Devotion 1 – Christianity as a Movement. Christianity was always mean to be a movement - not an institution!. 1. Jesus modelled movement! .
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Christianity was always mean to be a movement - not an institution!
1. Jesus modelled movement!
Lk 9:57-58 Lk 9:57-58 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." (58) Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
MK 1:35-39 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (36) Simon and his companions went to look for him, (37) and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!" (38) Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come." (39) So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
During the forty days between his resurrection and ascension Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God (Ac 1:3)
He did not speak of institution - he did not suggest they go and register as an organization! He gave no instruction as to how they were to be structured! Jesus was anticipating the Church as a movement –
Act 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
or "When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will tell people about me everywhere....." (NLT).
Luke (Peter and Paul):
The Book of Acts could jus as easily been titled 2 Luke.
Act 1:1-2 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach (2) until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.......:13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying.
Note: Acts 1:13 is the point where Acts or 2 Luke really begins - :1-12 is the introduction!
Luke, in his writing of Acts, is documenting Christianity as a “movement”!
Luke begins by documenting the ministry of Peter and John (their names, together, are mentioned 12 times) - from Acts 3:1 when they visited the temple and healed the crippled man at the gate called beautiful up until Acts 8 after they returned from visiting the revival in Samaria - the ministry of Philip! Between these chapters many advances of the "movement" takes place!
In Acts 9 we see Peter going on a ministry trip – without John (Act 9:32 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda..).
At this point John drops from the scene and Luke records only the movements of Peter - and in particular in regards to his ministry with Cornelius (Acts 10) and then his miraculous escape from prison (Acts 12) .
Luke it seems it not focusing on people as much as he is documenting the movement of Christianity!
After Acts 12 Peter is mentioned only once and that is in ch 15 during the Council at Jerusalem when he is testifying as to what had taken place in the past in relation to the “movement “among Gentiles! So out of 28 chapter Peter's ministry dominates only 12 chapters - the first 12 chapters. What happened after chapter 12?
Paul is introduced in Acts 7 (as Saul the persecutor) but he even at this point becomes a focal character for Luke! After his conversion Luke documents Paul's ministry, almost exclusively - why?
Because Paul was a "regions beyond" (2 Co 10:16) person to take the gospel where Christ was "not yet named" (Ro 15:20)! A “movements man”!
The remaining 16 chapters is all about the ministry of Paul and the amazing spread of the Gospel beyond Jerusalem, Judah and Samaria towards its journey to the uttermost parts of the earth!
An unbelievable scripture:
Gal 2:9 James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they (and all the other Apostles) to the Jews.
Act 19:8 -10 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.
..the population of Asia Minor was composed of many overlying strata of races,..(it was a) meeting-place of East and West,..a medley of races and institutions .. the native system, and the Hellenistic system.
Is this Germany today?
First Century Growth
Christianity was a “movement” and involved every believer is spreading the Gospel:
Antioch church (Ac 11:19-22)
Main Components of a COSI
1. A COSI may or may not have a physical location where participants gather. They could use private homes or church buildings or any other secure meeting place!
2. Recommended COSI leadership is team leadership with one functioning as Coordinator. Decision making is by consensus!
Heads - knowledge
Hearts - Character and Spirituality
Hands - Ministry skills
Fulfilling the Great Commission
What does God do?
What do leaders do?
What do the people do?
What does Jesus do?
What do Church leaders do?
What do the people do?
What are the works of service (Eph 11:12)?
Eph 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— (9) not by works, so that no one can boast. (10) For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
- 4 No awareness of God’s global purpose for the nations of the world.
Conference, seminars, vision trips, mission sundays, etc
- 3 An awareness of world mission and the Church’s responsibility for involvement .
- 2 A clear understanding of world mission and ones personal responsibility of involvement .
Kairos Course, Perspectives Course etc.
- 1 Decision to act and become involved .
Active participation, special training, mentoring etc
+ 1 Investigating ways of involvement - opportunities for active COSI service.
Direct contact with LRP or in some other legitimate/strategic capacity.
+ 2 Undergo specialist training.
+ 3 Active/committed ministry