This week in our enjoyment with the Lord in the morning we come to, Growing unto Maturity to Become the New Jerusalem as the Ultimate Consummation of the Church. We have to see that our desperate need today is to grow in life unto maturity for the Body of Christ to be built up.
The building up of the Body of Christ through our growth in life is the living out and building up of the New Jerusalem! God doesn’t build the church in this age and then in the next age He builds up the New Jerusalem, leaving the church aside; rather, God builds up the church in this age and the building up of the church is the building up of the New Jerusalem!
Today every believer should be a little New Jerusalem, and every local church should be a miniature of the New Jerusalem. Every characteristic of the New Jerusalem needs to be the characteristics of the built-up church today!
For the building up of the church today we all need to grow in life unto maturity, and we need to be transformed into the precious stones that compose and adorn the New Jerusalem.
Lord, open our eyes to see our need to grow in life unto maturity. May we really see the desperate need to mature in life so that the Body may be built up. Lord, gain the building up of the Body through the growth of all the saints in life.
We need to Grow in Life Unto Maturity
It is very important for us as believers in Christ to grow in life, because the growth in life of all the believers is the building up of the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:16). If you put together all our growth in life, you have the building up of the Body. If there’s no growth, there’s no building.
It is crucial to grow in life and minister life to one another so that together we may grow and thus the Body may be built up for the preparation of the Bride of Christ and the bringing in of the New Jerusalem.
God is doing only one thing in this universe – He is building up His eternal habitation! The main street in the Bible is God’s building, and the entire Bible shows us that God is building Himself into us and us into God so that we may grow in life for the building of God, His eternal habitation.
It is a tragedy for someone to be a believer, a real Christian, and even in the Lord’s recovery in the church life for many years and yet not to grow in life. We may be in the church life for many years, we may pass through many trials in the human life, we may even go through storms in the church, and yet remain the same, with no progress in life.
May the Lord have mercy on us that we may grow in life, progress in life, and not remain the same, but rather grow unto maturity and even minister life to the other saints. May our growth in life be manifested to all the saints as we practice these things and are immersed in them (1 Tim. 4:15).
The Urgent Need for Some who are Means of Supply to the Church
May we be those like the apostle Paul, whose life and existence made a difference to the going on of the saints. It made a difference to the Body of Christ whether he would live and die – he was a channel of supply for the saints growth in life and enjoyment of Christ (Phil. 1:24-25).
We need to give ourselves to grow in life and enjoy the Lord, so that we may progress in the Lord and in the enjoyment of Christ. It should matter to the church whether we live or die, and our living and going on should matter to the saints.
Whether this is true or not with us depends on the degree of our living Christ, magnifying Christ, ministering Christ, and transfusing Christ from the depths of our being into the being of the saints.
There is an urgent need for such means of supply, such like Paul, who are ministers of life and channels of the growth in life and the enjoyment of Christ to the saints!
Being in the Process of Transformation Unto Maturity
We can see the process of transformation unto maturity in Jacob’s life in the Old Testament. Our regeneration is the beginning of the process of transformation, and as we grow in life and go on with the Lord our path should be brighter and brighter until the full day (Prov. 4:18).
We may struggle with God as Jacob did, but even this struggle is for our transformation. God uses all the people, matters, situations, things and around us to put us in the oven of transformation, just as Isaac, Rebecca, Laban, and Esau were used by God as Jacob’s oven of transformation.
God arranges each aspect in our environment to carry out His transformation work. All the things, all the persons, and all the situations work together for good if we love God, working to sink us into our spirit and to conform us to the image of the Firstborn Son of God. In this way, as we are being transformed we are being loaded with good (Psa. 68:19).
The consummation and the final result of our transformation is for us to be brought to maturity, for us to be filled with the divine life which changes us.
Our supplanting hands need to become blessing hands, overflowing with life. At the end of his life, Jacob blessed Pharaoh, the ruler over the whole world…When we bless others, we bring them into the presence of God and we bring God to others to enjoy Him!
The final product of our transformation, growth in life, and building up, is the New Jerusalem! When God builds up the church, He is building up the New Jerusalem!
Our Lord today is preparing us as transformed material for God’s building, and all the difficulties in all our environments strike us to deal with us and prepare us as living and precious stones for God’s building (see 1 Pet. 2:4-5; 1 Cor. 3:12a; 1 Kings 6:7; cf. 1 Chron. 6:31-32).
Lord, cause us to see this wonderful process of transformation and growing in life unto maturity for the building up of the Body of Christ to consummate the New Jerusalem. May our Christian path be brighter and brighter until the full day. Grow in us, Lord, and transform us that we may be the living and precious stones for the building up of the church as the Body of Christ. May our growth in life be manifested to all and be an encouragement to all the saints for their progress in faith and enjoyment of Christ!
References and Further Reading
- This sharing is inspired from brother Ed Marks’ speaking in this message and portions in, The Administration of the Church and the Ministry of the Word (ch. 1), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, ITERO spring 2013 “The Experience, Growth, and Ministry of Life for the Body“, week 7 entitled, Growing unto Maturity to Become the New Jerusalem as the Ultimate Consummation of the Church.
- Buy this morning revival book online via Living Stream Ministry.
- Hymns on this topic:
# When I first believed, and His life I received, / The seed was sown into me. / Now this seed must grow, and this zoe life flow / As on to maturity. / Am I a person of life? / Do I experience life? / Does my living bear the issues of life?
# Minding just the spirit, we the cross will know, / And His resurrection pow’r thru us will flow; / Minding just the spirit, Christ will live thru me, / And His life within will reach maturity.
# Let Your life within me saturate, / Let Your life within me permeate. / May all Your fulness be expressed through me / And my being be conformed to Thee.
- Pictures credit: two edited instagrams from here and here.
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