Skill – BT4
Body-of-Christ Ministry absolutely does NOT rely on skill and professionalism
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Requiring Christians to teach, preach, play music, or in any other ways serve God “skillfully” like paid “professionals” is exactly the “might and power” that God condemned in Zechariah 4:6’s prophecy for the completely different-in-kind New Covenant. It is just as much “out from the flesh” or “of natural man” as any sensual sin is. Do we not agree with Paul: “I know that absolutely nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh” (a), which is the very reason why Jesus says: “The flesh is of no help at all – it is the Spirit who gives genuine-life (b)” (c)? The prideful flesh places our trusting-relying-faith (d) in the wrong place – on man’s own “might and power” abilities or actions instead of Spirit-power (e). But pride in your “might and power,” whether religious or not, is still from the world and defiles us and makes us God’s enemy (f). <Notes> a) Romans 7:18, b) zoe, c) John 6:63, d) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, e) dunamis, f) 1 John 2:16; Mark 7:21- 23; 2 Timothy 4:6; Proverbs 3:34 cited by 1 Peter 5:5, James 4:6.
Pride trusts and relies solely on one’s own skills or internal “power” and external products or “might” from them, whether it is pre-determine church liturgies throughout the year or man’s pre-composed words and music written with “gramma letters in ink on paper” (a) – see Logos Word of God – BT20, sitting on a music stand or a podium or I-pad for the so-called “ministers” (b) to be glued to. Instead, doesn’t the NT tell us to put our trusting-relying-faith (c) in the fresh, new, spontaneous, anointed, prophetic, directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words of God and/coupled the Spirit-power (d) to guide or direct the evangelist, shepherd/pastor, teacher, musician, or other grace-gift servant “in that very hour” to “say and do” what the Spirit wants? Isn’t that what the NT says to do! <Notes> a) 2 Corinthians 3:3, 7; 2 John 1:12; 3 John 1:13, b) Ephesians 4:12, c) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, d) dunamis.
That’s why Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:15, “I will proseuchomai conversationally-pray and/also psalm (a) by the means of the Spirit or tongues (b) as well as by the means of the mind.” Paul says that “by the nous mind” relies on “fruitful productivity” with is internal ability, but “by the Spirit” does not (b), especially since nous not only means the “conscious-thinking, understanding, word-forming mind” but also the “inward, unconscious soul and spirit of man” or “inner man” – see the 2-parts and 3-parts of man on the Identity page. <Notes> a) psallo: “hit, twang, pluck, or twitch” out a song with/without singing, b) v. 14.
But here Paul is contrasting his “understanding mind” with the indwelling Spirit where his “mind is ‘unfruitful’ because it simply can’t do what it normally does – to understand his conversational-prayer or psalming – because it is in tongues, which speak mysteries to God unless interpreted. Paul understands that placing emphasis only on “conversational-prayer/psalming of the mind” is a slippery slope, because it still places emphasis on performance FOR God and our control of this FOR God to please Him. That’s the OT religion! The inner man’s “soul” (a) isn’t just our reasoning thought, but emotions and will-power per the Identity page. That is exactly the “inherent power” (b) that is the problem in the “might and power!” of the old covenant! It loves to “work” for God, boast in it, and judge others that aren’t working as hard as you! <Notes> a) psyche, b) ishcus.
This is exactly the problem with the OT works of righteousness through obedience to commandments. The Pharisees taught it, tried to obey it and miserably failed, but then hypocritically judged others, “binding burdens on men that they were not willing to carry” (a). Remember how busy Martha was working for Jesus, trying to please Jesus, and criticizing Mary for not helping but just sitting there listening to Jesus teach? But Jesus said that what Mary was doing was actually “the better portion” (b)! I actually heard a preacher at Vineyard Connections in Tucson, Arizona say that Martha was more mature in her trusting-relying-faith because she was serving the Lord, so that’s what we should all be doing, implying that “busyness” is what really mattered! Talk about distorting the bible to get people to do what you want! <Notes> a) Matthew 23:4, cf. Paul’s rebuke of Peter in Galatians 2:11-14, b) Luke 10:38-42.
“Routinely speaking to one another” (f) or “teaching and admonishing (e) one another” (a) is a Body-of-Christ ministry, not a one-man show, or for a “team of professionals” – see Teach One Another and Coaches & Facilitators. In Ephesians 5:18-19, the “party” Christians are to be involved in isn’t a drunken party, but one that is “by the means of psalms (b), hymns (c), and pneumatikos Spirit-kind-of odes (d),” which are the natural result of Paul’s strong urging (imperative case) to “routinely being filled by the means of the Spirit” in v. 18 – see Spirit-Baptism. Some think that v. 19 is the “means” of v. 18, but likely the routine-action participles of v. 19 are describing the “party” that Paul wants Christians to be a part, a result of not getting drunk on wine but on the Holy Spirit! <Notes> a) Colossians 3:16, b) psalmos: “hit, twanged, plucked, or twitched” out songs with/without singing, c) pre-composed, acapella songs pre-composed, acapella songs, d) hymns or psalms, e) noutheteo: ‘placing in the mind of’ – urgent reasoning by instruction and warning, f) Ephesians 5:19.
All of this Body-of-Christ ministry “by the Spirit” is supposed to be a “reciprocal one-another” Body-of-Christ experience, not by the human fleshly efforts of a “music-ministry team” or the “one-man show” you so often see in churches nowadays! Sure some of this music can NOT ONLY be precomposed ahead of time (thus the terms “hymns” and “psalms”). However, the “composing” then should have also been given by the Spirit to make it Spirit-kind-of music, but it’s clear that Paul is saying there is a unique, 3rd kind they could ALL bring – Spirit-kind-of odes, which likely are spontaneous hymns and psalms where “the mind is not fruitful or understanding” exactly because they are generated by the Spirit, just like with tongues! Again, so many churches get stuck with the first 2 kinds, which actually can be generated solely from the flesh just as easily as solely from the Spirit, but for sure many musicians and churches rarely get to the 3rd kind – “the close encounter of the 3rd kind,” which is spontaneous by the means of the Spirit – see “New Song” and “Joyful Noise” on the Spontaneous page.
As Christian musicians, requiring “skills and professionalism” from worship musicians is contrary to the move away from the “might and power” of the Old Testament to the “by My Spirit” of the completely different-in-kind New Covenant. It is just as much “flesh” as any other sin and completely rejected by God, even if we do it FOR God. Flesh still produces flesh and Spirit produces Spirit, for they oppose each other. “You can’t perfect by the flesh what was begun in the Spirit.” The NT tells us repeatedly to surrender ourselves, even our understanding mind, to the control of the Holy Spirit, even in our pray and worship! God isn’t impressed by our works but willingness to listen at His feet. Ministry is meant to be a “party” under the possession of the Spirit, where everyone is involved, not just a few “skilled professionals.”