Friday, April 12, 2013

Equipping the Saints...

A Facebook friend of mine made a post a few years ago that I whole heartedly agree with.  He was kind enough to allow me to share it.  One of the statements he made was:

"One of the most distinguishing marks of a FALSE Prophet/Teacher/Preacher is that they preach to their listeners as if (((ALL ARE SOUNDLY SAVED)))! NO REBUKE, NO CORRECTION, NO CALL FOR REPENTANCE, just a NEW HOUSE, a NEW CAR, MORE BLE$$INGS, and even MORE REASONS NOT TO SUBMIT, why should they?" ~~Eduardo Ramos

I wanted to share this because it goes hand in hand with something I have been trying to share with others for several years.  Let me first say when you hear or read a teaching about Christ or how a Christian should live, etc., please make sure it lines up with the Word of God.  If the teaching does not line up with the WHOLE Word of God, then it is a false teaching or doctrine.

Second, let me say that what I believe false teachers have done inside our congregations is to prevent the functioning and the purpose of the five fold ministry from operating.

Ephesians 4:11 -

11 - And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 - for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
13 - till we all come to the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
14 - that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
15 - but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ -

The purpose of the five fold ministry is to:
  1. equip the saints for the work of the ministry
  2. edify the body of Christ
  3. bring into the unity of faith and knowledge
  4. mature us
The very first purpose of the five fold ministry is to equip the help make them ready to perform the work God is calling us to perform.  The final purpose of the five fold ministry is to mature us as followers of Christ.  We should not continue to want the "feel good gospel" as we did when we were first born again.  Our foundation in Him should be that He loves us.  He wants the best for us.  Eventually, we must move forward and begin learning how to crucify our flesh daily.  (1 Corinthians 15:31).  We must learn how to put down thoughts and imaginations and every thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.  We must learn how to be the light in a dark and dying world.

Let me also say that I am not trying to imply we do not need to evangelize a sinful world.  I am saying that we cannot do that if we are not first prepared to do so.  I do not believe that once we are saved, we are finished growing.  We still have a responsibility to seek His face and His kingdom so that we may stay on the narrow path and not be swayed to and fro like little the Word says in Ephesians.   

I do not see much edification in the body of Christ at this moment in time.  Many of the pastors that are teaching from the pulpit and many of the televangelists on television have helped to create a lot of cynicism about Christianity.  And they are creating Toy Soldiers.  Remember those little green army men?  They were in fixed positions and couldn't stand up straight on their tiny little platforms?  Your imagination had to be pretty vivid to play with those little soldiers.  But, isn't that what our pastors in our denominational churches are doing?  Creating toy soldiers that don't know how to fight or share the gospel of the Kingdom of God...

They are pushing their books, tapes, asking for money, etc. during every broadcast or sermon.  How are unbelievers supposed to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and grow to be mature Christians ready to fight the good fight of faith and use the weapons God has given in spiritual warfare with that example put before them?  How are baby Christians, once born again, supposed to grow into mature Christians without being taught the ways, the expectations, and the commandments of Christ?  How do Christians develop and grow the fruits of the Spirit without learning what they are and how to cultivate them?  How do Christians know to seek the Gifts of the Spirit if they are not taught about the gifts? 

The Body of Christ must take accountability and responsibility for its people.  We need to do that with the five fold ministry equipping the saints and making them ready for the work of the ministry.  Our older men and women in Christ need to teach our younger men and women in Christ how to grow and mature in the things of the Lord.  We cannot leave our baby Christians on their own after salvation just to get plucked back into the darkness.  Older women need to teach younger women. Older men need to teach younger men.  Our young generations do not believe those of us that are older have anything to offer to them.  Yet, we do.  Why are we remaining silent and leaving our soldiers behind?  

It is time for the Body of Christ to prepare herself for the Bridegroom.  The time is now.

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