In the previous message titled as “Spiritual Attack and Defend strategies”, I have dealt with the following verses according to Paul to the Colossae:
Col 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Looking at this in depth, we see the following aspects that he highlights:
- that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
- That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing,
- being fruitful in every good work,
- and increasing in the knowledge of God;
I feel the Lord is pressing it on my heart to explore this verse a little bit more, especially concerning His perfect will. We know that when we walk in His perfect will, you can not be anything else than to please Him, to be fruitful in every good work and also increasing in the knowledge of who God is and what His will for you would be.
BUT, the question now arises: What is the perfect will of God? Is it a general phrase or term, or is it something more specific? I would not dare to proclaim that the following insight is the only explanation for the will of God, but I am sure it would give us a pretty good picture of it. Rom 12:1-2; I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (KJV)
Paul writes and makes a clear distinction between:
- Acceptable ; and
- Perfect will of God
Strong’s Dictionary describes it as follows:
- Good = benefit, well
- Acceptable: = fully agreeable; well pleasing.
- Perfect ( tel’-i-os): = complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); completeness: – of full age, man, perfect.
- Will (thel’-ay-mah): = a determination (properly the thing), that is, (actively) choice (specifically purpose, decree; inclination: desire, pleasure, will.
The perfect will of God also includes “self-consecration”. To die in oneself and let Christ live in you! It is to be the reflection of God’s own perfection, to be spiritually mature in Christ , to become Christ-like (portray the characteristics of Jesus Christ through us).
- Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (KJV)
With all this in mind, we will explore the following scriptures according to Paul:
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
This is commonly known as the five-fold ministry, like the hand of a man.
- Pastors (Shepherds)
In these verses, we also see the perfect will of God. He would never expect you to do anything without empowering you and providing in all your needs. He sends His disciples (and us) to proclaim the Gospel to the lost, but He empowers us through His Spirit (Acts 1:8) and the Gospel (Rom 1:16). The Gospel is not useless information. It is a powerful tool – the power of God unto salvation.
God provides an authority structure (5-fold ministry) for the church:
- Each one with specific gifts and characteristics.
- With only ONE common goal and purpose; that is:
- To serve the members in the church
Paul also addresses this aspect to the Corinthians when he writes about the Spiritual gifts.
1Co 12:1 – 28; Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
It seemed that the Gentiles were easily led astray to dumb idols and Paul reminds them of the true spirit of God and the gifts of the Spirit.
What we need to see and understand from all this, is the following:
- Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
- And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
- And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
There is only one God, who is Spirit and became flesh to die for our sins on the cross and rose on the third day and in Him and through Him we exist and do we praise and worship Him alone. So, we have through the Spirit of God the nine gifts given unto man to be profitable for purposes of the Church – and not for personal benefits.
So why do we see and hear so many “prophets” prophesy to businessmen concerning their business decisions?
Where do we draw the line between prophesy and fortune telling and for personal gain?
From verse 7 up to 11, Paul mentions it 5-times that all these gifts are given through the “same Spirit”.
If the gifts are given by the same Spirit of God, why is there such division in the Church, the Body of Christ?
- Is this division the will of God? Absolutely not!
- Is everything that happens in churches all over the world the will of God? No, the church has been misled to “idols” and being infiltrated by gimmicks, show business and personal ego altars. The gifts have been made powerless in the hands of the members and the church has sunk to a position of “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (2Ti 3:5)
- Members break away from churches and start their own “ministries” because of a spirit of rebellion and due to a lack in leadership from the church leaders.
- Paul writes that we cannot all be leaders – it is God who calls and appoint someone as part of the 5-fold ministry. Someone still needs to be a member and if that is what God has called you for, then don’t try to be a leader. You will fail miserable.
Paul describes the church as one body with many members. In verse 13 he proclaims the following:
1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
We are baptized into ONE Body – the Body of Christ – and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. Once again, if the Church (leaders and members) is saturated with the same Spirit of God, how is it possible to have difference of opinion on crucial matters such as the doctrine of salvation? Is it that easy for leaders in the various churches to accept the doctrines/ Gospel that they preach are the truth and nothing but the truth? Is your “true salvation plan” not perhaps been created by man many years ago in board rooms and not according to the Word of God? Maybe it needs some checking out. But before you do that, make sure that you are saturated by the True Spirit of God and not by the “spirit” that is operational in a lot of churches these days. Be prepared to challenge every belief system and seek the truth from the Word of God through the guidance of His Spirit.
Maybe you think I am critical of things that’s happening in churches today. And you are right, we should be critical because I do not want to waste my time with anything else than the true spirit of God. The Church of Jesus Christ was born in the real fire of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2) and anything else comes from satan who is the deceiver of all men.
1Jn 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (ESV)
God has given us the gift of discernment to identify all the devious plans of satan and to walk in His perfect will. Unfortunately the church has lost her ability to discern between right and wrong and it has become so easy just to follow the “latest trend or revival” being portrayed as the “new move of God”! Don’t look for a church that preaches revival! It is temporary and will not last. Rather seek out the few who preach transformation because you need to be transformed by the Word and Spirit of God to be never the same again. There is still a lot to say on this subject.
Let’s go back to the scripture of Paul concerning the Body of Christ.
1Co 12:14 – 18
- He writes that the Body has many members
- Each one has a responsibility to perform its duty in the body and also has accountability towards the other members.
- No one member can decide to do what it pleases and no one is more important than the others.
In verse 18 he writes:
“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him”.
The establishment of the Church as the Body of Christ is and has been God’s perfect plan and will. It is His original plan and thought that He concluded with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ as well as the outpouring of His Spirit – empowering of the Church to do greater things.
In verse 27 he summarizes again: “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it”. And then he also writes to the Corinthians about the same authorization structure, such as the five-fold ministry but this time he also includes the gifts. He specifically mentions administrating / government (KJV) – meaning there is definitely a place in the Body of Christ for governing structures to oversee the proclamation of the Gospel in Spirit and in Truth.
Going back to the scripture in Ephesians again, we see that God:
- Has established the 5-fold ministry in the Church.
- He has given the nine spiritual gifts
- He has done everything to empower the leaders of the Church to lead the Body of Christ in truth and in Spirit
- And to do what?
Eph 4:12- 14; to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,The above verses refer to Spiritual maturity in Christ. Each member in the Body of Christ need to be equipped with the Word in Truth, until:
- we all attain to the unity of the faith
- Jesus prayed that they may all be one (John 17:21)
- Diversity but no division
- No compromises to the truth and the Word of God.
- and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
- Who Jesus Christ is according to scripture (KJV)
- Eph 3:1-21
- Isa 7:14 & 9:6 & 35:4-5; 43:10-11
- John 1:1- 14
- 1 Tim 3:16
- to mature manhood,
- Spiritual maturity
- Heb 5:12-14
- to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
- The Body of Christ in unity and working together
- The power and glory of God is evident in the Church
- Holiness and fruit of righteousness being revealed through the love of Jesus Christ.
- so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
- With discernment to identify the false prophets and their doctrines.
- To stand firm in faith and proclaim the true salvation plan and power of God.
This brings us to verse 16 (KJV):
- From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth,
- according to the effectual working in the measure of every part,
- maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
This is not only the responsibility of the leaders but also of each member because God gives the gifts to all and He is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34). The leaders need to empower their members to grow to maturity and to bear fruit in the Kingdom of God. But Paul stipulates “….the whole body fitly joined and compacted by that which every joint supplieth….” and “.. according to the effectual working in the measure of every part..”
Each member contributes a part in the growth of the Body, even if it is minute in proportion. That means you directly influence the growth of the Body of Christ (or local congregation where you attend) by your input or the lack of it. In what sense do we deprive the Body of Christ then if we withhold our:
- Time and dedication towards services and other projects?
- Obedience to the Word being preached regularly?
- Tithes and offerings?
- Testimonies and to invite other people to the congregation?
- Talents and gifts
- Responsibilities being allocated to you as being a member of your local congregation?
- Are you the loose shackle that would make the chain weak?
Paul concludes in verse 17 that we should not walk in the ways of the Gentiles (in the vanity of their mind) and in verse 23-24 he provides the right guidance:
- And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
- And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Don’t walk outside God perfect will. Seek His perfect will for you and follow His Word in Spirit and in Truth.
Have a blessed day – and provide your full measure of what you are supposed to, to your local church.
Please feel free to add other scriptures or your comments.