LIVING STONES FOR THE BUILDING
There are many big revelations in the book of Ephesians which relate to the church. In chapter two we see one of them—the church is the habitation of God. What God has been desiring for a long time is a habitation, or a dwelling place. Chapter two reveals that God’s habitation is the church.
The church can be God’s habitation because as individual Christians we are living stones (1 Pet. 2:5). But if the living stones are not built up together, there is still no habitation. An individual Christian may not be a dead stone; he may be quite living. But he is only an isolated stone. He is of no use in God’s habitation; God can never dwell there.
This is not all. The new life within us urges us constantly to be built up with other stones. It will never be at ease or feel useful until we are built up into a spiritual house for God to dwell in. If we do not do this, we will feel that we are a piece of waste. I have to put myself into God’s building. Because of me a gap is filled. When I am being built, I become part of the glory and majesty of this house.
MEMBERS OF THE BODY
Ephesians 4 tells us that Christians are the Body of Christ. It also tells us that there is but "one Body." There is only one church in this universe. First Corinthians 12 says that "the body is one and has many members." This shows us even more clearly that we cannot be isolated or independent.
I am a Christian. I have been fully redeemed by the Lord and received the full grace of God. There is no doubt that I am a child of God. But in this huge Body, I am just a member. I may be a big member, a very useful one, yet I am still only a member. I am merely a part of the Body. I must depend on the other members. Together we become the Body.
For example, my body has eyes, a mouth, hands, and feet. All these are individual members. My eyes are useful only when they are in my head. If I leave them at home, they will become useless. My hands can only function when they are attached to my arms. If they are locked in a safe they are useless. The members can never be detached from the body. If they are detached, they become useless. This is a very crucial relationship.
Not only are the detached members useless, but they are ugly as well. If there was a human leg lying beneath this table, or if you picked up an arm on the road, how would you feel? It is impossible for you to be detached from the Body. The members cannot be independent. They must be attached together.
(The Normal Christian Faith, Chapter 16, by Watchman Nee)