Thursday, April 18, 2013

Foundational apostles and prophets: What about the five-fold ministry? Part 4; Apostles continued

Eph 4:11-15  Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.  (12)  Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ.  (13)  This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.  (14)  Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.  (15)  Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church.
What does it mean to be more and more like Christ? The answer to this question is the Greek word for a special kind of love... God's love; AGAPE (pronounced ag-ah-pay.) I throw this in because so many people pronounce it (a-gop-ee,) and I just feel that if we throw a word around, we ought to properly pronounce it ;-) But, however you pronounce it, AGAPE is the key to real transformation.

AGAPE, is the love that God loves us with. It is the love that sent Jesus to the cross. It is the love that is responsible for God's unlimited grace and favor. It is the love that brings complete peace with God (Romans 5:1.) It is God's love for us that produces our love for God. It is a love, that when properly understood, becomes the offer you cannot refuse. It is the love that we must ultimately love one another with if we are to be obedient to Christ. It is the love that will help us fulfill the Shema (Deut 6:4-9 & 11:13-21 you should look them up if you have not.) It is the love spoken of in 1 Cor chapter 13. It is the love Jesus refers too when he says that by this love... AGAPE... all will recognize you as my disciples. It is the love that covers a multitude of sins. It is a love that will ultimately help one lay down ones life for his/her friends. It is the love that will never end.

This is the foundational apostle's job! It is to extol and promote AGAPE in the earth. That can only be accomplished by the clear presentation and proclamation of the pristine gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself not counting sin against the world. The foundational apostle is first and foremost an AMBASSADOR of the good news. The good news is that God wants a relationship with all and he has provided the means to that end. He had settled it before he created the world, and He performed it in linear time two thousand years ago on Calvary. This is a love producing news. It will bring about a transformation in people that will help establish the *love reformation* of the church. I first heard the term from Ted Haggard and the Lord recently quickened it to my spirit as I thought about the need for the five-fold ministry to continue to operate, especially the ministry of the foundational apostles and prophets. It is not important if or if not the term/name is used. One does not need to be called an apostle to hold the office of apostle and do the work of an apostle, nor does one need to have the title of prophet to hold the office of prophet and do the work of a prophet. Still, foundational apostles and prophets are sorely needed!

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