The Manifestation of the Spirit by D.M. Lloyd-Jones

“To Each One Is Given The Manifestation Of The Spirit For The Common Good” (1 Cor.12:7)

Food For Thought from D. M. Lloyd-Jones

There is also this whole question of the exercise of gifts in the church. I mentioned our ex-Exclusive Brethren this morning and I did so deliberately in order that it might focus our attention on this particular point. Here are men who have come out of their bondage but are bewildered and confused; they do not know what to do. They have certain major difficulties, one of which is the so-called “one-man ministry.” We have our views about that, but I feel the time has come for us to examine even questions such as these. It does not mean that you necessarily abandon that ministry, but it does focus attention on this: are we giving members of the church an adequate opportunity to exercise their gifts? Are our churches corresponding to the life of the New Testament church? Or is there too much concentration in the hands of ministers and clergy?

You say, “We provide opportunity for the gifts of others in week-night activities.” But I still ask, “Do we manifest the freedom of the New Testament church?”

In other words, this is another reason why we must come back and consider the whole doctrine of the nature of the church, and the marks of the church. By doing so we shall be solving, in detail, many of these particular points and problems which need to be reconsidered among us.

When one looks at the New Testament church and contrasts the church today, even our churches, with that church, one is appalled at the difference. In the New Testament one sees life and vigor and activity; one sees a living community, conscious of its glory and of its responsibility, with the whole church, as it were, an evangelistic force. The notion of people belonging to the church in order to come to sit down and fold their arms and listen, with just two or three doing everything, is quite foreign to the New Testament, and it seems to me it is foreign to what has always been the characteristic of the church in times of revival and reawakening….

We cannot just go on in the position we have inherited, which we inherited from mid- and post-Victorianism and Edwardianism. The machine is still running so many of these things, but is it running to any good purpose? It is for us to call a halt and to stop.

From Knowing the Times: Addresses Delivered on Various Occasions, 1942-1977,Banner of Truth Trust, 1989, pp. 195-196. Published in Searching Together by Jon Zens.

Breaking Free by Author Frank Viola

 

     Dear reader, do you wish to be set free from the laming influence of the institutional church? Do you want to be unleashed from the choke-hold of the performance-based clergy system? Are you tired of being a mute spectator in God’s house? Do you wish to become a full participant in a living expression of the Body of Christ?

     If you’re answer is yes, you have but one thing to do. Leave that ill-fated system! Unchain yourself from the mitres and staffs of the modern papists! Loose yourself from the current morass of institutional Christianity with its violations of the priesthood of all believers and the hegemony of unbiblical church officers! Carve out a new path for your spiritual life and walk out!

     But that’s only half the solution.

     You must then find an authentic body of believers that’s genuinely recovering the priesthood of all believers in their midst. Not in a doctrinal way. Not in theory. But in reality—and in practice.

     Such groups have, with much sweat and blood, set out to recover the primitive vision of the early church that has been lost by the organizational mandates of the modern religious system.

     In finding such a church will you know the joy (and earned sweat) of having the entire responsibility of church affairs rest on your shoulders. You will know the beauty of every-member functioning. You will also touch the depths of the awe-inspiring creativity that’s resident in the Bride of Christ.

     If you can’t find such a group of believers, then move where you can be part of one. If circumstances prevent this, then look for a proven, tested Christian worker who will plant such a church in your town.

Author Frank Viola’s New Book

Author Frank Viola has written 14 books since 2005. Several of the books are part of the ReChurch series where Viola sketches out a new paradigm for church.

Other titles treat Jesus studies and deeper Christian life themes.

Reimagining Church and Pagan Christianity, both released in 2008, are part of the ReChurch series.

From Eternity to Here and Jesus Manifesto are part of the Jesus studies series.

Revise Us Again and God’s Favorite Place on Earth are part of the deeper Christian life series.

Author Frank Viola’s “life work” as he calls it is the new book, God’s Favorite Place on Earth.

This book mixes fiction with non fiction. Viola usually writes non fiction, but the author wanted to add fiction to this new work.

The story is told from the perspective of Lazarus.

You can learn more at Amazon.com under Author Frank Viola.