THE THREE STEPS OF OFFERING BY THE PRIESTS OF THE GOSPEL IN THE CHURCH SERVICE
Preaching the Gospel to Save Sinners, Offering Them as Sacrifices to God
Finally, we have to see the three steps of offering by the priests of the gospel in the church service. The first step is the preaching of the gospel for the bringing in of the saved sinners to be offered up as sacrifices to God (1 Pet. 2:9b, 5b; Rom. 15:16). We should never merely lead sinners to salvation without offering them up as sacrifices to God. There is a big difference here. As soon as you lead a person to salvation, you should offer him up. You have to pray for this matter. Perhaps you have to pray with them and offer them up in a serious way as sacrifices to God.
Nourishing the Believers so that They May Grow Up in Life to Present Themselves as Sacrifices to God
The second step of offering is the nourishing of the believers that they may grow in life and may present themselves as sacrifices to God. We feed the newborn babes with milk that they may grow (1 Pet. 2:2). Then, we beseech them, according to Romans 12:1, by the compassions of God, so that they would present themselves as a living sacrifice to God. This is different from our offering of them to God at the time of their salvation. At that time they were babes. Now they have grown up and can present themselves as living sacrifices to God.
In All Wisdom Warning and Teaching Every Saint that Everyone May Be Presented Full-grown in Christ
The third step of the offering of the gospel priests is that we the gospel preachers use all wisdom to warn and to teach every man that they may be presented full-grown in Christ to God (Col. 1:28). This is not an easy work. For this reason, Paul said that he was laboring and struggling according to the Lord’s operation, which operated in him in power (Col. 1:29). This is not just a work, but also a struggling. Hence, for this we have to labor and struggle. This is like competing for the crown in the Olympic games or like wrestling to win. These require labor and struggling. The goal is to present every saint full-grown to God. This is what Ephesians 4 speaks of. We have to arrive at a full-grown man, at being full of the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (v. 13). In this way, we will accomplish the building up of the Body of Christ.
I hope that since you were born in this age and have heard this word, you would dive into the flow of this new way and would catch up with the Lord’s leading. We live and serve in the Body in such a way, and we lead others to live and serve in the Body, so that everyone can be just as we are and can realize their function as members and live in the Body. Eventually, what we can do, they will be able to do also. Each one of us will be functioning and will coordinate to serve together. This service is for everyone, and it is in the Body. Only then will the will of God be accomplished. This is the law in our service. It is also the law of God. By the Lord’s mercy, what we are passing on to the brothers and sisters is not something rash and light; rather, it is based on the Bible and came about through much consideration and study. May the Lord be merciful to us. The future of the new way is very bright. May we all strive to walk in it.
(A message given by Brother Witness Lee in Taipei on April 8, 1990)
(The Oneness and the One Accord according to the Lord's Aspiration and the Body Life and Service according to His Pleasure, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)