Living by the Spirit
The believers grow by living by the Spirit (Gal. 5:25a). We should not live by our American or Chinese disposition. We all should live by the indwelling Spirit.
Walking by the Spirit
We must not only live but even walk in every step by the Spirit. In everything we need to walk by the Spirit (Gal. 5:16a, 25b).
Having Our Being Only
according to the Spirit
We must live by the Spirit, walk by the Spirit, and have our being only according to the spirit (Rom. 8:4b). This is the way by which we grow. It is also the way by which we give our God the opportunity and the environment to grow in us. By these steps we give every convenience to our God to move within us. We give every inch within our being for Him to spread, to act, to move, and to operate. In such a situation, surely He will grow in us. In His growth we grow. Actually, His growth within us is our growth. The real growth of the believers is the very Triune God growing in them.
GROWING FOR THE BUILDING UP OF THE BODY
OF CHRIST THROUGH TRANSFORMATION
Our growing is for the unique purpose of God, that is, the building up of the Body of Christ through transformation (Eph. 4:12b; 1 Pet. 2:2, 5; 1 Cor. 3:12). The first stanza of hymn #395 (Hymns) begins, "O Jesus Christ, grow Thou in me." We all need to pray, "Lord, grow in me." Two additional hymns, #548 and #750, concern the matter of transformation. The young people need to spend their time on their education, and the working ones need to have a job in order to make a living, but the goal is not merely for us to have a proper daily living. The goal of our living is the building up of the Body of Christ. We need to be built up.
To build a building requires every piece of material to be complete and perfect. If a piece of material has a defect, it is unsuitable for the building. We need to grow to be complete and perfect. Then we can be proper pieces of material for the building up of the Body of Christ in our locality. Many dear saints are always unhappy with their local church. They love the churches in other localities, but they do not like the church where they are. So, they move to another city. When they come to that city, they have a "honeymoon" for a short time. After the church honeymoon is over, they begin to complain about the church in that city. They think that the church in a different city might be good. So, they move there. After being there for two months, they begin again to be unhappy. Eventually, such persons may say that none of the local churches is good, but they love the Body of Christ. However, the Body of Christ that they love is "in the air"; it is not on the earth where they are.
To love the Body of Christ, we need to love our own local church in the place where we are. We should not be "church movers," moving from locality to locality according to our taste. We should simply love the church in which we are. It is not the church that is not lovely. Speaking honestly, it is we who are not lovely. We need to behave ourselves in a lovely way. To do this we need to grow. If we do not grow, we cannot be built up with others.
We should grow unto maturity. In Colossians 1:28-29 the apostle Paul said that he labored, struggling according to God’s operation in him, in order to present every man full-grown in Christ. In this verse he used the words labor and struggling to describe his endeavoring to present all the believers in Christ mature before God. We are laboring, struggling, and striving to have all the saints grow unto maturity. Then they will all be good for the building up of the Body of Christ.
If you will spend some time to pray over this chapter, I believe the Lord will bless you and grant you the adequate and abounding grace that you may grow unto maturity to be good for the building up of the Body of Christ.
(The Organic Union in God's Relationship with Man, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)