Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXII
To understand the five fold relationally, one must understand its purpose and mission. Is the five fold to be offices to govern the church or are they passions desires and points of view of believers in Jesus? Let’s continue to look at their purpose and mission.
For Corporate Unity in the Body of Christ
“…..Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:16)
The five fold is not only for individual maturity in Christ, but also corporate maturity as a Church, preparing itself as a Bride for its groom, Jesus! The “cocoon” stage of the Church’s transformation is its preparation as a Bride. Ephesians 5:27 states, “That He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. Paul is addressing marriage in this passage, but in verse 32 he clarifies his real intentions, ”This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.”
Over the centuries, as the Church has been transformed from an organism to an organization, it has become tarnished and wrinkled to the point of almost being unrecognizable between her and the rest of the institutional world. It is time to bring life back into her, transform her back into an organism, washing the stains through His shed blood and power of the Holy Spirit to bring back its whiteness and purity. Because of the heat of persecution and transformation that will iron out the wrinkles, a cocoon stage is warranted. When the Groom, Jesus, returns for his Bride, the Church, she will be alive, beautiful, holy, and blameless! Wow, that’s faith, for it is hard to picture that through my natural eyes, but God sees it through the supernatural! That is Godly vision!
Godly vision for us may come through the five fold. God’s evangelistic vision sees the Bride “reborn” into a new image without “spot or wrinkle” but “holy and blameless.” God’s shepherding vision is “presenting to Himself the church in all her glory” by nurturing and caring for her. Jesus did not leave her as an orphan, but sent the Holy Spirit to her. He then ascended, giving “gifts to men” by forming them into “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to nurture His Bride. God’s teaching vision gave life back into the Church by making the Logos, written, Word a Rhema, living, Word, so that the church would be an organism again. God’s prophetic vision allows the Church to see itself as He does, a Bride without “spot or wrinkle”. Finally, God’s apostolic vision allows the Church to see the “Big Picture”, God’s Eternal Purpose, the reason and purpose for God to created mankind “in Our image, according to Our likeness”, and God’s desire to restore a fallen man and commune with him. If God can restore a fallen man, He is also capable of restoring a fallen Church!