The Intrinsic and Organic Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christ – Week 4
The Intrinsic Fellowship of the Churches for Their Organic Relationship
11 Saying, What you see write in a scroll and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamos and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.
1 Cor. 16:19
19 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Prisca greet you much in the Lord, with the church, which is in their house.
3 He who eats, let him not despise him who does not eat; and he who does not eat, let him not judge him who eats, for God has received him.
1 Peter 4:8-9
8 Above all, have fervent love among yourselves, because love covers a multitude of sins.
9 Be hospitable to one another without murmuring,
7 Therefore receive one another, as Christ also received you to the glory of God.
Col. 3:10-11, 15
10 And have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
11 Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.
15 And let the peace of Christ arbitrate in your hearts, to which also you were called in one Body; and be thankful.
25 But now I am going to Jerusalem, ministering to the saints.
26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.
The Lord blended the seven churches in Asia into one by sending them one total epistle respectively and collectively with the whole book of Revelation (1: 4, 11; 2: 1—3: 22). On the one hand, the Lord wrote each church an epistle, and on the other hand, He put all seven epistles together as one total epistle and sent it to each one of the seven churches. Eventually, all seven churches received the same thing. The book of Revelation shows that there should be only one church in one city. It also reveals that all the churches collectively should also be one. This should give us a clear view that in the eyes of the Lord the churches are one. The Lord has only one Body. In order for the churches to exist on the globe, we have to be scattered, but our being scattered should not be a basic factor that causes us to be separated and divided. (CWWL, 1991-1992, vol. 4, “One Body and One Spirit,” pp. 434-435)
Some saints among us traveled from locality to locality, from church to church, trying to find a church that would match their preference and taste. This kind of attitude is offensive. It offends the Body of Christ. We should not put any demands on the church where we are. We have to humble ourselves and submit ourselves to the church where we are. Furthermore, we must try our best to avoid any discord. A little leaven leavens the whole lump (1 Cor. 5: 6-7). We must therefore be on the alert. Locally, we must be in one accord, without any opinion, and we must also keep the oneness in the universal Body.
The apostle Paul blended the two churches in Colossae and Laodicea together as one by sending them epistles in common (Col. 4: 16). He wrote a letter to the church in Colossae and charged them to let the church in Laodicea read it. He also wrote a letter to Laodicea and asked Laodicea to let Colossae read it…. The apostle Paul [also] practiced the fellowship of the Body among the churches in his greetings (Rom. 16: 1-16, 20-24).
For the Lord’s move in His recovery both locally and universally, we all need to be Body-conscious in one accord and Body-centered in oneness. (CWWL, 1991-1992, vol. 4, “One Body and One Spirit,” pp. 435-436)[Romans 14—16 shows]… two crucial matters. The first matter is in imitating the apostle to bring the local churches into the fellowship of the Body of Christ (14: 3; 15: 7-9, 25-33); the second matter is in following in the apostle’s footsteps to bring all the saints into the blending life of the entire Body of Christ.
We must have the reality of the fellowship and blending of the Body of Christ. Otherwise, regardless of how much we pursue and how simple and humble we are, sooner or later there will be problems, even divisions, among us. Hence, we must be governed by the vision of the Body and follow in the footsteps of the apostle by bringing all the saints in all the churches into the blending life of the entire Body of Christ. (CWWL, 1994-1997, vol. 5, “The Experience of God’s Organic Salvation Equaling Reigning in Christ’s Life,” pp. 513, 516)
The purpose of the blending is to usher us all into the reality of the Body of Christ…. I treasure the local churches because of a purpose. The local churches are the procedure to bring me into the Body of Christ. The churches are the Body, but the churches may not have the reality of the Body of Christ. Thus, we need to be in the local churches so that we can be ushered, or brought, into the reality of the Body of Christ. (CWWL, 1994-1997, vol. 1, “The Practical Points concerning Blending,” p. 104)
Further Reading: CWWL, 1963, vol. 1, “The Divine Stream”; CWWL, 1994-1997, vol. 1, “The Practical Points concerning Blending,” chs. 1, 3-5
Life eternal brings us
Fellowship of life,
Fellowship in Spirit,
Saving us from strife.
Life eternal gives us
Thus the Lord as Spirit
May with us combine.
It is life in Spirit
Brings this fellowship;
Fellowship in Spirit
Doth with grace equip.
We, by life’s enabling,
Fellowship in Spirit
Brings us into light.
By the outward cleansing,
Fellowship we keep;
Fellowship we reap.
Fellowship is deepened
Thru the cross of death;
Fellowship is lifted
By the Spirit’s breath.
Fellowship will free us
From our sinful self;
Fellowship will bring us
Into God Himself.
© Living Stream Ministry, 2016, used by permission