V. ENTERING THE CHURCH BY BELIEVING AND BEING BAPTIZED
Our participation in the Father’s choosing and predestinating, the Son’s redemption, resurrection, and ascension, and the Spirit’s infilling and outpouring is for our entrance into the church. We had no choice in these matters, because we were not yet born. Nevertheless, we have been fully prepared to be members of the Body of Christ for the building up of His Body. The way we experienced all these things is by believing and being baptized after hearing the word of the truth, the gospel of our salvation. By believing, we receive the Spirit of reality, who brings us all the divine realities. By being baptized, we are put into the Spirit once and for all to remain in the Body. All these spiritual realities accomplished by the Triune God long ago have become real to us today. Our entrance into the church is due entirely to the Triune God. We entered the church by the Father’s choosing, the Son’s redemption, the Spirit’s regeneration, our believing, and our baptism. Our being in the church is eternal, of the Father, of the Son, of the Spirit, and of the eternal life. It is not of us or of anyone else. What can we say except, “Hallelujah!’’ We must thank Him for His mercy and grace.
VI. HAVING NO EXIT FROM THE CHURCH
After seeing how we entered the church, we can conclude that there is no exit from the church. Our entrance began from eternity past, before anything was, before we had done anything good or bad. It continued through Christ’s incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and the Spirit’s outpouring. We experienced a rich entrance by believing and being baptized after hearing the gospel. Our entrance is eternal; it is according to the divine and uncreated life of God. It was not accidental, nor was it based on anyone’s decision. No one hired us or signed us up. Can we drop out from such a church? No, never! One day, heaven and earth will pass away, but we will still be in the church. There is no back door, no way to escape. No one can dismiss us from the church because we were born into the church, spiritually. If God is for us, who can be against us? There is no going out, whether by our choice, by somebody else’s choice, or by God’s choice.
VII. BEING ABSOLUTE FOR THE BUILDING UP OF THE CHURCH
Have you seen the vision of the church and the building up of the church? Do you know why you are in the church and how you entered in? If you see this vision, your spontaneous reaction will be to give yourselves absolutely to Christ for the building up of the church. You realize that there is nothing else to do in the universe but to build up the church.
A. Not Disobedient to the Heavenly Vision
Many people have seen this heavenly vision and have consecrated themselves for Christ and the church. Unfortunately, many of them have left this way. Do you wonder why? The apostle Paul said in Acts 26:19 that he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. This means it is possible to be disobedient. We need to pray for the Lord’s mercy to keep us obedient to the heavenly vision so that we will continue to be absolutely consecrated until the end. We believe the Lord will be faithful to answer our prayer.
(Lesson Book, Level 5: The Church—The Vision and Building Up of the Church, Chapter 20, by Witness Lee)