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10 Redes hoekom jy in ‘n gemeente betrokke moet wees.

Hoekom is dit belangrik om aan ‘n kerk te behoort en gereeld kerk toe te gaan?

Dit is onmoontlik om as gelowige jou geloof in isolasie te beoefen.  Net soos isolasie van die gemeenskap lei tot eksentrieke gedrag en lewenstyl, lei kerkloosheid tot ‘n onvolkomenheid ten opsigte van die volheid wat Christus vir elke gelowige bestem het.  Ons as mense is sosiale wesens, ons het die sosiale interaksie nodig om volkome te groei as individu.  Ons het beide die negatiewe en positiewe interaksie nodig.  Ons ontwyk en vermy gewoonlik konflik en soek altyd net positiewe interaksie.  Maar die negatief is net so essensieel as die positief om volkome groei te bewerkstellig.

“There is no such thing as individual salvation” Nicolas Berdyaev

Die skeppingsdoel en ook die toppunt van ʼn gelowige se geestelike groei is om volkome gelykvormig te word aan die beeld van Jesus Christus.  (Rom 8:29) Daar is verskeie faktore en agente wat God gebruik om hierdie groei in ons lewe te bewerkstellig: As ons Efe 4:11-16 lees en bestudeer, dan sien ons presies hierdie groei en wasdom waarna ons op soek is.  “totdat ons almal kom tot die eenheid van die geloof en van die kennis van die Seun van God, tot ’n volwasse man, tot die mate van die volle grootte van Christus  sodat ons nie meer kinders sou wees nie wat soos golwe geslinger en heen en weer gedryf word deur elke wind van lering, deur die bedrieëry van die mense, deur sluheid om listiglik tot dwaling te bring”  Dis presies God se hart en droom vir ons! Wat is egter die werktuie waardeur God hierdie groei bewerkstellig?

1)Die vyf gawes wat God vir die Kerk gegee het. Apostel, Profeet, Evangelis, Herder, en Leerbaar.

2)Die lede van die liggaam. uit wie die hele liggaam—goed saamgevoeg en saamverbind deur die ondersteuning wat elke lid gee volgens die werking van elke afsonderlike deel in sy mate—die groei van die liggaam bevorder vir sy eie opbouing in liefde. Die liggaam het ‘n inherente vermoë om homself op te bou en mee te werk tot elke onderskeie lid se geestelike groei.

Gemeentes wat gebou is rondom hierdie vyf gawes se invloed en bediening is gebou op God se patroon en sal geestelik gesonde mense huisves.  Hierdie gemeentes moet sorg dat die gemeente genoegsaam blootstelling kry aan al hierdie vyf tipes bedieninge, maar die aktiwiteite in die gemeente moet ook hierdie bedieninge reflekteer.  Die aktiwiteite van elkeen van hierdie bedieninge sluit die volgende in:

Apostel: Sending, Kerkplanting, Gemeenskap opheffing en transformasie, Mentorskap.

Profeet: Lofprysing en aanbidding, die gawes van die Gees, Vas en Gebed.

Evangelis: Dissipelskap, Massabyeenkomste, genesingsdienste.

Leraar: Opleiding, Bybelskool, Seminare, Toerusting.

Herder: Huiskerke, Sosiale byeenkomste.

Om aan ʼn kerk te behoort en nie betrokke te wees by die meeste van die aktiwiteite nie, is soos om Gimnasium lidmaatskap te besit maar nooit te gaan oefen nie.  Dit is jou betrokkenheid en deelname aan die meeste van die aktiwiteite van ʼn gemeente wat optimale groei bewerkstellig.

Dit kan egter ook nie eindig by die bywoon van aktiwiteite nie.  Die tweede belangrike instrument wat God gebruik om groei in ons lewe te bewerkstellig is die liggaam self.  ʼn Mens bou nie verhouding met mense deur kerk aktiwiteite by te woon nie.  God se struktuur van groei is familie.  Wanneer die kerk die karakter van ʼn familie verloor, verloor ons die waarde en krag van Sy koninkryk.  God verduidelik Sy koninkryk aan ons in terme van familie, vader,  jongmense en kinders.  (1 John 2:12-14) Net so is die liggaam verbind met mekaar soos ʼn familie.  Inteendeel die gemeente waaraan jy behoort, word jou ware familie! Baie van ons wat tot bekering kom, voel nie meer so tuis en gemaklik rondom ons bloed familie nie, omdat ons hart in wese verander het.  Selfs Jesus het sy geestelike vriende en dissipels sy ware familie genoem, teenoor sy eie ma en broers.  (Mat 12:46-50)

Dit behels dat jy betrokke moet raak in mense se lewens, jy moet bereid wees om agter die maskers te kom, en sonder voorgee te leer om mekaar lief te hê.  Jy moet ook bereid wees om jouself bloot te lê, jouself te ontmasker en oop te maak.  Daar is ʼn wonderlike dinamika wat begin geld as mense wat die Here dien in mekaar se lewens betrokke raak: ons sien Christus in mekaar en dit spreek ons aan, baie keer meer as wat ʼn preek ooit sou kon doen.  Ons groei ook deur die groei in mekaar te erken.  Verhoudings is kompleks, en is nie altyd net positief nie.  Vir verhoudings om te verdiep, moet die verhouding verskeie toetse deurstaan.  Dit is juis soms hierdie negatiewe aspekte van verhoudings waarin ons die meeste kan groei.  Baie mense sien nie vir dit kans nie, en hardloop weg voordat die negatief omgedraai is in ʼn positief.  Konfrontasie en deursigtigheid, egtheid en eerlikheid is die agente wat ons deur hierdie negatiewe prosesse help en begelei tot Christus wasdom.

Die krag van die kerk lê in haar eenheid! (Joh 17:21) Maar ons gaan nooit ware eenwording belewe, sonder hierdie diepgaande worsteling met mekaar nie.  Terwyl ons alles op die oppervlak probeer hou, ons distansie hou, en selfs onsself probeer isoleer, is ware eenheid onmoontlik.

When Jesus Christ appeared to me in an open vision (my eyes were open) on the fifth of November 1997, He spoke to me about His Church. Within a few seconds He downloaded a wealth of understanding into my spirit man that would normally have taken hours to explain. It was as if my intelligence had been raised to another plane. Things were so simple; even that which I have struggled to understand about the church for many years – even growing up in a parsonage and being in the ministry for most of my life! I became so elated that I cried out: “If these things are so, Lord Jesus, then the church is your genius at work!”  Apostle Dr. Andre Pelser

God se ewige plan is Kerk:

“Maar as ek vertoef, dan kan jy weet hoe iemand hom moet gedra in die huis van God, wat die gemeente is van die lewende God, ’n pilaar en grondslag van die waarheid.” 1 Tim 3:15 Die kerk is dus die grondslag van die Waarheid wie Christus is.  Netsoos die Tempel in die OT sentraal gestaan het tot die Isrealiete se lewe, is die kerk sentraal tot ons lewe. Die volle verloop van ons lewe, van baba, opvoeding, werk, trou, kinders hê, hulle groot maak, tot ons oudag  is verweef in die kerk.  Die Ewige Kerk: Ons het gekom by die berg Sion en die stad van die lewende God, die hemelse Jerusalem en tienduisende engele, by die feestelike vergadering en die gemeente van eersgeborenes wat in die hemele opgeskrywe is, Heb 12:22-23

Ons kan nie Jesus wil hê sonder Sy liggaam nie

Jesus is lief vir Sy kerk, want Hy het sy lewe gegee om haar tot stand te bring, en haar te heilig as Sy bruid. Ons moet dus versigtig wees wanneer ons teen die kerk praat, haar kritiseer. Dit wat jy kritiseer is jy nie deel van nie. Jy kan nie die hand wat jou voed, kritiseer en skel nie.

Toe Paulus die kerk vervolg, sê Jesus; “Ek is Jesus wat jy vervolg” Acts 9:5

Jy kan nie die Hoofskap van Christus hê sonder Sy liggaam nie.  “En Hy het alle dinge onder sy voete onderwerp en Hom as Hoof bo alle dinge aan die gemeente gegee, 23 wat sy liggaam is, die volheid van Hom wat alles in almal vervul”. Eph 1:22-23

“soos Christus ook die gemeente liefgehad en Homself daarvoor oorgegee het” Eph 5:25; Acts 20:28

Uiteindelik is dit die somtotaal en roeping van elke gelowige, om deel uit te maak van die Ewige, Kerk.

Maar julle is ’n uitverkore geslag, ’n koninklike priesterdom, ’n heilige volk, ’n volk as eiendom verkry, om te verkondig die deugde van Hom wat julle uit die duisternis geroep het tot sy wonderbare lig,  julle wat vroeër geen volk was nie, maar nou die volk van God is; aan wie toe geen barmhartigheid bewys is nie, maar nou bewys is. 1 Pet 2:9

Die voordele van deelwees en betrokke wees in ‘n gemeente:

Soos ‘n liggaam wil almal dalk die oog wees. Maar as jy die spier is wat die kleintoontjie ondersteun, kan jy jou nie losmaak en net gaan behoort waar jy wil nie.  Daarom sê die skrif: “God het daagliks bygevoeg” (Acts 2:47) Ons lewende Stene, en God bepaal waar Hy ons inmessel in Sy kerk. (1 Pet 2:5)

  1. “Sonder goeie leiding stort ’n volk in duie; dit is veilig om baie raadgewers te hê.” (Prov) 11:14, Nuwe Lewende Vertaling) Daar is soveel beskerming om besluite te neem binne in ʼn liggaam, omdat mens so maklik jou eie hart kan mislei. (Jer 19:9) Twee is beter as een. (Eccl 4:9) Die diversiteit, en deursnee van ‘n kerk van jonk tot oud, is ‘n waardevolle skatkamer van Rykdom, wysheid en insig.
  2. Ons geveg teen die “principalities” in ʼn sekere gebied kan nooit as individue plaasvind nie, maar alleenlik deur ʼn liggaam van gelowiges. (Mat 16:18; Efe 3:10) dis die eeue oue beginsel dat 5 sal ʼn 100 vyande laat vlug, maar ʼn honderd man, sal tien duisend op die vlug sit. (Lev 26:8) Die akkurate kerk soos enige ander organisasie benodig ʼn kritiese massa van mense om werklik ʼn verskil in ʼn omgewing te maak.  Let wel dat ons nie hier van gemeentes praat wat ʼn duisend mens as skare trek nie, maar net ʼn honderd lidmate is medewerkers nie.  ‘n Akkurate gemeente, waar elke lidmaat sy rol en bediening verstaan en uitleef, is ʼn kragtige wapen in God se hand.
  3. Die versorging van mense in die Nuwe Testament is die kerk. “maar dat die lede gelyke sorg vir mekaar mag dra” (1 Cor 12:25) uit wie die hele liggaam—goed saamgevoeg en saamverbind deur die ondersteuning wat elke lid gee volgens die werking van elke afsonderlike deel in sy mate—die groei van die liggaam bevorder vir sy eie opbouing in liefde. (Eph 4:16) Dit is in hierdie kerk waar daar geen tekort was nie. Hoekom?  Omdat almal alles wat hulle besit het gedeel het met ander.  Weerhouding van om deel te wees van ʼn lokale liggaam, verswak die kerk se vermoë om werklik effektief in hierdie doel te wees.  Dit behels ook die aspek van jou bydraes aan die kerk.  Om God se werk en koninkryk te bevorder op globale skaal kos geld, die meeste kerke beleef dat maar net 20% van die lidmate hulle tiendes betaal.  Weereens verswak dit die kerk se vermoë om effektief te gee, te dien en te help! As almal maar net op die einde besluit om nie deel te wees van ʼn lokale liggaam nie, en hulle eie ding te doen rig ons uiteindelik skade aan ons eie geledere aan. Elkeen se betrokkenheid, selfs jou verskille met ʼn sekere kerk, is nodig vir groei.
  4. Daar vind ʼn spesiale ‘impartation’ plaas tydens ʼn Heilige Gees gedrewe diens wat op geen ander manier bekom kan word, as om daar te gewees het nie. “Ek begeer met my hele hart om julle te besoek. Ek wil vir julle ’n geestelike seëning (impart) bring om julle in julle geloof te versterk. ” (Romans 1:11, Nuwe Lewende Vertaling) Veral wanneer ons dienste beleef soos wat Paulus voorskryf aan die kerk in (1 Cor 14:26) “Wanneer julle bymekaar kom dan het elkeen…”  ʼn Mens kan die ‘impartation’ van ʼn sekere begaafde prediker deur DVD bekom, maar nie die ‘impartation’ van ʼn liggaam nie.
  5. Daar is in elke huis, ʼn sekere inherente bemagtiging en veiligheid asook ʼn spesiale genade gawe wat God aan ʼn spesifieke gemeente gee wat nie verkry kan word anders as om deel te wees van die gesin nie. Jy kan dienste besoek, maar die genade en goddelike vermoë kom deur deel te wees van die spesifieke gesin.  Ons het dit al so dikwels gesien hoe sekere mense ʼn mate van beskerming in die gemeente beleef, en wanneer hulle eendag die gemeente verlaat en hulleself afsny, dan val alles deurmekaar en uitmekaar in hulle lewens.  Om deel te wees van ʼn dinamiese gemeente, gee ook aan elke individu ʼn “sense of purpose”.  Jy voel jy bestaan nie net nie, jy is deel van ʼn plan, en die uitvoering van daardie plan en visie!
  6. Die vinnigste groei in my lewe het gekom deur korreksie. Ek is gementor.  “I have been discipled” So baie gelowiges kom tot bekering en leef maar net op hulle eie voort, waar hulle die preke en insette van hulle lewe kan kies van TBN waarna hulle wil luister, maar hulle is nog nooit deur ʼn geestelike Pa of Ma gementor en persoonlik gedissippel in die waarheid nie.  Hierdie is ʼn groot gebrek in die kerk en ook een van die redes hoekom so baie Christene vir jare in ʼn kerk sit en nog steeds nie wasdom bereik nie.  Weereens God se model is familie en gesinne.  Dis immers ook hoe die natuur werk, almal is in families gegroepeer en funksioneer binne ʼn spesifieke familie.  Ons het baie instrukteurs in die Gees maar nie baie Vaders nie.  (1 Cor 4:15) Die gevolg is ons het ʼn klomp kop-kennis wat nog nie deel geword het van ons waardesisteem en leefwyse nie.  Want ʼn Pa stap met jou ʼn pad, hy leer en korrigeer jou die heeltyd! Die belangrikste egter is dat ʼn Pa jou WYS hoe!  Mentorskap!
  7. Net satan wen as mense nie deel wil wees van ʼn gemeente nie. Daar is nie so iets soos ʼn perfekte gemeente nie.  Elke gemeente funksioneer soos ʼn betrokke gesin, en jy voel of inherent deel of nie.  Dit is daarom belangrik dat jy ʼn gemeente vind waar jy deel voel, gemaklik is en weet jy ʼn bydrae sal kan lewer.  Kry ʼn huis! Daarom is daar so baie kerke, almal met ʼn verkillende fokus en mandaat.  Hoor by God waar hy jou gestuur het.  Waar het God jou bygevoeg, want mens word nie net deel van ʼn gemeente en “join” ʼn kerk nie.  (Acts 2:47; 5:14; 11:24) “’n Mens wat hom eenkant hou, lewe net vir homself. Hy het ’n afkeer aan gesonde oordeel.” (Prov 18:1, Nuwe Lewende Vertaling) Die kerk kan nie die kultuur van die dag konfronteer sonder die invloed en momentum van gesamentlike gefokusde optrede nie.  Dit is die kollektiewe getal ware gelowiges wat werklik Jesus leef elke dag, wat ‘n gemeenskap/dorp/stad verander.  Dit is ons grootste wapen, en ook die rede hoekom satan so hard probeer om die kerk in diskrediet te bring.
  8. Self Jesus was onder gesag, en so moet ons ook elkeen ons onder gesag stel. (Efe 5:21) Hoekom die aanmoediging aan leiers om mooi en waardig om te sien na die mense onder hulle, as niemand meer gelei wil word nie? Ons moet hulle respekteer (1 Thessalonians 5:12–13), en eer (1 Timothy 5:17), en aan hulle gehoorsaam en onderdanig wees. (Hebrews 13:17) Die tydsgees van ons dag fokus op self, leef om lekker te voel, wil nie voorgesê word nie.  Selfs Jesus was tot die ouderdom van 30 aan aardse ouers gehoorsaam. Goeie leiers sal nie oor hulle mense heers nie.  (1 Pet 5:3) Jesus was ook hierin vir leiers ‘n voorbeeld.
  9. Om aan ‘n gemeente te behoort en betrokke te raak kos dat jy jouself sal verloën. Self-verloëning is nie maklik nie, of gemaklik nie, dit kos jou lewe, jou alles.  Ons is bang vir hierdie tipe ‘commitment’, ons weet die prys. Die waarheid is egter dat die opstanding na die dood by verre die prys en offer oortref. Die vreugde en tevredenheid van deelwees, versorg wees, liefde, omgee, oortref by verre die offer.  Die dinamika van gemeenskap het in wese ‘n ongeskrewe reël. Dit wat jy insit is wat jy uitkry. As jy liefde gee, omgee, help laste dra, ingestel is op ander, dien, help ondersteun, sal jy nooit kortkom aan dit wat jy weggegee het nie. Jou belegging is gemaak in ‘n ewige bankrekening, en as jy in nood is, en ontrekkings moet maak, sal jy vind daar is in oorvloed.  Mens kan nie die voordeel trek, deur ‘n TV prediker se dienste op Sondag te kyk nie. Jy moet iewers betrokke wees.
  10. Ware Kerk is die Genialiteit van God en is ‘n geestelike entiteit. Ons registreer kerke, vir fedusiêre aanspreeklikheid in terme van landswette, en finansiële aanspreeklikheid.  Maar dit maak nie ‘n kerk nie. Daar is ‘n geestelike konneksie en dinamika in eenheid wat die mensdom nie ken nie.  Dit is God se antwoord en voorsiening aan die mensdom. God se antwoord vir ‘n gebroke wêreld is ‘n kerk waar Jesus waaragtig regeer, teenwoordig is en deur die mense se lewens sigbaar word in ‘n lokaliteit.  Om hierdie geheimenisse te ontdek, en self te beleef moet jy deel wees van ‘n kerk.

 

 

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7 ways how you can make you relationships more spiritual.

I believe our deepest desire for oneness and intimacy in relationships can only be met on a spiritual level. Although there is much to explore and discover on an emotional, and psychological level, the most neglected connection is a spiritual one. Our Spiritual connection is also our eternal bond, the permanency we all seek in intimate relationships.
God is a relational God, as revealed in the mystery of the Trinity. We do not worship three Gods, but one God. Yet He is revealed to us in three different distinct persons, Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Oneness or unity originates from the Triune Godhead: Jesus said: “I and My Father are one!” The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, and therefore He is in unison with God the Father and God the Son. The most profound prayer in the Bible is the one where God the Son, speak and pray to God the Father. It is God speaking His desire to Himself, that we would be one with Him as He is one with the Father and the Spirit. (Joh 17:21b) Unity brings peace and tranquillity into a group. Unity draws the presence of God onto the scene. The blessings of God include protection and prosperity to all who are part of that unit. The Greek word ‘homothumadon’ means to be ‘one mouthed’. The Hebrew word for unity is ‘yachad’ and it refers to a unit or a commando group.
God created two pathways for us to attain the unity and oneness that exists in the Godhead: Marriage and Church.
Today we see various models of ‘church,’ both historical and modern. What seems to be very rare is a spiritual expression of “church,” a manifestation thereof that goes beyond the church member cards and orientation programs; the superficial get-to-know-one-another-better functions and large crowds gathering to attend various special programs. These activities and program have its benefits, but we seek a deeper connection. Remember, the church is a spiritual entity! God is a Spirit and wants to be worshipped in Spirit and in Truth. The church should be more than just activities, programs, and buildings.
The Spirituality of church ultimately means: How spiritual are the members? A simple biblical definition of Christian maturity is to grow into the likeness of the character and life of Jesus Christ. The spiritual maturity of church members is thus determined by how much they do and act like Jesus. The same applies to the two partners in a Marriage Covenant relationship. The oneness we seek in marriage can be obstructed when one partner is not saved. If both are saved, often they attend different churches, making spiritual union difficult and strained. It is thus imperative for a spiritual union to take place that couples attend the same church, both take the same Bible courses together, to remain in spiritual sync else the one can Spiritually outgrow the other.
God commands His blessings where brothers dwell together in unity. Ps 139. Unity is one of the most important keys to create an atmosphere where God reveals His manifest Presence. Like in the book of Acts, powerful things happened to the church when they were together in unity, of one mind, heart and soul.
Acts 1:14 Early apostolic gathering – continued with one accord
Acts 2:1 they were all with one accord in one place
Acts 2:46 continuing daily with one accord in the temple
Acts 4:32 those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.
Acts 5:12 they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch
Acts 8:6 and the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Phillip

UNITY/ONENESS IS A GIFT

Being made righteous in Christ, we are made one with Him. (Rom 7:4; Rom 9:1; 1 Cor 15:22; Eph 3:6, 12, 21; Col 2:6, 10, 11-1; Rev 1:9) According to Eph 4:1-4 We cannot create, or work for unity, we can only preserve the Unity we received as a gift in Christ Jesus. We never want the unity of man. Man build Babel to their own glory, and God had to divide their languages. In the church and marriage, we should always operate and work from this point of unity, the Unity that God gives. Doing this is a fundamental point to consider and understand, especially when one does not feel or experience unity with your partner or friend. We are already one. “What God has joined, let man not separate.” Mat 19:6 Practically it is constructive when we are in disagreement on something, to take one step back, begin in unity, and that what we agree on, before discussing the issue causing the conflict. We do not allow our emotions and carnal mind deceive us into believing we are separate, distant, and isolated. Adam & Eve believed this lie, which when they eat of the fruit, they will be like God. They already were made in His image, had communion and free fellowship with Him, they were already one. They did not have to do anything to become more one.

ONE MIND COMES THROUGH DEVOTING TOGETHER TO STUDY THE WORD.

Dr. Roy M. Gray taught in Miracle Valley, Arizona that unity cannot be created it can only be preserved. He explained that unity comes through the preaching of the Word. The saints are a band of God that is inwardly transformed by the Word of God. Only when the focus is on Christ and His Word, will unity become the standard in the spirit. Dr. André Pelser
The early church devoted themselves daily to Apostolic Doctrine. (Acts 2:42) The Word is a discerner, and when you study the Word prayerfully, it will transform you. (Heb 4:12; 1 Tim 3:16) In this instance doctrine is important to achieve spiritual oneness because one is taught to think right, that will lead to believing right, that leads to right-living. This right-living enforces the bond of unity, whereas when people live as they like, they are carnal minded not spirit-minded making oneness impossible. Unity means to be in one accord or to agree. (Amos 2:3) In the Book of Amos, the prophet asks: “how can two people walk together, except they are in agreement as one?” How can there be a spiritual union, if there is a doctrinal disagreement of beliefs? Study all these NT scriptures referring to being of one mind. (Rom 12:6; 14:5; 15:6; 2 Cor 13:11; Phil 2:2; 1 Pet 3:8)

WE EXIST FOR THE SAKE OF ONE ANOTHER, COLLECTIVE MIND.

Paul explains the dynamics of the church using the metaphor of a human body. Remember that in a body there are no dead parts, no passive, inactive members! No spectators. “The kingdom of God come not with observation” Luk 17:20 In a body, every part exists for the sake of the other parts. The human body is a magnificent collective genius of parts functioning as one! Spiritual unity is thus not achieved until you become more conscious of the other than of self. We are not to seek our interests, but the interests of others. (Phil 2:1-11) Moreover, in our pursuit of deepening our spiritual connection, we should become aware of another’s needs as the Spirit reveals it, not because these private needs were made known in usual ways. Spirit-led actions strengthen the bond of unity, building confidence not only in God’s love but in the other person’s sensitivity to hear and obey. (Phil 1:9)
If one member suffers, even slightly, the whole body suffers. (1 Cor 12:26) This verse reveals a collective consciousness. Doubtlessly everyone immediately feels the weight and pressure if one ‘part’ malfunctions. For the body to operate efficiently, each person in the group must serve! In the body of Christ, we have equal care for the house of God. (1 Cor 12:25) Each one serves according to his/her level of faith, expertise, internal natural gifting, and grace. This spiritual union is proof of how God intended His body to function supernaturally. Look at this beautiful poetry as Paul define the operation of a church as a body. “Speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Eph 4:14-16)

KNOW ANOTHER BY THE SPIRIT

For any deep relationship to develop, we need to know one another in the spirit. Judging people by their cover is a common problem in the world, but it ought not to be so in the True Church. When I grew up, our church had “get-to-know-one-another” events, usually after the Sunday evening service. I believe most people only came for the snacks and cake! Is it possible to get to know someone by casually chatting 10 minutes after the church service? Some suggest that you get to know a person by working with him or her; however, this is not altogether true either for many people portray a different persona in the workplace. Another suggestion is to undertake a hike or to experience a crisis together. There is truth in this, but does this mean that we all have to have some shared crisis before we get to know a person? Surely not! The way of the spirit is more accurate and also quicker! Jesus knew the heart of Nathaniel even before he had met him. (John 1:47) Similarly, the Lord revealed to Ananias not only the change in Saul (Paul) but also his destiny before he met him. (Acts 9:10) Jesus knew what was in the Pharisees’ hearts. Jesus knew the woman at the well in the spirit. (John 4) Imagine a church where people know each other in the spirit, where everyone knows their place and function, and naturally work together without complaining and strife because they do not feel threatened by one another.

FELLOWSHIP IN HIS SUFFERING

That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. (Philippians 3:10) The word ‘know’ at the beginning of this verse means to know firsthand, to have proof of, to be entirely sure. Paul’s desire is to know God personally and intimately. But, in the same sentence, he explains that this knowledge of God is to have fellowship in His sufferings – note the word sufferings is in the plural! There is nothing that binds people together more than facing trouble together. Paul goes a step further; we should conform to His death. This word, “summorphos”, means: to take on the same form and likeness of someone. We should, therefore, live in the same manner as Jesus did, because He gave His life in obedience to the Father. We should too, daily and in every circumstance be willing to deny self and surrender, yielding in obedience completely to Him. This attitude and lifestyle of every person in the group become the adhesive that unites us on a higher level. In serving one another, we lay down our lives for each other. Joh 15:13
The understanding of Spiritual fellowship also gives us a whole new perspective on our personal suffering. Like Paul, we know that our suffering is to the benefit of the body, and therein we fulfill the sufferings of Christ. (Col 1:24) For example, being publically corrected is humiliating. Nevertheless, by receiving it positively personal growth is established, and everyone learns.

DIVINE CONNECTIONS

In the discussion of the first principle, I have used biblical examples of how people were brought together, not by circumstance, but by Divine guidance, e.g. Ananias and Paul. Another example is Peter and Cornelius. (Acts 10) Phillip was divinely led to meet the servant of the court of Ethiopia. (Acts 8:26) A spiritual church is also a spiritually connected church! It even goes beyond this. In Paul’s letter to Philemon (with whom he has a good relationship), Paul asked Philemon to accept Onesimus, his former slave as a brother. His relationship with Philemon was the stepping stone to introduce Onesimus. This example provides us with a powerful insight into the spiritual mechanisms of the church. For instance: I call on my friend Johan in Cape town, asking if he knows someone in the printing industry… one of his friends owns such a business. By linking us, Johan acts as the catalyst and originator of a new relationship. Without knowing each other, Johan’s friend, and I begin our relationship on a deeper level, due to our common friend, Johan.
We need much integrity concerning this methodology. Looking in the spirit is the way that the Spirit helps us to interact and relate on multiple levels.

MAKING YOURSELF PRESENT ALTHOUGH NOT PHYSICALLY PRESENT.

Although Paul was not present in the flesh, he was present in the spirit. (Col 2:5) This means church goes beyond the parameters of meetings and address lists. This is not an excuse for not meeting or attending church services. However, it does imply that if I have revealed my heart and is in unity with a group, I can physically be far away and still be one with that group. On the other hand, if I take offense and become bitter towards the group, and thus choose not to attend any further meetings, I’m not only cut off physically but spiritually as well. A while ago Chantál attended a Conference in America and was away for 21 days. She shared her notes with me every day, and she could follow what was happening at home base via our Church app. We experienced a wonderful spiritual union during this time, by making an effort of being present in one another’s lives. In this way, people who cannot attend meetings regularly can stay present by following and keeping tabs on Social Media. The opposite is also true, some people live in the same house, but they are not present in each other’s life. They have already turned their hearts away from the other, and will eventually separate and divorce.
Becoming more and more spiritually one is a wonderful gift and provision God has made for us, as revealed through Jesus. He often said and declared His oneness with the Father. It was this union that gave Him the power, authority and right to do what He has done, while on earth. God wants our churches and marriages to experience this same spiritual union, so that the World can believe in the Son, whom He has sent. Joh 17:21