There isn’t much to argue about what defines a human being in Christ, and how marriage, family, community life etc. need to be administrated in Christ. There is indeed a lot to argue about how we need “to do church”, what language we must use from the pulpit, who is more gifted than who and which expression is the best in the Church. In my view, the Body of Christ is a global community founded on the life of Christ, her purpose is to express the humanity of Christ before a decaying world.
Month: April 2018
The Movement of the Body of Christ
From the perspective of heaven, there is only just One Movement taking place in the earth, it is the Movement of the Body of Christ towards the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13). This Movement transcends time, space, generations and gifts.
All revelation streams, truth emphases and kingdom initiatives are simply drops from heaven designed to fill up the cup of the Body of Christ. The cup, which is the Body, must always remain positionally bigger in our hearts than the drops themselves. The idea that we can be part of different “movements” suggests that the life of Christ is a menu with different options to choose from, and that we can pick whatever streams we like and leave whatever we feel we don’t like. This is far from biblical truth.
Equally, in our administration of whatever movement or stream we feel we are a part of, the fullness of the Body of Christ (and not of our movement) must remain our goal. The directional movement must be to fill up the Body and not a movement. We must allow God to pour us into the cup of the Body and not expect the cup to squeeze itself into our movement – this has to do with carrying the truths, revelation streams and impartations from God tempered with humility in our hearts, because we know that in the heart of God, the Body will always have ascendancy over a movement. As we journey with Christ in a particular revelation stream, we should therefore develop our identity not from a movement itself but from the Body of Christ, fully identifying with her in whatever state that she may be in (simply because we are in the Body and not just in a movement). In the same way that the leg cannot celebrate its muscles outside of the reality of the holistic health of the human body. At the same time, if we truly have passion for the fullness of the Body in Christ, then we should actively look out for impartations and streams falling from heaven and that are designed to fill up the Body that we are a part of, we should not simply lock ourselves in whatever spaces we are familiar with (gifts, revelation, expressions, denominations, networks, culture or even regions).
The heart of God is that all believers must touch the fullness of His life. We are all sharers and joint-heirs in the life of Christ (Rom. 8:17, 2 Pet. 1:4). The Movement of the Body of Christ is administrated through the principle of equity. Just as the Scripture declares to us, “… till we all reach unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man (ie. complete and fully mature life), to the measure of the stature of the fullness (ie. the full scale of the life) of Christ” (Eph. 4:13).
Celebrating the transcendent Movement of the Body of Christ
The Mystery of the Body of Christ
Do not reject that which the Lord has embraced, do not diminish that which the Lord has glorified. Do not treat as enemy that which the Lord regards as His. Do not treat as insignificant that which the Lord highly esteems. Do not punish that which the Lord has forgiven. Do not frown at that which the Lord has made to operate differently from you. And do not love that which violates the Nature and by extension the Body of Christ. You are in the Body, not on your own terms but on the terms of the Lord. It is the Lord who went to the Cross and not you. To be part of the Body is to reject your earthly narrative and the narrative of the people from which you came; it is to embrace (not the narrative of another race or people but) the narrative of Christ and His Cross (the narrative of forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation, righteousness, equity, and shared life) – it is to live in direct contradiction to the culture and worldview of your people, to bring to bear the culture and worldview of Christ. Our identification with the Body must be greater than our identification with our churches, networks & movements. If our churches & movements feel bigger than the Body in our hearts, then we are already walking in a subtle bondage and blindness. But in fact if we truly love the Body, then we must allow the Lord to add us to the community of saints in our localities. To claim to love the Body but disconnect ourselves from communities of faith is to live in contradiction to our conviction. Through our churches, we must give practical expression of the extent to which we esteem the bigger Body. For the love of the Body, we must be functional in our churches. We must serve our churches, movements and networks, not for their sake but because we are deeply in love with the Body. Since the Body is made up of redeemed humans (the saints), it is in our shared humanity in Christ that we identify with & embrace one another as brothers & sisters. We therefore must not relate on the basis of movements, networks, gifts and operations, but on the basis of the truth of our shared humanity in Christ – the beauty of #Kingdom_Humanity, which is in contradiction to the order of the humanity of the world. If we relate on the basis of the humanity we share in Christ, and not on the basis of gifts, movements, networks and operations, we soon realise that there are more soldiers of Christ in the battlefield of the world then we may have thought. Every saint and disciple of Christ holding the purity of the Lord in the midst of the hostility of the world is a functional soldier, worthy to be honored. The Body is so global, so trans-generational, so visible and yet invisible, formed but yet unformed (the Body is already brewing in the hearts of babies being born today) that no one sees the full picture of her current state, except the Lord Himself, who is the apostle and chief shepherd of the Body. The Body transcends time, nationalism, gifts and our mortality – people get born and die, gifts come and go but the Body lives, because the eternal God lives in the Body by His Spirit. Our gifts are as big as the spheres of kingdom purpose to which we have been called, but the Lord alone is responsible for the full sphere of the Body of Christ, and He has called an army of leaders – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, to fulfill what no one man can achieve. Just as the human body is bigger than its cells, so is the Body of Christ bigger than us (our gifts, churches, movements and networks). But just as cancer cells refuse to exist for the body but for themselves, and refuse to die so that the body may live, we have become cancerous to the Body of Christ when all we see is ourselves, our passions and operations, and not the bigger Body. To truly enjoy the Body, we must discover #the_theology_of_love, which transcends all revelation-knowledge, movements and ministry gifts. To truly be apostolic is to see Christ in the context of His Body not in the limited context of our churches and operations. The #Body of Christ is such a beautiful thing! The Body of Christ is transcendent and triumphant!
The beauty of the Body of Christ
The Body of Christ is a dynamic, evolving community; it is the expression of the life of Christ through a redeemed people of all generations. Its capacity is not determined simply by the saints or by ministry leaders but by the Head Himself, Christ – He is the One who fills everything. Every new conversion, new prophetic conviction, new church planting & new ministry partnership or initiative etc. all help to facilitate the evolution of the Body. We can’t look at the current construct of the Body to fully understand its next evolution, simply because we don’t know who is being converted or convicted where and for what purpose – to understand this we have to look at the Head Himself. The day the apostle Paul got converted changed the outlook of Church & brought resolution to its doctrinal & cultural challenges. Addition of new “spiritual cells” to the Body (in the form of truth, people, prophetic conviction, church planting & kingdom initiatives) changes the “spiritual anatomy” of the Church, empowering her to fight all existing pathologies and move to new apostolic capacities. The Head is at work and so the Body shall be redeemed! To doubt the ability of the Church & her eventual victory over Darkness is to doubt the ability of the Head, who is the Divine Power at work in the Church. This is the beauty and the mystery of the Body of Christ. #The_beauty_of_the_Body_of_Christ
Let not comfort and affluence defuse you
Church, let us be careful not to let comfort and affluence defuse us of our spiritual fervency and earnestness, especially in prayer. Remember that ultimately, our struggle in prayer is not against our mortal needs, it is to banish mortality completely so that we can be clothed with immortality. We are in a state of protest against the very system of mortality, even in its best conditions. Let not our ability to pay our bills interfere with our cry before the throne of grace, but equally, let not our inability to pay our bills interfere with our sight of our apostolic call, to stage a protest before the throne of God against a system of sin and lawlessness, and to call for the eventual end of time. I feel a cry from heaven for a church that carries the proper understanding of this prophetic, eschatological burden. The very creation is crying for the sons of God to manifest, how much more should we, His church, cry before His throne for the finalization of our adoption as sons. Ours is a protest (the Scriptures say we are in a “struggle together” – Phil. 1:27, Eph. 6:12) against a system into which our forefather Adam fell. We have to follow a new lineage of Jesus Christ, the second and Last Adam, whose Spirit cries for the ultimate union with His Bride. Like Joseph, we need to fix “Egypt” (this world) but also have a vision of the exodus. Joseph was dreaming of the exodus in a day of favour and comfort in Egypt. He gave instructions for his bones to be carried out of Egypt at the time of the exodus. Joseph teaches us that there is no level of favour, comfort, privilege or success within the system of this world that must defuse our kingdom mission, to stage a protest against mortality. We want to exit this system of time and fallenness. And like Daniel, we want to be deep within the structures of Babylon (the world) but stretching our hands towards Jerusalem as we cry for a better city – the Kingdom of God. And like Abraham, we want to enjoy mortal riches and wealth but be looking for a city whose builder is God. Mortality is human life in a state of crisis. We were not created for this order of life. We have to be the light in this darkness and do Kingdom works but with a clear vision that like “Egypt” and “Babylon”, this system of the world must and will be judged by our God. Our ultimate prophetic calling is not “to fix the world”, but it is to build an unshakable system of life that brings the standard of the Kingdom in the midst of the nations of the world (like Noah who built the Ark). We have to build systems of personal life, family, community, business and broader administration of human life etc. that facilitate the light of the Kingdom before the world. We are recieving a Kingdom (a system of life) that cannot be shaken. “Let not comfort and affluence defuse you” – these are the words I hear from heaven. Remember the spiritual position and condition from which fervent prayer and earnest faith must be offered – it is captured in the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8). Church is like a “widow” within the system of the world. As a “widow”, Church is positioned deliberately by God as a marginalized global community of faith, that depends solely on God for authority and power. We are the “foolish and weak things” of this world, but we are being used by God to shame the wise and the powerful. When church depends on its “political power” or social status and influence, then it has already prostituted itself and has sold its prophetic birthright for a “bowl of soup”. We have to pray from this “widow position”, understanding that we are truly the wretched of the earth, a people marginalized by a system of lawlessness – a system of anti-Christ. As a “spiritual widow” our cry before God is full of persistence and dependence on Him who can redeem us out of time. Our cry is not simply to fix the world – that would be seeking to fix a system that is rebellious against our Master. Our cry is to deliver into the world a different order of life, the Kingdom of God. Our cry carries a disapproval of World Humanity and the affirmation of Kingdom Humanity.