Saturday, November 06, 2010

Best Person for the Job

When I was a professional pastor, I was frustrated by people that expected me to be an expert every task that has done be done in the church. I soon realise that the body functions best, when every limb and joint is operating I its role. A leg is better at walking than a head. The mouth is better at talking then a foot.

The same principle applies in the Godhead. Jesus is not the best person to do everything that has be done. He was great at creation, when all things were made through him (John 1:3). He was great at earning salvation for humans, because he had bad been born in a human body, yet had not succumbed to the wiles of sin. However, he was not so good at many other tasks. That was why it was better that he went away, because then the Holy Spirit could come. The Holy Spirit would be able to do many things that Jesus could do.

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father (John 14:12).
It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you (John 16:7).
Jesus wanted the Holy Spirit to come, because there were many things that he could do better than Jesus could.

Most Christians believe that Jesus would be better at establishing the Kingdom than the Holy Spirit is. They believe that the Kingdom will not come fully, until Jesus returns. That is why they want him to return soon.

The truth is that Jesus is not capable of establishing the Kingdom of God. He is severely limited by taking on a human body, so he can only be in one place at a time. He could get the angels to destroy all existing human governments, but that would be dangerous, if nothing was ready to go in its place. Jesus would have to create a hierarchy of Christian rulers to establish order, by threatening to destroy any person who refused to obey Jesus commands. This would not be a particularly nice kingdom, because Jesus would simply be replacing one control system with another.

The Holy Spirit is better at building the Kingdom, and can build a better Kingdom than Jesus.
The Holy Spirit can convict the people of the world of guilt and sin. He can speak the truth to those who are convicted of sin, so they can believe (John 16:8,13). He has the power to give those who believe a new heart. Once people are born again, the Holy Spirit can lead them into the truth.
The Spirit of truth… will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears… the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you (John 16:13,15).
This means that a Christian can know God’s will by listening to the Holy Spirit. This makes a very different kingdom possible. No huge hierarchy is needed, because the Kingdom can come, by God’s will being done as every believer listens to the voice of the Spirit. This is much better than Jesus using the powers of the world to impose his will through hierarchical power.


Anonymous said...

If you don't already know of this piece by J. N. Darby, I am sure you would find it very confirming:

I quote:

"....The scripture indeed speaketh on this wise, "When he ascended up on high, he . . . gave gifts unto men . . . and he gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ": the beautifully ordered and united means by which the body is perfected and built up. but this is trampled under foot for a fancied succession which is denominated clergy, a body of men not appointed to offices in the church, but to the exclusive government of a geographic district. That is, the offices of the church, the legitimate channels for the exercise of the combined gifts by which Christ ministers to its edification and the perfecting of the saints, are thrown to the winds; so that even when the clergyman happens to be a godly man, the saints, if there be such in the place, are deprived of the ministration of their offices, by which Christ has provided for their edification, by virtue of the system which calls itself order, but the principle of which is to throw the appointment of even nominal pastors out of all order into the hands of secular men. The same individual must be pastor, evangelist, teacher, and every other office necessary for the perfecting of the saints and edifying the body of Christ, or the ministry must be crippled and maimed, and the results accordant. And this is the principle of the system. Christ has ordained certain gifts for the edifying of the saints; men have ordered the placing of certain persons, who may not even be Christians, in a given place, with the sole ordering of the church in that place. The argument then is brought to this point - either the system must assume the possession of every gift by all the individuals it pleases to appoint, and exclude all others from them, or it is proved that their system is at variance in principle with the right order of Christ's church. But they can assume no such thing, for the Spirit distributes to every man severally as He will......"

Phil Hayward
Lower Hutt

Blessed Economist said...

Thanks Phil