Jackson Precincts

trending towards self-government


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Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us… 2 Cor. v, 20 NASB

The early church was gifted by Jesus with his select ambassadors whom He had schooled Himself during His earthly ministry. We refer to them as disciples when they are students under the physical tutelage of the Master and ambassadors when He gave them authority and sent them out to teach, to cast out demons, to heal all diseases, and to preach. As the Master’s first ambassadors they laid the foundations of the church. In Mat 9:37 the Master notes the need for workers in the harvest and asks them to pray for more workers. Subsequently they are commissioned themselves and in Mat. 10:2 the twelve apostles are set, named and sent after His specific apostolic instructions and prophecy. The ambassadors were to be totally dependent on God and the goodwill of the believers as they carried no funds. The role of the Holy Spirit in public speaking is described. The Master makes reference to the prophetic office of his ambassadors. The ministry will not be peaceful in terms of social or family relations. Friendship of the world is not the aim of the apostle. The multiple roles of healer, teacher, prophet, martyr, and beloved family member. The father-son relationship is often referenced in terms of the gospel students as ‘it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher and the servant like his master.’ (Matt 10: 25). The Master schooled St. Paul in the various fellowships and in the desert solitudes. St. Paul called himself a servant as often as an apostle and ‘was not worthy to be called an apostle’. In Romans 12 he charges the assembly at Rome to not be worldly, but be ‘transformed by the renewal of your mind’ and to be sober and humble in the assessment of oneself. Near the close of the Roman epistle St Paul refers to his being ‘a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit’. St Paul’s ministry was by no means a peaceful ministry and he wanted the Jews to be jealous of God’s work among the Gentiles. He carried the ‘marks of Christ’ on his mortal body when jealousy lent itself to violence rather than spiritual inquiry.

The prophetic role falls to many ‘ordinary church members’ who give their lives as martyrs and God’s utterances before devilish courts and their soldiers. In the heavenly realms, surely they will win a prophet’s reward for they were God’s messengers. Bible teachers who claim the role of the prophet ended with the apostles have forgotten the martyrs and the current prisoners of Christ. Seemingly ordinary believer’s are His speakers to their own unbelieving families and magistrates. Prisoners are His messengers in the current age. The prisoners of Christ speak by the Holy Spirit to the world’s worst sinners. Prisoners of Christ speak as prophets and examples to the elect of God.

If the church has lost its prophetic voice it is trending lukewarm. The church has lost its saltiness.
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The Mystical Body of Christ

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But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than to blood of Abel

Hebrews xii, 22-24 NIV

The Body of Christ is the most mystical theme in Christian cosmology. The Body of Christ is simply too metaphysical and majestic for regular  congregational contemplation. The Christian individual is not atomistic or supreme. The divine corporation is the lofty expression and illumination  of the nature of Christ and the elect. I doubt I have heard more than a couple of sermons in Baptist churches I have attended. The notion of a  Corporate Reality both inside and outside the local congregation must be too illogical for the practical American mind. The powerful symbol is the  unmentioned theme of John’s gospel account of the Last Supper, the foot washing, and the new commandment to love. John xiii, 35 “By this all men  will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another”. The church maintains intersubjectivity and interrelatedness. The interchange within the church is spiritual not sociological.

The church has the immediacy and homespun analogy of the body. The body is for purposes of the Lord. The redeemed body, nonetheless, is sexual and perhaps too problematic for sermonizing. Ever heard a sermon on the “Song of Solomon”? The powerful symbol of the body is very much about ‘family values’ and the sexual nature in its unique theological meaning. One divine role for man and another one for woman. The social character of the Body of Christ is sexual in the sense of being productive and complimentary, but it is not legal. Sex roles are spelled out by St. Paul who also said “in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, male or female, slave or free”. The spiritual and life-giving service is the “mishpat” of Christ. The Church is then life-giving , as new converts attach to the Lord. The family has the father as the head and is a micro-church. The church has Christ as Head. A local church, however, is not the Body of Christ unless Christ is its Head and Authority and those within the congregation are His. Focus on the purposes of Jesus, not those of clergy or other secular or denominational authorities. Do not become slaves of men for we all have been purchased of Christ.

If the universal message of Christ does not shatter the human traditions and our religious non-profit corporations–then we are not versed in the read-lettered words of Jesus. The words of our Lord in regard to congregations speak of unity, authority, sufficiency, universality, and love. We have what we need if we hear the words of Jesus and obey Him. The unity of God with His people is the love story of the Bible. The fiery testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. One must receive the One sent. Christ is the Good Shepherd of His sheep. Christ gives the authority and gifts to build the spiritual unity of His people. The ultimate unity of the Risen Lord with the church is the Revelation and the Parousia. The last day will be a celebration for us.

Christ is not referred to as the Head of the local congregation if you peruse the founding documents of most churches. America has a church that is focused on personal, denominational, or patriotic aims. Our very words display a profound misunderstanding of the government of God. We have the approval of man but not God. Christ is King not preachers. Are we not in rebellion if we reject the way of God? The apostasy has trained expertise who distrust Him. The King anoints leaders His own way. Honor those He has honored with His heavenly Power and wisdom not those who have financial power. Chose men among you full of the Holy Spirit for those are anointed by Christ. Christ through the elders heals, corrects, feeds, washes and anoints the church. Christ is the Ground of all earthly and heavenly power . Give Him the honor that the Father has given Him. Come Lord Jesus.


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Feast of St Benedict

The Feast of St Benedict is a good time to reflect on the care of the body and the union with Christ. Benedict escaped the village, the university, and Rome in order to be devoted to the inner life and union with the Lord. He accepted some food from the mountain villagers and slowly warmed up to the social life and his fellow man. This beloved of God had the benefit of an excellent education, but had much social pressure coming from a patrician Roman family. In the ravine he was the master of his social life. Benedict concentrated on the knowledge of the physical, the natural, and the bodily world as he matured as a Christian in the Italian ravine. He knew the limits of bodily life and the value of nourishment. He was akin to John the Baptist in that he too sought the wilderness and a bare subsistence as he turned his complete attention to the spiritual union with the Lord. Benedict had the Holy Spirit to guide him in his solitary life.

“God …who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit…Always confident knowing that whilst we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith not by sight. We are confident…willing rather to be absent form the body and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour that whether present or absent we may be accepted of him.”
2 Corinthians 5:5-9 KJV

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