Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXIV
How can five distinctly different passions that brought division and sectarianism to the Church for centuries now be the glue to bring unity? That is a valid question. Like most of the gospel, the answer is simple: through relationships!
The five fold is about people, believers in Jesus, with different passions for service with different mindsets and points of view who are willing to “accept” one another as equal peers in Jesus by laying down their lives for one another. The five fold is about being in a committed relationship.
The twelve disciples were different individuals from different background with different passions, giftings, and personalities who even fought among themselves. During a crucial time of transition between Jesus’ death and resurrection and Pentecost, they did not abandon ship but trusted Jesus’ words to “Not leave Jerusalem, but wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5) They remained together and bonded into a committed relationship, a committed community. Once the Holy Spirit fell on them, they became different individuals with different passions but with the same unifying message: Jesus!
To understand the five fold, you must understand the vertical and perpendicular planes of the Cross. The vertical plane is God’s redemptive relationship “with” mankind (John 3:16); the horizontal plane is God’s redemptive plan “between” mankind (I John 3:16). If you do not have a proper relationship with the Godhead and a proper relationship between believing brethren, you have hay, wood, and straw, which will perish. If your relationship with the Godhead and your believing brethren has been redeemed through Jesus, you have streets of gold; you have eternity. Without these proper relationships, the five fold will not exist because the five fold is about the right passions, drives, and point of views that bring us together, equip us, and matures us in Jesus. Each is an extension of how we see Jesus, what passions we have to serve Jesus, and our mindsets of how we understand and experience Jesus.
How are believers with five different persuasions to unite in Jesus? By laying down their lives through serving one another, giving to one another, while receiving from one another. Strong relationships are reciprocal. Up to now the five have attempted to stand alone, often competing against one another producing thousands of Christian denominations and sects producing a fragmented Church. To have an united Church, the five will need to bond through “serving” those diverse passions as equal peers in Jesus! The strength of one is probably the weakness of the others, so each needs to support, encourage, and stand side by side so their weaknesses diminish and their strength as a whole produces unity in the Body of Christ, the Church.
In the upcoming blogs we will examine how the five fold works in a practical way, releasing each passion in believers to serve, yet be accountable to the other four.