Although Jesus was the Son of God, He never desired nor assumed a religious position in the church hierarchy of His day.
He showed us by example that God’s ministers are to be servants to the Body of Christ; they are never to become professionals with a position, demanding privileges and respect. “He that would be greatest, let him be the servant of all” (Matthew 23:11).
When ministries within a local church begin to have positions, instead of humbly serving as bond servants, God starts shaking up the church to correct this.
The moment a minister exalts his position or calling, he is in a place God never intended for him. If a person builds a kingdom around himself, God will bring it down.
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In God’s Kingdom, the servant is the great- est. This means no positions.
When Jesus knew that all authority had been placed in his hands, the first thing He did was lay aside His clothes and began to wash His disciples’ feet (John 13:3-12).
We’re here to bless each other, not to rule over one another. We don’t have to outdo one another, or become religiously legalistic with each other.
Rivalry and jealousy over positions in the church is sadly common. But in God’s Kingdom, there are no positions, only commissions.
There’s a difference between the self-assumed authority of a position and the God-given authority of a commission. Some go to seminary, get degrees, become ordained, and then demand respect.
But Christ said to the learned and degreed Pharisees, “… you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God...” (John 5:44).
In the Dark Ages, the problem of men wanting positions and respect in the church was terrible. The church hierarchy was arrogant and dominated and controlled by their positions.
That’s when Martin Luther heard God say, “The just shall live by faith,” and received the revelation that it was not bowing down to religious authority that was important, but simple faith in God.
Just because someone is the head of a church does not necessarily mean that he has a shepherd’s heart.
Just because someone is establishing programs and works does not necessarily mean that he is an apostle.
Paul worked very humbly with his hands to earn his own way and serve the Body of Christ, while a lot of false apostles (who were after the money!), were fleecing the churches (2 Corinthians 11:13-20).
The sign of a true apostle, or any true minister of the Lord, is that he gives his life to serve the people.
In the Body of Christ we are to relate to each other by the Holy Spirit’s commission over each one -- the Word that God has spoken over a person’s life as to what function he is to have in the church.
We respect each other’s commissions, but don’t bow to anyone’s claim of authority by virtue of his position. Nor are we to desire a position so we can rule over or dominate others.
The only One who has a position in the Body of Christ is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, and we only minister because of a Word from the Lord and a commission to serve His Body in our particular function.
The Rev. Anne Barber, is pastor of My Father’s House, 7215 U.S. 301 N., Ellenton. For more information, visit www.myfathershouseinc.com.