GROWING INTO A HOLY TEMPLE IN THE LORD
Ephesians 2 says that we are no longer strangers and sojourners, but members of the household of God (v. 19). The members of the household need to be built together upon the foundation, Christ. Verse 21 says that in Christ "all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord." The building up of God’s temple is by the growth of the Body. Again, the growth is for the building, and the building depends upon the growth.
Verse 22 says, "In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit." In verse 21 the holy temple is universal. In verse 22 the dwelling place of God is local. Life grows, and this growth is for the building of the house of God. Thus, life builds. The more we call on the Lord by saying, "O Lord," the more we take Him in as our life, and this life works within us to build up.
BUILDING THROUGH THE WORKING
OF THE TRANSFORMING SPIRIT
We may be very good people, but if we do not allow the life within us to grow and transform us, we cannot be the material for the building. Our being good is leaven. If I love you in a natural way, this kind of love is leaven that corrupts and ruins the Body. If two brothers have a close friendship in their natural life, this is not the building up. This is the leaven that corrupts, that damages the fine flour (Matt. 13:33). So we have to condemn this. We have to put this on the cross; we have to bury and get rid of this.
We need transformation. The more that life grows within us, the more we realize that natural affection and natural goodness have to be put on the cross and buried. Whatever is of the natural man can never build up the Body. We may have fellowship in the spirit, but we should not have friendship in the emotion. Friendship in the emotion is leaven that corrupts the Body life. Until we hate everything of our natural being, we cannot be built up together. The real building, the solid building, is in the spirit through the working of the transforming Spirit.
I believe that we have seen the way for the building up of the local church. The leading brothers, who by God’s mercy and grace are laboring among the saints for the building up of the local churches, have to realize that the local churches can never be built up by mere teaching. What we need to do is minister life to the saints so that the saints may be perfected by being nourished. They need to be perfected in feeding on Christ to be nourished by Christ. Then they will grow, and this growth will produce gold, silver, and precious stones for the building of God’s house. May the Lord be merciful and gracious to us that we who are in the Lord’s present recovery may know the way of life. It is by this way that there is the possibility for the building up of the local churches. Life builds.
(The Fulfillment of God's Purpose by the Growth of Christ in Us, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)