Equipping in the New Paradigm

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The Body of Christ is amazing! The more I see….the more I realize, I haven’t seen anything yet!

I recently received the post below from a dear brother out of Australia. The clarity and potency of the content is worth sharing. It is important to hear and understand. It describes a key component in what Father is doing in the earth presently and a significant transition from standing church mentality toward an accurate position concerning Father’s heart.

The link at the bottom of the page will take you to David Orton’s website and to a further explanation of the topic. I would exhort all the brothers with whom we relate to venture over there and download the .pdf file available. This is a good word, delivered in a timely manner and we should give ourselves to it wholly so that we can gain its full import.

I bless you with eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying through the words assembled below.

Keep your peace!

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And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors (shepherds) and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ. Eph 4:11–12 NAS.

“What we understand by the term equipping, apart from context and etymology, is largely determined by our paradigm of Christianity.

… if we function exclusively through a ‘Great Commission’ paradigm of Christianity equipping becomes primarily skilling for a task. … When we lose the primacy of relationship with God his image in us is devalued—man is dehumanised by becoming a commodity. By adopting the Great Commission/Dominion Mandate (the Gen 1 mandate is restored and fulfilled in the Great Commission) as our governing paradigm we unintentionally absolutise a created thing—either the end itself (discipling of nations), or the means (missions, ministries, gifts etc). Therefore, either the mission or the ministry become god.

While the Great Commission/Dominion Mandate is clearly God’s purpose … it is more an effect than a cause. Adopting it as our governing paradigm produces a human-effort version of Christianity.

… By contrast, operating from a ‘Great Commandment’ paradigm, thereby absolutising the uncreated in the loving of God, equipping becomes a far more profound proposal. The former is a functional paradigm the latter relational. However, as we relate to God the Father as sons our function in creation is not denied, rather, it is fulfilled. …

The Great Commandment paradigm harmonises with the actual etymological (word origin) meaning of katartismos:

katartismos from katartizo, to complete thoroughly, i.e. repair (literally or figuratively) or adjust: — fit, frame, mend, (make) perfect(-ly join together), prepare, restore.

The word was used for the resetting and realigning of a broken bone, which is the actual context of v 12. Therefore, the ascension-gift ministries of apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd and teacher are given to the body of Christ, not so much for skilling as we understand it for ministry but rather, for bringing adjustment and alignment to the chief cornerstone who is Christ.

This is far more foundational than mere ministry skills. It touches who we are, before it touches what we do. In this sense apostles and prophets are foundational, providing alignment and correction to the whole temple (see Eph 2:20-22).

Christ’s grace operating through them is designed to build up the body of Christ. How is this done? By restoring corporateness—that is, they enable every bone (member) to be in joint (i.e. relationship—see v 16) with another member. The NT knows nothing of individualistic and isolated believers; we are designed by God to be in families with spiritual parents—fathers and mothers in the Lord (see Psa 68).

The restoration of Christ’s body is prophetically foreshadowed by Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones supernaturally coming together (see Ezk 37).”

Excerpt from “Ephesians 4 Equipping in the New Paradigm” David Orton

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