Link to All Pinkney Commentary Titles
As many that have received the
gift, minister it to one another,
as good stewards of the manifold Grace of God
2012 PDF Edition of Complete "Disciple's Handbook"
(you will find additional content and updated corrections
from the chapter by chapter links below.)
A Disciples Handbook Complete Version in PDF Form
of God's Power - PDF FILE:
How all believers may receive
'The Promise of the Father'
Through the Holy Spirit
Believer Becomes a Disciple -
IS ABOUT PARTAKING OF THE LIFE OF GOD
is the living "head of the church"
for all believers. He has designed a way for
us to both know him and follow him, even as
the original twelve disciples followed him.
During the Lord's earthly ministry, they
walked at his side, conversed with him, and
were both witnesses and partakers of his ministry.
They knew his voice; saw his power; and marveled
at his wisdom. On a strictly physical level
they knew him! Yet, this was not considered
adequate. These original disciples were instructed
to receive a further supernatural empowerment.
In order to demonstrate and build the Kingdom
of God there were told to. "Wait in Jerusalem
until you receive power from above- -."
Today I suspect that far too few nominal Christians
are able to say they know him on a Spiritual
level. Yes they know about him have been taught
doctrines but how much do they know him in
the transformative power of his love and the
power of his resurrection?
believers are told to grow and mature in the
knowledge of Him who came to give more abundant
life through the power of his resurrection.
We are not to remain a novice and a baby in
the faith, but that we attain "unto the
stature of a 'mature man' even the stature
of Christ." (Ephesians 4). The exaltation
of a single voice in the role of authority
to disciple us may be limited and limiting.
Pulpit ministry is an unfortunate self- perpetuating
legacy of 17 centuries of the "Church"
age. Those who in fact have experience in Christ's
life and ministry, made possible by the power
of the Holy Spirit have a title in the Word
of God; these individuals are called "elders."
Certainly church denominations use this same
term within some context of their doctrines.
But those who Jesus calls elders may differ
from what religious traditions might label
as elders. The apostle John, the disciple who
Jesus loved, begins his letter by talking about
Spiritual experience as the qualification (credentials)
that we must look to and lean upon. He noted
what he had seen, touched, looked upon, and
handled in the Word of life. (1John1:1)That
which was from the beginning, which we have
heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which
we have looked upon, and our hands have handled,
of the Word of life, these things we declare
unto you - -;
Transforms, Edifies, Strengthens, and Blesses
The proper and best time to edify and grow is when fellow believers come together in koinonia (fellowship). When two or more true believers get together the natural result is to share their common salvation and to have "fellowship" to minister "edification" to each other. When these two or more gather, Jesus 'joins' them and becomes a co-participant through the Holy Spirit! This fellowship process is not complicated, nor formal, it is not domination of one individual authority over another. It is not adversarial. Discipleship happens as we share the several gifts given to each believer. Koinonia is about participation, communication and sharing. As referenced in 1John 1:1-3, It begins with actual experiences given as a witness of Jesus' life and resurrection. It is about the revelation of Christ within each person and how he is living through our lives and doing his work through us. Koinonia is about sharing what Christ has given to each believer and ministering that gift to others.
According to the measure of God's grace, individuals have various of testimonies and experiences, some have more, some fewer. There may be some with musical gifts which enhance worship and some with less of that ability. Some may have verbal skills, some less. Some with practical kinds of skills, some not so much. Some may be working through personal tragedies or rejection, while others have already had healing in these areas. All need to be encouraged to participate at some level so that leadership skills may be fostered in each.
The dynamics of fellowship will change from week to week. Few or more people may be present at a house or meeting place and the Spirit of God will act in accordance to the time and persons present. I believe fellowship should never turn into something regimented or formalistic. However it often becomes that especially when everything is controlled by one leader. Those unfamiliar with the kind of fellowship I have described need to experience for themselves what can happen in a place of meeting where the Spirit of God is given liberty! 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. The Holy Spirit administers just such actions. (See link to Why We Gather )
The Encroachment of Formalism
A Religious spirit in the form of supremacy, control or formalism, continuously stalks the believer with the aim of transforming God-life into dead religion. I suppose church liturgy was put together in times past, following the kind of glorious fellowship described above. Liturgical forms may have started with good intentions with the hope of bottling up something very good and worthwhile, perhaps to preserve some of the glory of an earlier day. If only God's manifest presence could be captured and preserved, but alas it can not. He is moving on as the pillar of cloud moved ahead directed the sojourners in the wilderness in the book of Exodus.
The Bible demonstrates that God's presence can not be captured and preserved. The Israelites of old tried to do so, but when God's Glory departed they were left with a lifeless object (a religious artifact or idol.) The temple remained, the glory was gone. The brazen serpent remained, but the manifestation of its power was gone. A cistern remained, the fount of living water was gone. God's continued glory and fellowship with us is determined by the hearts of those who gather to worship him. Years and centuries past and only rituals and catechism remained supplanting the glory that had been lost. The ritual enactments remained and the liturgical trappings but the presence of God vanished. Ritual happens, I believe, when men try to duplicate a behavior which once brought forth God's 'glory' through waiting upon Him in faith.
As God's presence leaves it is replaced by religion. "Ministry" follows a similar transition. Leadership becomes the domain of a very small body of liturgical experts. It has come to pass that the priesthood or the clergy only is trained and authorized to govern and rule over the flock of God. But in the new covenant as it was presented to the saints, discipleship is the domain of every believer.
is a paradigm to re-think: Abolish the Laity!
Disciples, Learning the "Way"
The foundation of the life of Christ is laid by becoming a disciple of Jesus. Just as Jesus set about making disciples in the time of his earthly ministry so he continues today. (John 8:21 ; 17:20) The Great Commission is about discipleship. Too often, the Christian world has made the life of the Bible remote and impersonal through religion . It has made Peter, James and John or John the Baptist into icons or religious super heroes. It is too easy to lose the sense that Peter, James, Paul and Barnabus and the host of others are our brothers and our teachers. Though now having run their race, they shared the same life of trials and faith as we ourselves. In our minds Bible days were entirely another time, another kind of faith life , another dispensation. This is not the case. Religious tradition places men on pedestals. This should not be the case because it is contrary to every apostolic and Christ-uttered teaching. God does not show favoritism nor does he show respect of persons. s many that have received the gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the Grace
may be interested in checking out the writing
of Frank Viola and George Barna
Go to next book: Disciples Handbook 03
Understanding Home Fellowships