And the glory which you have given to me I have given to them, so that they may be one even as we are one. John 17:22
Hey, we need apostles. We need the fivefold. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I truly believe that.
And we are the body of Christ. We are the bride of Christ.
But there is a means to the fivefold. There is a higher calling altogether.
There are two things Paul tells us regarding the fivefold ministry. He tells us how long they will be appointed, and what they are here for.
They are appointed until. Until we all come to the unity of faith, the knowledge of the Son, full maturity, and the full measure of the Christ. That alone tells us, that there are still fivefold ministers around. But we know that.
And they are appointed for a reason. The Bible in Basic English puts it this way:
For the training of the saints as servants in the church, for the building up of the body of Christ. Eph 4:12
They are given to train the saints. To train the saints to build up the body of Christ.
We know that too.
But what follows from this: it is not about the fivefold. It is not even about apostles. It is about the saints. The fivefold is but a mere tool in God’s hand to teach the saints. And what for? To build up, encourage the body of Christ. And to grow into an intimate relationship with Jesus and thus form the full measure of the Christ.
It is about all of us.
I told you in another post that the main functions of prophets are to multiply themselves and to set people free to be prophetic. What do you think the main functions of apostles are? Right: to multiply themselves and to set free an apostolic people.
An apostle is sent to be a representative of another. Jesus gave apostles and the other fivefold gifts to represent himself in the earth, just as, yes, just as he represented the father. Jesus represented the Father in doing only what he saw the father do, and saying only what he heard the Father say. And the Father decided to do things in the earth only through the Son. Maybe this was the reason John the Baptist had to diminish, so Jesus could grow.
The exact same way Jesus decided to only work through us as his representatives on earth. And we are to represent him fully, only doing what? You get the drift.
But all this does not portray the fulness of our calling. It just tells us how God chose to work and what we are to do in all this.
We also know that there is a higher call than doing. It is being. Identity.
There are many illustrations in the bible of our identity and our relationship with God and with Jesus.
We are the bride. The bride is to become the wife in the wedding. As we know, a Jewish wedding is quite long. But it begins with the marriage act, both by the priest and in the natural. This picture tells us that Jesus, the high priest, announced us man and wife in Pessach, and that marriage has been consummated in Pentecost. Paul tells us, that a man and his wife become one. Thus, oneness with the husband is the goal of the bride.
We are the body. Will a body go any other place than the head? Not if it does not want to die. The spiritual definition of death is to be disconnected from the body of Christ. One definition of life therefore is to be obedient to the head. Life is found in oneness with him.
But we also are the sons. We know that sonship includes inheritance. It includes authority. But it also includes identity. It is the father that gives you identity. Just as we say: like father, like son. And we know that after adoption, when the son came it was as good as if the father was there. Identity.
But from our verse in John 17, from the only fully recorded lengthy prayer of Jesus, we see how much more there is in this relationship. What is Jesus saying: Father, just as I as a son am one with you and you with me, let them be one. They are sons just like me. Thus let them be in our oneness.
We are not something tugged on to God. We are not a wife following 5 steps behind Jesus, veiled. As sons, we are the forth part of the oneness of God. One God. One quadrune God. With us.
Jesus first became a son. And he had to learn it just as we do. Luke tells us that Jesus grew in wisdom and understanding and favor with God. Only then he could become the apostle of the Father, before becoming the high priest of our faith after the order of Melchizedek.
We first are to become sons. The he sends us to be an apostolic people, to represent him in the earth. In absolute oneness with him.
That is his plan, this is our call.