Starting from our regeneration and until the Lord returns to rapture us or until we go to be with the Lord, the governing law of our life and work is the Body of Christ. Everything we are, everything we do, everything we say, should be for the Body, for the building up of the Body.
The Triune God is working in us and around us to produce and build up the Body of Christ (see Eph. 3:16-21). All the work we do with the Lord is for the Body.
What God desires to gain in this age, the age of grace, is the Body of Christ, the corporate expression of the Triune God through a group of people who have been reconstituted, re-modelled, and built up with Christ as their element and substance to live Christ!
growing in life for the Body
Our eating of the Lord, drinking of the Spirit, breathing in of God, and all our feeding on the Triune God in all His riches in His Word and in the ministry is for one purpose – for the buiding up of the Body of Christ.
We grow in life for the Body, we enjoy the Lord for the Body, and all our spiritual healthy practices of life are for the Body.
Why do we pray over the Word of God? For the Body. Why do we sing and enjoy many hymns, both personally and corporately? For the building up of the Body. The more we enjoy the Lord, the more we grow in life, and the more we are transformed, the more the Body of Christ is built up!
Everything we do affects the Body; for this reason we need to be those who take the lead to enjoy the Lord by exercising their spirit. We must be persons who live in their mingled spirit, according to the Spirit of God who dwells in us for the accomplishment of God’s eternal economy!
God’s eternal economy is to produce and build up the Body of Christ which consummates in the New Jerusalem as God’s heart’s desire and God’s ultimate goal.
Everything God does today is for this, and everything we do and we are is for this only purpose – the building up of the Body of Christ. Our daily renewing, transformation, conformation, sanctification, etc – are all for this, for the Body!
the church, the ministry, and the work
In the New Testament we see these three distinct matters: the church, the ministry, and the work. They all derive their existence from, find their place in, and work for the good of the Body.
The church is the life of the Body of Christ in miniature in a certain place. The ministry is the functioning of the Body in service. The work is the reaching out of the Body of Christ in growth and increase.
All these are inter-related and they are for the Body. Without the Body as the principle of our life and work in our Christian life, everything is man-made and not God-created. The basic principle of the work, the ministry, and the church is the Body of Christ.
All the local churches are for the Body of Christ and not “for themselves”, for their region, for their country or for their continent. We are in the local church for the Body – to build up the universal organic Body of Christ.
Those who serve full time in the Lord’s work don’t do anything for their own glory or according to their interest – they serve and work with the Lord for the Body. The ones who have the portion of speaking messages or prophesying do this not to build up their own congregation but for the building up of the unique Body of Christ.
The church, the ministry, and the work have a basic principle and a goal – the building up of the Body of Christ!
only one work for the one unique Body
Actually, there is only one unique work we all are doing today, and that work is for the Body. We are all learning to work with the Lord for the Body.
Paul, Peter, John, and James in the New Testament did only one work, the same work, though they had different ministries – they were one in the divine fellowship for the Body of Christ. They didn’t consider themselves as being separate from the others – they were one for the building up of the Body in all that they did and spoke.
It should be the same with us today – we don’t need to do “a different work”, and we don’t need to be different in our local church from the other churches. We need to do only one work locally and universally – working with the Lord for the Body!
As the lovers of Christ, we want to carry out with our Beloved the work that is for the entire world (the fields) – our work must be for the Body (Eph. 4:12). Our work in the church life and our work in the Lord’s recovery is the work of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 15:58).
We need to let the Lord have the freedom to adjust us so that we would do just this one work – the building up of the Body of Christ!
Lord Jesus, open our eyes to see what You are doing today. Cause us to see the one work, Lord, the one unique work You are doing over the whole earth. May we be adjusted in our working and our laboring for the church. We just want to be one with You in the work of the producing and the building up of the Body of Christ. Lord, we are here for this – for the Body! May the governing law of our life and work be the Body!
References and Further Reading
- Sharing inspired from, The Normal Christian Church Life (Watchman Nee, pages 186-188), and, Elders’ Training, Book 11: The Eldership and the God-ordained Way (3) (by Witness Lee, pp. 118-119), as quoted in, the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Taking the Lead as Elders and Responsible Ones, week 8.
- Buy the morning revival book online via LSM.
- Hymns on this topic:
# There’s a Body in the universe and we belong to it — / Hallelujah, for the Lord has made us one!
# There is one Body in this universe, / And we express it here on earth;
# Serve and work within the Body, / This the Lord doth signify; / For His purpose is the Body, / And with it we must comply
- Picture source: 1 Cor. 15:58.