Apostolic people represent Father as Jesus did. We need to minister from the new covenant to be apostolic. Here we are joined to our Father. We and Father are one. It is the apostolic ministry that multiplies the Kingdom of God. This is the ministry of fathers and sons and the multiplication of the sons and daughters of God. Their life is Christ and they minister in His authority with signs following. They are full of wisdom and the Spirit of God and they model a gospel of Godliness with power.
A major furphy of current Christianity is the notion of salvation by the church. As if the church is our father or the mediator of God. There is the Gospel of the Kingdom version of church planting and the 'let's do more church' version of church planting. One advances the Kingdom of God with signs following like dramatic healing and the complete regeneration of organs while the other is merely a planting out of the same old, same old version of church in some new form. The Bible does not say 'Life is in the church.' It declares that 'Life is in His Son.' Those who are in the Son have life and they are His church. Church planting in the Kingdom is not planting institutions. It is planting Jesus in people in whom He lives.
‘And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son’ 1 John 5.11 NIV.
Eat a thick slice of bread and a short time later the nutriment will be part of our body and our being. Instruct your spirit to receive the Son of Man and He will become your life in the Spirit. The eating of his flesh and drinking of His blood at the Lord's table is not just a rite. Done in faith it is the reality of His life in us and as us by the Spirit. Christ in us and as us is the new creation reality. It applies not only to the imparting of life but to the expulsion of illness, demons and death and the replacement of these negatives with life without limit. Life for the new creation son and daughters is not about doing this thing called church. It is about joining Father in loving the world and beginning its transformation as agents of the new creation.
‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them’ Mark 14.24 NIV.
‘Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them’ John 6.56 NIV.
If life is in the blood, then real life is very much in the Son of Man. It is the shed blood of Jesus that eliminates death and ignites us with the resurrection life of the new creation. Christ's blood stands for His death, His life, our salvation and the undoing of the sentence, 'You shall surely die.' In Jesus we shall surely live because Jesus has life in Himself. He is life!
The life of Jesus is fully in us by His indwelling Spirit. It is a grave malfeasance and a sad ignorance that marketers of religion can pass off the law, institutionalism or any kind of religious observance as an imparter of life. Spirit and life comes from one indwelling presence - Christ in us.
It is Jesus, who when cast into the ground of the human condition, springs up into a bountiful crop of abundant, profligate life. There is nothing meager in the harvest of the planted Jesus. Only abundance of life.
'I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels--a plentiful harvest of new lives' John 12.24 NIV.
PLANTS OF THE EVIL ONE
If engaged in church planting we need to be certain that we are not planting tares. The naive planting of an entity called a 'church' is no more capable of producing new creation life that burying a wine bottle can produce a vineyard. Father planted His Son. Jesus filled His disciples with Himself and then planted them. At Pentecost the Spirit of Jesus was poured out so that the Christ of the resurrection would dwell in all who believe.
But this was not religious christ centered life' cliché where we have a little christ of christian morality and church conformity.' Christian culture is not spirit and life. It is the flesh. Our Jesus is the one who raised the dead and who is the first fruits of those raised from the dead. He lives in us and raises dead flesh to spirit and life.
'But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep' 1 Coe 15.20 NIV.
To plant the church Jesus builds we must plant Jesus. Christ is unfettered and real in people for whom He is life. We plant Jesus when we initiate a new gathering of His people led by sons and not workers, sons whose life is in Our Father; sons who by maturing in Father's love have become fathers; sons who are apostolic because they come forth from the house of God and from the side of Christ; sons who multiply not just any gospel or a forms of godliness without power but sons who multiply THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM.
I have seen church plants formed around those who have never graduated from the knowledge of good and evil and its old covenant assumptions. They live from a performance orientation and see their leadership as an opportunity to facilitate their personal agenda. I've seen other still-born church plants assemble around theological debate. They jostle about in doctrinal discussion and thankfully fade in a short time. I've seen groups 'led' by people who are not spiritual leaders, who are workers and not sons and who owe their position to others with a naive fixation on church planting. Thankfully they wither on the vine before they have to be plucked out as tares.
Life is not necessarily found in house churches, café churches or organic churches. It is found in the Son of Man and those in whom he dwells. We are not indwelt because we are Christian or churched. We are indwelt when Christ is our life.
Apostolic mission is the incarnational reality of the trinity in residence in the Believer and the people of God.
Jesus did not come so that people could get on with being the church. Here does not work at the behest of the Christian Industry. It was nothing as pedestrian, mundane and institutionally short sighted as that. It was to instigate the new creation and transformation of the world. Christ's church begins with Himself. It is multiplied by those who are His life. Joined to Him they are branches of Himself and produce His life-giving fruits. His church is so much part of Him that it comes from His side as the new Eve and Bride of Christ. Plant church and you will harvest more church. Plant Jesus and you will multiply sons and daughters to God. Multiply sons as a co-labourer with Jesus and you will advance the Kingdom of God. But market ourselves and our ideology and we are dead men walking. ______