Luke`scharismatic theology by Roger Stronstad
Forevery Christian believer, there is the pivotal role of prophethood inthe midst of all the activities of the faithful. By all means, thereare the faithful whose task is to ensure that the Gospel gets to allpeople of the world, without discriminating of the origin of therecipients. In the Gospel left by Jesus Christ, the disciples had arole of spreading God`s word to all corners of the world. Hence, notonly is the duty of prophethood a provision within the Christianfaith but is also a requirement passed on to the disciples of Christ.Therefore, as much as Christian faith grows all over the globe,prophethood will remain a very crucial element to ensure that theword of God reaches as many people as possible. In the modernChristian church, there is huge emphasis on believers to discover whothey are in the church and determine their input to the overallgrowth and sustenance of the Church of God. The aim of the write-upis to decipher the theological analysis of the Luke-Actsinterpretation of the various roles of prophethood to the modernChristians, and offer a new inclination for all the ministry workersholding the Pentecostal lead when guiding the people of God.
Amongthe leading highlights gathered so evidently in the book is therevolution of the human understanding of the true meaning of thechurch and people of God. There is a clear definition of what aperson should be to claim heaven. The most basic, yet fundamentalprovision is accepting Jesus Christ as the Savior and Messiah of thehuman lives, hence, getting to heaven begins with the recognitionthat Jesus’ power exceeds all worldly powers. The Reformationdoctrine stands as a common origin point for all the believers andacts as a source for the priesthood. The source point does notdiscriminate against allegiance towards Pentecostal provisions orthose of the charismatics. The origin gives the believers a boldright of being the messengers of the gospel of God. The basis pointinstructs believers to be the messengers of the word since Godcommissioned the early believers to do so therefore, all thoseclaiming to be believers have a similar role. The book strengthensthe argument by evidence from the book of Luke and Acts to show thatthe same spirit guiding Jesus to heal the sick, raise the dead, guidehim through temptations, proclaim the kingdom, and even deliver allthose oppressed by the evil forces of the devil is the same spiritthat empowers the modern day believers to achieve similaraccomplishments. Nonetheless, the prophethood of all believers cannothave any basis if it falls short of assimilating the actions,behavior, and survival of Christ. The supporting arguments to basethe actions of the prophethood of modern day Christians follows thelogic that if Jesus was the eschatological person with ultimate mightin the deeds and in words, then it is possible for the modern dayPentecostals to do as he did.
More so, the power of the word and faith in Christ made the earlyChristians such as Philip, Barnabas, Peter, Paul, Stephen, and Agabusperform similar actions as those accomplished by Jesus. In thatright, the modern Christians are in no way different from the earlyChristians, and when they follow the right steps, the prophethoodwill cease to be a huge task of the faithful and will transform to bea normal practice in the ministry.
Spirit-baptismis centrally imperative to acclaim the necessities of modern daybelievers of the Christian faith. However, the text reveals that Pauland Luke had varied opinions on their pneumatology. Paul, through hisnumerous writings, insists on the importance of the soteriologicalnecessity of the spirit. The function of the soteriological necessityof the Spirit is to lead the people to son ship with God andincorporate them into the body of Christ. Luke fails to follow thatdirection, and his emphasis is that the function of the Spirit isrecognized “as the Spirit of prophecy that empowers God’s peoplefor mission and service.” Furthermore, Luke mentions the works andbenefits of the Spirit, baptism in the Spirit and filling people withthe spirit more times than Paul. Despite the provisions and guidancefrom Luke, there is the concern if the spirit should be acclaimedpost-salvation, or is the spirit used for service and witness. From aLukan-charismatic perception, the spirit should be post-salvation, asdone after the transfer of the Spirit to the disciples of Jesus onthe day of Pentecost. The disciples became a community filled withcharisma after being the heirs of the hugely charming ministry ofJesus Christ. From the overall Lukan perspective, the spirit baptismseems essential for the empowerment of the believers. The perceptionby Paul is that all believers need the spirit-filling to signify anew birth in word and in service of spreading the gospel to thepeople of the world. In both scenarios and cases and validating eachrepresentation, it is pivotal that believers receive the Spirit as asign of a new birth and also receive the Spirit-baptism to empowerthe service carried out by the people of God.
Thereis the huge emphasis of the book to regard Luke as a historian and atheologian to come to terms with the conclusions separating thecharismatics and the Pentecostals. In many biblical interpretations,there is no harmonizing agreement to regard the early Christians astheologians and historians at the same time. Accepting to regard Lukeas both will be of great help to the believers to guide them througha holistic and full pneumatology based on evidence found in theBible. In so doing, the Luke-Acts will be a legitimate source of datato use while making conclusions about the functions of the HolySpirit to the modern day Christian application setting. Viewing thepresentations of Luke as being independent of those by Paul willincrease the horizon by which believers use the New Testament toprove the functions of the Holy Spirit. Such recognition willvalidate the opinions presented by Luke regarding the functions ofthe Holy Spirit to all those who incline in his direction whileapplying the teachings of the New Testament. Hence, to conclude onthe validity of Luke on the current issue, it is important for alldebating sides to drop any self-serving interpretations that aim tosilence or take advantage of the characteristic theology offered byLuke. As a way forward, all the parties should come up with astructured approach to interpret the gifts of the Holy Spirit foundin Luke-Acts.
MasterPlan of Evangelism by Dr. Robert E. Coleman
Evangelismand discipleship have in years shared a common goal in the spread ofthe gospel. The goal among them is to capture as many people aspossible and make them loyal to the word of God. On account of theministry, there are millions of people venturing to the calling andeach one of them has the goal of taking the gospel to the ends of theearth. In so doing, there needs to be a structured way of handlingthe daily activities of the long-range goal. The structured approachoffers the involved parties a better way to fulfill the principlesreflected by the life of Jesus and his relationships with the people,more particularly his disciples. This is crucial since the statedlong-range goal of evangelism and discipleship does not needconverts, rather there is the urge to gain as many followers aspossible. The goal of the ministry is to have as many people droppingtheir sinful life to follow the direction set by Jesus. Teaching themto follow the footprints of Christ will not involve handing over aChristian’s manual for good living. Rather the goal is living alife that is a model and a point of reference for all the followersto emulate. Claiming success in evangelism and discipleship isincomplete at the point of only gaining disciples and followers.Henceforward, there is the further goal to build the new followers tosuch levels that the commissioned work of Christ constrains them tothe point that not only do they follow the ways of Christ, but theyalso lead others and make others aspire to lead similar lives.
Thebook offers an eight-principled approach towards evangelism anddiscipleship. The author of the book has no intention of coachingpeople of how to gain and convert more people, but his intentionsserve as “an effort to see controlling principles governing themovements of the master in the hope that our labors might beconformed to a similar pattern.” The objectivity of the eightprinciples originates from a close examination of the life of Jesusand his early interaction with the disciples and the masses. Thefirst is the selection. The selection principle is imperative to thechurch as it illustrates the first duty of a church’s leadership iscoming up with a strong foundation upon which the church can thrive.Jesus chose a few people to follow him, who were willing to learn hisways and spread them to the others. In such doing, the evangelistslearn that the importance of handling a small group at a time is thegreater and better chance to focus on them, develop their roles, andpass instructions effectively. The selection teaches leaders andoffers them an enhanced capacity to carry on with the works of theLord in honor of the ministry. Association is a training method Jesusused to train the selected disciples. In so doing, Jesus lived withthem, teaching them everything firsthand, and allowing them to be thekey witnesses of his miracles. In the same way, evangelism requiresthat leaders constantly place the disciples in touch with the majorsource of their inspiration, and come up with ways to handlespiritual development beyond the normal church services and worshipsessions.
Theconsecration was evident in that Jesus placed emphasis on loyaltybefore intelligence. The truth followed the willingness to obey, soshould be the situation in the church today. There should be ultimatedesire to dedicate one’s life to Christ and leave behindself-interests. Impartation by giving all he had showed that Jesusgave all he had to the disciples. He gave his life for the sake ofthe ministry. In the same way, our service to God should prioritizelove for other people. The demonstration was crucially important toteach the disciples how to pray, live, follow and use the Laws, andwin the souls. In a similar way in the church today, the leadersshould demonstrate to the followers on how to live according to therequirements of God.
Delegationis pivotal to the success of any evangelical mission. At first, thefollowers do very little to contribute to the ministry, but as timepasses, it is beneficial to push the new followers from their nests.Their new tasks will entail pushing the mission of the evangelismforward to connect with as many people as possible. However, the newjourney is never short of challenges as the church tries toaccomplish the provisions of the ministry. It is correct to mentionthat the calling of evangelism is not an optional function for thosein the leadership roles, rather the calling comes as a celestialcommand. Therefore, the followers should accept the challenges andwork assignments handed over to them as their purpose is to actualizethe efforts of the ministry. Jesus’ supervision involved passinginstructions to the disciples. In return, the disciples reportedtheir progress to their master who would, in turn, change theirfailures to teaching chances. Following the same engagement ofChrist, there is need to present the Church and the works of theministry to deliberate supervision for all those training to be likeJesus Christ. Reproduction remains the topmost drive for evangelism.It is an expectation that the ministry produces reproducingdisciples, whose work is endless across many diversities. In sodoing, there is assurance that the great commission of Christ willlive on for many generations to come. More so, the continuousproduction of working disciples who carry out their work as Godintends will keep the devil will away from the church.
Inconclusion, there are essentials that remain constant in everymission planned to bring more people towards the will of God. Amongthem is that the ministry must always make people a priority andensure the people stay together in a learning process. Additionally,the team must have smaller learning units that facilitate increasedattention on the teachings. Staying with the learning team andoffering them time to interpret the teachings will be pivotal toactualizing the mission. Meeting as a group to discuss progress,offering tangible tasks that will gauge the commitment of thelearners, and availing knowledge and grace within the learningprocess are also among the essential elements. The concludingessentials are helping the team eliminate and maneuver through theburdens and allowing the members to carry on with the ministry bythemselves after a given learning time.