An Apostolic Understanding – Part Thirty-two

Let’s talk for a few days about the apostolic ministry that God is raising up around the world and in every nation…

Around the world God is making major changes in the ChurchThe way we view the Church
The way the Church functions
The work that the Church is involved in
The way that this work is carried out

These changes will not always be welcomed by everyone nor will everyone accept them as something God is doing. The changes, if embraced, will take the Church from being very pastoral and inwardly focused to being apostolic and prophetic and thus outward focused…Focused on winning the lost and not simply on caring for and ministering to the saved

These foundational changes in the way we see the Church and think about the work of the Church (ministry) will move us from maintenance to true ministry

From a Church viewpoint to a Kingdom viewpoint

We are in a season when the Holy Spirit is bringing changes that are of seismic proportions that will bring the Church back into line with the biblical model of the Church as seen throughout the New Testament …We will see the Church that Jesus is building as contrasted to the Church that man has built

Matthew 16:18 “…I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”

This apostolic model of the Church is founded upon a solid biblical base…

1 Corinthians 12:28 “And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.”

This is how God planned churches to be planted – and how they are to function. Starting the work with an apostle and with an apostle as the key leader. An apostle is the one who first comes into an area to plant the Gospel of the Kingdom. Apostles don’t plant church – they plant the Gospel like seeds in good soil. That apostle or other apostles will water the seed. God brings the increase

1 Corinthians 3:6 “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.”

This church then carries the DNA of an apostle and is a living organism. Jesus’ DNA as He is “…the apostle and high priest” Hebrews 3:1. And the DNA of the founding ‘minister’ who is an apostle. This church becomes apostolic in nature and in its life together

We have seen…pastors come in to an area and plant a church…These churches then carries the DNA of a pastor and functions pastorally. Usually very inwardly focused and members take care of each other. Not focused outwardly on the lost and expanding the Kingdom. A pastoral church can adapt and change and become an apostolic church. A pastoral church can grab hold of the current move of the Holy Spirit and enter into the fullness that God has planned for it. However, it must be done intentionally – does not just happen. It means major changes in all aspects of the life of that local church. It will release dynamic “life” within the congregation as the members fulfill God’s call on His Church.

We become the Church – no longer go to church. No longer come to an assembly to be taught – come to be equipped for ministry. Not interested in information for information’s sake. Now wanting to see transformation – life change.

After all, Jesus said: John 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

The changes are massive and dramatic – but exciting and dynamic

Matthew 19:26b “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

So, 1 Corinthians 12:28 “…first apostles…”

This is where Jesus started

Acts 1:2 “Jesus ascended into Heaven after giving instructions to the apostles he had chosen…”There were many other believers / disciples following Jesus at this time – but He chose to give instructions to His apostles … “first apostles…”

When Jesus wanted to start a Church, He began with apostles. These first apostles established the first church.

Acts 2:42 “They were devoting themselves to the apostles teaching”

Acts 2:43 “Miraculous signs were done by the apostles”

Acts 4:2 “The apostles were teaching the people”

Acts 4:33 “The apostles were continuing to testify”

More next time…