Having included the practice of laying hands on people should draw our attention, for it would not be among the list of elementary doctrine if it did not have spiritual significance. Although it formed an essential part of the ministry of our Messiah, it was also well understood and practiced by the Apostles and early believers . . .
Baptisms, it seems, would become one of the greatest controversies in the Body of Messiah. There are two extreme doctrines on water baptism, marginalizing Believers into those who believe that baby baptism seals children into the covenant of salvation, and those who immerge repentant Believers into water as a testimony of their identification with the death and resurrection of Messiah. Many sincere Believers assert . . .
The “talents” in this parable represent an amount of money entrusted to His servants in order to equip them for the work they have to do in His Kingdom while He is away (in heaven). In the context of this parable, it seems clear that each ‘citizen of heaven’ will receive different responsibilities, and it does not depend on ‘how much has been entrusted,’ but how faithful the servant will be over that which has been entrusted to him.
No one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of the Spirit (John 3:5-8), and shortly after His resurrection, we see that Jesus “breathed” on His disciples, saying to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit,’ (John 20:22).
Being an eyewitness of Messiah and His teachings was a key attribute and qualification of a true apostle. John explained this very distinctly in his epistle, namely ‘What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have held and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life – and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us – WHAT WE HAVE SEEN AND HEARD WE PROCLAIM TO YOU ALSO . . .
The gifts of the Spirit are given to the body not to draw attention to the one who received such a gift, on the contrary, the gifts are distributed among the members of the Body for the purpose to serve. The attitude in the Body should thus be to . . .
‘And He (Jesus Christ) gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ,’ (Eph 4:11-13).