BUILT UP WITH OTHERS
The Lord reminded Peter that he was a stone for the building up of the church. He was not built up in the universal church in a general way, but practically in the church at Jerusalem. Do not say that you are just in the church. In which local church are you being built up? Do not say that you are just a member of the Body of Christ. You must have a location. Once you are located, you are no longer a wandering star (Jude 13). We must have a location, and we must be built. Once we are located, we have a good opportunity to be built in. First we are located, then we are built in. Migration is wonderful, but do not move from city to city. We must be able to declare to the whole universe that we have been located and that we are now being built into a particular local church. We must not only be in Matthew 16 in the universal church, but also in Matthew 18 in the local church.
Growth, transformation, and building occur simultaneously. We should not think that these are three distinct stages. Although it may sound logical to say that growth, transformation, and building are three separate stages, this is not true according to the spiritual life in the church and the kingdom. Growth, transformation, and building progress together. The more you grow, the more you are transformed; the more you are transformed, the more you are built up. The amount of transformation depends on the amount of growth, and the amount of building depends on the amount of transformation.
THE NEED FOR GROWTH IN LIFE
In the coming years the Lord will increase both the number of churches and also the number of saints in the churches. More and more saints will be added to the local churches, and more and more churches will be built up. May the Lord make us very clear that the local churches in the Lord’s recovery are absolutely different from today’s Christianity. Christianity is composed mainly of formalism or fundamentalism or Pentecostalism. Formalism stresses correct forms; fundamentalism emphasizes teachings and doctrines; Pentecostalism emphasizes the gifts. However, in the local churches we need one unique thing—the growth in life. We do not need other things. Although people may have been helped by formalism, fundamentalism, or Pentecostalism, the subtle enemy will do his best to prevent them from proceeding further than these three things. We all must see that the Lord’s recovery primarily needs the growth in life. Although we may have received some help from formalism, fundamentalism, or Pentecostalism, we must proceed further to seek the growth in life. Only the growth in life can bring us to the goal.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 14, by Witness Lee)