Putting the Body of Christ Back Together

February 3, 2012

How Bad Do You Want To Know The Truth?

 

This week I’ve been talking about the ministerial gifts of the Holy Spirit.  I am sure than many of you decided right off that this teaching did not pertain to you as you were not in the ministry.  But if you are part of the body of Christ you are in the ministry.

 

Christ’s body is a ministering body.  The mission of the body of Christ is one of ministry.  So if you have become part of that body, you are in the ministry.  Even if you do not consider yourself in a ministry, God does and has sent the Holy Spirit to equip each and every one of us.

 

On Wednesday I talked about gifts and that they were simply the result of grace.  If you have received grace, you have received the same force which results in the ministerial gifts.  I also encouraged you to open your heart and mind before the Holy Spirit and ask him with all sincerity to show you and teach you the truth.

 

This will in all probability cause you to lay down some doctrines you’ve been taught and pick up new truths from the Holy Spirit and that may be uncomfortable for you.

 

But let me ask you a question.  Are your doctoral beliefs more important to you that learning the truth from the Holy Spirit?  What if you opened your heart and the Holy Spirit taught you something new that went against what you had always been led to believe in your church?  Would you hunger earnestly for the things of God and be willing to walk away from what you always thought was true to take hold of what is really true?

 

I think that many won’t even open themselves up honestly and humbly before the Holy Spirit because they don’t want to know that they might be wrong.  They are comfortable believing they are right and ignoring the truth.

 

But in spiritual areas can we really afford to be wrong?  Can we really afford to hang on to old doctrinal beliefs just for the sake of our own comfort?  If Jesus himself were to stand before you today would you be able to look Him in the face and say that your comfort in spiritual things is more important than the truth?

 

I am thankful that I’ve always had an open mind.  I want to always be open to the Holy Spirit and should I need to change my thinking, I want to be at a place where I can accept that I’ve been wrong and be willing to accept the truth.

 

I have experienced this.  Over the past couple of years the Holy Spirit has torn down in me old doctrinal beliefs that I had clung to for years.  It has been a journey of awakening that has been indescribable and continues each and every day.

 

I will admit that there was a time when I had studied the bible so extensively for so many years that I really thought that there was nothing really new in there for me.  But I was wrong.  I reached a new point of hunger and as I opened myself up for new truths to the Holy Spirit, he was faithful to satiate that hunger.

 

Now I am asking you, are you willing to admit that there are areas you’ve been wrong in and be willing to open yourself up to the Holy Spirit to teach you his truth?

 

I want you to read this scripture:

 

Ephesians 4:11-16

11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 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. 14 As a result, 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 men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 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.

 

Also on Wednesday I talked about a common phrase that Christians have developed.  One is ‘that is my interpretation’, and another is, ‘that is not how I interpreted that’.  There is only one true interpretation and that is the interpretation of the Holy Spirit.

 

We’ve used those lines as excuses to reject teachings that may be true, but we are not willing to accept.  In the post GIGO I talked about how if we take in garbage, erroneous teachings, doctrine and beliefs then our lives will not have the output that bears abundant life.

 

Possessing different interpretations of the scriptures does not please God.  He wants unity and with so many ‘interpretations’ there will never be unity.  The only way that agreement will come is by submitting ourselves fully to the teaching of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis and asking him for his truth.

 

We must hold every thought or doctrine out in the open and allow the Holy Spirit to show it as truth or not and be willing to reject it and accept the truth in its place.

 

14 As a result, 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 men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;

 

Here Paul says that if we are carried about by every wind of doctrine we are children.  Now I can hear those of you out there adamantly stating that your church doctrine was not done in trickery of men or craftiness in deceitful scheming. 

 

But let me tell you this, if what you believe or your doctrine is not perfectly in line with what the Holy Spirit knows truth to be, then at some point the enemy has used a man to inject that false truth into the church and caused yet another division by tricking the saints, and this was not of God.

 

12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 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.

 

Here Paul is telling us that the five-fold ministry is for the building up of the church. Until we ALL attain the unity in faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to a MATURE man, to the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

 

It takes a mature man or woman to lay down their pride and say, ‘I just might be wrong and for the sake of the body I must know the truth.’

 

When I used to read this scripture I felt despair because there are more types of churches, doctrinal beliefs and ‘interpretations’ which have caused so many church splits, that the body of Christ is laying about disjointed at every turn.  I just could not understand how they could ever be brought together in unity.  It is a miracle that only the Holy Spirit can bring to pass.

 

We look at our own church, whatever it may be, and say we are the body and my place is this and your place is that and we are complete.  But God looks outside the church walls and sees us as a whole and we are not mature and in unity or agreement, and that is the goal that He seeks.  We must have that same goal.

 

The enemy has sought to divide us and interject doctrines at every turn.  Because this is the way that he most renders us useless and ineffective.  Can you just envision a church that finally put down petty disagreements and laid down old doctrines for the sake of unity?  Can you envision a global church where we had one purpose and that was to minister as the body of Christ was meant to minister?

 

United we cannot fail, but divided we will struggle to succeed.  Until we as individuals are willing to lay ourselves open and raw before the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse and restore us, we will remain divided and ineffective.

 

I want to continue on teaching about the ministerial gifts, but I will put that in another post, because should I continue that teaching here without allowing you the time to consider what I’ve said here and to have the time to get with the Lord, that teaching would render itself meaningless.

 

So let me ask you today, everyone of you.  Will you take the risk of honestly asking God to show you error in your thinking and in your doctrine?  Will you honestly be willing to take off the blinders and ask Him to open your eyes to the truth no matter what that is?  That will take bravery and humility but I am asking you today to join me in doing that. 

 

We ALL have some error in our thinking.  Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to unite us today.

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