Building up believers and the New Testament church

The House Church

What Is the Church?

The church is God's "called-out ones," gathering together in the locality in which they live, empowered and being built together by the Spirit of God. It seems that we are more prone to look to man than to look to God. But if we can look back to the scriptures to be encouraged by how God began, we see that they didn't have what we have today. Today we have the New Testament scriptures which were written for our encouragement and instruction. The first believers began with none of this, but God had given the Holy Spirit to lead them into all truth and to give them the power that they needed. The power of the Holy Spirit was given not only for ministry, but to build the church and enable believers to come together as God had designed. They needed the Holy Spirit and so do we, because everything in the church is a spiritual working. There is no natural working in the church.

At the very beginning, we see that the people "had one heart, and were of one soul" (Acts 4:32). Scripture goes on to tell us that "great grace was upon them all" (v. 33). We need this. We need people with one heart, not divided, not everyone coming with their own opinions, but everyone with one heart for the Lord, hungering and thirsting for Him. We need God's grace upon us, to see the fulfillment of this.

Jesus promised His church, "I and the Father will come and make our abode with you" (John 14:23). We need to press on by faith to know this reality. But let us count the cost before we start to build. We can't come into God's working and do what we feel like doing, bring a little testimony here and there, and expect the church to be built.

Men that are prepared by God, who have a revelation, who are builders, will have to come in and lay some foundational truths. Then there must be hearts that are able to hear, respond, and obey. Even as the scripture tells us, "He has become the source of eternal salvation to those that obey Him" (Heb. 5:9). We must obey what God is saying. It is not obedience to man; it is not letting man come in with what he says the church is; it is obeying what the Holy Spirit is saying to our hearts.

God never allows man to touch His glory, and if we're going to function and move in what God is doing, we will have to learn this lesson. Today, with so many needs and so many house churches springing up, there is a great need for ministry, for a true revelation to be set forth, for men and women to see and to contain the fullness of what God is doing. And it is not enough to start; we must finish.

Jesus said He would send the Holy Ghost to teach us and lead us into the fullness of truth. This is the prerequisite of any working: that the Holy Spirit is in control, and that every member is in tune with Him. When God gives the Holy Spirit, with the Holy Spirit comes the ability to be true sons of God, and to cry "Abba, Father." Many people think that receiving the Holy Spirit is sufficient. But that is only the beginning of God's building in our lives. He desires to make us the expression of true sons and daughters of God. He gives us His ability. He brings the reality of Christ into each one of our lives, in power.

Also, there must be gladness and singleness of heart (Acts 2:46) if we are going to see the purpose of God worked, and the church truly expressed in different localities as God has designed.