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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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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