The Bible likens the Church of Jesus Christ to an assembly, a body, a family, a kingdom and an army.
Why so many metaphors? How can the Church of Christ be like five different things–at the same time???
In 2nd Corinthians 12:28 Paul gives the impression that there’s a “pecking order” in the Church…an idea the institutionalized church has jumped on and rode into the ground like a tired thoroughbred. But is the essence of the Church’s identity that simple?
The Church of Jesus is made up of sinners and sinners are lazy. We go for what “works” with the least effort spent, and continue with that solution for centuries even though the present circumstances may require something different.
That’s why Paul admonished us to “walk in the [Holy] Spirit [of GOD]” (Galatians 5:16). Walking in the Spirit is the same as WALKING WITH GOD (Micah 6:8). To walk with GOD one has to go where GOD goes, stop when GOD stops, and move how GOD moves. Sounds simple? It is IF YOUR EYES ARE ON GOD.
Walking in the Spirit means you’re never stuck in one calling or office. Take the Lord Jesus Himself, for example: As GOD’s Final Testimony to humanity, Jesus is considered the Apostle of our faith (Hebrews 3:1). Jesus spoke the Words of GOD (John 8:26) which made Him a Prophet. Jesus preached the Gospel, making him an Evangelist (Mark 1:14, 15). And it goes without saying that, by the testimonies of both his disciples and contemporaries, He was a Teacher without peer (Luke 4:22).
If Christ, Who was full of GOD’s Spirit, operated in all of these capacities, why shouldn’t His Body? Philip was ordained a deacon (Acts 6:1-6), but was known as “the evangelist” (Acts 21:8). Stephen, who was also a deacon, was a vehicle for miracles and operated in the Word of Wisdom (Act 6:8-10). Barnabas, though not numbered with the Twelve, was considered an apostle (Acts 14:14).
What am I saying?
I say that when the church folk lose sight of Christ, they are forced to resort to labels and structures and rules and regulations…loosing the dynamic of GOD’s Living Purpose in the present hour.
I say that it’s the Prime Directive of all church leaders (bishops, elders, pastors, deacons, etc.) to help EACH AND EVERY MEMBER of the congregation to WALK IN THE SPIRIT and to present him-/her-self a living vessel of Christ…to be used at His Divine Discretion.
Every member can operate in their own circle of influence as apostle, prophet, priest, pastor, teacher, evangelist, helper, and comforter…
“…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 fullness of Christ!” – the Apostle/Evangelist Paul, Ephesians 4:13.