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Reformation or Transformation

Revival or reformation? Reformation or transformation? What is the need of the church in our generation?


Romans 12: 1

One of the biggest problems in the church is that we have “intellectualised” the gospel. Instead of having our lives transformed by the renewing of our minds to the good news of the gospel – that supernatural change and provision is available to us by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit – we have been affected and infected by an attempt to reform through intellectually absorbing a “gospel” that has effectively been “renewed” to the intellectual understanding of the great minds of some of the reformers.

Galatians 3: 28

There is no distinction any longer between Jew and Greek – the ground has been levelled. The Jew with his religious pedigree no longer has an advantage over the pagan gentile. The Greek with his intellectual prowess and philosophical heritage no longer has an advantage over the uneducated or the intellectually challenged!

The reformers (and now the majority of church traditions) with their emphasis on intellectualism have effectively removed “knowing God” as far away from the average man on the pew as the Roman Catholic church did previously – making the higher understanding of “theology” the exclusive domain of a professional priesthood!

Galatians 3: 1 – 5; 2 Corinthians 11: 1 – 4

What’s new? The diversions of the early church have been repeated over and over again as the simplicity of Christ – the Anointed One with His anointing indwelling us – has been displaced by receiving another (different) Jesus, another (different) spirit, and another (different) gospel! Where is the problem? In the mind!

1 Thessalonians 5: 19 – 24

If you don’t live out of your born again spirit – being led (and controlled) by the Holy Spirit – you will live a “soulish” Christianity out of your mind, will, and emotions where you will always be susceptible to the controlling (by manipulation, intimidation, and domination) influences of a different spirit.

We were created to fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and so we are never a vacuum – there is always a spiritual influence in our lives, whether positive or negative. Occultists speak of “channelling” spirits. They can only channel because there is a channel that was originally designed to channel the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8: 14 – 17; Galatians 4: 6 – 7

Having begun our new life in the Spirit why would any of us trade such an awesome inheritance for a religious mess of beans? satan’s basic tactic with Eve was to convince her that the abundant provision of God was not enough – that in order to be all that she could be, and to fulfil her true potential, she had to eat of the tree of “knowledge of good and evil.”

 

The enemy is a master of deceptive argument – that is why we must cast down arguments and pull down strongholds.

Jesus said in Luke 10: 19: “Behold I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy”

James 4: 7 “Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you”

Put the word of God between you and the enemy! He has to submit to God’s word. Never move away from the word of God in any encounter with the subtle attacks of the enemy!

A stronghold is a mindset impregnated with hopelessness that causes the believer to accept as unchangeable something that he or she knows is contrary to the will of God.

The enemy will exploit traditional arguments and established doctrines of men in his attempts to steal, kill, and destroy by pulling you away from the truth that keeps you free.

Up until the time of satan’s subtle temptation both Adam and Eve had walked in the revelation of God’s goodness – it was not necessary for them to have an understanding of evil.

Similarly today, as we have been born again as new creations in Christ Jesus, we can walk every day in the revelation of God’s goodness – growing in intimacy with our heavenly Father as we enjoy our new relationship with Him. We don’t need to add any kind of “head knowledge” – it is not necessary for us to approach intellectually the tree of knowledge, yielding to the temptation presented to us through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. If we continue in the Spirit, He will lead us into all truth – the truth that sets us, makes us, and keeps us FREE!

Galatians 5: 1 – 9

We don’t need to understand the machinations of sin – we only need to walk in the goodness of God and enjoy the trip! The seeking after an intellectual understanding of all of the workings of salvation have led men to approach with their minds (albeit “great” minds) the good news of the gospel of the kingdom and turn it into a monster that has hindered many from receiving the knowledge of the truth, and many more from continuing in it!

1 Corinthians 1: 26 – 31; 1 Corinthians 3: 18 – 23

Not many wise, mighty, or noble respond to the call of God – only those wise, mighty, and well-born ones who are willing to recognise that their natural talents, strengths and pedigrees are of no spiritual benefit or consequence!

As it is fruitless for someone to trust in his or her own worthiness or ability, so it is equally fruitless to trust in someone else’s worthiness or ability.

God’s wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption have become available to all of us in Christ Jesus – all things are ours (whoever we are, wherever we’ve been, and whatever we’ve done or not done), and we are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s! You can’t get a more secure package than that!

Ephesians 2: 1 – 10; 1 Peter 4: 10 – 11

By grace (God’s ability) we have been saved through faith (relinquishing all trust in our own ability – and simply believing in, and stepping out in, His ability) – acknowledging that it is not of ourselves, it is the gift of God! We are a new creation designed to accomplish the purposes of God solely through His ability – we never need to resort to, or fall back on our own “wisdom, strength, or qualifications.”

Luke 15: 11 – 32

In this account of the Father and his two sons we have presented to us in the clearest way the great gulf that will always exist between how our heavenly Father sees us and how religion views us.

Philippians 3: 1 – 16; 1 Corinthians 2: 1 – 8

If anyone possessed the natural qualifications of wisdom (he had spent years under one of Israel’s greatest teachers), strength (he had the authority of the highest religious leaders backing him in his persecution of the church), and of being well born (a Hebrew of the Hebrews) it was Paul. And yet he said that he counted all of these supposed advantages as rubbish – acknowledging that they were of no benefit in his longing to know Jesus Christ his Lord, and the righteousness which comes through faith in Him alone!

Paul reminded the Corinthian believers – who were slipping back into carnality – that he had not come to them with fancy words or philosophy to seek to persuade them into the kingdom of God. He had come to them in a demonstration of the Spirit and of power – allowing God to speak and demonstrate for Himself the simplicity of the good news in a supernatural outpouring of His mercy and grace!

2 Timothy 3: 1 – 5; 1 Corinthians 2: 6 – 16

The choice is simple – we can either become conformed to traditional “forms of religion” that fail to produce revelation knowledge which penetrates the heart and results in real freedom from sin and its effects, or we can be transformed – metamorphosised – by the supernatural renewing of our minds to the eternal word of God, as we walk in the Spirit and receive revelation knowledge that moves us from faith to faith and from glory to glory!

Ephesians 3

In these days God is restoring His order by reinstating true apostolic / prophetic ministry to the church which firmly establishes the saints in who they are, what they can do, and what they can have – in, of, through, and by Christ Jesus. These fundamental truths are the launching pad to a life of discovery and revelation – as they continue to press in to intimate personal relationship with and knowledge of their God and Saviour!

It has been said that we do not need revival but rather reformation – but I believe that there can be limitations in reformation as to some extent there is no more than a rehashing of the old that can result in more man-centred and politically controlled religion.

Isaiah 58; Matthew 16: 13 – 19

I believe we must go beyond both revival and reformation – and beginning with restoration (going all the way back to the original model) continue to transform as we are led by the Spirit into the things that are truly important to our Father, and as we exercise the authority that has been committed to us by employing the keys of the kingdom of heaven that have been entrusted to us!

Mark 16: 14 – 20

Sadly, the church has busied itself with attempts at reformation. Men have sat around tables debating and discussing how to cure the ills within the church and somehow reach a lost and dying world. There have been attempts at producing unity amongst rival factions through encouraging compromise or by agreeing to meet at the lowest common denominator. These efforts have often wasted time and resources as the church reached out with a watered down and ineffective message that was rendered unable to produce real and far-reaching change in the lives of those to whom it sought to minister.

It is only as the church allows Jesus access to what after all is His church, and decides to go forward in His name and in His way – as a continuation of His life, an amplification of His message, and an extension of His works – that the commission to reach the whole world with the whole word can truly be fulfilled!

Reformation or transformation? You choose!

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