The Hearing of Faith
In many of our broadcasts and publications you will hear the terms recovery and the Lord’s recovery. These refer to a very basic and wonderful truth concerning God’s work. When we read the Bible, particularly the New Testament, we see many marvelous truths and practices which seem to belong to the early church only. For example, all the believers were called saints in the New Testament (Acts 9:41; 26:10; Rom. 15:26), but today few believers consider themselves as saints.
This is a small truth that was lost, but a very rich truth that can profit us greatly if it is recovered among us. The Corinthian believers had perhaps the gravest problems of any that the apostle Paul addressed, yet he did not fail to call them saints (1 Cor. 1:2). Regardless of their disposition and behavior, Paul knew that their position and standing before God was always that of sanctified ones–saints–who were being transformed to ultimately match Him in life and nature. How helpful this is to us and how uplifting to our daily Christian life if we know that we are the saints of God, who are being changed into His likeness.
There are many major truths and crucial practices that need to be recovered by the saints. In the history of the church, the Lord has used a number of great believers to recover such critical items as justification by faith (Martin Luther), the eternal security of our salvation (John Calvin), the brotherhood and church life among the believers (Count Zinzendorf), the inner life of the saints (Madame Guyon and many others), the study of the Bible according to types, shadows, and figures (the British Brethren), and the practical oneness of the church (Watchman Nee). In our own time, we have been helped so much by Brother Witness Lee to see the recovery of the practical Body life and God’s full and organic salvation.
As we consider God’s work throughout the centuries, we can easily see that it is a progressive work to recover all the rich truths and crucial practices that He once delivered to the apostles. Almost all was lost very early on, if not in the understanding of the believers at least in their full experience, but God has been working to recover each and every item of precious truth and practice. This has been not only a work among the saints but a work on the saints. Today we are at the end of that work of recovery, and our understanding and experience certainly benefits from what the Lord has done thus far. Now, because we are blessed so richly by His past work of recovery and because we enjoy His ongoing work of recovery among us, we can say that we who partake of these blessings are His recovery. Praise the Lord for the Lord’s recovery.
For more on this topic, please read What Are We? by Watchman Nee, published by Living Stream Ministry.