John 17: 20-23
“I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their testimony, 17:21 that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. 17:22 The glory you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one – 17:23 I in them and you in me – that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.
God the Father want’s His Church- His children, Called out ones, to be one. No matter what organisation, church group, denominations we belong to, no matter what differences we have in our beliefs in various doctrine of the Bible (just as long its not contradicing the essential truths of the faiths) we all need to humble ourselves, love each other, be teachable, work with one another for the Kingdom of God as much as we can, depending on the leading of the Holy Spirit.
I remember once I was talking to a hindu man about God. He said to me something like this, “Your religion/church is like mine; you have many groups, denominations such as baptists, pentecostals etc… many churches with different names. So it is the same with Hindus- there are many groups within Hindu relgion and many different ‘churches’ within.”
Then it hit me, one stumbling block for the world to see the church as one is this: our denominations, groups, names, organisations.
No what came to my mind was rob rufus saying something last year at glory and grace in sydney in session no.1 and 2,
“this not really about Law and Grace, it’s about who controls the church: does the man control the church, or does the Holy Spirit control the church?”
and in Session 3 He really preaches against the control spirit.
It can be downloaded from City Church International website
Christianity is simple; it’s all about Jesus from beginning to end; Its about a Person- God Himself. A passionate pursuit of Him, relationship with Him. Let’s not complicate it with traditions of man and good ideas of man that have no biblical basis and no church history to back it up even though they sound ‘good’.
It’s good to study church history.
The early church never owned one church building until the 3rd century when pagan emperor constantine did it while there were pagan temples around. It was Roman emperor Constantine’s fault because He was a pagan worshipper as well as a so called “christian”.
The early church never owned one church building and yet turned the world upside down; they wouldn’t want to own a church building because the pagans had their temples, the Jews had their synagogue and temple, it would have only confused the gospel message if they had! and had not the Lord said, “My body is the temple”.
Put yourselves in their shoes and imagine for a moment:
The early disciples realised they were the building of Jesus; they grew up in a culture of ‘temples’, pagan shrines and temples, for them to realise that they were God’s temple, it immediately would have taken away the need to have a ‘temple’ where ‘God lives’. Having a building today in our day was not part of early church tradition and also it only confuses the unsaved.
They turned the world upside down without one church building; they met in homes, outside in public places, on the streets, by the river, wherever they could. Buildings weren’t a issue for them, this world is soon passing away and will be burnt with fire. (2 Peter 3:10-13), Jesus is coming back in their soon in their lifetime (the early church sincerely believed that Jesus was coming back in their lifetime. 1Thessalonians 4:13-18)
And yet the church of our day has all sorts of buildings and monuments and its powerless to change the world.
So what happens when a meeting in a house becomes too big? well they go into another home? what if there is no leader to lead it?
Well that’s exactly right! God will take care of it!
Man loose control of the church and God the Holy Spirit takes control!! it wasn’t a problem in Acts, they didn’t have that kind of thinking in place? ” do we have a leader? otherwise we can’t meet in a home?”
It says somewhere in Acts 4:4 that the number of men were 5000 people (not counting woman and children). But Acts 6:1-7 says appoint 7 deacons. so that is 7 deacons for 5000 people at least, not a very clever way to control the people beacuse that would mean about 700 for one deacon!!
That’s exactly right- man loose control of the church, the Holy Spirit takes control!
There is no need to have a ‘leader’ for every house group or home group meeting that takes place. there is no record of that in acts.
Church is not a ‘business’, church is a family. Whenever you have a business meeting supposed you have to have someone who directs it- (put all the seats in rows, dress up in nice clothing and listening to a message), but when family members get together, they can just enjoy each other’s company without worrying about ‘”who” is the leading the meeting?”
The church of God is the Family of God but sadly it is usually runned like a Business/
What about elders and deacons? Yes, it’s a biblical but they are birthed as God births it in his time, not our time. Not every church had elders and deacons in a same time frame I don’t think. The book of Galatians had no elders and deacons because Paul never mentioned any in his letter to the churches in Galatia.
1 Corinthians 16:19 Aquila and priscilla had a church in their house.
The key again is this: man loose control of the church, but the Holy Spirit takes control.
Who is building His Church? Who does it belong to?
Jesus is building His Church, not man. Matthew 16:18
There is a book about church history how pagan thinking crept into the church and created church traditions that have no biblical backing. He has a blog and I just got his book yesterday from Koorong bookshop in springwood, it has some good stuff.
I believe traditions and good ideas of men are ‘laws’ in themselves and enable men to control the church, but Grace releases men from traditions and allows the Holy Spirit to take control.
“But if you are lead by the Spirit, you are not under the law.“
Any laws mean- church tradition laws as well- anything that is not in the Word of God.
It’s only the Glory of God that will make us One (John 17:22), and it comes by the Holy Spirit, being lead by Him, not by human laws and traditions of man which is doctrine of demons.
Bless you hope this helps 🙂