THE CHURCH IN BALANCE
Using the bird to illustrate the point, we will show how it is important
to have BALANCE in the Church.
Read Ephesians 1:22-23
We have already seen that Jesus must be the head of the Church. He must
be Lord of our lives.
However the Lord knows that we are weak in faith and need to be led
by humans so He has made provision for this through the Ascension Ministries
within the Body.
Read Ephesians 4:11-16.
We have also seen in the previous study that Jesus raises up 5 Ministries
in the Church. Each has a different function within the Body.
The vast majority of Churches refuse to acknowledge any ministry other
than Pastor. This leads to an ill equipped Church, for these Ministries
are given for the "Equipping of the Saints". The Church has "cut off its
own nose to spite its face", little knowing how much richness it has lost
in the process.
Apostles - receives the revelation of the purposes
of God. From this revelation he can then build up the Churches.
Prophets - Speaks the Word of God.
Pastors - Watch out for God's people.
Teachers - Give us understanding.
Evangelists - Is the "Captain" of the army of
God (The Church), bring people to Jesus.
The Bible talks about there being gifts of the Spirit
and fruit of the Spirit. These need to be balanced
in the Church. If the bird is to fly properly it needs BOTH wings. If the
Body is to be an expression of Jesus it needs BOTH the fruit of the Spirit
and the Gifts of the Spirit.
Unfortunately many Churches tend to emphasise one above the other. This
leads to imbalance, which leads to deformity in the Church.
The Fruit of the Spirit is the character of Jesus expressed in every
member of His Body, while the Gifts of the Spirit are the power of Jesus
expressed in and through His Body.
Just as our bodies are given to us so that we may express ourselves
in the physical world, the Body of Christ is given to Jesus so that He
may express Himself in the physical world.
If we deny Jesus some part of Himself, then He can not fully express
Himself. He will not be complete. Can we imagine Jesus stripped of His
power or His character ? Then neither should His Body be so.
Things to watch for in the Church
We must be careful within the Body that the pure revelation of Jesus is
not polluted by the world. It is very easy to fall into error. We must
all be watchful and pray. Below are some areas in which I believe we must
be especially watchful:
Lack of emphasis on the Lordship of Jesus. As we have seen through this
study Jesus must be the Lord of the Church. If He is not then we are not
really a Church at all.
Lack of holiness within the Church. We are called to be a Holy people,
prepared for the work of reigning with Jesus in the Ages to come.
Lack of prayer. Prayer is the key to the Christian life. Without it we
loose contact with our Spiritual Head Jesus.
Things which excessively use up a person's time. If one person is doing
all the work then it means that the Body is not functioning properly. We
should all have something to do, but it should not totally consume all
Teaching which "interprets" the Word, rather than "states" it. The Bible
is written to be read by ordinary every day people like us. If we start
to need "special interpretation" from a select group of people then we
have become like the Church of the Dark Ages. Pretty soon no one is reading
the Bible and everyone is relying on the "Church" for their interpretation
of the Bible.
Ministers becoming "task oriented" rather than "people oriented". Our whole
Christian walk is about being in a personal relationship with Jesus and
each other. If we are only interested in "The Program" then we have lost
Exchanging "order" in a service at the cost of genuine opportunity for
people to worship the Lord. As we have seen in the Body every part has
something to offer to the whole. If there is no opportunity for this when
the Body comes together then the Body will not grow.
Becoming "proud". We are not the only Church the Lord is working with.
God is much bigger than any single Church Movement.
Development of a "ministry hierarchy". The scriptures are very clear concerning
this. We are all "able ministers of Christ". In fact it is only when the
Body is functioning as a whole that we can see all of Jesus revealed. No
one member of the Body is "more anointed" than the rest. We have all received
the same Spirit, but He shows Himself differently in each person.
Infiltration of Humanistic teaching. If we are exalting the ministry of
men above the ministry of Christ among us then we have strayed from the
Infiltration of a dominating attitude or person in the Church. He who desires
to be the greatest must be the servant of all.
Breakdown of relationships within the Church. This is a sure sign that
the Church is in deep trouble. When people are meeting with the Lord regularly
and receiving a blessing from Him it will generally show up in healthy
relationships among the people.
Lack of overall balance within the Church. We need the whole Body functioning
properly, not just parts of it.
In order for a bird to fly all thing must be in balance. It is the same
for the Church. If we are to grow into the Body of Christ we must be in
harmony with each other and with the Lord Himself.
We must also realize that the calling out and preparation of the Church
is absolutely vital to God's plans. If the Church is not prepared it will
not be ready for its true work during the Millennial
Kingdom. Paul saw that his work as to call out and prepare a special
people ready for the Lord's return (2 Corinthians
11:2, Ephesians 5:27, Collosians 1:22;28, Jude 24). Our mission must be
There is no room for compromise in this.