Until the Lord comes, since we are saved, we preach the gospel through our living, our attitude, our words – our very Christian life is a preaching of the gospel. Actually, according to Paul’s word in Phil 1:5-6, it is Christ who does this good work of preaching the gospel. Christ preaches the gospel in us – as we enjoy Him, eat Him, live because of Him, live for Him, He is the One who radiates out through us to reach others! So then, whether we are silent or we speak, our life and our living, even our entire being, are a preaching of Christ!
What I realized today more than before is that this preaching of the gospel is not individualistic, but it is a Body matter: we corporately(together) preach the gospel. Another puzzling verse related to this is John 13:35, ‘By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another‘. How do the other people see/recognize that we belong to Jesus, that we are His disciples, that we are Christians? It is because we love one another. The branches in the vine love one another and bear fruit together – you can’t see one particular branch bearing a lot of fruit and the rest being barren. All the branches bear fruit together in the way of fellowship – we the believers in Christ, abiding in Him, bear fruit together by loving one another. Though we are many branches in the vine, and though we may be different and yet very desirous to bear fruit, we don’t do this individualistically. We have “fellowship unto the gospel”, we together preach the gospel by loving one another and fellowshipping with one another.
Actually, all people desire this: to love and be loved, and to have a mutual relationship in life and in love. We were created with this desire and capacity. However, because of the damaging tactics of the enemy, especially in this modern age, everyone wants to be an individual, to stand out from the crowd, to be noticed, to be someone. But in the Body of Christ there is no culture, no racial difference, no religion, no position – it is Christ who is all and in all. We all are “plugged in” the vine, in the source of life, and by abiding in the Lord in personal & corporate fellowship with Him we are in the fellowship of life! Here we love one another and we bear fruit together.
This is the real Body life – a life in which the members have fellowship with one another, love one another not by their natural love/affection but by the divine love, and live by the divine life within them. This is what was lost during the centuries, and because of this the testimony of the church have been damaged; this is what the Lord wants to recover today. In this life of loving one another by abiding in the vine, in the fellowship of the divine life, we bear fruit, and the fruit remains!