THE PROPER CHURCH LIFE FOR THE KINGDOM
Now we come to Matthew 18. In this chapter the Holy Spirit put some points together to show us how to have the proper church life for the kingdom. The proper church life is the reality of the kingdom. If we have the proper church life, we have the reality of the kingdom.
Being like Little Children
First, we should learn to be humble. We all need to be converted and to become like little children. There should be no giants among us; we should all be like little children. None of us have titles, for we are all children. The disciples asked the Lord Jesus, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of the heavens?" (Matt. 18:1). Everyone wants to be great. The Lord Jesus answered, "Whoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens" (18:4). Can you tell us who are the great ones in the local churches? Such a concept does not originate from the kingdom of the heavens but from the kingdom of darkness. The concept of greatness comes from the kingdom of Satan. If you desire to have the proper church life, the first thing you must realize is that there are no giants in the local churches. All of the church people should be little people. We should be like little children.
Being Dependent upon One Another
Next, we should realize that little children are very dependent on others. Every giant, on the contrary, is an independent person. Many Christians want to be independent, to exercise their character, and to be strong in themselves. In the local churches we all must be dependent like little children. I need you, and you likewise need me. None of us can afford to be independent; we are all dependent upon one another. Little children depend upon one another and recognize their need for a home. Whenever they have problems, they simply refer the problems to their home, and they listen to their home. A giant does not listen to his home. Even if a giant does have a problem, he may hide the problem from his home. It is so good to be able to tell our problems to the church. We should realize that we are little children who are dependent on our home. It is terrible not to listen to the church. In Matthew 18:17 the Lord Jesus said that if anyone will not hear the church he should be considered as a Gentile and a tax collector. These were very ugly terms in the Lord’s time. If you were a Gentile or a tax collector, you were considered to be mean and defiled. If we do not listen to the church, then in the eyes of the Lord and in the eyes of the church, we too become mean and defiled. This is very serious. In the proper church life, we all are little children who depend upon our home. We refer our problems to our home, and we listen to what the home says about them. We have covered more about this matter in the book, How to Meet.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 27, by Witness Lee)