Getting your hands dirty for the gospels sake was never to have stopped and substituted with superfluous ideologies. Sure, we can point to organizations spreading the gospel throughout the world and being effective but where is it the bible to stay stagnant and build churches requiring non-profit status, board members more concerned with laws or social programs that make members dependent rather than empowering them with the Word that gives power, authority and command of all that is seen and unseen. Did God sent us a memorandum to vacate His and our purpose and concentrate on building a church for charity, becoming nothing more than another version of the secular non-profit NGO’s (non-government organizations). It is true there are many references in the bible regarding charity works but never at the expensive of downplaying the message of Salvation, Authority and Kingdom principles.
Christ did all these things and more to start, build and commission the church; Christian’s to continue His work until He returns to see what harvest has been produced for the Kingdom of God. From His blood, Christianity, the church body, His followers are His representatives to the work He did. Just like any organization, the church has the responsibility to maintain and uphold all He stood for and not just His standards but also His works of righteousness. The early church did this but the new world church failed and continues to allow separation of the Faith with irrelevant notions, superficiality, and earthbound doctrines. How can we fathom that the Heavenly Kingdom which is unseen but physically manifested by another substance that is tangible, which is our Faith requires outward expressions of compliance and not an inner conviction of it as oxygen is for life. The church has allowed such deceptions to detract from the true and real purpose of the body, which is unity of Christ towards the end of complete and utter freedom from the tyranny of the body, mind, and Spirit. Christ’s movement in today’s terms would be called grass roots. A movement that sought to remove all man-made tenets and resolve to be pure, simple and easily duplicated assimilated into our very being and life. The church today seems to be no more than it’s summation of bricks, stained glass and is grandiose. Has our first love become nothing more than a convenience for pontifications?
A reckoning is coming to us for allowing such things that complicate the message of Christ. When He preached the Word, Christ was demonstrating His first love that we all have been commanded to do. He was showing His Love for His Father, our God; to honor Him with all our heart, soul, body and spirit. Today, many give more honor and love to their pastors, elders, deacons and priests. Yet, there is few or none that actually has walked on water, been to hell and now sits at the right of God. We have made the physical more real than the Spiritual. In many churches around the world, it has become nothing more than a social worker’s delight of psychology babbling, human acceptance and comforting. Yet, those who truly cry for righteousness are not concerned with dazzling staging nor the experience of "church", but only that repentance, righteousness, and salvation is there for the taking. When Jesus healed, he never was concerned with the past but only the power to set the captives free. Most pastors, leaders of the church are still preaching to the saved when in fact they ought to be seeking out the unsaved, ignorant and lost.
There was no reference to a church before the New Testament. This was originally a term reserved for the new believers, the body of Christ. It became a rallying point for where Christ would be revealed and preached to the young Judeo-Christians of the day as the message of Jesus Christ started to spread across the known world. To be a part of the church was to breathe new life into persons of faith and those needing faith. The church of Christ or Christ’s church became synonymous with healings, demonic exorcisms, and Grace that made living worthwhile, giving hope and building Faith wherever needed. The church was not hiding even though there was widespread persecution for those who dared to challenge the other gods and authorities of the day. The church was alive!
Can we today boast of such things that these early churches lived to die for? It is true to say that today’s churches are as radical for Christ’s cause as before. Only the body of Christ for each church can truly answer that. It is the body that is the church and when the early apostles started them, they were dynamic, led by the Holy Spirit and made radical changes in people’s lives. It was beautiful and simple. New believers or converts were asked to accept three prime pillars. The first; to honor, love God and the second to do the same to your neighbor. The third; to be disciples of Jesus. That’s it! No complications of theology, doctrines or rules. Of course, Paul encourages us to grow up, starting with milk and moving into the meat of the Word - 1 Corth. 3:2. But his intent was not for us to complicate the message of Salvation nor the actions required to be a ‘church’ for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We are to be Christians! A follower of Christ.
June 29, 2016.
The alive Church.
Christ’s example to the church can only be studied from His life especially during His ministry of three and half years. We can also get a sense of His church works from the prophets of the Old Testament.
Christ was to submit Himself for His church by becoming the sacrificial lamb - Ps. 22:16-18, “they pierced my hands and feet”. He put others first with a servant’s heart, willing to die so that others may live.
Christ was to be the Victor of the helpless, fighting for righteousness - Heb. 2:14, “slaying the one who has the power of death”. He came to fight for the oppressed, to confront death and ultimately defeat it.
Christ was to be a compassion and the available Messiah waiting and willing to serve and lead His people - Is. 7:14, “shall be called Immanuel (God is with us)”. He was to reveal through Him, a God that was not a deity necessary for the time, the need and the fear of those who yearned for salvation but who stood for justice, righteousness and love of His creation.
Christ demonstrated the example of infallibility, of walking the talk, of being trustworthy. He made His life purposefully - Matt. 4:18-22, “follow me and I will make you fish for men”. After being baptized in Judea, He walked two days to the Sea of Galilee to call Peter and his brother. It should be noted that Jesus’ first real work is discipleship and not the forgiveness of sin for Salvation. Jesus demonstrates despite all the love for saving, it is more prudent to build a team to evangelize. To set and establish the foundations for the church, and for the body to follow.
Christ remained flexible for the cause. There is no recording of any downtime or recreation where Jesus’ purpose and works are not revealed. If He was not praying, He was preaching, healing or casting out demons. Yet, even with this purposeful schedule, Jesus took time as led by the Holy Spirit to carry out His ministry. In Luke 8:41-48, Jesus has been asked by Jarius for help and while on His way with crowds around Him, He stops to address the woman who had the issue of blood before continuing to Jarius’s house. No matter how much we have planned, God’s plan is best as He only knows how to reveal Himself to others with perfect timing. In both cases within a day, Christ demonstrates that submitting to the Holy Spirit (God) only produces the victory over the curse.
Christ is all about righteousness. Regardless of where or who he was with, Jesus never misses the opportunity to admonish unrighteousness. From leaders of the synagogue, His apostles, and even His mother; Jesus’ way of dealing with the issues is bold, uncompromising and reflective of belief, purpose, and a mission. Even when faced with death as in the garden and before the Sanhedrin, Jesus leaves a distinct taste of someone prepared and ready for the worst that is suffering and death but is not perturbed by it and is willing to go through the pain for the cause of righteousness - Lk. 22:42 and Matt. 26:57-67. As he represented the church, Jesus never loses sight of His major definite purpose which was to break and defeat completely the curse of the law, death, and satan.
If Jesus reference to the poor is nothing more than admonishing our focus, then are we not to heed His example, “the poor you will have always, but you will not always have me” - Jn. 12:8. It is easy to say that Jesus was referring to His cruxifion and ascension but in reality as with most if not all Heavenly statements there is usually more meaning than that is obvious. Isn’t Jesus to be compassionate regarding the poor, but for Righteousness, He basically says, He is more important and we must take advantage of this, less eventually we won’t have Him any longer as compared to the poor who we will have always. What Jesus is really trying to tell us, is that we have the poor because we don’t have Him in mind, body and Spirit and by having Him, the poor would not be a concern because we would have established the Kingdom principles of prosperity, health, and peace. If we focus on the problem, then that is what we will have rather than the solution which is the empowerment of our minds, body, and Spirit. This really is the third pillar of the church to be disciples of Jesus by acting on His examples. If the church focus is more on secularism rather than Spiritual domination, then really the church has not observed the first two pillars. To honor and Love God and our neighbor is to focus on His will and although as stewards of His Kingdom which includes charity it is not the real reason He sent His beloved Son - Jn. 10:10, “I have come that they may have life and have it all in fullness”
The church is a summation of its leadership, members and actions. These things were not only established by Jesus and the apostles but was lived daily. Today's church has to come to terms with their portfolio of accounts. Accounts of people saved, grown up and sent out into a dying world. It is measured with the Spiritual stick of the gifts of healing, prophecy, and anointing. If the internal outreaches of charities such as feeding, disaster relief and social programs exceed that of conversions to Christianity, then really is it Christ's church doing the will of God. We are the church and the church is us and as the Father looks down from Heaven is He seeing stewards or bench holders - Matt. 25:14, "entrusted his processions with them". What will be the church's account for Salvation - Matt. 25:19, "and the master returned to settle accounts with them". Jesus' and the apostle's lives are about filling the coffers of God with souls, not with self edification of the amount of help we gave as if delivering tons of food, clothing and shelter can be compared with giving eternal life and lifting His most precious creation into their right place, sons and daughter of the Kingdom rather than beggar's looking for a handout. Recently, a study was done on how effective these types of NGO's were effective. The result was re-establishing a form of dependence, of slavery. Having more poor minded people is not the solution but only with empowerment comes uprightness in ever man's or woman's walk. That empowerment can only come from God's Word. There is a price for freeness, it's impoverishing. This is satan's goal to keep people poor in spirit, ability and gain.
When did it become righteous to wait on the unsaved to enter into our buildings to hear the Word and be moved for conversion for is not the church a gathering of the saved and not a show and tell for the ignorant. Christ's example is about going about as led by His Father through the Holy Spirit and be bold to speak about Salvation wherever and to whoever is required. Jesus neither the apostles stayed at home or in one place waiting for people to show up for the message. The message is simple; all are to be saved. The action is simple; spread the Word and the example is simple; be the Word as Christ is.
Flush it Out! - Without acting on the foundations of our Faith, we can never truly hit the target.
ChristnMe @ 2013