When God's Spirit River moves among us it is not in a vacuum. He understands who we are and how we will respond to His work in and through us. Once we are transfered our of the darkness and into the Kingdom of His Son (Jesus) the Messiah we should eagerly seek to grow in our relationship with God and discover what it is to be in Christ and in His Kingdom. It is because we do not do this nor do we who are mature and in leadership provide a path of discipleship for believers that many believers do not benefit from the fresh outpouring of God's Glory, Power and Mercy. They end up constantly partaking of the river of life, but never growing into mature, passionate disciples of Jesus.
We must focus on three areas that get us to the next level in His kingdom design for us.
1. Understanding the depth and width of the salvation Jesus our Messiah has purchased for us. Jesus the Christ is the key to the success of any fresh move of God.
2. Comprehending who we are becoming in Christ is also necessary if we are to fulfill Ephesians 4:13. Becoming mature unto the measure and stature of Christ.
3. Perceiving the King's leading is necessary if we are to get all we should be getting during a fresh move of the Kings River of life. There is a need to descern what is of God and what are the results of a man's or woman's will.
How do the following three pieces from Ephesians 4:11-13 work together to bring Christians into Maturity?
1. Preparing God's people for the works of service
2. Building up the people who are in the Body of Christ
3. Equipping to maturity believers through discipleship training, impartation and ministry opportunities.
1. Our first objective is to know what has done for us and who we are in Christ.
2. The final goal is to become who we are to be in Christ as mature believers and leaders.
If we are to accomplish these goals and objectives there are certain principle teachings we must grasp and put into action in our daily lives.
I. Motivational gifts. Romans 12:6-8
These steer us or move us in a certain direction as a rudder does a boat. The Human Body can signify the differing motivational or ministry giftings: These can be broken down into two parts: above the heart and below the heart
1. Administration Shoulders
2. Mouth Teacher
3. Eyes Perceiver/prophet
4. Exhorter Mouth
5. Heart Compassion
6. Hands Giver
7. Hand and Feet Server
II. Life Context the soil of our lives - we are molded by these exterior factors: Our personality is molded and shaped by these factors. This is then defined as our filtering system. It is made up of our Family Uniqueness, our Culture our Physical characteristics, our Education and our Socio-Economic context. We must also add to this the experiences of life as we move through it as a unique receptor and responder.
III. Manifestational Gifts I Corinthians 12-14 (after we are saved)
1. Made manifest through us by the Spirit and as the Spirit desires. These gifts are the result of the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer after they baptized in the Holy Spirit. This was a regular and expected experience for all New Testament believers after Pentecost. I Corinthians 12:1-28
1 Now concerning
spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not
want you to be unaware.
2 You know that when you were pagans, you were
led astray to the mute idols, however you were led.
3 Therefore I
make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus
is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except 1aby the Holy
4 Now there are
varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.
And there are
varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.
6 There are
varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all
7 But to each one
is given the manifestation of the Spirit for
the common good.
8 For to one is
given the word of wisdom through the
Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing
1by the one Spirit,
10 and to another
the effecting of miracles, and
to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another
various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.
11 But one and
the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to
each one individually just as He wills.
12 For even as the body is one and
yet has many members, and all the
members of the body, though they are many,
are one body, so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit we were all
baptized into one body, whether
Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and
we were all
made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one
member, but many.
15 If the foot
says, “Because I am not a hand, I am
not a part of the body,” it is not for this
reason any the less a part of
16 And if the ear
says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a
part of the body,” it is not for this
reason any the less a part of the
17 If the whole
body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If
the whole were hearing, where
would the sense of smell be?
18 But now
has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He
19 If they were
all one member, where would the body be?
But now there are many members, but one body.
21 And the eye
say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet,
have no need of you.”
22 On the
contrary, it is much truer that the
members of the body which seem to
be weaker are necessary;
23 and those
members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more
abundant honor, and our less
presentable members become much more
24 whereas our
more presentable members have no need of it.
But God has so composed the body,
giving more abundant honor to that member
25 so that there
may be no division in the body, but
that the members may have the
same care for one another.
26 And if one
member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored,
all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now you are
Christ’s body, and
individually members of it.
28 And God has
appointed in the
church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles,
then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of
New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update.
LaHabra, CA : The Lockman Foundation, 1995, S.
IV. The Key Elements needed for the Believer's growth.
A. Teaching or Doctrine: continually growing in our knowledge of Him and His Word.
B. Spiritual Disciplines: prayer, Bible reading and study, worship, fasting, memorizing scripture, journaling, giving, service to others and living as a witness of the Kings Mercy and power.
C. Nurture: Pastoring nurturing and care of flock or people of God.
D. Fellowship with or Connectedness with a local group of believers.
E. Experience: allowing believers to exercise giftings and live the Spirit filled life.
The Church needs all of the 5 Fold Ministries to grow successfully and fulfill its mission. Although the titles may be different the functions are needed for us to fulfill Ephesians 4:11-13. A brief description of each follows:
Apostles A Sent One; they started churches, raised-up leaders and passed on core beliefs. Prophets/Perceiver Spoke to the people of God about things to come and unfolded the heart of God for the people they spoke to.
Evangelist Proclaimed Christ publically to people. Peter was evangelist on the Day of Pentecost
Teachers taught, discipled and raises up the saints
Pastor leads the flock with nurture and teaching
There are two types of leaders.
a. Identified leaders lead by position
b. Unidentified leaders lead from midst of the people.
Note: We need to apply, the following process of gaining Spiritual Wisdom to any event, teaching, observation, revelation, vision or dream.
1. Revelation or Observation: The same process that works for revelation and observation is also used for dreams and visions. Seek God About the actuating event:
a. Pray for wisdom: Both to understand and apply the truth revealed.
b. Study the Word and research: Did this happen in or occur in another scripture
c. Meditate on: Process God's answer, think about it pray about it
d. Confirm: Speak to another mature Christian for conformation
2. Interpretation: Discover the meaning through the process of 1 through 4 above.
Wait on the Lord for His Wisdom and instructions for the delivery.
3. Application: The Impact that God desires.
In Due season=right timing, right weight. Our delivery must be Gods way! We must be wise when we sense the Holy Spirit at work that we are waiting on God's manifestation for specific details from God so that we don't filter everything through our own experiences. We must be careful how we execute what He reveals to us.
The Process for Maturing Saints, a summary.
(Growing from Salvation to Maturity)
1. Once we are born again we must discover the depth of Christ work in and for us.
2. Identification with Jesus or Understanding oneself in Christ.
3. Healing/Cleansing/Deliverance Process
4. Spiritual Disciplines of Christianity
5. Understanding our Life context.
6. Discover our Motivational Gifts.
7. Learn to operate in the Manifestational gifts.
The object is to build Christians into the Master's Image. We can understand, who we were created to be apart from sin and who we are to become in Christ included in three areas.
a. Spirit: Our New Nature in Christ is the resource of life to the Spirit, Soul and Body.
b. Soul: Mind, Emotions and Will,
c. Body: Flesh / physical. It is the working together of the Motivational gifts, our Life Context and the Maifestational Gifts along with the Working out of our New Nature as seen in the
first 3 chapters of Ephesians that make us who we are.
Artwork: Walking in the Light: http://www.majesticartworks.com/detail.aspx?ID=3961
This article is one of a series on the Kingdom of God and It's king