THE NEED TO RAISE UP THE NEW BELIEVERS
We go to the sinners to bring the gospel to them and infuse them with Christ. Then these sinners become children of God and members of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12, 27; Eph. 5:30). We offer them to God, and they become the sacrifices in our priesthood (Rom. 15:16). Through our preaching, through our priesthood of the gospel, they are regenerated, converted from sinners to sons of God, and these sons of God are the many brothers of Christ. His many brothers are His many members which compose His organic Body. This is the first step of the God-ordained way.
We have to consider the new believers as our babes. We have to feed them. As newborn babes they desire the milk of the Word that they may grow unto salvation (1 Pet. 2:2). For their initial salvation they needed to believe. But now for their continuous salvation, they need growth. They grow by being fed. We, the New Testament priests, have to take the responsibility to go back to their homes to have home meetings with them just for feeding them, like a nursing mother feeding her little babe for a certain period of time.
In today’s society, mothers take care of their babies at home for a few years. Then when they are about three or four years of age, they are considered as preschool children. Right after this they will be in kindergarten. From kindergarten they progress through elementary, junior high, high school, and college. These are the stages for their perfecting. For anyone to become a proper person, there is the need of perfecting. In the United States, one cannot do much with only a high school education. He must at least have a trade. If possible, it is better for a person to get a four-year college education. Better still, he could go to graduate school for two years to get a master’s degree. Even this is not as good as studying a few more years in order to earn a Ph.D. This is considered the peak of a proper education in the United States.
It is necessary to be properly educated. Using the biblical terminology, this means the growing saints have to be perfected. Previously they were sinners, but through our visiting them with the gospel, they opened up their hearts and were infused with Christ through the holy Word. He got into them, and they were regenerated. Regeneration transfers sinners out of Adam and into Christ. In Adam they were fallen sinners. Now they have been transferred through regeneration into Christ. In Christ they are no longer sinners, but they are the sons of God, the children of God, the many brothers of the firstborn Son of God, Christ (Rom. 8:16, 29; Heb. 2:12).
These new brothers of Christ are also the members of His mystical, organic Body. Still, they are infants. They do not yet know how to eat, so we have to feed them. After we baptize them into the Triune God, we have to go back to their homes as soon as possible. If we invite them to come to a meeting, they may be unable because they are infants. We have to go to their homes to have home meetings with them. This practice is seen in the book of Acts. After the three thousand were saved on the day of Pentecost, they began to meet in their homes immediately (Acts 2:41-42, 46). The purpose of their meeting in the homes was so that they could be fed. This continued among them for a period of time (Acts 2:46-47; 5:42).
INCITING ONE ANOTHER BY SPEAKING
In each of the local churches, there should be some advanced ones who have been perfected by the gifted persons. Now they should continue the perfecting through their fellowship with the newly saved ones. Actually, all the saints in a local church should speak a heavenly language that newborn babes can learn to speak. We all know that every child in any home picks up the language of that home.
When I came to this country, I noticed that different regions had different expressions. They all spoke English, but they had different ways of expressing the English language. The first time I was invited to Tyler, Texas, I heard the expression “y’all.” I did not realize what “y’all” meant. Later, I found out that it was the Texan way to say “you all.” Language is very contagious. What our babes will speak depends on what we speak.
How can we incite one another without speaking? If we come to the meeting and sit silently, will this be an inciting? Inciting surely requires our speaking. One may say, “Did you read the Bible this morning?” Even this much speaking will incite the hearers. They may go back home with a burden to rise up early in the morning to read the Bible. When we all speak in a meeting, we consider that a good meeting. If we do not participate in speaking in a particular meeting, we may feel that the meeting was not so good.
(The Exercise and Practice of the God-Ordained Way, Chapter 24, by Witness Lee)