Christ would not build His church….though He was certainly a moving Force. Others would be instrumental in making the church a reality. We learn this through the reading of the book of Acts -- the “history book of the New Testament” (recommended reading for all church leaders).
Following three years of intense training, Jesus readied twelve men to be initial leaders in His early Church. These disciples, now also called apostles, were equipped for what lay ahead.
But they would not work alone. Jesus gave them this significant promise: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).
Spirit power -- this would be the timeless Force that would plant and promote Christ’s church. Human vessels would be used, but, ultimately, it would be the Spirit who would provide the words…and the courage -- to bring about the unstoppable church. Jesus had told these disciples: “…and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18b).
Historic hindsight reveals the truth of these words. Regardless of challenges, divisions, false teachings, etc.--Christ’s church has prevailed. The essential players remain the same.
The Holy Spirit will always be the central Force of the church. His strategy is to equip an army of disciples to continue the work done by those first apostles. These men and women need to be trained to be passionate “witnesses” of Jesus Christ.
Paul, the last chosen apostle, makes reference to one other “inner core” who have an instrumental role to play: “It was He [Christ] who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13).
Equipped workers, who are empowered by the Holy Spirit, will continue to be the ones who move Christ’s church forward. Never alone!