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daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 03 September 2009 10:50
1 Corinthians 12:18 - But as it is God placed the members, each one of
them, in the body; even as He has chosen.

The authority structure in the church is God's choosing. The
opportunities given to each person in the church community are decided
by the Lord Himself (1 Corinthians 12:11). The pastor is there because
God placed him there. The evangelist, the prophet, the apostles, the
working of miracles, and the charismata of healing all function in our
midst - according to God's choice. These things take place because the
members of the church are willing to be obedient to what God chooses.

God gives to each person a divine grace, according to a proportion of
faith, to operate in the realms of the Spirit; whether it is prophecy,
teaching, exhorting, or giving - whatever the gifting may be - it is
what God has done, and not man (Romans 12:6-8). Therefore, we must honor
what God is doing, realizing that it is His choice. Even though we may
covet the gifts, we can never be jealous of the individual functioning
in the gift (1 Corinthians 12:31). Shouldn't we honor the person who is
functioning in the church in the same way that God has honored them? We
should be aware that they have been honored with a gifting that brings a
blessing and maturity to the whole community, and rejoice in it.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 03 September 2009 10:37
Romans 12:5 - So we who are many are one body in Christ; and so also
members one of another.

The first and most important thing that each person in the community of
the church must realize is that anything that we have been given in God,
we received as a free gift for the edification of the church. God gave
us abilities by His divine appointment, so that the whole of the church
may share in every dimension of the glory of Christ (1 Corinthians
15:10; 1 Corinthians 12:7-8; Romans 12:3,6). Therefore none of us have
any right to be puffed up; but in humility and in recognition of the
grace of God we are to be sober, and serve the community of the church
with what God has appointed to us. The servitude, humility, and love of
Christ are essential if we are going to increase and mature into all
that God has purposed His church to be (Ephesians 1:23; Ephesians 3:19;
Ephesians 4:13,16).

If we are to understand the function and meaning of the body of Christ
and the community of the church, we must first start recognizing the
relationship of each individual to Christ. Each person, when they are
born of God, is baptized into the body and life of Christ; thereby they
each individually come into union with Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13;
Galatians 3:27). If each individual is in union with Christ, then they
are in union with one another. Then, as the community of the church,
everyone is to function in perfect union with each other as they express
the life of Christ together/corporately (1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians
3:16; Romans 15:6). As far as each one's roles and responsibilities are
concerned, it is the Holy Spirit that sets each person into those roles
and responsibilities as He determines (1 Corinthians 12:11,18). However,
there still remains the need for each individual to humble themselves
and submit themselves to the church, in order to find connectivity with
the will and operation of God (Ephesians 4:15-16). As we serve one
another in love, we find ourselves joined to one another, and
functioning under the authority of Jesus Christ our head. Before there
can be the proper functioning of the diversity of gifts in the community
of the church, there must first be the unity of Spirit. The one thing
that is essential to realize is that if a person is made one with
Christ, then they have been made one with all the others who have been
united with Christ - thus becoming members one of another - and
therefore are integrated into the community of the church, which is His
body.

The first mention of this intimately united community was when Jesus
likened all who would believe on Him to the members of His on flesh and
blood; and called them His brothers, His sisters and His mother (Matthew
12:50; Mark 3:35). He further extended the union and participation that
we are to have with Him by using the allegory of a vine and branches.
Thus as a vine has many branches bearing all the same fruit that is
produced by a single vine, even so collectively we are brought together
in Christ Jesus to all abide in Him; and thereby bring forth those
things that only He can produce. As members of Christ we must also
accept that we are members one of another.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 02 September 2009 09:46
Ephesians 4:16 - From whom all the body is joined and knitted together
by every ligament that provides support; so that each individual part
functions effectively, providing for the growth of the body as it builds
itself up in love.

The whole body is under the control of the head, unless there is some
disconnection in the body. The framework of the body, or skeletal
structure, is held together by ligaments, tendons, and muscles. It is by
this anatomical analysis that Paul expresses the interdependence that
each individual within a local church must have with each other - if it
is to be submitted to Christ Jesus. If the proper connections are not
established and maintained, then those individuals in the body of Christ
cannot respond to the commands of the head; and therefore the church is
handicapped and crippled. However, if each individual submits themselves
to the love of Christ, and is willing to allow the Holy Spirit to set
them in their proper place within the body, then each body part is then
properly connected; and the community of the church and the body of
Christ is then able to grow into the fullness of the measure of the
maturity of Christ: unto a fully matured man (Ephesians 4:13; 1
Corinthians 12:18; Ephesians 5:30; Galatians 3:28; 1 Corinthians 12:13;
Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 10:17; Colossians 3:15).

Anyone who is outside of the church cannot be connected to the body of
Christ, and cannot be submitted to Christ. Rebellion and division rule
the land today; and the spirit of it has overwhelmed many in the church.
There are so many good people that think that they can just go it alone;
but such a concept is foreign to the gospel of Christ and the Kingdom of
God. In fact, the whole revelation of God is centered upon the order and
community of family. If the church is unwilling to function as the
family of God and as members of that family - and then even in a greater
degree of union and submission, as a single body - then they fail in the
most fundamental concepts of the doctrine of Christ.

With all the wounded and divorced people who have broken covenant and
have felt immense rejection, great compassion must be exercised to bring
them back into the proper function of family; but this must be
recognized as everyone's objective. All those already connected in
submission and humility must exercise patience on behalf of those living
under the spirit of rejection, hurt, and even rebellion against such
divine order. Join with me in building the bridges necessary to bring
the huge number of people that have isolated themselves back into the
community of the church. Let us be dedicated to helping each person who
is disconnected make that proper connection in the the body of Christ.
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 16:16
1 Corinthians 15:25 - For He must reign until He has put all enemies
under His feet.

Chirst Jesus reigns today! He began His reign to put down all his
enemies 2000 years ago, when He was exalted to the right hand of the
Father (Acts 2:33; Acts 5:31; Acts 7:55-56; Hebrews 1:13; Hebrews 10:13;
Ephesians 1:20; Philippians 2:9; Psalm 110:1; Matthew 22:44; 1 Peter
1:21). After having defeated the powers of darkness, He was given the
place of sovereign authority: to rule until everything opposed to the
Kingdom of God is brought to an end (Revelation 1:18; Colossians 2:15).

The rulership of Jesus Christ has begun among those who have willingly
received His rulership, and have embraced the transformation that has
been brought to us through His name. To those who have come under His
dominion, He has also given power through the outpouring of the Holy
Spirit and Fire: to exercise authority over all of the enemies of God.
We must be willing to recognize that Jesus reigns for the purpose of
destroying every power of sin and death. Should we make the mistake of
believing that somehow God is at peace with sin and death - and is not
militant against it - then we would believe a lie, and be damned! He is
reigning now in our lives, and where He reigns sin and death have no
power; but are destroyed wherever they raise their rebellious and
treasonous head (1 John 3:8; John 12:31; John 16:11; Luke 10:19; Mark
16:17; Romans 6:12,14).

In the future Jesus will come and reign for 1000 years over all mankind,
whether they willing accept Him or not. He will rule with a rod of iron,
and he will crush all rebellion and opposition (Psalm 2:9; Revelation
2:27; Revelation 19:15; Revelation 20:3-7; Zechariah 14:16-19). At the
end of that age, Satan and every power of sin and death - and all those
who joined league with them - will be cast into the lake of fire; and
the age of sin and death will be eternally over. God has given us the
power to live in the glory of His nature and will. He has made us His
temple and dwelling place. Will you continue to listen to the deceptions
and propanganda of the Satanic lie that gives power to sin and
disobedience? Or will you instead rise up together in His righteous
cause, and say: "Christ Jesus reigns supremely, and His will shall be
done!"
 
daily bread
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 31 August 2009 12:23
Romans 5:17 - If because of one's trespass, death reigned through that
one; much more then those that receive the abundance of grace and the
gift of righteousness - by the reign of life through one: Christ Jesus.

The trespass of Adam brought forth the reign of death; but now through
Christ Jesus, life reigns. The ruling dominion of life that is in Christ
Jesus has brought grace to all mankind, and supplied the gift of
righteousness to all who will receive. The grace of God made it possible
for every man to be born of the Spirit (John 3:5; Titus 2:11-12).
Through the new birth we come into the fellowship of the divine nature,
and receive a new heart and a new spirit (2 Peter 1:4; Ezekiel 36:26).
We become the living epistles of God, with His nature and ways inscribed
upon the tables of our nature (2 Corinthians 3:3; Hebrews 8:10; Hebrews
10:16).

There may be many who do not take the gift of righteousness seriously;
but we can be certain that God does. He paid a high price for us to
enjoy it, and He will definitely hold us responsible for what we do with
it. He reversed the curse that came upon us through Adam, that made us
all slaves to sin; and has now made us servants of righteousness (Romans
6:16; Romans 6:18-19; Romans 3:21-22; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 2 Corinthians
6:7; Philippians 1:11; Philippians 3:9; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 3:16).
Grace and righteousness now reign over those who are born of God. Sin
and death have lost their power; and should be given no place of
dominion in our thoughts or lives (Romans 6:12,14). The dominion of
death cannot be given greater power than that of life. Neither can the
transgression of Adam be given greater consequence than the obedience of
Christ Jesus. The gift of righteousness, which functions by the Holy
Spirit, is far greater - in power and effect - than the plague of sin
that operates by demon forces.
 
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