Page 131 - Church of God Publications

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THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL
121
the Gospel to the world - with their prayers, encouragement,
tithes and otferings.
But this GIVING of their prayers, encouragement and finan–
cial support was Gon's ASSIGNMENT
as the very means
of devel–
oping in
them
God's holy, righteous CHARACTER- that they, with
the apostles and evangelists, may qualify to RULE with and under
Christ in God's Kingdom. This
very means
of character devel–
opment within the laity is THE WAY OF
GIVING-
not Satan's way
OfGETTING.
God's WAY- the WAY of His law- is GIVING of outftowing
LOVE. lt is the GIVING way. The person who tries to be an individ–
ual separate Christian, to GET bis own salvation, is going at it the
GETTING way-
Satan's way.
And
1
would not want to try to GET
myself into God's Kingdom by Satan's way.
Notice again WHY God set apostles, evangelists, pastors
and other elders in His Church NOT ONLY for the work of the
ministry, being SENT FORTH into all the world announcing Christ's
Message of HOPE. Read it again (Eph. 4:
12-13):
lt was
"for the
perfecting ofthe saints, ...
and for the edifying [enlightening- in–
structing] of the body of Christ, TILL we all come in the UNITY of
the faith, and of the KNOWLEDGE of the Son of God, unto a per–
fect man...."
But cannot a single separate individual EDIFY HIMSELF,
out–
side
of the Church? Not likely- and THAT IS NOT ÜOD'S WAY.
How does God infuse H1s TRUTH into the Church? NoT
through each individual separately - but through the apostles,
and other ministers under them.
In the time ofthe first apostles- first century- the Bible was
not yet completely written. God used a very few prophets,
through whom He communicated. The prophets gave the message
to an apostle. Today the Bible is complete. God has used no
prophets in the Church in our time.
However, the laity of the first century Church received their
teaching and instruction from
the apostles.
The original twelve
had been taught by Christ in person - and so also had Paul. Jesus
Christ was the
personal
Word of God. The Bible is the
written
Word of God. lt's all the precise same TRUTH and TEACHING,
whether from Jesus in person, when on earth, or from the written