Username:

Password:

Fargot Password? / Help

Unity

0

One: Our Mission Unites Us

Date - Sunday, October 4th, 2015

The Body Church,

3015 Rainbow Dr,

Suite #142,

Building #3009,

Decatur, GA 30034

1 Corinthians 12:12(NLT) - The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Sundays

10:00 AM - Worship With Prayer

0

The Story of The Body Church: Part Two

Date - Sunday, September 27th, 2015

The Body Church,

3015 Rainbow Dr,

Suite #142,

Building #3009,

Decatur, GA 30034

1 Corinthians 12:12(NLT) - The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Sundays

10:00 AM - Worship With Prayer

0

The Story of The Body Church: Part One

Date - Sunday, September 20th, 2015

The Body Church,

3015 Rainbow Dr,

Suite #142,

Building #3009,

Decatur, GA 30034

1 Corinthians 12:12(NLT) - The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Sundays

10:00 AM - Worship With Prayer

0

One: The Power of Speaking The Same Language

Date - Sunday, August 9th, 2015

The Body Church

3015 Rainbow Dr,

Suite #142,

Building #3009,

Decatur, GA 30034

1 Corinthians 12:12(NLT) - The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Sundays

10:00 AM - Worship With Prayer

5

Why The Church Still Needs All of The Five-Fold Ministry Gifts

Why The Church Still Needs All of The Five-Fold Ministry Gifts

Ephesians 4:11-16(NLT) - Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

After The Resurrection when Jesus returned to heaven, He left His Church in the hands of a team of expert builders: Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Pastors and Evangelists. This team of people have been left with the following assignment;

1) Equip saints for ministry
2) Edify The Body
3) Facilitate unity
4) Bring an understanding of Jesus
5) Help people mature

This assignment is not complete until, "we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ." Are we there yet? If not, then the work of the five-fold ministry continues. Simply put, the five-fold ministry gifts are in place to equip, edify, unify, educate and help God's people mature. When Christian people are missing any of the above it's a sure sign that they're not properly connected to these ministry gifts and that's a problem.

1 Corinthians 12:28-30 (NLT) - Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, those who speak in unknown languages. Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not!

The Importance of the Pastor and Evangelist

Two of the most widely accepted roles within The Church are the pastor and evangelist. Few Christians deny their relevance in the Body of Christ and most would vigorously defend their viability. The word, pastor is mentioned in the Bible nine times and is used in the same capacity as the word, shepherd. Outside of Ephesians 4, all other references to pastor are in the Book of Jeremiah. Therefore, since the formation of The Church it was only mentioned once.

Jeremiah 3:15 - And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

So the job of the pastor is to feed the people of The Church with knowledge and understanding like a shepherd who takes care of a flock. Now the other ministry assignment that’s widely accepted is evangelist. This word is only mentioned three times in the Bible and all of these times are in the New Testament. This position is reserved for the preacher of the gospel. Therefore it only came into existence after Jesus Christ died to defeat sin on the cross and rose from the dead to defeat death.

2 Timothy 4:5 - But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Romans 10:14 - How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Since the word evangelist means preacher of the gospel any mention of the word preacher in the New Testament may be associated with evangelist. However, a distinction should exist because they come from two different Greek words. Nonetheless, to sweeten the statistics, the three times that the word preacher is mentioned in the New Testament will be combined with evangelist for a grand total of 6 times.

I would like you to pay close attention to the direction of this discussion because I am building a very strong argument. The pastoral assignment is mentioned nine times in the Bible with eight of those in one book of the Bible. The evangelistic assignment is mentioned six times and all in the New Testament. Nonetheless, please note that the entire Body of Christ should preach the gospel outside of The Church. However, the ministry assignment of the evangelist, as defined in Ephesians 4 is to preach the gospel to The Church or to others so that they can join The Church.

As mentioned earlier, their mission is to perfect the saints so that they can work the ministry and edify the Body of Christ. At this point let us have a short recap. It is clear that the pastor and the evangelist are listed among the main ministry gifts. However, they are not singled out on the wider list of spiritual gifts. They are called to minister to the Body of Christ and should always have that primary responsibility at the front of their minds.

The Importance of the Teacher

The word teacher comes from the Greek word, “didaskalos” and is described as an expert, master, doctor or instructor. It is mentioned thirteen times in the New Testament and twenty times in the entire Bible. There are very few masters among us. I thank God for the honor and privilege to sit under the ministry of one whenever I can.

James 3:1 - My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

Hebrews 5:12 - For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

These individuals have a special gift of wisdom and understanding of the Word of God. I respect them greatly and I am sure most of The Church agrees that they are rare gems whom we cherish. I like reading the books written by some of these teachers because of the understanding that I receive from them. Nonetheless, this is not an office you force yourself into. You have to be called by God, anointed and disciplined in your study of the Word of God to fill these big shoes.

The Importance of the Apostle

The word apostle comes from the Greek word, “apostolos” and is described as a delegate, an ambassador of the Gospel, an official commissioner of Christ, one with miraculous powers, a messenger and one who is sent by God. This office is very special and is mentioned eighty three times in the New Testament alone. It is a part of the five main ministry gifts assigned to leadership and must still be present in The Church if perfection is to be achieved according to Ephesians 4:11-13.

I know some apostles personally and I must acknowledge that these are some of the highest ranking ministers in the Body of Christ. I say that with confidence because Paul, in 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 put them first, before he mentioned the other two offices, prophets and teachers in the list of spiritual gifts. You don’t choose to be an apostle. You are chosen by God. The definition of the position includes one who is sent by God. Therefore, you don’t volunteer for that position. You can volunteer to watch cars in the parking lot! You can volunteer to be an usher! You can even volunteer to lead song service! However, God has to make you an apostle.

The Importance of the Prophet

The word prophesy in the New Testament comes from the Greek word, “propheteuo” and has the following meanings; to foretell events, speak under divine inspiration and exercise the prophetic office. The word prophet is mentioned one hundred and sixty three times in the New Testament and a total of four hundred and ninety times in the Bible. This is one of the most maligned words among conservative Christians but somehow seems to be given more emphasis in the Bible than pastor, evangelist and teacher combined.

Every main ministry gift listed in Ephesians 4:11-13 is important to The Church, so if one is missing The Church cannot be perfect. As a result, those who deny the relevance of prophecy rob themselves of an important aspect of God’s plan. In fact, just by the sheer magnitude of the emphasis placed on prophecy in the Bible, what conclusion should you draw? Do you see how many times the word prophet is used in the New Testament in stark contrast to any of the other ministry gifts and assignments?

I’ll make a simple analogy. The Church is the Body of Christ so all together we represent God on the earth. The leadership of The Church points it in the right direction. For the purpose of this discussion, let us refer to the leadership as the fingers on the Hand of God. Now let’s assume that the five main ministry gifts that constitute church leadership; apostle, prophet, teacher, pastor and evangelist are the five fingers of the Hand of God. What do you think happens when one of these assignments is removed?

You end up with a four fingered hand! Do you think a hand with four fingers can be as effective as one with five? I don’t think so. As a result, large sections of The Church have chosen to operate with four fingers and in fact, some operate with just three because they deny the role of The Apostle.

5

The Mystery of Divine Unity

The Mystery of Divine Unity

Today's blog is an excerpt from my book, The Mysterious Kingdom of Heaven.

John 17:20-23(NLT) - “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

Jesus prayed that all who believe in Him would be one, just as He and His Father are one. He then asked for all of us to experience the perfect unity He shared with His Father. Here is the problem. We think that means we have to all agree with each other. We think Jesus wanted us to agree on everything so we continue to frustrate ourselves in pursuit of this type of unity that continues to escape us. We think that if we talk things out among ourselves we can arrive at a consensus.

Maybe then, we can work together to represent Jesus on the earth. We really think we can do it so we’ll continue to try and continue to fail because we don’t understand what Jesus said. He didn’t expect us to negotiate with each other, compromise our standards, accommodate people’s opposing opinions or pretend to agree because that was not His definition of unity.

Yes, I agree that in Genesis 11, mankind was united during the construction of The Tower of Babel and God had to confound their languages to prevent them from accomplishing anything sinister. I agree that in Acts 2, on The Day of Pentecost, they were all in one accord in The Upper Room and received the promise of The Holy Spirit. Those are established facts that cannot be denied but there is something significant in these two illustrations that must not be overlooked. God destroyed the unity He observed in the Genesis 11 and embraced the unity in Acts 2. If unity among human beings was the goal, why were His responses so drastically different? Jesus didn’t want us to have unity among ourselves as a reflection of The Trinity. He wanted us to have unity with The Trinity. That is what He said in John 17:21-23.

He first defined His unity with The Father as them being in each other then He defined our unity as us being in them and He being in us. Nowhere, did He mention in His prayer a request for human unity. He knew that asking us to come together “as one” didn’t really make much sense because built into our humanity is a desire for independence. Even if we tried, we couldn’t do it. So He came up with the master plan that would revolutionize the concept of unity. Even though it is also His desire for this unity to manifest in our earthly relationships, nothing happens until each person is first unified with God. Therefore, first things must be placed first.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20(NLT) - Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

Now that I’ve laid the foundation, I can share with you what I introduced at the beginning of this chapter. The Holy Spirit exploded into my spirit His desire to be one with me. He didn’t want us to be separate. He didn’t want me to follow Him around. Even though it may sound pious, He didn’t want to direct me by signs on the outside. He wanted us to get so close to each other that I could no longer tell where I ended and He began. He wanted us to have the type of unity that Jesus prayed for His disciples and all those who would ever believe in Him. He wanted me to be in Him the same way He was in me. That’s the unity that would enable me to operate like Jesus because it would no longer be me performing miracles, it would be Him performing them through me.

Therefore, any attempt to imitate the unity of The Trinity among humanity is a complete waste of time. If God really wanted humans to unite with each other we would have been able to do it already. The Western Church has more denominations and divisions than many pagan religions. We can’t seem to agree on anything except the basics of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We argue about the age of the earth, the gifts of The Spirit, pre-destination versus free will, etc. The Church in the East may be a little better but also have their issues. Even under intense persecution, the Chinese house churches eventually started splitting among doctrinal lines. Therefore, I can comfortably state that if we continue our traditional approach to unity, Jesus Christ will return and we’ll still be divided.

Decoding the Mystery of Divine Unity

Colossians 3:1-4(NLT) - Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

If you are a Christian, your real life does not exist apart from Christ. Therefore, if your life contains anything that is not in Christ, it’s not real. As a Christian, you have not been living unless you’ve been living in Christ. He is your life! This declaration from The Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:1-4 should completely change your approach to this short period called “time.” In fact, this is the attitude that The Holy Spirit desires of us all as we accept the call of Jesus to Divine Unity.

We must become one with The Head before we can become one with the rest of The Body of Christ. If we desire to “keep it real” then our reality must be heavenly. Our existence as individual human beings separated from God came to an abrupt end when we died to this life and accepted the real life offered by Christ. Hence, Divine Unity is actually the only option available within true Christianity. When this is understood the concept of being “heavenly minded” enters a new dimension.

Acts 17:24-28(NLT) - “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

Real Christian life has no separation from God. In Him we live and move and exist! What a marvelous pronouncement of faith! God is not standing afar off leading us from the outside. He is no longer limited to a cloud, pillar of fire, The Ark of the Covenant or The Holiest of Holies in the temple. When He moves we move with Him. When He stops, we stop. It’s unnecessary for us to do anything for God. It’s worthless trying to work for God in our own strength. There is nothing we can offer Him that compares to His worth! However, He considers us worthy to be His expression on the earth. He wants us to desire Him so much that we offer our bodies for His use.

In Matthew 22:36-38, Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love The Lord with all of our hearts, souls and minds. He then stated in John 14:15 that if we love Him we will obey His commandments. When we make our lives all about Him, we’re proving our love for Him. He must dominate our thoughts and desires so much that no space is left for sin. David said in Psalm 119:11 that hiding the Word of God in our hearts enables us to manifest victory over sin. Isn’t that remarkable? The more we fill ourselves with God the less we’ll fall short of His lofty standards for our lives.

Romans 12:1-2(NLT) - And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

The Apostle Paul says in the King James Version of this scripture that giving God our bodies as a living sacrifice is our reasonable service. If giving God everything is reasonable what can we possibly do to impress Him? Once again, this is the Divine Unity that Jesus shared with The Father and desired for us all. This is one sacrifice we know God will accept. There is no need for you to wonder because God will accept you as you are. Paul confirms this position with the following quote from 2 Corinthians 5:16-17, “So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

In Romans 12:1-2, you can discover the elusive secret to clarifying the ambiguity of God’s Will for your life. You start by offering your body to Him as a form of worship. The next step is ensuring that you live by God’s Word instead of copying the behavior and customs of the world. Lastly, you have to let God transform your mind with His Word. The Book of John starts with, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” For this reason, if you want God to change your mindset, the light of His Word can do it. The scriptures are alive and can revitalize anything that is dead. Jesus said in John 6:63 that the spirit brings life and the words He speaks are spirit and they are life. Therefore, The Word of God is the perfect remedy for the shortcomings of all humanity.

2

Oneness With God

Oneness With God

Today's blog is an excerpt from my book, The Mysterious Kingdom Of Heaven.

Colossians 3:1-4(NLT) - Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

If you are a Christian, your real life does not exist apart from Christ. Therefore, if your life contains anything that is not in Christ, it’s not real. As a Christian, you have not been living unless you’ve been living in Christ. He is your life! This declaration from The Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:1-4 should completely change your approach to this short period called “time.” In fact, this is the attitude that The Holy Spirit desires of us all as we accept the call of Jesus to Divine Unity.

We must become one with The Head before we can become one with the rest of The Body of Christ. If we desire to “keep it real” then our reality must be heavenly. Our existence as individual human beings separated from God came to an abrupt end when we died to this life and accepted the real life offered by Christ. Hence, Divine Unity is actually the only option available within true Christianity. When this is understood the concept of being “heavenly minded” enters a new dimension.

Acts 17:24-28(NLT) - “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

Real Christian life has no separation from God. In Him we live and move and exist! What a marvelous pronouncement of faith! God is not standing afar off leading us from the outside. He is no longer limited to a cloud, pillar of fire, The Ark of the Covenant or The Holiest of Holies in the temple. When He moves we move with Him. When He stops, we stop. It’s unnecessary for us to do anything for God. It’s worthless trying to work for God in our own strength. There is nothing we can offer Him that compares to His worth! However, He considers us worthy to be His expression on the earth. He wants us to desire Him so much that we offer our bodies for His use.

In Matthew 22:36-38, Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love The Lord with all of our hearts, souls and minds. He then stated in John 14:15 that if we love Him we will obey His commandments. When we make our lives all about Him, we’re proving our love for Him. He must dominate our thoughts and desires so much that no space is left for sin. David said in Psalm 119:11 that hiding the Word of God in our hearts enables us to manifest victory over sin. Isn’t that remarkable? The more we fill ourselves with God the less we’ll fall short of His lofty standards for our lives.

Romans 12:1-2(NLT) - And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

The Apostle Paul says in the King James Version of this scripture that giving God our bodies as a living sacrifice is our reasonable service. If giving God everything is reasonable what can we possibly do to impress Him? Once again, this is the Divine Unity that Jesus shared with The Father and desired for us all. This is one sacrifice we know God will accept. There is no need for you to wonder because God will accept you as you are. Paul confirms this position with the following quote from 2 Corinthians 5:16-17, “So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

In Romans 12:1-2, you can discover the elusive secret to clarifying the ambiguity of God’s Will for your life. You start by offering your body to Him as a form of worship. The next step is ensuring that you live by God’s Word instead of copying the behavior and customs of the world. Lastly, you have to let God transform your mind with His Word. The Book of John starts with, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” For this reason, if you want God to change your mindset, the light of His Word can do it. The scriptures are alive and can revitalize anything that is dead. Jesus said in John 6:63 that the spirit brings life and the words He speaks are spirit and they are life. Therefore, The Word of God is the perfect remedy for the shortcomings of all humanity.

4
June 27, 2013 Posted by admin in Unity

Video Of The Month: Divine Unity

Genesis 11:1(KJV) - And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

Slider by webdesign