Since every genuine believer in Christ is a “little New Jerusalem”, we need to experience all the features and aspects of the New Jerusalem today in the church life. We need to have a foretaste of the New Jerusalem today.
The New Jerusalem is a city, and today we need to be under God’s throne and live the kingdom life in the church life so that we may be the city of God, God’s kingdom on earth today.
The New Jerusalem is also the bride of the Lamb, and for us to become the bride, the wife of Christ, we need to be mature, built up, have the wedding garment ready, and be beautified by Christ.
We need to grow in the divine life unto maturity so that we may be the mature and perfected bride of Christ, the wife of the Lamb.
We need to be built up with the fellow brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ so that we may be the corporate Bride of Christ. We need to allow Christ to live in us and become our subjective righteousness as we live not in our natural man but live Christ, so that we may have the wedding garment being prepared for the wedding day.
Finally, we need to spend time with the Lord every day in His word to be beautified, advancing in the divine romance and having all our spots and wrinkles removed by the washing of the water in the Word, having Christ being wrought into us and expressed in us to become our beauty – and thus becoming the beautiful bride of Christ.
It is such a privilege that today we can cooperate with the Lord to be prepared as the bride of Christ, the wife of the Lamb, by seeking to be built up with the saints in the Body of Christ.
The church as the Bride of Christ is something corporate, a collective entity composed of those believers who fulfill the Lord’s supreme requirement and have the highest virtue – they are built up with the others in the Body of Christ. May we give ourselves to the Lord for the building up of the Body today so that the Bride may be prepared for our wedding day!
God is Seeking a Building – the Mingling of Himself with Humanity
Throughout the whole Bible God speaks many things and does many works, but the central and divine thought of the Scriptures is that God is seeking a building, which is the mingling of Himself with humanity (see Gen. 2:22-23; Rev. 21:2, 9-11). God wants to be mingled with man and have a building with man, that is, a building that is the mingling of God and man.
For this, God created the universe and He created man. He Himself became a man and mingled Himself with man in the person of the Lord Jesus. Through His death on the cross, the Lord Jesus has redeemed us, and in His resurrection He became a life-giving Spirit to enter into man and mingle God with man for God’s building to be produced.
When we receive the Lord Jesus into our heart at the time of our regeneration, unbeknownst to us, God starts a process of mingling Himself with us. The more we enjoy the Lord today, the more God is mingling Himself with us.
The goal of God’s dispensing and His speaking to us in so many ways is that He would obtain a building, a corporate entity of God mingled with man. We preach the gospel not merely to save sinners and bring them in the kingdom of God but to minister God into them and help them be mingled with God and become materials for God’s building.
We take care of the new ones, the children, the young people, and the saints because we want to minister Christ to them so that they also can be mingled with God and built up together in the Body.
We all need to see that the goal of the Lord’s recovery is to recover Christ as life and everything to us so that we may be transformed and built up. When we are built up together, God will have a building. (Life-study of Exodus, p. 1340)
As those who are in the process of preparation to be the bride of Christ, we love our King, spend time with Him, enjoy Him in the kingdom of the Son of God’s love, we are being inwardly subdued, and we are built up together with the saints in the Body of Christ.
Only the Lord really knows our true situation and our real condition; He knows how much we are mingled with God and how much we are built up with others in the Body of Christ.
What God is after is a building, the mingling of God with man, and for this Christ is everything to us and the other members of the Body are around us to help us be mingled more with God and be built up together in the Body for God to have a building.
The Lord’s Supreme and Highest Requirement of His Faithful Seekers is that they would be Built Up Together
We need to see what age we live in: we live at the end of the age of the church, and what God desires to have on earth today is the built-up Body of Christ. When the Body of Christ is built up, the bride is prepared, and the Lord will return.
The Lord’s supreme and highest requirement of us, His faithful seekers, is that we would be built up with our fellow believers. The Lord’s highest requirement is NOT that we would sacrifice everything and go somewhere far away and do a great work for God; rather, what God requires of us supremely is that we would be built up with the saints He put us with.
From our experience we can testify that it is much easier to be built up with brothers and sisters around the world but it is not that easy to pay the price and live a God-man life in the church life, learning to be built up with our fellow believers. We need to seek the Lord earnestly on our behalf and on others’ behalf,
Lord, give us the experiences we need to be built up! You desire to have a building among men, the mingling of God with man. Lord, don’t let us finish our course in isolation and individualism. We give ourselves to You to be built up in Christ with the saints You placed us with!
What transcends human ethics and the highest human morality is the highest virtue of the saints who pursue after Christ, which is, being built up together with the saints. For this, we need the Lord to shine on us, expose our individualism and independence, and work Himself into us to the point that we realize that we cannot do anything without the members of the Body.
It is not that difficult to live “a good Christian life” and it is not that demanding to be a “church-going Christian”, but what demands the transformation of our inner being (and not only our outward actions) and the denial of our self is being built up together with the saints.
If we pay the price of losing our soul life, denying the self, and taking up the cross in order to be built up with the saints today, we will be a part of the corporate bride of Christ that will enjoy Him for a thousand years in the next age.
But if we choose to live our life the way we want to, doing the things we desire, and from time to time meet and enjoy the Lord, there will be a thousand years in which we will have to learn to be built up “the hard way”.
May the Lord shine on us and impress us with our need to be built up with the saints in God’s building for Him to gain a corporate built-up Bride, His wife.
Lord, give us the experiences that we need to be built up with the saints in the Body of Christ. Work Yourself into us and build us up with the saints in the Body. Lord, save us from our individualism and independence. Search us, shine on us, and infuse us; remove any obstacle to the building in our being! We aspire to have the highest virtue of being built up with the saints in the Body, according to Your foremost attribute – oneness. Lord, gain a built up church for the preparation of the Bride that You desire!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Ron Kangas’ sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, The Secret of God’s Organic Salvation — “the Spirit Himself with Our Spirit,” (ch. 4), as quoted in, the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Aspects of the Christian Life and Church Life Seen in the New Jerusalem, week 2 / msg 2, The City and the Bride (you can buy this morning revival book here).
- Hymns on this topic:
# Build us up, build us up, as with one another sup’. / Hallelujah—the riches of Christ! / Build us up, build us up, as with You we all rise up. / Hallelujah—the living Body! / As blended members / Of His one Body, / We, the Lord do glorify! / His Light does shine! / Reviving Life does flow! / And we do see that Satan is crushed! (Hymn on being built up)
# Oh, what a sweet church life have we! / Built up in Him, His bride to be! / In Him steadfast, you help me be; / Encouraged by Christ whom I see. / Your faith in Christ helps me pursue; / My progress depends upon you! / As I seek Christ, with you in view, / My heart, full of prayers, is for you. (Hymn on Depending on the Body)
# In God’s house and in Thy Body / Builded up I long to be, / That within this corporate vessel / All shall then Thy glory see; / That Thy Bride, the glorious city, / May appear upon the earth, / As a lampstand brightly beaming / To express to all Thy worth. (Hymns #840)
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