GOD’S SPIRIT OF LIFE AS THE WAY FOR THE PRIESTS OF THE GOSPEL TO BEGET, NOURISH, TEACH, AND BUILD
Sanctifying and Regenerating the Sinners
Finally, we need to consider the way for the priests of the gospel to beget, nourish, teach, and build. To be a priest of the gospel, in simple terms, is to bring in men and to dispense Christ into them. First, we cause a sinner to be sanctified and regenerated by God’s Spirit of life. In order to do this, sometimes we have to compel people to come in. In Luke 14:15-24, the Lord Jesus spoke a parable concerning God’s invitation of man to His feast of salvation. It says that a certain man was making a great dinner and had invited many guests. When all things were ready and the feast was about to begin, there were still many empty seats. The master of the house then told his slaves to go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city and to compel people to come in and fill up the house. Those who were invited first were not able to taste of the Lord’s feast. Those who were compelled to come in later were all lowly ones, yet they received salvation. Today, it is not easy for us, the servants of the Lord, to gain a person. If we do not compel others, it is difficult for them to be saved. Even when they are saved, it is difficult for them to pursue after the Lord.
As priests of the gospel, what we are doing is bringing people in and offering them up to the Lord. Hence, the Lord Jesus is happy to see us compelling others into salvation and bringing them in to offer them to Him. For this reason, when we preach the gospel, our spirits have to be burning, our faces have to be thick-skinned, and our mouths have to be opened. In addition, we need to have an attitude not to be deterred. We should not be afraid of difficulties or tribulations. As long as we will speak by faith, God’s Spirit of life will work in men to sanctify them (1 Pet. 1:2b) and to regenerate them (John 3:5-6).
Feeding the Newly Regenerated Believers and Giving Them to Drink
Following this, we have to feed the newly regenerated believers and to give them to drink with God’s Spirit of life as food and drink (1 Cor. 10:3-4). In the Old Testament, when God’s people, the Israelites, came out of Egypt and crossed the Red Sea, in their journey in the wilderness they had the spiritual food and the spiritual drink as their nourishment and supply. After a person is regenerated, the most important thing is for him to eat, drink, and enjoy the pneumatic Christ as his food and water, so that he may grow in life.
Sanctifying and Perfecting the Saints
After the nourishing, we need the teaching. This teaching is through God’s Spirit of life sanctifying and perfecting the saints until they become able to do the work of the building up of the Body of Christ (Rom. 15:16; Eph. 4:12).
Helping the Saints to Prophesy for the Lord unto the Building Up of the Body of Christ
When we nourish and perfect the saints by God’s Spirit of life in this way, we need to arrive at an ultimate goal, which is to help the saints to prophesy for the Lord and to build up the church as the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 14:1, 3-5, 12, 31). In our meetings, everyone can open his mouth to speak. When every one of us speaks, the riches of the Body of Christ are expressed. When we prophesy for the Lord, we need the spiritual words, and these spiritual words come from God’s Spirit of life (1 Cor. 12:8). This Spirit will grant us the words, the utterance, and the boldness to prophesy. When we depend on Him, we can prophesy for the Lord unto the building up of the Body of Christ.
(A message given by Brother Witness Lee in Anaheim, California, on January 28, 1990)
(God's Way in Life, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)