Monday, September 12, 2016

I am a Child of God

"I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters," says the Lord Almighty 
(2 Corinthians 6:18).

“He (Jesus) came to His own, and His own people(Jews) did not receive Him. But to all (all the people of the World) who did receive Him, He(Jesus) gave them the RIGHT to be children of God, to those who believe in His (Jesus') name, who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but BORN of God.”
John 1:11-13 

And because you are sons and daughters, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son (Jesus Christ) into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father!' Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son/daughter, and if a son/daughter, then an heir of God through Christ" (Galations 4:1-7).

Receive this right of becoming the Child of God by believing the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!! God Bless You!!

Friday, February 05, 2016

Understanding the Body of Christ - Part 2

This is a continuation of my previous post Understanding of the Body of Christ. I strongly recommend you to read the first part to get better understanding.

Body of Christ built on the Foundation of Apostles and Prophets:
Ephesians 2: 20 You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the Chief Cornerstone.

Just like a building is built on a strong foundation, God builds His Ekklesia - the Assembly of His Called out ones - on the foundation of Apostles and Prophets.

Apostolic Function:
The Apostles receive the superior authority to govern the Body Of Christ.  They are special messengers of God.  They are the "sent" ones.  God would send them from one place to another.  They also govern and oversee from one place different churches in the Body of Christ.  Invariably, God would assign at the least one Apostle for one church.  No church that is found in Christ would be without an apostle connected to it.  In the first century A.D., churches are governed by the Apostles and they had local overseers who would report to the group of Apostles who would be spiritually governing them.  Now, the local pastors have full autonomous administration. They also miss out of the Apostolic and Prophetic functions.

The making of an Apostle is not an easy thing.  Apostles are hand-picked by God. They are chosen.  They are disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.  They follow Him wherever He leads.  They are with Him in life and death.  They bear the marks of the crucified savior on their bodies.  They may not be highly impressive by their backgrounds or looks.  Peter was a fisherman by his background and Paul was not impressive by looks.  In fact, Paul was timid and not a very good speaker.  He was not accepted by the Corinthians though He went to them with powerful demonstration of the Power of God not just with wise enticing impressive words.

Paul’s Defense of His Ministry in 2 Corinthians 10 says

1By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! 
2I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. 
3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 
4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 
5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 
6And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
7You are judging by appearances. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do. 
8So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it.
9I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. 
10For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” 
11Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.
12We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
13We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you.
14We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ.
15Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, 
16 so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory.
17But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
18For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. 

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 NIV
“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”

Marks of an Apostle:
The signs, wonders and miracles will be the mark of the Apostle.  An Apostle of God can be a woman, even an young looking person, the calling of God upon a person does not change, He sees the End from the Beginning.  God trains them in such a way, they will do nothing without hearing from Him and they are disciplined in many ways in order to attain that authority.  They are also matured through the sufferings in the Christ.  They also part take in the sufferings of Christ. Their sufferings cannot be despised and they cannot be looked down because they are suffering for the Body of Christ.

Paul says in Colossians 1:24-29 NIV
“Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”

The enemy will shift your thinking against them and use you to sift them as a tool in the hand of Satan. God forbid that you do not yield yourself to that situation because there is sure punishment for those who follow satan and all his evil devices.

God will back up His authority, His chosen ones, that He has placed over the Body of Christ in the spiritual realm. Paul says Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil.—Most probably, the same Alexander, mentioned in the First Epistle (1 Timothy 1:20) “as delivered to Satan”It has been suggested that this Alexander, an influential Ephesian Jew, had done much injury to the cause of the Christians generally, and to St. Paul personally, with the imperial authorities at Rome. Paul surrendered this man to the Lord's Judgement; He says the Lord shall reward him according to his works. 

Spiritual Authority and Demonstration of Gods Power: 2 Corinthians 13:10 NIV
“This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority—the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.”
God gives them Divine Authority for building up of the Body of Christ.

since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him in our dealing with you.

2 Corinthians 13:3-4, 10 NIV
“since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him in our dealing with you.

Paul governed Corinthian Church and Many other churches from remote spiritually.  God would show Paul the Spiritual Condition of the Church and make him write letters to them.  The church there would read them and follow His instructions.

Traveling Function:
Like a pastor or a teacher of the church, an Apostolic function is not tied to a place.  He/She would go wherever and whenever the Lord sends him or her.  Apostle mean "Sent." God would send them to different places to execute His Divine Assignments. The key to this is they can hear from God directly.  They get instructions from God and they execute it.

Jesus told His disciples who were well-trained under His direct leadership to travel to different nations and make them disciples like themselves. This commission is not given to newly born babies. A newly born Christian can lead another to a church congregation to hear from a mature Spiritual Pastor but he cannot himself teach another in an enthusiasm to bring people to Christ.  This action actually frustrates the recipient/hearer and they would not come to Christ.  As the new-born Christian grows in Christ, the Christ in him will lead automatically others to Christ.  

Matthew 28:18-20 NIV
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.””

Full of the Spirit:
Apostles are full of the Holy Spirit.  They move by the Spirit and with the Spirit.

Acts 13:1-2, 4 NIV
“Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.”

Acts 13: 9 NIV
Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said,

Apostles Can Marry:
Among the apostles of the Bible, Peter was married and Paul did not choose to marry. So it is not required that an Apostle must remain unmarried to carry out his or her spiritual calling and function.  No body can enforce this on anyone. God is the one who ordained marriage and Bible says it is Holy.  In the perfect Will of God, the relationship between the Bride and the Groom is Holy in the sight of God.

Apostolic Function - Not Gender Based:
John 20:16-18 NIV
“Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.”

Mary Magdalene was a disciple of Jesus and she was the first to see the Risen Christ. She received a direct message from the Lord to deliver to the Lord's other disciples.  She was an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ though much of her ministry is not recorded perhaps because of male-dominated  society. There is no male or female but all are one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:26-28 NIV
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

To be Continued.

Written by Shanta S. Daniel
[Copyright@ Permission is granted to duplicate this article in its entirety, but only without additions, alterations or omissions of any kind, including the author and ministry name at the end]

Follow Us