“…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. ” Matthew 16:18
I prophetically sense God is preparing the body of Christ for the coming move of the Holy Spirit and reformation of the church.
These days, when we think about church, we usually picture a physical building, a pastor, a pulpit, a congregation, and a praise and worship team. A routine service of a few songs, a welcome message, announcements, a forty-five minute to an hour sermon, and a plea for an offering is the pattern of most churches.
This concept of church is very different than Christ’s plans to build His Church. Ekklesia in Greek is translated as “church” in English. We are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone,in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit (Eph. 2:19-22).
The teaching, impartation and instruction of godly leaders is essential for members of the Christ’s body to grow into maturity in their character and be conformed inwardly into to the image of Christ. The five-fold ministry ascension gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher were given to the church for the purpose of “equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:12-13).
I remember the Lord saying to me several years ago, “I want all of the gifts working in the church!” As we mature, the saints will be able to demonstrate the gospel of the Kingdom throughout the whole world, positioning ourselves to take part in a divine movement of restoration the Holy Spirit is bringing to the church.
Scripture says, “… we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of people, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love” (Eph. 4:14-16). When the individual parts of the body grow and mature each part will be able to supply something essential to the effective working of the church.
Jesus saves! is the “culture” so lost, so perverse, so beyond help that they cannot be salvaged by Christ love!
Note: All Scripture references are taken from the New American Standard (NASB) unless otherwise noted.