| Re: Who adds to the Church?|
"The motto that says, "The Church is placed on this earth to spread the gospel first and foremost" produces lukewarm Christianity,
.....because it does not emphasize the death of the cross in the Christian life."
"Instead it emphasizes activities, and these activities are performed in the strength of the flesh, not in the power of the Spirit."...Osandoval
Emphasizing duty over Passion produces performance; a spirit-less zeal. This does seem to be much of what our evangelistic efforts are today. You will see the passion in the fruit. Passion for Jesus seemed to be the order of the day in the first fellowship of Believers, and it seemed that their outreach efforts were engineered by the Lord, like a back-draft to His approval upon real fire and glory. They just seemed to enjoy it all.
Acts 2:46-47 (King James Version)
46. "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."..........
The evangelistic efforts that did occur, were also born out of passion by singular men, and their entourage, just like Jesus did. Peter, James and Stephen, and Phillip by the Eunuch and in Samaria....Then of course, later, Paul, whose efforts shook the world so violently that you and I still are quaking under his Word....[ THANK-YOU JESUS!]
These had no program, nor rigid and legalistic duty....they were just on fire with love. It seemed to work. "PRAY FOR REVIVAL!"...and if it comes from God, we won't sweat or toil, even in times of persecution.
| 2010/5/11 8:15|
| Re: Resurrected evangelism.|
"God desires to use me more than I desire to be used. So if I am not being used, the only possibility left is that I am simply not usable yet. "....twayneb
John 12:23-25 (New International Version)
23. Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
24. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
25. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."
Usable-ness may come in stages or waves, or true effectiveness in degrees. Jesus was used only in a limited way in his travels around Israel, compared to a LIMITLESS way as the Resurrected Lord of Creation, the Lamb of God.
First He had to suffer and die, and it is written that even He had to learn obedience by the things that He suffered.
Hebrews 5:7-9 (King James Version)
7. "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
8. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
9. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;"
We too must fall into the ground and die. This is a process that we submit to, like our Lord, not create. This surrender to be slain by the Lord, to gain Him, has always been so.
Job 13:14-16 (New American Standard Bible)
14"Why should I take my flesh in my teeth
And put my life in my hands?
15"Though He slay me,
I will hope in Him
Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him.
16"This also will be my salvation,
For a godless man may not come before His presence."
7. "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
8. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9. persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed
10. always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
11. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
12. So then death is working in us, but life in you."
There is no true ministry that will defy this principle. We too, are usable when we die to ourselves, and are resurrected into Him. Our obligation then becomes His.
PS: I posted this a while ago under devotional thoughts, I think. I have it written in my bible, and think it to be a profound word from A. W. Tozer. It has affected me.
| 2010/5/11 9:06|
| Re: |
Tom: You are right. God uses us by degrees. The degree to which I can yield myself determines the degree to which I can be used. I have always thought about a story told of Wigglesworth by a friend with whom he was staying. The man said Wigglesworth came downstairs one morning and said, "The Lord spoke to me on your bed last night." The man said, "Well what did He say?" Wigglesworth replied, "The Lord said Wigglesworth, I don't yet have all of you." The man asked, "And what did you say to the Lord?" Wigglesworth's reply, "Burn me up Lord, burn me up."
This was toward the end of His ministry after years of miracles and salvation of countless souls. If you read of the personal habits of the man, it is a bit sobering. But, until we are glorified at Christ's return, God will truly never have ALL of any of us. But I truly want Him to have as much of me as possible. To borrow a bit from Ben Hur. Down with me, up with Christ.
| 2010/5/11 10:03||Profile|
| Re: What is the obligation of the Church?..It's all about me.|
BrotherTom this is certainly my understanding. When I was first saved and filled with the Holy Spirit I experienced the fire shut up in my bones. I couldn't help but witness to the glorious thing that had happened to me. Just about everybody I came in contact with got saved. I had very little bible knowledge, but a transformed life. I was in love with my savior and it impacted the life of those around me. Sorry to say after a number of years is has cooled, but I am seeking with all my heart for more of the my first love. It is worship and intimacy with God that brings life to other.
| 2010/5/11 13:29||Profile|
| Re: The House of Christ Himself.|
"Here is a verse that has sure shaken my understanding of the purpose of the church."
1 Timothy 3:15
"But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."....Areadymind
It's the pillar and ground of truth because the INHABITOR is the TRUTH, and He is holy. The truth is a Person. This will be defined exquisitely when the redeemed inhabit the final and perfect Temple, NEW JERUSALEM, where there is no need of the Sun...for the Lamb and His Father illuminate this eternal City.
I see the Communion of Christ within this light. It is not designed simply as a focus meditation to ensure that our hearts are cleansed from various sins, both outward and inward. It is instituted in order that we ensure how to behave ourselves with ONE ANOTHER, the BODY, the HOUSE OF GOD.
"For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.
27. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.
28. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
29. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly.
30. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep.
31. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.
32. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world."
WE BEHAVE OURSELVES RIGHTLY BY HONORING THE BLOOD WASHED FAMILY EQUALLY, WITHOUT RESPECT TO PERSONS. THE LEAST ARE HONORED ALONG WITH THE GREATEST WITH EQUAL LOVE, RESPECT AND MERCY.
This in the negative, by NOT showing equal love and grace toward the body, whoever that may be, brings severe Judgment by Jesus Himself upon the unrepentant offender.
"For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly."
This is primarily the reason that Ananias and Sapphira were pronounced dead....because their greedy lying was a sin against the Church; The House of God. We need to grasp this, obedience 101. We will love the body of Christ and honor her. If we refuse to, through any delusion of being of a superior status, or higher up the rung in ministry, we sin against Christ Himself, and this is always unto the least of the brothers and sisters; whoever they may be around the EARTH.
| 2010/5/11 19:53|
| Re: |
| 2010/5/11 22:02||Profile|
| Re: It is here that we will return.|
hoohoou said: "The leading I feel from the Holy Spirit is that I am a shepherd. I am responsible for whichever fellowship of believers God leads me to or to me. I am responsible that whatever word they are given is from the Lord. I am responsible to keep out wolves. I am not responsible to be the only person hearing from the Lord and delivering that message.
I believe God intends for us to experience what is described in 1 Corinthians 14:26-31. I'm just not sure what "form" that should take, or if it matters. God can intervene at any moment, the key is to have ears to hear.
Any thoughts you, or anyone, may have, or any expositions or other writings that are out there on the subject, would be greatly appreciated."..hoohoou
"I understand what you are saying but I'm just not sold that the issue lies in the form of worship. Isn't the real issue a lack of Spirit-led men of God?" hoohoou..
By the "form of worship" I meant something akin to the hijacking of the church by the Pharisee's. They created a form of godliness, void of power and life, in order to enhance their own spiritual status.
6. And He said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS,
BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.
7. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME,
TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.'
8"Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men."
9. He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition."...Jesus of Nazareth
This is the path that the Religious spirit has taken us, and part of that IS the "PASTOR" headship; the One Man Show.....meeting centered, flimsy Christianity that we encounter today. Technically, the answer to your question would then be both. We lack Spirit led men of God, yes, but the vehicle is the main culprit here; the Form. The Form has robbed us of the equal family ; US , brothers and sisters together, AS THE TEMPLE OF GOD!
It has been replaced by a pulpit and a Priest Class of ministers, that establish a LAY class....IE: spectators who absorb and support the ministry, rather than DO.
This has generally been the form I speak of that has devastated THE BODY OF CHRIST, along with body ministry in the meeting, but more importantly in the community. The COMMUNITY is the Church, and the meeting follows the primary body.....everyday body life.
Acts 2: 42-47
42. "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44. And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45. And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
This was not a religious form at all, nor did it center around a man, or meetings, though meetings were the common union of the body of Christ, and it is there that the Lord blessed with His Presence.
It is here that we must return.
| 2010/5/15 10:34|