Leadership Seminar (hosting Shane Willard)
in it, has to be done in the disposition of messiah. In the first Century, specifically around the gift of prophecy,
prophets were tested. So if somebody gave a word of prophecy, the first thing that would be done is they would test
it, and they have this bench of three. They had these three guys sitting in holy-man chairs, and they sat up above
people, and they would test the prophecy. They would have all these questions about the prophecy, and the first
question of prophecy was not: is it true? It was NOT: is it true? The first question of prophecy was: was it delivered in
a manner that was consistent with the disposition of messiah?
In other words, did the person delivering the prophe cy, deliver it in a compassionate, gracious, slow to anger,
abounding-in-love, way? In other words, if somebody delivered a prophecy, it could be 100 -percent spot-on true; but
it would be considered false prophecy, if it was delivered in a tone that was no t compassionate, not gracious, not slow
to anger. In other words, let me say it this way: you can be right, but be wrong, at the top of your voice. That when
you minister, whether your ministry is singing; playing the drums; greeting people at the front do or; parking cars and
saying hello out there; dressing up like Barney, and waving at children and handing them lollies; preaching, teaching
like in these meetings - am I delivering? Has everything I said, has there been some challenging things in there? Has
there been some things that say: hey, we need to look at how we're living? Like specifically, the one about avoiding
hell; like did anybody besides me find yourself in hell? Anybody? [Laughs] Anybody in here struggle with anger, or
calling someone an idiot, things like that?
I mean, how many of us have been challenged? I mean like, a lot of my message is very gracious, and it should be. I
want to be very gracious. At the same time, sometimes we need to be challenged to a better life; but the test of what
I'm saying is: did I deliver it in a manner that was compassionate; gracious; slow to anger; abounding in love and
forgiveness? Or did I deliver it in a prideful, puffed-up manner, that made me look better than anybody else? See, we
have to be that. It is the disposition of messiah.
So for the rest of tonight, I want to talk to you about demonstration. I want to talk to you about demonstrating God's
power, and I can't talk to you about demonstrating God's power without understanding that no matter what we have,
no matter what power gift we have, no matter what we do with what we have, if we do not use our gifts inside the
disposition of messiah, then we miss the point. We miss the point. Now in 1 Corinthians 2, one of the New Years
resolutions that me and my group made in Charleston, is that we never want to be a punch -line in one of Jesus'
parables. So in 2008, we do not want to live in such a way where we're a punch line in one of Jesus' parables.
So we have this police man - I'm being euphemistic there - she has become the policeman for the whole group with
that, and her name is Joanne. What Joanne does - let me tell you what I mean by don't be a punch line in Jesus'
parable; like we were all sitting around, and one of the people in the group was complainin g, like really whinging
pretty bad. Joanne had had enough of it, so she said: there's this lady, and she was blessed by God, and she'd be in
the richest one per cent of the whole world, because she owns two cars and a house. She came in, and was
complaining about her day, while in the same day, people were being raped and murdered and pillaged in Sudan, just
because of their faith in Jesus Christ; yet she was complaining because she had to wait in traffic. Surely that woman's
life will be required of her tonight; and everybody's like: okay, yeah, we'll quit complaining. [Laughter] And so we
started filtering it all through that; so I challenge us tonight to really - it's very, very easy. I'm going to go all the way
back to the first night we did this, all the way back to last week.
It's very, very easy to have Jesus Christ as a doctrine. It's very, very easy, and there's nothing wrong with that,
nothing wrong with believing the right things about Jesus, nothing wrong with it. But what we need to be challenged
to, as leaders, is to take it one step further, and: have we moved to yoke? Have we moved from doctrine to yoke, to a
way of life to where we're binding people to a certain way of life, and we're loosing people to live a certain way? Are
we doing that? Now with that in mind, in 1 Corinthians 2, here's what's going on. This was a letter written to a group
of first Century Christians, in a city called Corinth; and he leaves, and sends the letter back, because of reports of
some problems, which stands to reason. He goes into an area where there are seven or eight different gods. One of
the gods in the region received worship through sexual acts and so one of the ways they worshipped that god, was
you'd go to church on whatever day you went to church, and they had temple prostitutes there. You would just pick up
your prostitute, and you'd come in here and you worship the god, okay, through intimacy.
Alright, so there was all kinds of really odd sort of things going on there; so Paul goes in there, and he gets a bunch
of people saved, and he leaves; and he leaves them there to form a church. Now how many of you know that there is
going to be problems with that? There's hairs on that. There's stuff that needs to be corrected, and some historians
say that 1 and 2 Corinthians, which is what we have in our Bible, was actually like either 4 and 5 Corinthians, that
there was several letters before this, so he was trying to help sort them out. So in 1 Corinthians 2, he says this. I think
it's in Verse 1. It says: so it is with me, when I came to you, that I did not come with eloquence of speech, but I came
determined to only know Christ, and him crucified. Now this Paul, the great orator, the great debater, this is the guy