What consequences does the ascension of Jesus have for the nature of the church?

Jesus ascension means that the spirit comes
Acts 1-2, John 16

-

Next step in salvation history The nature of the church then is that it is spirit filled

Following this, as a result of his ascension, Jesus apportioned gifts to build up the body of Christ
‘But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: ‘When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men’ […] It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ’- Eph 4:713

 

Therefore the consequence of the ascension is that, through the Spirit, Jesus has given gifts to build up his body The nature of the church is that it is the body of Christ which seeks to grow in unity, knowledge and maturity through gifts apportioned to individuals within it

The ascended Jesus is our Great High Priest
Hebrews. 7:25-26, 4:14, 1 John 2:1

• • •

Nature of church is that it has one priest who intercedes for it o We all have direct access to Christ o No domination in church structure (eg. Like Pope) Because he has taken the human nature to heaven in the hypostatic union he is able to continually interceed/identify with us emphathetically In some sense we need Jesus to be ascended (7:26)

Church exists to be testimony to ascended Christ
And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8) All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you (Mt 28:19-20)

• •

Jesus commands his disciples to bear witness to him right before he ascends Church is mission (not a means to mission)

Church operates on base of faith not sight
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Heb 11:1)

Nature of the Church is that it is faithful to the ascended Lord whom we do not see

Jesus authority – ascended to the throne: exalted
Phil 2

• • •

Our Lord is the one who is in authority… sense of victory (we are on the winning side) Even though the church is oppressed we have a triumphant Lord (reason for peace in world of turmoil) Church has promise also of exaltation

Jesus has ascended  judgement seat
• Church has some level of accountability???

Ascension points to the final step in salvation history  the parousia
• Church is temporary in the eschatological scheme of things