Defeated Christians, overcome by the world and caught up in ungodly cravings and complusions, are not part of God’s plan. We can only be defeated when we walk away from God’s will. However, in the 21 Century, many of us who call ourselves Christian are defeated and overcome by discouragement, fear, worry, addiction, anger, lust, unforgiveness, divorce, pride, envy, and many other sins.
Perhaps we need to use God’s three steps in Revelation 12:11 — confession/repentance, personal testimony; and self-denial, by:
1) Applying the blood of Jesus through continually confessing and turning away from all of our sins;
2) Applying the word of our testimony by openly sharing with other people what the living Jesus is doing in our lives;
3) Applying self-denial by following and obeying the risen Jesus and dying to our own will, program, agenda, and comfort zone.
“And they overcame him (‘the accuser of the brethren’) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
You can’t obey Revelation 12:11 while passively listening to a sermon (and without obeying this Scripture we won’t overcome).
–To obey this requires participatory ekklesia where everyday people are allowed to openly confess their sins, to publicly share their testimonies, and to follow the promptings of the Spirit beyond their comfort zone.
Perhaps it is time to for church to change our method and to begin to embrace God’s fresh, creative way of the Greek New Testament concept of ekklesia! Ekklesia is a priesthood of the believer gathering where everyone present is free to minister to one another in the gathering as they feel led by the Spirit.
So how many people are qualified to speak in a church service?
Church tradition says: “only one; the pastor;”
The Bible says: “everybody present” (see 1 Corinthians 14:26).
–Yesterday the Spirit prompted me to open up a book that I had never read before. He quickly led me to these words that help clarify the Greek New Testament concept of “ekklesia.”
-“The contemporary Christian church is in trouble . . . The churches have accommodated to their culture–becoming intorverted, complacent, irrelevant . . . The acceptance of God’s agenda and the entrance into Christ’s mission has drastic structural implications . . . The congregation (ekklesia) is like a boot camp, training the recruits in Christ’s army. It is a place that provides a context in which to practice Christian living, to take the risks of openness and honesty that the exercise of Christian freedom requires . . . There is no room for passengers in such a community.” –George W. Webber in “Theology & Church in Times of Change” 1970
Ekklesia is rising around the world. Christ-followers are coming together to confess, to testify, and to get out of their comfort zone. Learn more about ekklesia in the new book: Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible–Ekklesia available on Amazon at this link.