Keith Giles recently wrote the following … I’ve emphasized some points by highlighting them in bold:
The original Christian church was one “not made with human hands”. Rather than following “the pattern of this world” the Biblical Christian church was birthed by the Spirit of God, empowered by words of Christ, and under submission to the Father. Simply put, the Christian church we read about in the New Testament was something that God was doing, not men. In contrast to our Church today, the first Christians were ordained by the Holy Spirit of God Himself and sent out to proclaim the Gospel, the Good News, that the Kingdom of God had come to every man, woman and child.
With the deepest of respect to what is otherwise an excellent article, I believe “the Christian faith was inaugurated” when Jesus said “Follow me” and trained his disciples for three years. One grave problem I believe we have is a faith in a “Pentecost without context” – that the church of Acts could have functioned or even happened without the three year ministry of Jesus.
Pentecost is what happens after three years spent in serious training by following Jesus, learning how to “fish for people” and fulfill the Great Commission. Then, from this perspective, Acts is a demonstration of what happens when people put into practice what Jesus taught.
We pray for the Spirit to fall, and this is good, but the subcontext is that all that we need to do is to stand out of God’s way and let the Spirit do the work. What’s missing is the hard work involved in the development of a vessel, a disciple maker, out of whom rivers of living water are able to flow. (John 7:37ff)
That’s what Jesus did and it required commitment and hard work by the disciples to prepare themselves. Pentecost has a context … it is the result of the three year ministry of Jesus.
“The Painfully Normal Church” – Wednesday, May 29, 2013, post to the subversive1 blog by Keith Giles