The Practical Building Up of the Local Churches

According to the God-ordained Way

1. Preaching the Gospel

The first step of the God-ordained way for the building of the local church is preaching the gospel. Witness Lee comments:

The real gospel preaching is not only an outward work. Real gospel preaching is fruit bearing out of the overflow of the inner life. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the Lord Jesus said to go, preach the gospel, and disciple the nations, but in John He said that we must bear fruit. Preaching is one thing; fruit bearing is another thing. Genuine gospel preaching is not to convince people doctrinally, to subdue their thinking, and change their concept. Genuine gospel preaching is to minister life to others. Fruit bearing is the outflow of the riches of the inner life.

(Witness Lee, LS of Galatians, 107-108)

Describing gospel preaching as the gathering of materials for the building of the church, Witness Lee writes:

The stewardship of the grace of God is for the constituting of the church, through the dispensing of the unsearchable riches of Christ, to make the multifarious wisdom of God known to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenlies, according to God’s eternal purpose made in Christ (Eph. 3:10-11). When you go out for three hours a week to minister the riches of Christ into sinners, you must realize that the result will be that the church is constituted…. In order to build a house, there is the need of material. You cannot build a great house with a little material. In Haggai the Lord charged the children of Israel to go up to the mountain to bring wood in order to build His house (1:8). We must go out to disciple the nations in order to make them members of the Body of Christ. By the increase of the material, there will be something with which to build the church. This is the stewardship which was given not only to Paul but also to the entire Body when the Lord charged the disciples after His resurrection in Matthew 28:18-19.

(Witness Lee, Divine Dispensing, 23)

According to Witness Lee, the preaching of the gospel is not merely another aspect of Christian work, but the first step in the building up of a local church.

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