I find it most intriquing that the New Testament purpose for evangelism is not what we would call today “personal decisions” for Christ, but was and is still rather today, the main tool for planting new churches. Everywhere Paul and the band of brothers went, they won people to Christ, who right away began their discipleship journey by becoming the local expression of Christ that gathered together, usually in homes on a daily basis.
Coupled with this was household salvation, and that too was not just to see people won to Christ, but again to see them grafted together as the local expression of Christ gathered in community.
I am thrilled that today, there exists brothers like Dick Scoggins, Robert Fitts, Tony and Felicity Dale, Gene Edwards and Frank Viola who believe that winning people to Christ is indeed the best way of establishing and growing the church.
The challenge will be in raising up like minded apostolic bands of workers who will take Christ to communities, see the lost won to Christ by those gifted as evangelists. These who are won will be then discipled by those who are teachers, and will be nurtured and cared for by those who are pastors, and will also have the gifts imparted and released by apostles, who will plant the church along with those who prophesy, who speak the word of the Lord in given situations and contexts. This is how what we call the five fold operated in the NT, and how it should, and in many cases, it does operate, especially in places like China and India, and in a growing number of places in Africa, South America, and now in Europe and North America.
These are exciting days where the Spirit is using ordinary people to accomplish extra-ordinary things!
I look forward to our interaction together on this blog!
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The above blog post was written at a time when I was eclectic in my theological & biblical views and understanding. As of 5 February 2017 I am a functional cessasionist, that is, I believe the spiritual gifts, in particular gift like the vocative, prophetic gifts as well as healing & miracles have ceased. This means that my understanding is that at the end of the apostolic era, when the last apostle died (that would be John who was at Patmos & Ephesus, the author of the Gospel of John, Epistles of John & the Revelation of Jesus Christ, with his passing, the need for these particular gifts, the oracles of God given to men through the Holy Spirit, were no longer required. With the forming of the Canon of Scripture, there came to be no need for revelatory gifts. In fact in Revelation, John himself records the words of Jesus, “18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. 19 And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share of the tree of life and the holy city, which are written about in this book.” [Revelation 22, CSB]
God is sovereign, still heals, still manifests in the miraculous, but not at the whim or the discretion of men. We pray and ask the Lord, and then we yield and surrender to His will, echoing the words and the spirit of Christ, “Not my will but your will be done.” [Luke 22:42].
I embrace and hold to a Reformed understanding of theology & Christian living in the world. I have abandoned my other views entirely. I would be more akin to a Reformed Baptist (1689 Confession) type of Reformed theology. I used to be a continuationist (akin to John Piper) but no longer.
God bless you as you seek to know Christ and the power of His resurrection [Philippians 3:10 CSB].
In the eternal grip of Jesus,
Samuel M. Buick
29 January 2018
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