Preached by Apostle Aje Pelser, Harvester Reformational Church Cape Town
3rd Dec 2017
Here are some spiritual formations that will help to cultivate your Christian Functions.
The formations of Gods Forces of Communion and Commission.
The inward pull of communion with God and the saints is a powerful vortex of love and acceptance. The times we spend together in fellowship cleanses us and creates the capacity we need to then go out again and spread that love and communion of God further afield.
The great commission to go and make disciples balances this inward force and communion and love, otherwise we would never concern ourselves with the lost. Those who just go and reach the lost while neglecting the fellowship of the saints tend to grow bitter and disillusioned by God has designed a wonderful church with formations and orbits around the central Christ Jesus that will keep us in motion until He comes!
When we centre our thinking around Jesus Christ, it becomes easier to operate in in mutual submission one to another, having the mind of Christ according to Philippians 2 allows us to esteem others higher than self in their area of expertise. When we think of how Jesus would accomplish a task in a department of church, the concepts of rest, meekness and humility as well as gentleness start to become the priorities. Seeking first His kingdom in each orbit – doing things with righteousness in mind, peace and joy in believing.
The Formation of Sending with Accountability
There are reasons why Luke could write the book of Acts. Paula and Barnabas were sent out in Acts 13 and a few chapters later they returned with a good report of all that God had done in new spheres of ministry. Sending a simple report might not seem important immediately, but it creates a roadmap of God’s move in a region.
Going without being sent is dangerous and lack of accountability has caused many ministers to suffer shipwreck in their faith. They need mentoring and someone to share their burden of ministry.
The Formation of Mutual Submission
Here the Trinity sets to the tone for mutual submission. Jesus does nothing except the Father shows Him. The Holy Spirit reminds us of what Jesus said. God the Father acts on his Word and uses His word to create as we read in John 1.
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Joh 5:19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
Joh 5:20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.
Joh 8:28 Then Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.
Joh 10:30 I and My Father are one."
Joh 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.
Joh 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
Joh 16:14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
Five Fold Ministry Formation
The Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers that Jesus gave as gifts to men, are put together in such a way that they compliment each other. Realizing how to draw from the different gifts and their grace will equip you to perform your function in Christ successfully.
Some functions are mentioned in Romans 12 and are worthy of further study and meditation:
Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Rom 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,
Rom 12:5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
Rom 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
Rom 12:7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
Rom 12:8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Of course there are more functions as the incomplete list reveals in 1 Corinthians 12:28:
1Co 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
1Co 12:28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?
1Co 12:30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
1Co 12:31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
Just a quick question: what is the best gift for someone?
The one they need!
The Formation of Jesus Christ at the Centre of Church
Eph 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
Eph 2:20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
Eph 2:21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
Eph 2:22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Formation of a New Thing
And this prophecy of Jeremiah – just a portion of the passage speaks volumes of the Church Jesus is building:
Jer 31:22 How long will you gad about, O you backsliding daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth— A woman shall encompass a man."
The church is the bride of Christ Rev 22, Eph. 5
As the Church orbits around Christ Jesus, God creates this new thing called Church – not a religious structure based on traditions of men – a new thing that Jesus spoke about when he told Peter, on this rock of revelation I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it – God renews that for every generation that has an ear to hear and an eye to see the spiritual formations that cultivate functions in the Body of Christ both locally and universally.