Building up believers and the New Testament church

The Basis of All Things

How Can One Be a Part of the Church?

The answer is very simple when we have ears to hear what God's Word tells us. "For indeed we were all brought into one body by baptism, in the one Spirit, whether we are Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free men, and that one Holy Spirit was poured out for all of us to drink" (1 Corinthians 12:13). We are put into the body of Christ by the baptism of the Spirit; then it is our responsibility to submit to the authority of the Head in the church. The indwelling of the Spirit is what makes us part of the one body and partakers of that one life. Having been made one, we now have the responsibility to submit to the authority of the Head and allow the Spirit to build us together.

Anything less than gathering together in the life of God and being directed by the Spirit comes short of the purpose of God. Without the Spirit we are as blind men, men probing around in the dark who cannot know the way, nor the truth. Man without the Spirit must settle for something less than life and a relationship with God. The sole ground of our gathering together is that we have the life of God, and the testimony is expressed in the locality where the believers live.

According to the Word of God, the Lord's only provision for spiritual government is in the local expression of His church. The reason for God's plan and the way it works is that Christ must remain in the place of authority at all times. It is Christ who is building His church. Any working, other than God's order, is only natural and can only produce man's results. We can never come to the glory that God has purposed for us if we forsake God's order and His working by the Spirit through the ministries that He has called and revealed as His plan. Paul tells us that Christ gave gifts, and those gifts were given for the purpose of bringing the body to a place of maturity and oneness. If we do not recognize God's grace coming to us through His gifts, there is no spiritual working taking place.