Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Life Principle

Read Romans, Ephesians and the rest of the epistles. God’s way is to put His life into each person who is born again. That life grows from within and transforms us. He calls each of us to a work and gives us gifts. He likens us to a body, connected to one another, flowing life to one another – no part is more important than the other. Man’s way is to create offices, hierarchies, and organizations. God’s way is to create functions and real life connections. We are not to have the office of a pastor but to function as one (if that is your gift) We are not to have the office of a teacher but function as one. God speaks in terms of functions, not offices – an evangelist, an elder, a deacon (one who serves others), being given to hospitality, visiting the sick, etc. These are things Christians do, not offices they hold. You don’t have to go to Bible School and Seminary. You just let the Lord flow through you and do it.

Church in Philadelphia

The Church in Philadelphia is very interesting. God doesn’t have anything bad to say about them but acknowledges their insignificance “you have a little power, and have kept my word and have not denied my name.” (Revelation 3:7-13) I believe the Church in Philadelphia represents those little groups of Christians who turned their back on the church establishment. This was started by some of the Brethren in the 19th century who left the organized church and the professional clergy system emphasizing for the first time since the early church the true priesthood of the believers – that all members are gifted and need to exercise those gifts. But like all true moves of God, even some of these assemblies became institutionalized and began to divide and go off in bizarre directions. We will come back to Philadelphia because I believe it still represents the remnant of simple believers who still gather in living rooms across the world to simply worship God and experience the simple life of the true church.