Who is Building Your Church? (2)
A PERSON who is truly called by God may agree with the apostle Paul and say, “Woe to me if I preach not the gospel” (1 Cor. 9: 16). He will have a burning desire in his heart to testify about the Lord Jesus or to serve Him. If a person is not genuinely called by God, his works will one day give him out.
The Bible says it is the Spirit of Christ who makes overseers. I mean, He recruits apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists and teachers to work in God's kingdom. Again, the Holy Spirit is the One who comforts and helps us when we are down or discouraged. He is the great Helper.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you ANOTHER HELPER, to be with you forever…” (John 14: 16).
It is the same Spirit who is to teach us and direct us as to what to do and where to go.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, HE WILL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS… (John 14: 26).
God purposed that all Christians, particularly ministers should be led, guided or supervised by the Holy Spirit in building the Church of Christ. He is the main builder of the Church while the five-fold ministers are co-workers used as vessels.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH…” (John 16: 12- 13).
The Holy Spirit is the authority of the Church. He is to guide ministers. He is to show us what to do, where to go and what to say at a particular time. One major thing servants of Christ who wants to be led by the Spirit of God may have to do is to learn how to hear His voice.
We must know how God speaks to us. God may speak to us through dreams or visions. He also may speak to our hearts (spirits) or through His prophets. Most importantly, God may speak to us through His written Word as we are led to read, study, and meditate on it alertly, day and night.
Right from the day the Apostles were baptized in the Holy Spirit, they began witnessing Jesus Christ under the power of the Spirit. He was their authority, directing and showing them what to do and where to go.
The Holy Spirit is the Master builder of the church. He knows all things both in the present and in the future. The early Christian servant-leaders allowed the Holy Spirit to have His way in building the church. They recognized and related to the Holy Spirit as their Master. They knew Him as a person.
“But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart TO LIE TO THE HOLY SPIRIT and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?…But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to TEST THE HOLY SPIRIT OF THE LORD (Acts 5: 3, 9)?
In the above scripture, Peter showed the church members that the Holy Spirit was/is the Head and authority of the church. He showed that Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, did not tell a lie to and test the apostles, but their Master, the Holy Spirit. Peter knew that he was but a mere servant and needed not to take the credit.
Let us again look at what Stephen said to the Jews about the Holy Spirit, showing His supremacy in the church.
You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, YOU ALWAYS RESIST THE HOLY SPIRIT (Acts 7: 51).
Here, again, Stephen never said the people resisted him or any of the apostles or deacons. No! He said they resisted the Holy Spirit, who was speaking through him. He (Stephen) was just a vessel. That is why the Jews could not prevent the spread of the gospel even after stoning Stephen to death. Why could not they stop it? Because the Holy Spirit was/is the main Architect of the propagation of the gospel and the building of the church.
The Ethiopian Eunuch's encounter with Evangelist Philip also gives us another interesting illustration of how the early church related to the Spirit.
“He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. AND THE SPIRIT SAID TO PHILIP, “Go over and join this chariot…And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the lord carried Philip away…” (Acts 8: 29, 39).
Yes, the Holy Spirit is the authority of the church. We can clearly see from the above scripture that it was the Spirit who was using Philip, but not Philip using the Holy Spirit. It is what He says that must be gladly obeyed. Philip knew that he was a servant so he obeyed the instruction of his Master. The apostles were connected to Him and they could hear Him when He whispered or dropped any hint even about soul-winning.
FROM James Quansah, Kumasi
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