paradigms of truth, Worldly, Religious, Divine
1 Spiritual Growth
Handbook 2, Growing With the Body
Cycle: Growth, Trials, and Triumph
Christ, Partaking In His Ministry
Up In Christ
every believer becomes a disciple!
is God's plan that every disciple partakes in Jesus' ministry!
Jesus is the living "head of the church" for all believers. As our heavenly
high priest He has provided a way for us to follow him, even as the
original twelve disciples followed him. During the Messiah's ministry,
they walked at his side, spoke with him, and were eyewitnesses and partakers
of his ministry. They knew his voice; saw his acts of power; and marveled
at his wisdom. In a practical sense they knew him! Yet following the
Lord's resurrection, there was a new and
deeper level of Spiritual experience that was later to be born in the
among the amazing things to be revealed in the "gospel" of the 'church
age' is that we not only may know him as Savior, but partake in his
nature, his mission and calling. The believer is given authority through
the Lord to execute this authority over principalities and powers in
the heavenly realms. This is the domain of Lucifer (he is called the
prince of the power of the air) and his angels. Throughout ages past
a heavenly drama has been playing out upon the earth. It has been the
cosmic war of good against evil. "For this reason the Son of God
was manifested, that he should destroy the works of the Devil."
(John 3:8) Christ Jesus has called us to have intimate fellowship with
Him and to represent him in this world.
Fellowship in Christ Jesus, Ministry Edifies, Strengthens, and Blesses
It would be good for someone who has never experienced true fellowship
(koinonia) to see the things can and do happen in a Spirit led gathering.
For in such times of fellowship God can make his glorious presence known;
lift people out of their fears and oppression; bring joy and healing;
restore broken hearts and broken relationships and save peoples souls.
Church liturgy, put together in a time far past,
perhaps following shortly after the kind of glorious kind of fellowship
described above may have had good intentions. Liturgical forms no doubt
hoped to preserve some of the truth or glory of those earlier days.
Maybe they wished to insure the manifestation of God's presence and
to provide a platform to disciple those who needed to under stand the
truth of Christ's eternal ministry. But God can not be bottled and preserved!
For He is alive and powerful, acting always in the NOW, never in the
THEN. The Bible shows that God's presence
can not be captured and preserved. The Israelites of Old tried to do
so, but when God's Glory departed it was gone they were left with a
lifeless idol. The temple remained the glory was gone. The brazen serpent
remained but the manifestation of its power was gone. God's continued
glory and fellowship with us is determined by the hearts of those who
gather to worship him. With passing years catechism remained but the
glory had been lost. The ritual remained and the liturgical trappings
remained but the presence of God vanished. Ritual happens, I believe,
when men try to duplicate a behavior which once brought forth the glory
of God through faith. Elements that remained
were vainly held and became a substitution for God's presence. "Ministry"
became the focus of a very small body of liturgical experts, called
the priesthood or the clergy, when it was always to be the domain of
every believer. Just as God wishes each believer to be a ministering
priest, he wishes us to become a true worshipper. What is this true
worshipper and what is worshipping the Father in Spirit and in Truth?
(John 4:23) God is always looking for True Worshippers. He looks at
the hearts he does not regard the man with the religious uniform over
a common person whose heart is open. He does not favor a cathedral over
a location which has been made ready on the inside of us. As Jesus told
the woman at the well of Samaria, it is not where you worship, not this
mountain or another mountain, but what and how we worship. He said to
her that some do not know what they are even worshipping but the truth
is that salvation is connected to worship, it is through the foundation
of the Jews. The time was coming, Jesus explained, when men and women
women would worship the Most High God in Spirit. Those who do not have
this Spirit can not have the revelation of God of which Jesus spoke.
Disciples, Learning the "Way" To begin your walk of discipleship
in Christ one must be born of the Spirit. John 3:3 states it simply,
" ..you must be born again." Those who believe in the finished
work of Christ know and believe that Jesus died for the sins of all
sinners who ever lived. Those who ask for this experience must believe
that the power of God to completely transform a life will come to pass.
One first believes and then confesses as stated in Romans 10;9-10. This
is a transaction that must be done with faith that believes that what
you have petitioned shall be manifested. Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)
chose disciples in the time of his earthly ministry so he continues
today. The Holy Spirit convicts us that we are sinners and that we can
not live a godly life without God's personal power and intervention.
(John 8:21 ; 17:20)
Old time saints
Christian world through centuries of religion has given us the idea
that the life of Bible times was remote and impersonal. It has made
Peter, James and John or John the Baptist into icons or legendary folk
heroes. The sense of their being our brothers, who shared the same life
of trials and faith has been all but lost. In our minds Bible days were
another time, more fable than fact. This is not the case. Religion places
men on pedestals. This should not be the case as it is contrary to every
apostolic and teaching of the Lord. God does not show favoritism nor
does he show respect of persons from times past to the present.
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