Church without Walls
How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification
—1 Corinthians 14:26
The Church is the Body of Christ
The church is the body of Jesus Christ and everyone, who received Lord Jesus as his Lord and Savior, is the member of this Body (1 Cor 12:27) It doesn’t mean that we are incomplete when we are apart. We are complete because Christ lives in us by Hid Spirit. It means that when we come together the fullness of Him is manifested and it fill all in all. (Eph 1:22-23) What is this fullness? Paul writes to Ephesians that they: “may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height; to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:18-19) We are filled with the fullness of God when we comprehend and understand how great is the love of Christ.
The church was created for the main reason that every member would be filled with His fullness — His love. The whole purpose to come together is to get filled with His fullness. Paul often uses word edification when speaks of Christian fellowships: “I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.” (1Cor 14:5) Often when we hear the word prophecy, we think that someone speaks about the future events and usually it is judgement, destruction, gloom and doom. It is Old Covenant spirit of prophecy. The New Covenant Spirit of prophecy described the best in the following Scripture: “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev 19:10)
In Old Covenant the when the Holy Spirit came upon a prophet, he would testify about the coming Messiah – the Christ. The Messiah supposed to come to the world and save His people. But in the New Covenant the Holy Spirit does not testifies about the future. He testifies about Jesus and what He has accomplished for us at the cross. When the Holy Spirit came upon disciples of Jesus on the Day of Pentecost, visitor in Jerusalem heard them “speaking the wonderful works of God.” (Act 2:11) Holy Spirit always points to the Son of God and the His finished work at the cross.
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
There is wonderful story in the 24th chapter of the book of Genesis. In that story Abraham sent his servant to find wife for his son Isaac. When servant found Rebecca he gave her gifts – golden ring for a nose and two golden bracelets for hands. Then he told Rebecca’s relatives about his master Abraham, Abraham’s wife Sarah and their son Isaac. This story shows what the Holy Spirit is doing today. Abraham is the type of the heavenly Father, the father of many nations. His wife Sarah is God’s grace (Gal 4:22-26). I believe you already guessed who the Isaac represents. It is the Son of God our Lord Jesus, whom Father sacrificed on the Golgotha. The servant of Abraham represents the Holy Spirit? and Rebecca, whom Holy Spirit chose to be Isaac’s wife is the type of the Church.
When the Holy Spirit comes and indwells the person, He imparts different gifts: “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit… But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to EACH ONE for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.” (1Cor 12:4,8-10). Notice it is said the Spirit gives to each and everyone one. Therefore, don’t think that you don’t have any gifts from the Spirit.
“So it came to pass, when he (Laban, Rebecca’s brother) saw the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and when he heard the words of his sister Rebekah, saying, «Thus the man spoke to me,» that he went to the man. And there he stood by the camels at the well. And he said, «Come in, O blessed of the LORD! Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels.» (Gen 24:30-31) When our unbelieving relatives see the manifestations of the Spirit in us, and hear our testimony of Jesus, they will gladly receive the Holy Spirit into to their dwelling places (their hearts).
“But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.” (1Cor 14:24-25) The unbeliever gets convinced in what? “And when He (Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” First of all Holly Spirit convince unbeliever in “sin, because they do not believe in Me” Than He convicts in righteousness. What righteousness? God’s righteousness – our Lord Jesus. What judgement? “of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” (John 16:8-11)
How is unbeliever or an uninformed get judged? He gets justified! It is written: “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.” (Rom 8:33) And who are God’s elect? Those who are in Christ, whom God elected before the foundation of the word. Devil, the ruler of this word or the sin in flesh has been judged on the cross in the body of Jesus Christ.
Getting Filled with the Love of Christ
When we know that we are justified and we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. the Holy Spirit fills our heart with the love of Christ. (Rom 5:1,5) We get filled with God’s love from the inside and not from the outside. Every time when we get together and fellowship, then “EACH OF YOU has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation” (1 Cor 14:26). Every time when the gift of the Holy Spirit manifests through us and the others get edified, then the love of God flows through us like the river of life. And what result do we get?
When Jesus gave the living water to Samaritan woman, He Himself got filled. When His disciples returned from the city and offered Him some food that they bought, they got surprised: “Has anyone brought Him [anything] to eat?” (John 4:32-33) When the living waters flowing through us towards others, our heart gets filled with the love of Christ.
Every time when we fellowship at our houses, or when we go to a picnic, or on the web site and EACH ONE has the song about Jesus, or some teaching about Christ, or revelation about Him, or the prophecy of Jesus, then EACH ONE of us gets filled with the love of Christ. EACH ONE of us gets overflown with the love of God that fills all in all.
The Lord said to Abraham, after Lot, who is the type of the veil of the Law, separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are; northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever… Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.” (Gen 13:14-15,17) When God raised us with Christ, He put us in Him. (Eph 2:6) Today we sit in the highest place of the universe – the Father’s right hand. And God is telling to us the same words He said to Abraham: “look at the all four corners and know My love – it’s width and length and depth and height– then you will be able possess everything that already belongs to you. It is already in you, because all that I have is yours.” (Luke 15:31)