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親愛的弟兄姊妹/朋友:

     您好!僅代表聖迦谷基督徒聚會全體弟兄姊妹歡迎您來訪我們的網站,盼望您在這裡得著屬靈的供應,也藉著彼此的交通與代禱得著幫助與祝福。

         我們教會於199210月成立,當時是借用在聖市一間教會的副堂聚會。於1995920日購堂完成,我們終於有了屬於自己的地方。之後由於主的感動及帶領,我們於200354日開始 聖迦谷東區主日的敬拜,將聖迦谷以605號公路為準分為東區與西區。

「聖迦谷基督徒聚會」的成員是一群重生得救的基督徒和渴慕真理的福音朋友們。在這裡,大家都願放下各樣身分背景和不同教會的區別,只求單純的一起追求認識耶穌,一同來高舉基督。藉著聖經的教導,彼此的勸勉,與愛中的服事,來傳揚、分享主豐盛的救恩。

     感謝神的帶領,讓我們今天在網域中相會。我們非常珍惜您的來訪,更盼望有機會能在聚會中與您相會。

願賜平安的主耶穌基督常與您同在。

主內                    

梁家聲弟兄敬上

 

 Dear Brothers, Sisters and Friends:

Greetings!  On behalf of all of us at Christian Assembly of San Gabriel Valley (CASGV), we would like to welcome your visit at our website.  We sincerely hope you find spiritual provision here, as well as blessings through fellowship with us and intercession by us.

Our church was established in October 1992.  We started weekly meetings by renting the dining hall of a community church.  With the Lord’s grace, we were able to purchase a church facility in September 1995 and had our own place of worship.  Due to the Lord’s continuous leading, we commenced a ministry in east San Gabriel Valley on May 4, 2003.  Therefore, based on a line along Freeway 605, CASGV is now divided into CASGV–Eastside and CASGV-Westside.

CASGV is a group of born again Christians and truth-pursuing friends.  In our gathering, the sole purpose is to pursue and exalt the Lord one-heartedly, setting aside the differences in our upbringing and denominational background.  Through the Bible teaching, fellowship with one another, and service in love, we endeavor to proclaim and share the wonderful salvation of Jesus Christ.

Thank God for His leading that we can meet with you at our website.  We appreciate your visit, and sincerely wish to meet with you personally one day in one of our meetings.

May the Lord Jesus who gives peace be with you always.

 

Your brother in Christ,

Timothy Liang

 

   

開工十週年紀念  1992-2002 10th Anniversary

 

西區聚會

Westside Assembly

Tel: (626) 307-0000, (909) 563-2628

Office: 8141 Hellman Ave., Rosemead, CA 91770, U.S.A

東區聚會

Eastside Assembly

Tel: (909) 563-2628, (909) 979-4140

Sunday: 19100 E. Killian St., Rowland Heights, CA 91748, U.S.A.

   Office: 20808 Carrey Rd., Walnut, CA 91789, U.S.A.

"Jesus  Christ  God  Son  Saviour",

"耶穌 基督 神 兒子 救主"

 

我們的信仰 Statement of Faith

  1. 我們相信神是三而一的神;父,子,聖靈同等,共存,從亙古到永遠。

  2. 我們相信耶穌是神的兒子,道成肉身成為人,並由童女馬利亞所生,來成為我們的救主。

  3. 我們相信耶穌為我們的罪死在十字架上,流血為我們成功了救贖,祂被埋葬,三日後從死裡復活,升上高天,如今坐在寶座父神的右邊,成為萬有的主。

  4. 我們相信主耶穌升天後差遣聖靈來,祂自己也在聖靈裡回到我們中間,如今在地上工作叫罪人悔改重生,並住在蒙恩人裡面成為印記直到得贖的日子。

  5. 我們相信教會是基督的身體,是那充滿萬有者的豐滿,是主在地上特別揀選的團體器皿,為要在地上彰顯神。

  6. 我們相信世代的末了主耶穌要再回來審判世界,得勝者將與主一同作王掌權,所有蒙恩得救的人都將有分於新天新地聖城新耶路撒冷的福份。

  7. 我們相信聖經是神所默示的,是神所賜給我們完整的啟示。

 

  1. We believe in the God of the Trinity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And that they are equal and coexist from everlasting to everlasting.

  2. We believe Jesus is the Son of God; the Word became flesh, born of the virgin Mary, who came to be our Savior.

  3. We believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins, shed His blood to accomplish redemption for us, was buried for three days, rose from the dead, ascended up high, is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God the Father, and has became the Lord of all.

  4. We believe the Lord Jesus has ascended up high and sent the Holy Spirit. He Himself in the Holy Spirit has returned to our midst, and is now working on earth to cause sinners to repent and be born again, as well as indwelling and sealing all those who are saved until the day of redemption.

  5. We believe that the church is the body of Christ, the fullness of Him Who dwells in all. She is a corporate vessel that the Lord especially chose in order to manifest God on earth.

  6. We believe at the end of the ages the Lord Jesus will return to judge the world and the overcomers will reign with the Lord. All who are saved by grace will have a part in the blessing of the new heaven and earth, and the new city of Jerusalem.

  7. We believe the Bible is inspired by God. It is the complete revelation which God has given us.

 

 

我們的宗旨 Our Goal

一、我們的異象

整本聖經說到神最中心的旨意乃是一個活的人,就是基督,神這個旨意的終極目的乃是基督充滿萬有﹙弗4:10﹚。這計劃中的基督包括了個人的基督和團體的基督,也就是基督和教會。基督完成救贖,教會成為祂被贖的子民;基督從死復活,教會成為祂的豐滿;基督登上寶座,教會執掌祂的權柄。

﹙一﹚基督 - 榮耀的主

惟有基督是包括一切、又住在各人之內。」(西 3:11)

﹙二﹚教會 - 主的榮耀

教會是祂的身體,是那充滿萬有者所充滿的。」( 1:23)

 

 二、我們的道路

看見了標竿並不是已經達到了標竿,見證也還沒有顯出。但我們若知道向著的榮耀標竿是什麼,我們就不灰心、不喪膽;在仇敵最猛烈的攻擊下,能得著基督的忍耐,和主與眾同伴一同走這條榮耀的道路。

﹙一﹚基督是我們的道路

           -惟有經過釘十架的基督才能達到標竿

我就是道路、真理、生命;若不藉著我,沒有人能到父那堨h。」(14:6)

﹙二﹚十字架的道路

           -十字架的道路乃是要我們捨己的道路

若有人要跟從我,就當捨己,背起他的十字架來跟從我(16:24)

 

I. Our Vision

 The whole bible talks about the core of God's purpose is a living person, Christ.  The ultimate purpose of God's plan is for Christ to fill all and in all (Eph.4:10).  Christ encompasses the individual Christ and Corporate Christ, therefore, Christ and His Church.  Christ has completed the salvation, and Church are His redeemed people.  Christ has risen from the dead, and church becomes His fullness.  Christ has enthroned, and church reigns with Him. 

 A.  Christ - Glorious Lord

 "...but Christ is all, and in all."  Col. 3:11

 B.  Church – the Glory of the Lord

 "Which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all."  Eph.  1:23

 

II.  Our Way

 Seeing the mark does not mean reaching it.  However, if we know what our mark is, we will not easily grow weary or lose heart.  In the most severe battle with our foes, if with the ultimate mark in mind, we can obtain the patience of Christ and press on with other Christians on this glorious way.

 A.  Christ is our way - Only if we go through the way of crucified Christ, can we reach the mark.

 " I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me."  John 14:6

 B.  The Way of the Cross – The way of the cross is the way of denying oneself

 " Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."  Mat. 16:24

 

 

我們的事工 Our ministries

一、特要協助尚未認識和相信救主耶穌的朋友們,除了提供日常生活中各項問題之解决與照顧,更重要的是把這位創造世界萬物,掌管宇宙萬事的真神──耶穌基督,介紹給各位同胞朋友,讓他們經由認識進而相信並接受這位爲他們捨命的救主,使他們的心靈得以釋放,生活充滿喜樂,對前途懷著無限的希望。

二、爲來到聖迦谷及附近城市的信徒,預備一個屬靈的家,提供在主堨瘜q的聚會。盼望藉著肢體彼此搭配,用愛心相互服事,凡事連於元首基督,一同在神的話語上扎根建造。更望靠著主的恩典,廣傳福音,擴充神的國度,在聖迦谷地區爲基督耶穌作恩典的見證,成爲神榮耀的金燈臺。

三、幫助華人新移民的第二,三代年輕人及孩子,使他們在年幼時有機會來到神面前,認識神,信靠神,敬畏神,成爲神的兒女,在真道上長大成人;以期在這紛亂敗壞,道德失喪,物欲橫流的時代,得以免除試探,誘惑與墮落。

四、藉著文字及網絡的事工傳播神的道,傳講耶穌基督並祂釘十字架,一面將福音傳到世界各處,一面建造基督的身體。我們願與千千萬萬的聖徒一起作羔羊的同伴,面向榮耀的基督,甘心樂意地走十字架的窄路。

 

1. Assist gospel friends to know our Savior Jesus.  In addition to caring for various daily needs, our primary goal is to introduce to them the true God who created all and controls all.  Hopefully, through hearing about Him, our friends can gradually know Him, and accept Him to be their Savior so that they can be set free and live a life filled with joy and hope.

2.  Prepare a spiritual home for Christians in the community.  Our goal is to grow in the Word of God, be connected with Him in all things, and serve one another in love.  By the grace of God, we can widely spread His gospel, expand His kingdom in San Gabriel Valley, be witnesses of His grace and His glorious golden lamp stand.

3.  Bring our second and third generation to the Lord.  Our goal is to help them to know the Lord, learn to trust the Lord and remain fearful to the Lord so that they can stand firm against temptations in this lust filled time.

4.    Preach gospel to the ends of the world through literature and web-based ministry.  Our goal is to share the gospel to people around the world, edify the body of Christ, and walk with many other chritians following the Lamb of God on the narrow but glorious way of the cross.

 

 

教會與聚會   CHURCH AND MEETINGS

 

 

一、教會是什麼?

 

神的教會、就是在基督耶穌埵邪t、蒙召作聖徒的、以及所有在各處求告我主耶穌基督之名的人.            (林前 1:2)          

 

教會是他的身體、是那充滿萬有者所充滿的。        ( 1:23)        

 

  教會這一個詞,照著聖經的原意,就是「被召出來的一群人」。教會不是禮拜堂的建築,也不是人組織的慈善機構,乃是所有蒙召的聖徒所組成的。歷世歷代所有蒙恩得救神的兒女,同有一個生命,就是耶穌基督那永遠的生命,同為一個身體,就是基督的身體,這一個屬靈的身體就是基督那充滿萬有者的豐滿。當主道成肉身來到地上的時候,神本性一切的豐滿都在祂堶情A一直等到祂上十字架,將身體裂開,這個豐滿就釋放出來了。如同一粒麥子落在地埵漱F,就結出許多子粒來,這一個釋放、擴大出來的豐滿就是教會。

 

﹙一﹚教會的異象

 

掃羅仍然向主的門徒、口吐威嚇兇殺的話、去見大祭司、求文書給大馬色的各會堂、若是找著信奉這道的人、無論男女、都准他捆綁帶到耶路撒冷。掃羅行路、將到大馬色、忽然從天上發光、四面照著他.他就仆倒在地、聽見有聲音對他說、掃羅、掃羅、你為甚麼逼迫我。他說、主阿、你是誰。主說、我就是你所逼迫的耶穌.       9:1 -5                     

 

  保羅﹙原名掃羅﹚在往大馬色的路上,忽然被大光照耀,仆倒在地上。他外面的眼睛瞎了,堶悸熔晰卻被開啟,看見了在榮耀堛滌繴,也就是他所逼迫的耶穌。保羅逼迫走主道路的門徒,主卻說、我就是你所逼迫的耶穌,這是元首和身體合而為一的偉大啟示。這個異象一生抓住保羅,使他不以自己的性命為念,要為教會就是基督的身體,補滿基督患難的缺欠。至終他能在亞基帕王面前見證說,「我故此沒有違背那從天上來的異象」。歷代以來無數的聖徒也都得著了啟示,看見了這偉大教會的異象而被主得著。這異象是活的,會抓住我們一生跟隨主的腳蹤,奔那擺在我們前面的路程。

 

﹙二﹚ 教會的見證

 

因為神本性一切的豐盛、都有形有體的居住在基督堶情D你們在他堶惜]得了豐盛。           (西   2:9,10)                  

 

惟有你們是被揀選的族類、是有君尊的祭司、是聖潔的國度、是屬神的子民、要叫你們宣揚那召你們出黑暗入奇妙光明者的美德。        (彼前 2:9)                      

 

  教會既是基督的身體,是基督的豐滿,所以藉著教會要將這位在榮耀堛滌繴在地上彰顯出來,這就是教會的見證。基督怎樣得著神一切的豐盛,教會在基督堣]得了豐盛,基督怎樣彰顯了神的榮耀,教會也要彰顯基督的榮耀。我們蒙恩得救,站在救贖的根基上,都是教會的一部分,但我們還要竭力追求教會的見證,因為唯獨教會真實的見證才能滿足神的心,唯有基督的榮耀在教會中完滿顯出的時候,神的旨意才能得以完成。

 

﹙三﹚教會的建造

 

我們原是他的工作﹙傑作﹚、在基督耶穌堻y成的。        (   2:10)                                                               

 

他所賜的有使徒、有先知.有傳福音的.有牧師和教師.為要成全聖徒、各盡其職、建立基督的身體.            (  4:11,12)

 

  馬太福音第十六章說到彼得得著了父神的啟示,回答主說,「你是基督、是永生神的兒子」,主立刻把建造教會的心意告訴他,說,「你是彼得、我要把我的教會建造在這磐石上」,這磐石就是啟示出來的基督,什麼地方基督被啟示出來,什麼地方就有教會的建造。主接著就指示十字架的道路,人子必須受許多的苦,並且被殺,第三日復活。主接著又告訴門徒,若有人要跟從祂,就當捨己,背起自己的十字架來跟從祂。唯有啟示與十架的生命,才會帶來教會真實的建造。教會是父、子、聖靈三而一的神傑出的工作,因著教會的異象,為著教會的見證,神正在經營建造,要得著一個榮耀的教會。

 

 

 

二、聚會的重要與各種聚會

 

因為無論在那堙B有兩三個人奉我的名聚會、那奡N有我在他們中間。            (  18:20)           

                                                                                     

你們不可停止聚會、好像那些停止慣了的人、倒要彼此勸勉.既知道那日子臨近、就更當如此。    (  10:24,25)                              

 

於是領受他話的人、就受了洗.那一天、門徒約添了三千人.都恆心遵守使徒的教訓、彼此交接、擘餅、祈禱。            (  2:41-42)

 

 

  聚會是主復活和聖靈降臨後一個自然的結果,聖徒們在主名婸E集,一同圍繞著復活基督,相會在耶穌基督堙C教會中肢體的生命藉著聚會彼此交流、同被建造。主在馬太福音第十八章特別應許我們屬祂的人,無論在那堙A只要有兩三個人奉祂的名聚會、祂就在我們中間。這叫我們知道,祂是特別與聚會同在的,這種聚會中的同在,常叫我們蒙光照、得祝福,是我們個人親近主所不易得著的。教會的聚會,是神賜恩的地方,也是人蒙恩的地方,更是聖徒把所蒙到的恩典陳列出來的地方。聚會是基督身體的陳列和活動,沒有一個神的兒女應該離開身體作單獨的基督徒,所以「不可停止聚會」是何等有福的命令。

下面我們要來看教會中的各種聚會:

 

 

﹙一﹚福音聚會 教會傳福音的使命

 

因為從頭一天直到如今、你們是同心合意的興旺福音。    (   1:5)        

                                                                                     

  傳福音聚會是新約堬臚@種的聚會,無論是在福音書堙A或是在使徒行傳,第一種的聚會都是傳福音的聚會。因為主將教會擺在地上的目的,不只是為著造就自己,也是為著叫人悔改,得著人來建立教會。

 

1. 全體事奉的聚會

  傳福音聚會的對象是未信的朋友,我們參加聚會是為著事奉,而不是為要聽一篇信息。所以千萬不要覺得救恩內容已聽過了,千萬不能帶著一種冷淡的態度來。我們坐在聚會中都是主的見證人,要用禱告、用靈來扶持聚會。

 

2. 帶朋友來參加

  傳福音聚會既是為未信的朋友預備的,我們每一個人都有責任要帶朋友來。豐盛的筵席預備好了,或者約他們來,或者像路加福音所說的,出去到路上和籬笆那堳j強人來。

 

3. 要在聚會媟蚥U他

  傳福音聚會中每一位神的兒女都要站在主人的地位,招呼接待來參加的朋友,讓他們感受到神家的愛和溫暖,不覺冰冷和孤單。聚會中坐在朋友旁邊,幫他找聖經節、翻詩歌,暗暗為他禱告,呼召時幫助他接受,陪伴他一起決志。

 

4. 會後會的重要

  有很多福音朋友,在聚會中雖受感動還不敢決志,卻是在聚會後接受主。會中已經決志的,還要帶他開口禱告,清楚所得著的救恩。會後會是每一位弟兄姊妹傳福音的機會,也是整個福音聚會達到高峰的時候。

 

﹙二﹚信息聚會 教會的成長和建造

 

到下安息日、合城的人、幾乎都來聚集、要聽神的道。    ( 13:44)                     

 

  為著教會的成長和建造,我們需要得著神的話語。要為神的家求糧食,在每一堂聚會前為講員禱告;要求賜人智慧和啟示的靈,讓我們真知道祂。在聚會中要把心打開,帶著渴慕受教的態度,而不是批評的態度。講道的人講的好不好,有一半要他自己負責,還有一半要聽的人負責。我們的渴慕會把主的話吸出來,我們的靈開啟會幫助講道的人的靈出來。

 

 

﹙三﹚交通聚會 測驗聖徒的身量

 

弟兄們、這卻怎麼樣呢.你們聚會的時候、各人或有詩歌、或有教訓、或有啟示、或有方言、或有繙出來的話.凡事都當造就人。        (林前 14:26)              

 

  彼此交接也就是交通,意思是交流而合為一。因著我們堶惘釵P一個生命,就是那永遠的生命,所以交通聚會是神兒女生命交流的聚會。同時因為神賜下各樣的恩賜給祂的兒女,交通聚會也是運用恩賜的聚會。在這一種的聚會堙A每一位弟兄姊妹都要把有的恩賜運用出來,林前十四章這堣@連說到五個「有」字,這個有是神賜給眾人的,每人都必須把從主領受的交通出來。所有的交通聚會是聖靈的工作,不能勉強,不能效法,然而重要的原則是在平時預備自己。先在主面前多有等候、尋求與得著,先有主話語的開啟、生命的學習,然後把所有的帶到聚會中。如此聚會就很豐富,聖靈就容易作工,大家在交通中彼此造就。

 

﹙四﹚擘餅聚會 測驗聖徒和主中間的關係

 

我當日傳給你們的、原是從主領受的、就是主耶穌被賣的那一夜、拿起餅來、祝謝了、就擘開、說、這是我的身體、為你們捨的.〔捨有古卷作擘開〕你們應當如此行、為的是記念我。飯後、也照樣拿起杯來、說、這杯是用我的血所立的新約.你們每逢喝的時候、要如此行、為的是記念我。你們每逢喫這餅、喝這杯、是表明主的死、直等到他來。            (林前 11:23-26)                    

 

  主耶穌親自設立擘餅,是在祂被賣的那一夜,就是在祂末了一次和門徒們一同喫逾越節筵席的時候。當神把以色列民從埃及地領出來,要他們世世代代守逾越節,為記念當日神怎樣藉著逾越節的羔羊救了他們。那羔羊豫表主耶穌,說出神的兒子要為世人受死付出贖價。今天主已成全了逾越節所豫表的,被殺流血立了新約,所以教會不必守逾越節,而是要照著主的吩咐,聚會擘餅記念主,直到祂再來。

 

1. 主所祝福的餅 記念身體的擘開

他們喫的時候、耶穌拿起餅來、祝福、就擘開、遞給門徒、說、你們拿著喫.這是我的身體。        (   26:26)                              

  桌子上所擺上的餅是代表主的身體,祂的身體是在十字架上為我們捨了,祂是藉著在十字架上受死,將祂的身體擘開,分給我們享受,作我們生命的分。

 

2. 主所祝福的杯 記念新約的福分

又拿起杯來、祝謝了、遞給他們、說、你們都喝這個.因為這是我立約的血、為多人流出來、使罪得赦。            ( 26:27-28)

  桌子上的杯所裝的葡萄酒是代表主為我們所流的血,祂的血是在十字架上為我們流的,是為我們付出贖價,使我們的罪得赦。這杯是祂用血所立的新約,這新約就是我們因著主耶穌的血,從神應得的分,這分就是使我們脫去罪,而得著神和神的一切。

 

3. 主的桌子 基督身體的見證

我們所祝福的杯、豈不是同領基督的血麼.我們所擘開的餅、豈不是同領基督的身體麼。我們雖多、仍是一個餅、一個身體.因為我們都是分受這一個餅。    (林前 10:16-17)

  聚會擘餅記念主就是眾聖徒在桌子前的交通,在交通堸O念主,在交通媟q拜主。所有神的兒女個個都在這一個餅埵酗嚏A都是在基督的身體堙C所以在擘餅的時候,一同來到主面前,和主有交通,同時彼此也有交通。

 

﹙五﹚禱告聚會- 測驗聖徒對神旨意的負擔

 

我又告訴你們、若是你們中間有兩個人在地上、同心合意的求甚麼事、我在天上的父、必為他們成全。因為無論在那堙B有兩三個人奉我的名聚會、那奡N有我在他們中間。    ( 18:19-20)                                              

 

1. 奉主名聚會 主是所有聚會的中心

  每一個奉主名的聚會都是在主的名堛獄E集,這名包括了主的所是與所作。當主耶穌在地上的時候,祂的名字叫耶穌,腓立比書第二章說,祂存心順服,以至於死,且死在十字架上,所以神將祂升為至高,又賜給祂那超乎萬名之上的名。神賜給祂兒子耶穌的名,祂兒子又將這名信託給所有神的兒女,使我們有分於祂這一個名。今天教會在主的名婸E會,必有主的同在,在主的名媄咩i,必蒙主垂聽。

 

2. 同心合意 要在神面前禱告到和諧

  禱告聚會第一個基本的要求,就是要同心合意。我們禱告只能成全神的心意,而不能改變神的心意。所以當我們一同摸著了寶座上的旨意,而同心合意的向祂祈求,神必定要為我們成全。

 

3. 真、切、短、接

  禱告聚會中的禱告必須要真實,不是注意好聽不好聽,而是注意神聽不聽。真的禱告乃是從心堬`處出來的羨慕,從主得著重的負擔而迫切的禱告。禱告不只要真實、要迫切,禱告也要短。因為禱告一長,有兩句真的話,給神聽的話,反被許多加上去給人聽的話打岔了。禱告聚會中禱告要專一,在聖靈的流中一個一個接著禱告,一件事禱告通了,再為下一件事禱告,聖靈就能很自由的運行。

 

 

梁家聲弟兄

 

 

 

I.  What is Church?

 

"...Church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours."           I Corinthians 1:2

 

"...church which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all."    Ephesians 1:23

                                   

According to the original contents of Bible, the term "church" means "a group of people that have been called out".  Church is not a building, or a charitable organization formed by men, but the composition of saints called by Jesus.  Through out generations, all the children of God who share the same eternal life of Jesus Christ participate as members of the body of Christ.  This spiritual body has the fullness of Christ who fills all in all.  When Jesus came to earth in the flesh, God's fullness dwelled in bodily form in Him.  When he died on the cross, that fullness was released through His broken body.  He was like a grain of wheat that fell to the ground and died.  Therefore, many seeds were generated.  The release of His fullness has brought forth the expanded fullness, the church.

 

(A)  The vision of church

 

"Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.  And it came about that as he journeyed, he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"  And he said, "Who art Thou, Lord?" And He said, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, ..."    Acts 9:1-5

                                                           

Paul, originally Saul, was on his way to Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him, and he fell to the ground.  His outward eyes were blind, but inner eyes were opened to see Christ that was in glory and also it was Jesus whom he was persecuting.  Paul persecuted men and women belonging to the Way, and the Lord revealed to him that he was actually persecuting Him.  That was the great revelation of the relationship of the Head and the Body.  That vision held Paul for the rest of his life and made him no longer care his own life and benefits.  He was determined to, on behalf of the church - the body of Christ, fill all the lacking of the sufferings of Christ.  That was why he could witness in front of King Agrippa: "I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision."  Through out generations, countless number of saints received the same great vision of the church.  This is a living vision that holds us closely to follow His footsteps and enables us to proceed on the journey ahead.

 

(B)  The testimony of church

 

"For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority."   Colossians 2:9-10

 

Church is the body of Christ and the fullness of Christ.  Therefore, the glorious Jesus needs to be manifested by church, and that is the testimony of the church.  Just as Christ has received the fullness of Deity, the church also receives the fullness in Christ.  Just as Christ has manifested the glory of God, the church also has to manifest the glory of Christ.  Being saved by grace, we all stand on the foundation of salvation and are a part of the church.  We need to strive to pursue the testimony of the church for only true testimony can satisfy God's heart.  God's purpose can be obtained only when the glory of Christ is fully manifested in the church.

 

(C)  The building of the church

 

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."       Ephesians 2:10

 

Matthew 16 mentions how Peter received the Heavenly Father's revelation and answered Jesus question by saying: "Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God."   The Lord immediately told him the plan of building up the church: "...you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church;..."  The "rock" referred here is the Christ of revelation.  Wherever Christ is revealed, there is the building of the church.  The Lord continued to show them the way of the cross.  He told them how he had to suffer, be killed and raised up on the third day.  The Lord also told them whoever wanted to follow Him had to deny himself and take up his cross, and follow Him.  Only a life that has the revelation and has gone through the work of the cross can truly build up the church.  Church is the joint masterpiece of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  God is the architect and builder of the glorious church.

 

 

II. The Importance of Meetings and Types of Various Meetings

 

"For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst."     Matthew 18:20

 

"... not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one and other, and all the more, as you see the day drawing near."   Hebrews 10:25

                                               

"So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls.  And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."    Acts 2:41-42

 

Gathering or meetings is the natural result from the resurrection of the Lord and the descending of the Holy Spirit.  Meetings are the time that saints gather in the Lord's name.  Church is gradually built up through fellowship in the Lord in various types of  meetings.  The Lord specifically promised in Matthew 18 that when two or three of those who belong to Him gather together in His name, He will be in their midst.  Therefore, it is clear that His presence is in the meetings held in His name.  Meetings in His presence are the time that we are more enlightened and blessed than being alone.    Meetings are also the opportunities that saints can share and make known the blessings received.  Church meetings are the manifestation and activities of the body of Christ.  No child of God should leave the body of Christ and be a loner.  Therefore, His word commands us not to forsake our own assembling together, but to encourage one another to meet.

 

The primary types of meetings of the church are listed below:

 

1.  Gospel Meeting

-  The mission of this meeting is to preach gospel.

 

"...because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,..."      Philippians 1:5

 

Gospel meeting is the very  first type of meeting in the new testament, either from the recording in four gospel books, or the Book of Acts.  The purpose why the Lord set church on earth was not just self-edifying, but also helping more to repent and become part of His church.

 

(i)  Gospel meeting is an opportunity of serving the Lord for believers:  Christians participate in gospel meeting to server not to listen to a good sermon.  We have to come with an attitude to serve and witness to friends.  Therefore, we have to pray in the meeting and support the meeting in our spirit the whole time.

 

(ii)  Bring friends:  Gospel meetings are for nonbelievers.  Therefor, we have the responsibility to bring friends to it.  Just as what Gospel according to Luke describes, we have to force people standing by the road side and fences to attend the King's banquet.

 

(iii)  Be caring to friends:  We are host in the house of God.  Therefore, we have to warmly greet new faces and let them feel the love in God's house.  Sit next to a new friend and help him or her to find the proper Bible verses or hymns.  Pray for them in our heart and encourage them to receive the Lord when the speaker is giving the invitation calling.

 

(iv)  The importance of what happens after the meeting:  Many times gospel friends were shy to answer the invitation calling in the meeting, even though they were very touched by God's love.  Also, many times they answered the calling, but we still have to help them to be clear about the salvation and lead them to pray.  Therefore, the time after the meeting is critically important, and it is also our opportunity to preach the gospel individually.  This period of time is usually regarded as the peak of the gospel meeting.

   

2.                 Message Meeting

- The growth and building of the church

 

"On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord."     Acts 13:44

 

We need God's word  to build up the church and make it grow.  Therefore, we need to pray for spiritual food for the house of God.  Ask for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that we may truly know Him.  When we come to the meeting, we need to open our heart with an longing attitude, not with a spirit of criticism.  The  success of a message partially depends on the speaker, and partially on us listeners.  Our longing will draw out the Lord's word, and our open heart will greatly help the speaker.

 

3.  Fellowship Meeting

            - This meeting  measures the stature of spiritual life of saints.

 

"What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.  all of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. "   I Corinthians 14:26

 

Fellowship means to have communication that results in unity.  Since we have the same kind of life, the eternal life, we can communicate in that life.  Also, God has given different gifts to us, so we can apply them in a fellowship meeting.  In the verse quoted above, it indicates that everyone "has" something from God to offer in a gathering.  We are responsible to share or to give what God has given to us for His church.  However, the application of gifts has to be done naturally, not reluctantly, or by imitating others.  Therefore, it is important that we prepare ourselves on the regular basis by waiting on the Lord and seeking His guidance.  We must first receive it from the Lord before we share with others in the meeting.  If we all learn to do so, the meeting will be spiritually full and edifying.

 

4.  Breaking of Bread Meeting

            - This meeting reveals saints' relationship with the Lord.

 

"For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you:  The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he hand given thanks, he broke it and said, 'This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.'  In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying,  'This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.'  For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes."     I Corinthians 23-26

 

The Lord Jesus personally set up this meeting on the very night he was betrayed.  It was at the last supper of Passover with His disciples.  When God led Israelites out the land of Egypt, he told them to observe Passover from that time on in order to remember how God deliver them through the death of lambs.  That lamb represented Jesus, the Son of God who gave His life for the world.  On that night since Jesus was about to accomplish the salvation as the lamb of the Passover, and make a new covenant in His blood, He told them to break the bread and drink the cup in remembrance of Him until He returns.  Therefore, church no longer has to observe Passover, but have breaking of  bread meetings regularly.

 

(i)  The bread blessed by the Lord - to remember His broken body

 

"While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take and eat; this is my body."   Matthew 26:26

 

The bread on the table represents the Lord's body.  He gave himself as ransom for many.  Through the death on the cross, He broke His body and allow us to partake in this life.

 

(ii)  The cup blessed by the Lord - to remember the blessings of the new covenant.

 

"Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, 'drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."     Matthew 26:27-28

 

The grape wine in the cup represents the blood shed by our Lord on the cross.  He shed His blood for us for the forgiveness of sins.  With the cup, He made a new covenant which brings for us forgiveness and abundance in God.

 

(iii)  The Lord's table - The testimony of the body of Christ.

 

"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. "     I Corinthians 10:16-17

 

The breaking of bread meeting also offer the opportunity for saints to fellowship.  In that fellowship we remember what the Lord has done and worship Him together.  All the children of God are part of the bread as a member of His body.  Therefore, when we attend the breaking of bread meeting, not only we come and fellowship with the Lord, but also with one another.

 

5.  Prayer Meeting - This meeting measures saints' burden for God's work.

 

"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.  for where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."                                                           Matthew 18:19-20

 

(i)  Meeting in the Lord's name - The Lord is the center of the meeting, so we should make sure that He is satisfied first.  Every meeting held in the name of the Lord is entitled to the fullness of what He is and what He has done.   His name is the name above all names as said in  Philippians chapter two.  God gave the name Jesus to His beloved Son, now Jesus has given us His great name.  Therefore, when we gather in the Lord's name, His presence will be with us.  When we pray in His name, He will listen.

 

 (ii)  In one accord - The first requirement of a prayer meeting is to have one accord. We have to learn to pray to a point that harmony and one accord are among us..  The purpose of our prayer is to accomplish God's purpose, not to change it.  Therefore, when we wait on Him and gradually understand His purpose and pray in one accord, God will achieve it for us.

 

(iii)  Be true, sincere, short, and continuous in our prayer - Prayer has to be true, not eloquent.  The key is that it has to be accepted by God.  A true prayer can be achieved by having a genuine desire to know the Lord's purpose and earnestly pray for it.  We not only should have true and earnest prayer, but also short prayer.  Otherwise, our sincere prayer may be distracted by other unnecessary words. Also, in a prayer meeting, we need to learn to concentrate on individual goal/purpose.  Pray for one goal or purpose first.  Do not switch to the next goal until we feel that we have prayed through for the first one.  In this way, Holy Spirit can move very smoothly.

 

 

 

 

Timothy Liang

 

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