“But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7).
The Lord wants all of His gifts working within the church in unity for the fulfillment of His purposes on earth. What are these gifts? “And He gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as pastors and teachers, for the 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. 4:11-13).
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills”
God has put a gift or talent in every person that the world will make room for.Myles Munroe
What then is a stagnant Church? Merriam Webster defines stagnant as: “not flowing, not active, changing, or progressing…” What causes a Church to become stagnant? Many people seeking a place of worship are looking for vibrancy, freshness, and life that comes from being Spirit filled and not man made. Today, many churches in a variety of settings nationwide find themselves stagnating or declining. It is not an issue of numbers and church growth, but spiritual growth among the members. What’s going on? What happens when a church stagnates? The same thing that happens to water; it becomes contaminated. To illustrate, let’s take a look at some characteristics of a stagnant pond: It has nothing flowing in or out; it becomes overgrown with algae; it becomes poison; it stinks; it is abandoned. Hmm! Something to think about!
What are some of the habits that may cause stagnation within a church? There may be various reasons why a church becomes stagnate: lack of revelation, absence of sound Biblical teaching resulting in a lack of spiritual growth among it’s members. In comparison, what are some characteristics of a running stream: It has fresh water flowing in and out; its clarity and its depth is obvious; it is life sustaining; it doesn’t stink; and it attracts others who are thirsty and hungry. For the people of God to be like a fresh running stream versus a stagnant pond, we must consistently absorb fresh revelation from God and then share it with others. Revelation opens up new realms of living, of possibility, of faith. It is impossible to live the Christian life without revelation of God. Another term used for revelation is revealed knowledge. The word “revelation” comes from the word “reveal.” Revelation is “something that is revealed. Scripture says ” Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is one who keeps the Law. (Prov. 29:18). In other word, “Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]—blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he” (AMPC)
Revelation is so essential in our lives that without it we perish. Prophetic revelation expands your capacity to see life from God’s perspective. Without seeing your present circumstances through God’s eyes, you will die spiritually. Revelation is extremely important in the life of a believer. Paul wrote to the Ephesian church—who seemed to have their act together, and experienced the greatest revival recorded in the New Testament—praying, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,” (Eph. 1:17-18). This is my prayer for the church today. Without revelation the church of Christ will not be able to fulfill Christ’s commands to go preach the gospel making disciples of all nations.
The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life without a purpose.”– Myles Munroe
Without revelation, the people go unrestrained, walking in circles, having no certain destiny. Not only that, without revelation people are tossed to and fro with every wind and doctrine. They chase after whatever sounds good and tickles the flesh.
The Bible says in the Book of Ephesians, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming (Eph. 4:11:14).
I am a firm believer that the Church (the body of Christ) will survive and even thrive if we do those things we are commanded to do, return to our first love…the testimony of Jesus Christ…to know Him and to make Him known, but it will look different than it does now.
May the grace, joy, and peace of God be yours through Jesus Christ our loving Lord. To Him be glory, now and forever.
Minister Dr. A. Francine Green
All Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.