X04.24.......... "Holding forth the word of life;"

 

Looking into a locked entry way of a local church one day, I saw a large picture of bygone pastors and leaders with their names beneath their pictures. In the very center of the men was the scripture Phil 2:16, ....

"......holding forth the word of life...."

What was wrong with this immediately hit my spirit. The church had depicted these founding fathers as the only ones, the select few, who had been holding forth and bringing the word of God to the people all this time. There are more than a few lies held therin.

First lie; there are only a few of us who are "holding forth the word of life". God intends for all of us to preach and teach the word in all the world. We have given this to only a few; and put them up on a pedestal, this is not biblical or Gods way of using the whole body to preach and fill the earth with His word.

In these verses in context; Paul is writing back to the newly established church that THEY are to continue his ministry and hold forth the word of life.

It is not something specifically directed at the leadership , and makes no specification that this is just for pastors in the bible. It is rather for the whole church to carry on the ministry. There is no mention of pastors here as the only ones to preach and teach.

Paul is releasing the church... not delegating authority or rule to a few.

This is the example that Jesus gave.. and if the apostles which followed Him were obedient, they did the same and released others, not create a system of authority or rule.
This is a prime example of how we have taken the word of God and collapsed its true meaniing and impact, into a small narrow place, that only a few of us can enter.
God is not that small, nor does He intend His church to be. It is the enemy of God who wants to siphen the power of the church down to nothing.

We have made the bible fit our experence since we already have an established idea of what the church is.

 

1 ¶ If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 ¶ Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14 ¶ Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Read your Bible.