he was incredibly careful not to receive the honour to himself but to give it to God. He immediately shouted at the people when they wanted to ascribe the honour of the miracle to him.
“And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.” Acts 14:11-15
WHEN WE SHOW MEN OURSELVES INSTEAD OF CHRIST:
In today’s professing Church, another thing that increases the quest to honour men is, when many have the privilege to reveal Christ to men through the pulpit, instead of preaching Christ many preach themselves. They tell the people how they have been the one that helped several people get miracles bla bla bla. Instead of teaching men how to access Christ for life and ministry, many do this to ascribe honour to themselves. And after the sermon instead for the people yearning to know Christ, they rather want to know the minister. You can always know a man that has revealed himself by seeing the way people react after his message. After their message, check if men want to know Christ more or wants to know the pereacher more? This raises a lot of altar of honour in the heart of many Christians that if not nipped in the bud can lead to someone idolizing a mere man.
After the sermon instead for the people yearning to know Christ, they rather want to know the minister.
WHEN YOU ARE RAISING LOYALISTS INSTEAD OF DISCIPLES:
The duty and responsibility of a disciple, which Christ commissioned the people to do is to reveal Christ to men and not to turn them to loyalist. The duty of every child of God is not to take the place of God in the life of the believer, but rather to help in removing the vail that prevent the people from seeing Christ.
Some because of evil desire for honour for themselves, instead of revealing Christ, will go to any length to turn the people to loyalist. They ensure the people are blinded to Christ whom we are to disciple them for. It is important to remember anytime this is done, they have taken the Bride away from Christ. You can imagine the pain on the cross Christ went through for His bride. Yet, instead for Christ to gain, it is men that are deceitfuly accruing the gain to themselves. Therefore, beware and repent if you have fallen into any of these errors, or fallen from grace through the deceitfulness of men.
As believers we respect men, honour men but never above God, Christ or His Word. If you have fallen to this trap you need to repent, retrace your steps and return to God. Remember we are all earthen vessel; let the excellency of the work be unto God and not unto you.