|We Need The Church|
When we think seriously of our individual relationship with Jesus, it might seem like this is such an individual walk that there is no need for the church. That is not the case in any way. The church is a vital part of the walk. We quickly come to the point where the Holy Spirit puts the church on our hearts. We can see the mighty opposition of all Satan's forces against the church.
If we follow in the way that the Holy Spirit leads, God will bring us into ever-increasing order and oneness--oneness with His own mind. As we come into unity with God's mind, we also come into unity with each other. The Spirit of Christ will lead us to holiness and to become set apart. The Greek Word For Church, Ekklesia, Literally Means Called Out of Summoned & Assembled with a Purpose. And the disorders in Jesus' church will fall away, disorders that have been introduced by human ideas. These human-generated disorders will be replaced by the orders of God, which are the orders of Scripture. Then, we will find that, just as the Bible says, the church is the very method by which we come into complete fulfillment and that the total fulfillment consists of the church coming into such unity that the entire church moves as one man. And it moves to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4
The devil, the world, and our sinful flesh are against God. God has set the church and the family order for a purpose. These two are essential to the establishment of the Kingdom of God. God is a God of order. Everything that He does is orderly. All that opposes the order of God comes from the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh. The devil, the world and our sinful flesh oppose God and hate everything that reflects His image.
It is actually the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh that have taken up a campaign against both the church and the family. They are trying through coercion, deception, and persuasion, to destroy the church and re-define the family. Both the church and the family are essential to fulfilling God's plan. There are two reasons for this. First, if we are listening to God's voice, if we are being led by the Spirit, we will be led to follow God's order. God is a God of order. This is part of the progression from righteousness to holiness and finally to redemption. Secondly, the church is the very method by which God intends to bring His work to completion. We cannot find fulfillment without the church. The family is the basic unit of the church. It is no wonder that the evil trio is working against the church and the family.
There is a beauty in submission to the Spirit of God. The devil, the world, and our sinful flesh want to throw off the chains of God. They do not want to do things God's way. They do not like the beauty of submission. In fact, they have taken up a successful campaign against the word, submission, so that even Christians think of it as a bad word. The church, the family, and our personal walk in the Spirit all depend on submission. There is no salvation without it. In fact, submission is the only thing that we can do. If we submit to the Spirit, then the Spirit can do His work through us. Our part in this work is submission.
Why does the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh work so hard to tear marriages apart? Because marriage reflects the beauty of the one who designed marriage. Yelling, screaming, fighting, physical abuse, disrespect, and disorder are examples of ways that the devil, the world, and the sinful flesh use to demolish the image of God in the family. God says that He hates divorce. He isn't saying he hates you if you are divorced. No. He loves you and every person. He hates divorce because divorce defaces the image of God that can be seen in marriage. Divorce destroys the image of God, which He stamped on the family. The devil, the world and our sinful flesh all hate that image of God. Changes to the Scriptural order of the family also try to destroy the image of God with which He stamped the family and the family structure.
We cannot re-define the family any more than we can redefine the church. When you redefine either one, you have an abomination. Why is that? Because God's order of the family and the church both bear the image and likeness of God. The design reflects the designer. The reason that sin is sin is that sin does not reflect the designer. Sin speaks of disunity. Righteousness, holiness, and redemption imply unity.
In the same way, the church, is created in the image of God. God has stamped His image on it. The devil, the world, and our sinful flesh all hate that image of God. Changes to the Scriptural order of the church destroy the image of God with which He stamped the church. All Christians ought to know this, yet worldly religious people are adding all types of creative little things to the church. People want to drag the church to conform to fleshly imaginations. God does not need our ideas. He has all the ideas we need. The devil the world, and our sinful flesh also edit out the parts of the Scriptural order that they don't like. They say that these parts of Scripture are less important or out of date, so they add to the Word or take away from the Word. The Scriptural orders reflect the very nature of God, but the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh hate the nature of God.
The church was redefined slowly long ago. The local order of the church was replaced by a one man ministry. The church service was changed to something that looks nothing like the meeting that is described in Scripture. The Holy Spirit was no longer allowed to rule over the meetings, and the Holy Spirit was not allowed to appoint those who would rule over the church. The universal church was changed to an order that is not in Scripture. Political processes took over, and the very essence of the gospel was eventually lost. Under the original disorder, the church went from the interdependence of the original church order to a dependency on a hierarchical structure. No one had a personal walk with the Lord any more.
For hundreds of years, God has been restoring order to the church. As God began to restore order, the church went from dependency under catholicism to independence under protestantism. Now, God is moving the church back toward interdependence and the orders of Scripture.
Just as Solomon's temple had to be built according to the pattern, and Moses' Tabernacle had to be built according to the pattern, so the church must be built according to the pattern that God has given. The church is built with living stones. When the house of God is built according to the pattern, then God's glory will fill His house. God's glory is already filling His house, but the world can't see it because it is a veiled glory. In the day of the unveiling, there will be an overcoming glory that shines from every direction. The concept of following the pattern of Scripture in the church has often been met with resistance. The church has become a place of money, power, and prestige, and the religious organizations and hierarchies resist the patterns of Scripture because all the little personal kingdoms would fall apart under God's pattern.
There are two reasons for the church following the orders of Scripture. One is that this is exactly where the Spirit of Christ leads. The Spirit of Christ does not lead into extra-biblical churchiness. The Spirit does not lead to a watered down religion that doesn't have the elements that we see in Scripture. The second reason is that the Church, the one that is described in Scripture, is the very means, the mechanism by which Christ will bring His Body into fullness and maturity.
Gossip, rationalized doctrine, lack of submission, infighting, spiritual abuse, disrespect, fleecing of the flock, power motivation, money motivation, prestige motivation, and extra-biblical disorder are all examples of ways that the devil, the world, and the sinful flesh use to demolish the image of God in the church. Disunity is one of the chief ways of discrediting and destroying the church. Satan's forces are fully aware of the fact that unity is an integral part of God's plan for salvation, and they know how to create disunity. Divisions in the church, even the fact that denominations exist, are a display of Satan's work. God hates disunity in the church. It is a mark of spiritual immaturity.
Last updated: Oct, 2011
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