Have you guessed what the elephant in the room (or…church) is, as you’ve engaged with my first two blog posts?
Clue 1: Both drew on Ephesians 4.
Clue 2: Both described essential characteristics of the Ascension Church.
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Okay, let me spell it out, as Paul the Apostle endeavored to do for the saints who made up the Ephesian Church:
The exquisite characteristics of the Ascension Church Jesus mandated and blue-printed, are brought about by the Ascension Gifts that He gave to the Church which He is building.
Yes, indeed, besides motivational gifts (See Romans 12); charismatic gifts (See 1 Corinthians 12 to 14); and deacons (See Ministry of Helps in Acts 6:1-6); when He ascended, Jesus gave gifts to people (See Ephesians 4:8-11)!
Verse 11 states:
“And He gave some to be apostles (church-planters), and some to be prophets (inspired visionaries), and some to be evangelists (bearers of Good News), and some to be shepherds (pastors) and teachers.”
Each of these gifted people is the goose that lays the golden egg – in that they enthuse, edify, equip, and empower the saints (us) to do these marvelous works of service:
- discipling the saints into spiritual maturity
- performing the work of the ministry
- edifying the Body of Christ
- all coming into the unity of faith
- all coming into the knowledge of the Son of God
- a mature man reflecting Christ in the fullness of both His measure and stature
- no longer swayed by every wind of doctrine by crafty and cunning deceivers
- doing the truth in love
- growing up into Christ
- the whole Body of Christ fitly joined together
- the whole Body of Christ compacted by what each one of its joints supplies
- every part working effectually
- increasing the Body of Christ, through building itself up in love!
It’s quite simple really: no goose – no golden eggs.
No five-fold Ascension-gifted team – no exquisite manifestations of the matured and perfected Body and Bride of Christ!
The net result of almost 2000 years of building edifices, at cost of edifying believers, is the pastor-centered church you and I have become accustomed to.
Jesus is building His Church – the Ascension Church – equipped by Apostolic Teams; comprising some apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers.
Imagine it. Reimagine it. Realize it!