Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What A Joke - The Stones Are Fighting

throwing.stones by alefbetac                                                                          

In some places, and some people's minds, the gifts of the Spirit have replaced Jesus.  People desire the gifts more than the Christ who gives them.  Well, at least that's what their talk and their walk say.   I guess once the foundation has been laid we can ignore it.  Unfortunately I personally know some church people who were converted to the gifts but never to Christ and the life he lays out in the gospels. Imagine the transformation if we spent as much time talking about and meditating on - oh what that hecht, talking to - Jesus.

Another "joke" - the rampant competition that sets one gifting against another.  How are we supposed to be built up into one building when the stones are fighting?  This thinly disguised veil of self interest and spiritual pride captured many in the years after the great charismatic renewal.  Most remain imprisoned and turn their converts into twice the sons of hell than they have become.  Such is the power of pride and phariseeism.  Happens in every renewal movement. 

The spiritual gifts, according to Paul, exist to prepare us, individually and corporately, for the works of service that God has created in advance for us to do.  They are infrastructure builders.  On this point I agree with Ross Rhode in the excerpt from his article below.  I suggest you ponder his other thoughts as well:
In Eph. 2:19-20 we see this infrastructure metaphor touched on: Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
The role of both apostles and prophets is to work together to build the foundation of the Kingdom where the Kingdom has not yet reached.[1] Paul refers to this idea of the apostle as a foundation builder (see particularly Rom. 15:20; I Cor 3:10). But imagine a builder trying to build a foundation without the information from the Master Architect? That is where the prophets come in. They are especially gifted to listen for the voice of God and understand. They are so crucial to apostolic foundation laying that Paul actually has them working together in the foundation laying. That has been my experience in apostolic work. I may have good, strategic ideas; but without the prophetic I’m not sure if they are just my ideas or divine direction.
  • Have you ever wondered why those particular five gifts were mentioned in Eph. 4:11-12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ? 
  • Do the metaphors of foundations and infrastructure make sense to you? 
  • What is keeping us from having a movement of the Spirit? Could it be that Christendom has emphasized certain of these gifts, nearly ignored others, and doesn’t allow them to work together under the coordination of the Master Architect? 
  • What would the Western Church look like if it took these gifts as seriously as we see the Early Church taking them? 

[1] Or, like in the Western world where the Kingdom is in such bad repair that the Holy Spirit needs to start over or do a huge remodel.

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