the building blocks of maturity | jay fesperman (2/3)
This is the same Son of God of whom Isaiah spoke in his prophecy when he said, “On His shoulders would rest the GOVERNMENT of the universe.” Jesus said in Matthew, “ ALL authority in heaven and on earth has been given to ME”. Now, this is the same authority God gave to Adam when He made the first man, and said, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue it, and RULE over it” (emphasis mine). God had made man in His own image – male and female – and then He commanded Adam to fulfill “husbandship” ([see] Jeremiah 31:31). “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth.” Out of his husbandship, Adam was called into fatherhood. Then he was told to RULE – to establish order; to take authority.
Of course, we know that he relinquished this responsibility of authority and handed over the rulership of mankind to Satan. But then, when God the Father sent the Lord Jesus to become the LORD of the earth and its people, He have the same authority to Him: “ALL authority in heaven and on earth” was given to Jesus.
From the first day of creation until the complete and total consummation of the Kingdom, there is orderliness, a plan of God, an ARRANGEMENT of God. When Jesus was in the flesh here on earth, He would pray – not so much for the leading of God – but He, the Son of Man, was seeking to know the PLAN and PURPOSE of God, the Father.
Paul uses this word “ORDERLY”, also in 1 Corinthians 14. He closes out this important chapter with the phrase, “Let all things be done decently and IN ORDER“. Of course, we know that he has been instructing the Church on how to use the spiritual gifts that God have to us by the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit was given to the Church with various manifestations through the individual members, so Paul gives this word of instruction to avoid confusion and DIS-ORDER.
With all this in mind, we should begin to see that in order to function as men and women of God, we need to know clearly what is the plan of God, so that we can grow up in full maturity as members of the Body of Christ. The first step in attaining this is what Jesus said to His disciples, “You must deny yourSELF“. This does not mean to rob yourself of food, clothing, and the other necessities of life. It means to deny the expression of your SELF, so that the expression of others can be clearly heard and understood. Thus, we may have our SELF fitted into our proper function in the Body of Christ among ALL the members. Both Jesus and Paul said clearly that we must take the lowest seat. If we can put that in a very natural context, it’s like a new baby being born into a family. To some degree, the life-pattern of all the other members have been established. The arrival of a new member is not meant to disrupt the life-pattern that has been set. So as the child matures, his growing up requires a fitting into the life-patterns that already exist in the family. Therefore, the independent spirit must give way to a previously determined ORDER. By the grace of God, through the development of order and discipline of this new life, his individual character will be nurtured, and order will be established for him in the natural, and then in his relationship with the Lord, and ultimately, in his fulfillment of his place in the Body of Christ.
From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 23, July 1982.