Members of the Church make their beloved leader happy by striving to become the kind of Christians who bring joy to their spiritual leader.
MEMBERS OF THE Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) make every effort to bring joy and gladness to the Church’s leader. They do this out of love and respect for the one whom God placed to watch over their spiritual well-being and carry the immense responsibility of shepherding the ever-growing flock around the globe towards receiving salvation and eternal life.
Because of their very high regard for their leader, the Executive Minister of the Church, their hearts are filled with praises and thanksgiving to God for answering the prayers of the entire Church for him—that may he continue to edify the faith and strengthen the hope of the brethren the world over. They firmly believe that, like the leaders of the first-century Church, he was given “God’s administration … to make God’s message fully known” (Col. 1:25 Holman Christian Standard Bible).
In stark contrast to the observation that many people around the world are losing confidence in their leaders, religious or secular, members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo give high regard to their spiritual leader because this is what the Almighty God teaches through the apostles:
“We beg you, our brothers, to pay proper respect to those who work among you, who guide and instruct you in the Christian life. Treat them with the greatest respect and love because of the work they do. Be at peace among yourselves.” (I Thess. 5:12–13 Good News Bible)
It is a doctrine written in the Bible to accord the greatest respect and love to the leader placed by God in the Church. That is why making the Church leader happy (Heb. 13:17 Contemporary English Version) is one of the things the Church members strive to do, especially this month when the entire Church commemorates the 12th anniversary of Brother Eduardo V. Manalo as the Executive Minister of the Church. Church members see and feel how much he labors to guide and instruct them in the Christian life. Members of the Church make their beloved leader happy by striving to become the kind of Christians who bring joy to their spiritual leader—they live as true Christians should and have a strong faith in Christ:
“… I am very happy because you are living as you should and because of your strong faith in Christ.” (Col. 2:5 New Living Translation)
Apostle Paul further teaches how true Christians should live with faith in Christ, saying: “Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel” (Phil. 1:27 New Revised Standard Version).
Thus, to live as a true Christian, one’s thoughts, words, and actions should conform to the gospel of Christ. One way of doing so is by giving up all wickedness, and worldly desires as Apostle Paul attests the Lord has taught:
“He taught us to give up our wicked ways and our worldly desires and to live decent and honest lives in this world.”
(Titus 2:12 CEV)
This is why the Executive Minister consistently calls on all Church members to uphold a complete and intensive renewal of life. Moreover, knowing that the time of the fulfillment of their redemption is near, the Church Administration exhorts all brethren to amplify their efforts in upholding a life that truly pleases God:
“Finally, our brothers, you learned from us how you should live in order to please God. This is, of course, the way you have been living. And now we beg and urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to do even more. For you know the instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.” (I Thess. 4:1–2 GNB)
So, if members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo strive to abide by the teachings and commandments of God constantly, their purpose is not only to bring joy to their Executive Minister but above all, to please and glorify God, which is expected of them as His people in these last days.
In these times, when many false preachers are spreading all sorts of lies and false teachings, the Executive Minister of the Church exerts every effort to protect the brethren from deception and falsehood by teaching them the pure words of God in all wisdom so that he can bring each one of them into God’s presence as mature individuals in union with Christ (Col. 1:28 GNB). He has never neglected his duties and obligations. He continues to do his part as the Lord God prepares the whole Church to meet the Lord Jesus Christ on His imminent return and receive the promised salvation.
Thus, Church members always include the Executive Minister in their prayers to God so that he may continue to fulfill the work that he does for the edification of the Church and the intensive propagation of the pristine words of God. They also pray to God to protect him from wicked and evil people. As Apostle Paul exhorted the early Christians:
“Finally, our brothers, pray for us that the Lord’s message may continue to spread rapidly and be received with honor, just as it was among you. Pray also that God will rescue us from wicked and evil people; for not everyone believes the message.” (II Thess. 3:1–2 GNB)
Members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo genuinely love and are so proud to have Brother Eduardo Manalo as the Executive Minister of the Church. Wherever they may be around the world, the brethren do their best to bring great joy to their beloved leader by completely obeying him, the minister God placed to lead the Church, and by submitting themselves to his authority, as mandated by God through the apostles:
“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” (Heb. 13:17 New International Version)
This article was originally published in the Pasugo: God’s Message magazine, September 2019 Issue and has been updated.