Building on the Ruins of Religion: Part 5 of 5

shutterstock_112086005JESUS’ BODY WILL DO GREATER THINGS

Remember, Jesus didn’t come to make converts but ambassadors. He didn’t desire a Church of immature individuals, but rather a Church of matured saints, unified into one body, thinking and ministering with one mind and one accord those things that come from the body’s one head—Jesus. The statement in this section’s heading, “Jesus’ Body Will Do Greater Things,” may seem hard to believe, but it is exactly what Jesus said would happen when men and women mature and become active in the Church. In the next passages we will see where Jesus made this boast:

(PLEASE NOTE: any Bolds, UPPERCASES, Underlines, or [bracketed area comments] are added by me.)

John 14:11-20
(11)  Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
(12)  Verily, verily, I say unto you, HE THAT BELIEVETH ON METHE WORKS THAT I DO SHALL HE DO ALSO; and GREATER WORKS THAN THESE SHALL HE DO; because I go unto my Father.
(13)  And WHATSOEVER YE SHALL ASK IN MY NAME, THAT WILL I DO, THAT THE FATHER MAY BE GLORIFIED IN THE SON.
(14)  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
(15)  IF YE LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.
(16)  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that HE MAY ABIDE WITH YOU FOR EVER;
(17)  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for HE DWELLETH WITH YOU, AND SHALL BE IN YOU.
(18)  I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU.
(19)  Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
(20)  At that day ye shall know that I AM IN MY FATHER, AND YE IN ME, AND I IN YOU.

This area of scripture is loaded with meaning. Notice that Jesus said for them to believe Him for “the works” He was doing. He told the disciples of John the Baptist to tell John to do the same in the following passage:

Luke 7:22
(22)  Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and TELL JOHN WHAT THINGS YE HAVE SEEN AND HEARD; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.

These “WORKS” are ALL MINISTRY RELATED! The Bible says, “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.” (Luke 6:40SO THIS IS NOT SAYING THAT THE BELIEVERS WOULD BE GREATER THAN JESUS, BUT THAT THEY WOULD DO MAGNIFIED MORE THAN HE DID WITHIN THE AREAS OF MINISTRY THAT EAR MARKED HIM AS THE MESSIAH. Such action does not magnify a person, but rather it magnifies the reality that God is serving the diverse needs of the world through the involvement of matured ministers. Such participation is a testimony that gives hope to both the individuals ministering through the power of God’s Spirit, and to those to whom receives such ministry. The Message Bible translates John 14:19-20 this way:

John 14:19-20 MSG
(19)  In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but YOU’RE GOING TO SEE ME BECAUSE I AM ALIVE AND YOU’RE ABOUT TO COME ALIVE.
(20)  AT THAT MOMENT YOU WILL KNOW ABSOLUTELY THAT I’M IN MY FATHER, AND YOU’RE IN ME, AND I’M IN YOU.

This is it! This shows that when Jesus’ ministry becomes a part of who you are, at that moment you find true life! This is the intimacy wherewith a man or woman can be in union with Jesus, reaching out to another’s needs. The warmth of such a touch is not just human touching human, but more so human touching His God! From the next parable, Jesus shows this is His feelings as well:

Matthew 25:37-40
(37)  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
(38)  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
(39)  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
(40)  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, INASMUCH AS YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE MY BRETHREN, YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ME.

How can a believer do greater things than Jesus Himself did? To understand this, simply answer the following question: How can one man generate more than he is physically or spiritually capable of producing? Answer: by duplicating his efforts through others. By declaring that His body would do more than He, Jesus was showing that instead of one Jesus walking around ministering to the various needs of this world, through His body, He would be able to minister to these same needs on an even greater scale. He does this by operating the Gifts and Fruits of His Spirit through His Body of believers.

Both the Gifts and Fruit of God’s Spirit are ministry tools. (See 1 Corinthians 12:7-10 for Gifts, and Galatians 5:18-24 for Fruit) But before a believer can operate these properly, they must first mature themselves to their level of operation. Only ministers who are matured to such usage will understand, through the prodding of God’s Spirit, how and when to properly utilize these supernatural gifts and fruits. Again, such ministry is God operating through man, not man becoming a god. As a disciple functions in their ministry’s calling, through the Spirit of Jesus, he is not growing greater than his master, but through the headship of Jesus leading and empowering him, he is ministering “as his master.”

IN CONCLUSION

People are tired of church. They want something living and real. Not a plastic cross and an automatic offering plate, but an experience with a living God! A minister’s job is not to build an auditorium, but to build a people; he is not called to promote his own ministry, but to train and facilitate the ministries of others; his first priority is not his own welfare, but instead he is to prefer his brother and help him achieve spiritual success in his lifetime.

If we ignore the call to build beyond these ruins of religion, we will be turning a blind eye to those dying or already dead on our pews. This means church goals cannot be set simply to make the pastor’s job better, but instead these goals should reflect the best way to serve those hungry for a relationship with Jesus.

 

We do not need another revival or a new program for outreach. The machinery needed to build the true Church of Jesus Christ is already in place. New souls are naturally birthed into the Kingdom of God when Jesus (the husband) and His matured Church (the bride) come together. This is Jesus’ biblical way of church growth. To make this biblical program a reality, help others to both mature in Christ and to discover their God-called ministries. Once this is achieved, open whatever doors can be opened to help facilitate their ministry in the Church and in their community. Jesus wants to do greater things, and He chooses to do so through His body, the Church.

 

Part 4 of 5

 

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