2017 ITEROS Message Three


Cooperating with the Heavenly Ministry of the Ascended Christ

Message Three

The Pattern of the Apostle Paul in Cooperating with Christ’s Heavenly Ministry to Shepherd
People for the Building Up of the Body of Christ

Opening Word of the Prophesying Meeting

Reading the verses in each day.

Reading the main points in the outlines.

Pray-reading the verses:

For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, even as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction with joy of the Holy Spirit, So that you became a pattern to all those who believe in Macedonia and in Achaia—1 Thes. 1:5-7.

Word of Appetizer

What is the pattern of the apostle Paul in cooperating with Christ’s heavenly ministry to shepherd people for the building up of the body of Christ?

Paul was a pattern to the believers of living and ministering Christ as the Spirit in his spirit for the building up of the Body of Christ. Paul fed his spiritual children with his own living of Christ. The apostles cherished the believers and yearned over them as a nursing mother would cherish and yearn over her own children.

Spiritual Burden

Paul was a pattern of cooperating with Christ’s heavenly ministry to shepherd people for the building up of the Body of Christ. We need to follow the pattern of the apostles to pay more attention to life than to work. The best way to shepherd people, to cherish and nourish them, is to give them a proper pattern; Paul fed his spiritual children with his own living of Christ.

Concluding Word of the Prophesying Meeting

The Revelation of the Truth

Paul was a pattern of cooperating with Christ’s heavenly ministry to shepherd people for the building up of the Body of Christ.

The apostles were a pattern of the glad tidings that they spread—“you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.”

Paul was a pattern to the believers of living and ministering Christ as the Spirit in his spirit for the building up of the Body of Christ.

The best way to shepherd people, to cherish and nourish them, is to give them a proper pattern; Paul fed his spiritual children with his own living of Christ.

The Experience of Life

The best way to shepherd people, to cherish and nourish them, is to give them a proper pattern—the person is the way, and the person is the Lord’s work; what you are is what you do.

How much we will be used by the Lord and how long our usefulness will last depend on whether we seek glory from men.

Practice and Application

We need to follow the pattern of the apostles—lived by the Spirit, walked by the Spirit, sowed unto the Spirit, and ministered the Spirit as a spiritual man who lived and served in his spirit. We need live and minister Christ as the Spirit in his spirit for the building up of the Body of Christ.

Using Key Verses to Have a Bird’s-Eye View over the Whole Outline

Key Verses (1)

“You know what kind of men we were among you for your sake” —1 Thes. 1:5b.

Be imitators together of me, brothers, and observe those who thus walk even as you have us as a pattern—Phil. 3:17.

For the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of ChristEph. 4:12.

Paul was a pattern of cooperating with Christ’s heavenly ministry to shepherd people for the building up of the Body of Christ

II. The apostles were a pattern of the glad tidings that they spread—“you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake”:

•In the church the most important thing is the person; the person is the way, and the person is the Lord’s work; what you are is what you do; to pay more attention to life than to work.

III. Paul was a pattern to the believers of living and ministering Christ as the Spirit in his spirit for the building up of the Body of Christ:

•Paul took Christ as everything—as his living, pattern, goal, and secret.

•Paul lived by the Spirit, walked by the Spirit, sowed unto the Spirit, and ministered the Spirit as a spiritual man who lived and served in his spirit.

•Paul lived and did everything in the Body, through the Body, and for the Body.

Key Verses (2)

For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, even as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction with joy of the Holy Spirit, So that you became a pattern to all those who believe in Macedonia and in Achaia—1 Thes. 1:5-7.

IV. The best way to shepherd people, to cherish and nourish them, is to give them a proper pattern (I)

A. The apostles not only preached the gospel but also lived it; their ministering of the gospel was not only by word but also by a life that displayed the power of God, a life in the Holy Spirit and in the assurance of faith.

B. The saints in Thessalonica became imitators of the apostles; this led them to follow the Lord, to take Him as their pattern, thus making them a pattern to all other believers.

C. The apostle Paul stressed repeatedly the apostles’ entrance toward the believers; this shows that their manner of life played a great role in infusing the gospel into the new converts.

Key Verses (3)

Nor did we seek glory from men, neither from you nor from others, though we could have stood on our authority as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle in your midst, as a nursing mother would cherish her own children. Yearning in this way over you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own souls, because you became beloved to us—1 Thes. 2:6-8.

IV. The best way to shepherd people, to cherish and nourish them, is to give them a proper pattern (II)

•The apostles were first tested and approved by God and then were entrusted by Him with the gospel; hence, their speaking, the preaching of the gospel was not of themselves to please men but of God to please Him.

•The apostles did not seek glory from men.

•The apostles did not stand on their authority or dignity as apostles of Christ.

•The apostles cherished the believers and yearned over them as a nursing mother would cherish and yearn over her own children.

•The apostles not only imparted the gospel of God to the Thessalonians; they also imparted their own souls.

 

Prophesying Topics—Twelve Topics per Week

D1
T1 In the church the most important thing is the person (Phil. 3:17)

(Please explain that in the church, business affairs do not take priority; rather, life takes priority.)

T2 God cares for what we are more than what we do (John 12:24; 2 Cor. 4:12)

(Please explain that we have to learn to be the proper person more than to learn to do the proper things.)

D2
T1 Paul was a pattern of believers (1 Tim. 1:16; 4:12; Rom. 8:16) (Refer to Outlines III. A-E)

(Please explain that Paul was a pattern to the believers of living and ministering Christ as the Spirit in his spirit for the building up of the Body of Christ.)

T2 We need to contact and take care of others (2 Cor. 1:23—2:14; 11:28-29)

(Please use Bible verses to explain how apostle Paul, the top apostle, contacted people and took care of people’s need.)

D3

T1 Our manner of living should be the pattern of the new converts (1 Thes. 2:1-12)

(Please explain that the best way to shepherd people, to cherish and nourish them, is to give them a proper pattern.)

T2 The apostles were a pattern of how to believe in the Lord and follow Him (1 Thes. 1:5-9)

(Please explain that the apostles’ manner of life was not only what the apostles said but also what they were.)

D4

T1 The apostle experienced God when they preached gospel (1 Thes. 1:5-9; 2:1)

(Please explain that their manner of life played a great role in infusing the gospel into the new converts.)

T2 It is very important that Christian workers learn to avoid the snare of glory-seeking (1 Thes. 2:6)

(According to the New Testament, please explain that anyone who seeks glory of men is a follower of Satan.)

D5

T1 Paul did not stand on his dignity as an apostle in order to claim something for himself. (1 Cor. 9:12)

(Please explain that in the church life we should learn of Paul never to stand on our dignity or assert authority.)

T2 Paul regarded himself as a cherishing one, not merely as one who serves (1 Thes. 2:7-8)

(Please explain that even though Paul was a brother, he considered himself a nursing mother.)

D6

T1 Paul was willing to spend not only what he had, but was willing to spend himself (2 Cor. 12:15)

(Please explain that the apostles not only imparted the gospel of God to the Thessalonians; they also imparted their own souls.)

T2 Paul likens himself to a father exhorting his children (1 Thes. 2:11-12)

(Please explain that the apostles considered themselves as fathers in exhorting the believers to walk worthily of God.)

 

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