Through the Church

so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. (Eph 3:9)

from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Eph 4:16)

Keri Jones, the apostle we relate to, said at the Elders and Leaders' conference that what the church needs in this generation, more than ever, is a correct understanding of ministry.

It is not through an apostle that the manifold wisdom of God is displayed to the world. It is not through an apostle that the church is built up into its fullness in Christ. Nor do these things come through an eldership. An eldership cannot represent the fullness of Christ to the world or to the body either. It is through the church that God has chosen to reveal his manifold wisdom, and through the church that the body ministers to itself to build itself up into the fullness of Christ.

It's not that apostles or elders are not important. They are vital! There can be no representation of God's kingdom rule without the delegated authority in the men God has chosen. Whenever God chooses to do a work in the earth, he first chooses a man. But there is a key difference between office and ministry, authority and gift.

Keri warned of the dangers of any man, or group of men, in office or recognised ministry thinking they are distinct or separate from the rest of the body. There is no "elders and people". There is only people, of whom some will be elders. The shepherds are themselves part of the flock of Christ. The teachers are still students of the word. "The ladder is laid flat", as Keri put it.

As a preacher, this is something I have been very conscious of for some time. When I bring the word of God, I am not coming as someone distinct or separate to the people I am preaching to, but as one of them. Although I am bringing the word, I am also one of those who is receiving it. I do not say "You need to....", as if I was coming as one who is already past such things, but "We need to...", because this is for me as much as it is for everybody else.

The job of any ministry in the church is never, "Hey, look at me." - although there is a requirement that such men should be an example in conduct. But to equip the saints for the work of ministry. So that as each and every ministry gift in the church is released to operate as it should, we can all together, like God himself, say "Look at his Church!" The wonderful, beautiful, radiant Bride being made ready for the coming of the Bridegroom.

1 comment:

Elwyn Jones said...

It is very clear from your blog and your fellow bloggers that your apostle has given you great encouragement and personal blessing from his sermon to you all.

I myself have been encouraged by the warning he makes to men in office or recognised ministry, thinking they are distinct or seperate from the rest of the body.

If we (Christians) are to be fruitful in these last days we must take those to whom we witness, to the foot of the cross. One can talk all day about the how God has changed or blessed our lives, but until a sinner understands the remedy for sin, he will not be saved. The solution for sin is the blood poured out on the Cross at Calvary.

Our Lord Jesus said that He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly (john 10;10) He is not talking about earthly riches and worldly possessions, not at all! He is talking about life, and no life is more abundant than life which is eternal.

I have been encouraged by Mr. Jones' comments about preachers and teachers still being students of the Word and although I don't recognise Mr.Jones as my apostle but respect his position as a minister it seems his sermon was quite powerful to the pastors he leads.Pastors should still be students of God's Holy Word a vital point Mr. Jones made. We as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are under tremendous pressure to demonstrate some howto an unbelieving society that God is alive, with all the power and wisdom, but we must resist the worldliness, shallowness, gimmickry and phoney claims from entering the Church of Jesus Christ, His Church! And protect the baby Christians from being seriously injuried from bad teaching. We must all renew our dedication to the infallible, inerrant,complete, sufficient written revelation of God in the Bible and preach the Gospel out of a love for man in their lost condition.

May God bless Mr. Jones to stand firm and hold to the traditions which he was taught (2 thes 2-15) and may we all hold fast until Our King comes (rev 2: 25)