“And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues,” 1 Corinthians 12:28 (NKJV).
Nobody would have been left out. Each and every one, would have known their place. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers or workers of miracles?
Not every person has the gifts of healing, gives messages in tongues, or interprets. Was it not written, that whether one member suffer, all the other members suffer with it: or one member be honored, all the other members rejoice with it? How could anyone, have felt less than?
As we look around our land today, there’s a slogan that seems to have diminished lately. “United We Stand.”
Often times, when I saw this on a bumper sticker, or on the back glass of someone’s car, I could not but help thinking. Isn’t there another part to this slogan? Is it not, “Divided We Fall”?
The reality of division, has never before been so wide-spread. Just how long have we really been divided? How long have we all been fighting one another? How did it start?
I’m not talking politics. I want to talk about the Church. We all know, if we’re honest, that there has been so much envy and jealousy in our midsts. Denying it or ignoring it, won’t do any good.
Did we ever stop to think of why the apostles wrote so strongly against it? And it was not a problem in just one church. What caused all of this. If we were all fit, as they said we should be, why such a problem. It is a work of the flesh, and all of us humans are prone to allow it in us.
There’s a word in this particular passage, that I often wondered about. It’s that word “helps.”
Do any of us seriously think, that we could have been successful, without the help of others? For some reason, most of us thought that this was not a gift from the Spirit.
It is clear here, that there had to be some form of government. There had to be some kind of guide or plan to follow. There has to be some order to it. All of these functions, were to be spread out over the entire body. The hands, the eyes, the fingers; even the toes.
What about teachers? Can we perceive, what we as children would have learned, without teachers? Not only is that a special gift, it is also one of the parts of the five ministries that God put in the church.
What about the ushers, the counters of the offerings, the organists, pianists and choir directors? And what about those who paid the bills, kept up the insurance? What happened to all the deacons the apostle spoke about? And who was it that said, that they would rather be a “door-keeper” in the house of the LORD?
Jesus Christ is going to have a thriving church; one that is full of every calling and office that was put in it from the beginning.
Why is this relevant to this day today. One might say, how can that be. It will happen. Because His word says that He is going to take out of His Kingdom, everything and everyone who hinders what He paid for.
It’s not going to matter where the ministry takes place. There is going to be order; no matter what. But it will be God’s order; it will be directed and led, by the Holy Ghost. Not doing, what didn’t work.
If we still desire to be used of the Spirit in these days ahead, we are going to have to recognize all of the God-given ministries. We dare not be on our own mission; falling into error as so many have. This act of people setting up their own kingdoms, and using the name of Jesus Christ to do so, will end in some terrible reaping.
No matter what I may feel that God has called me to do, it will not work, unless all of the members of the Body, do their own God-called responsibility. It may take more tribulation, for us to finally get the message. Not united by men, but one in unity with the Holy Ghost.
~ Robert Blackburn