A MUTUAL LIFE
We have to realize that the life we received is perfect but not complete. God has not given us a complete life. Our life is one that depends on other lives. The life we received from Christ is a mutual life. It is not independent. I have to rely on you, and you have to rely on me. We cannot live without each other. Therefore, we need the church.
Some institutions in the world have their attached departments, and some colleges have attached schools. In the same sense, we Christians are attached one to another. We live by attaching to each other. From the first day on we have to learn not to be independent. We have to be part of the church and live with other children of God.
Hence, to come into the church does not mean to be converted from being an unbeliever to a believer. It means that those who are already Christians should not be independent; rather, they should be related to others in the church.
NOT AN EASY MATTER
Of which church then should we be a part?
In the old days, this was not a big problem because there was only one church in the whole world. But today the matter has become very complicated. Presently, merely the organized and sizable denominations number at least fifteen hundred. In some cities you can easily name a hundred organizations that call themselves a church. As a Christian it is not easy to choose one out of the fifteen hundred without being somewhat swayed by others’ influence.
THE WORD OF GOD GIVES THE WAY
Due to the confusion, the problem of identifying oneself with a church is a very difficult one. Yet if you would go according to the Word of God and look at the matter from the biblical point of view, there is still a way. The Word of God has a clear revelation concerning this matter. It shows us clearly of which church we should be a part.
However, we have to know a little more about the divisions in the church. Only then will we know what God is after. When we have the discernment, we will know which church is according to the Word of God.
(The Normal Christian Faith, Chapter 16, by Watchman Nee)