x279.....Promotion ?--within the church??
The Bible describes Christians as a body.
The Bible describes the "church"--the "body of Christ"--as having many parts--each of which has different functions in Gods plan---and in order for Christ to be the Head.
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us....." (romans 12: 3-6)
The description of the church in the Bible shows something unique. It clearly depicts a group of people--each of whom has his or her own function--anointing--work---gift--ministry. Each being directed by Christ--working together--under the guidance of the Holy Spirit--to do the work of God in the earth. to edify the church--to build the body of Christ--to add members by bringing in the lost---and by teaching and guiding those who are in the body. the gift is clearly recognized as being given by God "even unto the rebellious" (psalm 68:18)--to all people--But being now made useful to God through salvation--In the Bible when a person accepted Jesus as their savior--they immediately became His servant. Jesus as a pastor--as the only pastor described in the Bible--had one chief concern in his ministry---raise up apostles--to release people to serve God---to distribute His authority to other people.
He came not to rule, but to serve--
Mt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
In essence, the system described in the Bible is one of immediate and automatic acceptance of a persons abilities and gifts, and immediate use of these gifts. This is the way it happened in the times the Bible--and the people described in the times of the Bible spread the Gospel faster and more efficiently, under far greater persecution and resistance than we are today--(even with todays incredible ability to communicate instantly!).
But we are under 2,000 years of tradition. Tradition, which whether we realize it or not, has placed many of the worlds systems and ideas within our ideas of church operation. And one of these is the concept of "promotion" within the church. The world functions in a manner in which "only the strong survive"--in which those who work hardest are able to "fight their way to the top".
In the body of Christ described in the bible--there is no top but Christ!
It is disobedient to even think that some people are "over" others in the church!
This automatically describes a body out of balance--(to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; )--no one member should be "over" another in the body of Christ as the Bible describes it.
All our concepts of Christian leadership and "rule" are based an the flimsiest--out of context--half-scriptures--not on the fullness of Gods word. they go by our experience and what we call "common sense"--but rather is our own worldly experience---but that which works in the world is not meant to work in the church.
We go by the same system of "social acceptance" and the same rules of "promotion" that are in the world and in worldly business. Ephesians 4 clearly show the way that God wishes His church to be run--He clearly shows his "business plan for the church--
7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4: 7-16)
In fact these scriptures describe what we are speaking about in this Bible study. The gifts described here are the "business plan"--the "work of serving God"--the work of ministry--brought together by the effective working of every part-- It literally says that we must come away from individual doctrines--and rather all learn to serve God together--as a body--as a church--each with his or her own functioning power--each with his or her own gift and anointing. And it is clear that this is not "automatic"--it is not something that God is "working sovereignly": but rather something we must attain to and knowledgeably work toward--or we can became like children--weak and ineffective for God--wasting our gifts and anointing--if we do not use these gifts the way that the Bible describes, which is--all together--with Christ as the head. This is the maturity that we are intended to grow up into. All of us. It is the goal of the shepherding of Jesus with His disciples--its what happened at Pentecost--it's what the church of the later part of the bible had begun to fall away from.
(this in itself is interesting---if we assume that as we go along with our Christian walk we automatically become "more mature" then why is it that the very earliest church had the most victory--and as time went on we see more and more disobedience in the church?---the anointing is not something we learn--it is something we are given--it is a gift--to every one of us)
Yet in our churches the concept of "promotion" is firmly entrenched. The only single verse that ever describes a person having to be an experienced Chritian is in 1Timothy 3:6-- "Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil."---this is speaking of a person who is to be a leader within the church. But it is so important to note that there is no such qualification for the "deacons" (ministers)--
8 ¶ Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. (1Timothy 3:8-13)
It is clear that in order to serve God--to be a minister (a deacon--Greek "diakonos")--one can be a brand new Christian! do we really have this concept within our churches? Or do we follow after the worlds system of "promotion"--(and yes, this does include the pastoral annointing!!)
Do we not use the same worldly ideas of social promotion--promotion that is really by personality rather than anointing? In the world, the people who are the most aggressive usually become the leaders. the people who can project the correct image of what we think leadership ought to look like become the leaders. The people who are the quietest--or perhaps the most humble-- the people who do not dress properly--or have the right kind of personality--usually end up with the worst job--or stay in one place forever. Do we have this type of thinking and doing within our churches? Do we really understand and accept the fact that all of us have gifts and ministry with which we are meant to serve God? do we build from this concept in organizing our churches--or do we use the same attitudes that the world has--attitudes that come from our social structure--not from the Bible concept of the church.
We judge who should do what based on our opinions and ideas. Based on the outer person that we see with our eyes. Based on what leaders want in their church, their will. Often money plays a role. This is spiritual wickedness and filth, it is not obedient to the word, but to the world. It is corruption. Here are some other worldly things we base ministry promotion on...
Political things --Nepotism --Talent --Faithful attendance-- Faithful tithing --Seniority --
We never go straight to ephesians 4 and begin to seek out the bodies' gifts. If someone does not meet our earthly standards, we don't even consider it. If we did it Gods way, we would go straight for satans jugular. No wonder he has worked so hard to continue this corruption.