COMING WITH SOMETHING OF CHRIST
FOR OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH ONE ANOTHER
Now we need to go further and consider another thing. Whenever we come together to worship God in sharing Christ in fellowship with one another, we have to come with something of Christ. We should not come with our hands empty. There were only two rules for the people of Israel in their coming together to worship God. One was that they had no right to choose the place of worship, but they had to take the place chosen by God. The other was that they were not allowed to come with their hands empty, but they had to come with their hands filled with the produce of the good land (Deut. 16:16-17). Today this means that whenever we come to the meeting with others to worship God by sharing Christ in fellowship with one another, we have to bring something of Christ as a surplus in our hands.
In ancient times when the children of Israel came together three times a year, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles, that was a big exhibition of all the different kinds of rich produce of the good land. This is a type. Whenever we come together, we have to come with our hands filled with Christ. When we all come in this way, we have an exhibition of Christ. We have the proper ground of oneness for the worship of God, and we also have the reality of the riches of Christ for the worship of God. All the surplus of the produce of the good land of Canaan was not only for the enjoyment of the children of Israel but also for the enjoyment of God. God enjoyed all the things together with His people. Likewise, we have to bring Christ into our worship of God and let God enjoy Christ with us. When we share Christ with one another, we offer Christ to God as an enjoyment to Him.
The situation today, however, is pitiful. On the one hand, there are divisions upon divisions, and on the other hand, there are empty hands upon empty hands. We need to come back to the proper situation revealed in the Scriptures. On the one hand, we have to keep the oneness of the Lord’s people, and on the other hand, we have to be full of the surplus of Christ in our hands. Whenever we come together, we come with an abundance of Christ. In our gatherings a sister could give a testimony telling us how Christ is her strength in her sufferings, and a brother could testify of how he has experienced Christ as his joy. Then others, one by one, could testify something about their experience of Christ. This is a meeting full of the exhibition of Christ. This is also the real practice of the church life acceptable and well pleasing to God the Father.
DAILY LABORING ON CHRIST
But how can we be full of Christ? This depends on our daily laboring on Christ. We have to labor, to work, on Christ. Without laboring on Christ, we will have nothing to share with one another when we come together. Since we have nothing of Christ, our worship will be a poor worship. However, if we labor on Christ, if we experience Him day by day, fellowship with Him, and pray to Him, we will come together with the surplus of Christ. When we come to the meeting, we will have something to offer, to contribute. We will be able to say, "Father, here is something of Your Son whom I have experienced; I offer Him to You." We will also be able to share what we have experienced of Christ with others, and others will also do the same. This is the real worship.
The real worship today is that when we come together, we come with something of Christ to offer to the Father and to share with others. This is the real worship that is well pleasing to the Father. Even while we are preaching Christ and ministering Christ to the sinners, this kind of preaching, this kind of ministry, is the real worship to the Father. Whenever we share Christ with others, we render the real worship to the Father. Without offering Christ to the Father and without sharing Christ with others, our worship to God cannot be well pleasing to Him. When we enjoy Christ with the Father and let the Father enjoy Christ with us, this is the genuine worship.
Do you know the difference between the worship of God rendered by the angels and that rendered by Christians? The angels prostrate themselves or bow down before God to worship God, but there is no need for us Christians to do that. In our spirit we realize that the proper worship for us Christians today is to bring Christ to offer to God the Father. We let the Father enjoy His Son with us, and we also enjoy Christ with one another in fellowship.
This depends on our daily experience of Christ. We have to labor on Christ day and night and let Christ give us a lot of produce. Then we will have rich experiences of Christ which not only are enough to take care of our need, but also allow us to have a tithe, a surplus, to bring to God and to serve others. Whenever we meet on the proper ground of oneness in this way, we have an exhibition of Christ. This is the glory and worship to the Father, the enjoyment to the saints, and the shame to the enemy. This is the church life.
Let us learn something from the type of the good land. We are in Christ. We have to experience Him diligently that we may have plenty of Christ for our personal enjoyment and also have a surplus for us to offer to God and share with others. Then we have to come together by taking care of the oneness of the Lord’s children. The proper and real church life is the life of a corporate body meeting together on the proper ground of oneness with the fullness of Christ for the worship of God and fellowship with others.
(The Life and Way for the Practice of the Church Life, Chapter 14, by Witness Lee)