VI. THE SELF BEING THE HIDDEN, DAMAGING FACTOR OF OUR SERVICE IN THE CHURCH
We need to impress the saints that the self is the hidden, damaging factor of our service in the church. It is like a hidden worm, eating up the fruitfulness of our service. We may have very much service without any result of life because this worm, the self, is operating. If our eldership is not effective, no doubt, the self is there. If our ministry is not potent, the self is there. If our shepherding or fellowship with the saints does not work so well in life, we have to realize that the self is there. The self is the basic damaging factor, but it is hidden.
VII. THE SELF NEEDING TO BE CROSSED OUT
In Matthew 16:24 the Lord said, "If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me." The self needs to be crossed out. For dealing with the self, we need to bear the cross. This means that we must remain under the killing of the death of Christ for the terminating of our self. The self is so living, active, and aggressive, so we need to apply the cross every day and all day long.
If our self is crossed out, the ministry will be wonderful, the eldership will be wonderful, all the services will be wonderful, and there will be no problem, no dissension, and no division among us. The self is a great, hidden, damaging factor to our service in the church. We need to share this lesson with the saints with the ministry of life to give them a deep impression of our need to deny the self.
(Basic Lessons on Service, Chapter 19, by Witness Lee)