x480......Luke 4:18--Jesus/church--all the same ministry!

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, (Luke 4:18, KJV).

Jesus makes His simple and direct statement of ministry--His "mission statement". The purposes that the Father has sent Him to accomplish. He is spelling out exactly what He is going to do in His ministry. This statement is made by Him directly after He has received the Holy Spirit--after He has been baptized in the Spirit. Jesus' ministry began directly after He received the Spirit baptism--with these direct results.

Jesus brought the Gospel.

Jesus healed the sick

Jesus brought deliverance to those in need.

Jesus fed the poor

Jesus released others to do the same things that He did.

(note: the words translated in this verse as "to set at liberty" are the one Greek word "apostello"--It is obvious when one reads the Gospels that Jesus made apostles--many many apostles--if we are to study this words usage thoughout the Gospels. The real meaning of an "apostle" is a group of people who have been freely released to serve God fully--in the same anointing as Jesus Himself.)

Jesus stated what He would do--and then He carried out these statements exactly. Everything that Jesus did, could be categorized in one of these areas. Certainly He taugtht on many subjects--but the acts that He carried out, were all to be found in one of these areas. These are the areas that God the Father gave Him authority to operate in.

Jesus operated under Gods authority to teach the Gospel

Jesus operated under Gods authority to heal the sick

Jesus operated under Gods authority to cast out the devil (deliverance)

Jesus operated under Gods authority to release others to His same authority.

Jesus specifically DID NOT use His authority over other people--He specifically DID NOT use His authority over His followers--He said so Himself--

42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. 43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. 45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:42-45, KJV).

Jesus clearly states here that He came as a servant. He clearly states here that He DID NOT cometo be served by others--not to be exercise authority over others--not to exercise authority over His followers--but to serve--to "minister"--to lay down His life. Ministry is laying down ones life for others--it is NOT rulership or authority over others. Jesus came to release others to the same authority which He had--and part of the command of authority He gave was specifically NOT to exercise authority one over another amongst ourselves. Authority as demonstrated and commanded by Jesus was to be released to one another--NOT to be exercised over one another --as the world does.

Now, the Bible shows us that Jesus had followers. They are spoken of in the book of Acts of Apostles--as well as the other books of the Bible. They followed exactly the same pattern as Jesus did. They received the Holy Spirit--they were empowered by the Spirit of God--just as Jesus was. The empowerment of that same Spirit of God played out in them in exactly the same way as with Jesus.

The church which followed after Jesus as shown to us in the Bible:

Preached the Gospel

Healed for the sick

Cast out the devil

Fed the poor

Released others to do the same

Defining the "church" Biblically.....

The definition of "church" is "the body of Christ". The church, as defined by the Bible, is a group of believers, who worked together--each operating in their anointing--their gifts, empowered by the Holy Spirit--IN ORDER TO CARRY ON JESUS" MINISTRY IN THE EARTH. The "church" as the Bible defines it, is a group of Christians, who imitate Christ--who function and operate in the same way as Christ Himself. No one part ought to think more highly of itself than any other. All the parts have different functions--but all have ministry

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 church which followed after Jesus did exactly the same ministry as He did. They carried it on as He had instructed them--they lived it out exactly as He had done--but they did it all in groups--with the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit--with Christ as the Head of the church--and NOT any one person.

This is the example of what the "chruch" ought to function like and operate like. A group of people who gather together--are empowered by the Holy Spirit--and go about on a daily basis, working together--to carry on the ministry that Jesus demonstrated--teaching the Gospel--praying for the sick--bringing deliverance to those in need--feeding the poor--and releasing others to do the same.

This is what the church is supposed to look like. This is what the church which the Bible describes looked like. Does your church look like this?