“You Have Not Denied My Name” (5)
When the saints are
built up together
in the local churches,
God is glorified and
Satan is defeated
The book of Romans shows us God’s full salvation, and it also shows us the goal of that salvation in this age: to have the believers built up together in the Body of Christ, which is expressed practically on the earth in the local churches. (See the previous Note, “You Have Not Denied My Name” • 4)
This is on the positive side, for the glory of God (Rom. 15:7). On the negative side, such a testimony results in the defeat of Satan. Have you noticed that it is only at the end of Romans, after greeting the saints in the church that was there in Rome, that the apostle says,
The God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.
— Romans 16:20
So, when the saints are built up together in the local churches, that is when Satan is defeated.
While He was on the earth the Lord had said to Peter:
I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
— Matthew 16:18
Here in Romans 16:20 we see the fulfillment of what the Lord said regarding the defeat of the gates of Hades, for here Satan is indeed crushed under the feet of the saints who are standing together as the church in their locality.
In a recent Note in this series we stressed that there will always be a great spiritual conflict over the building up of the church. (See). And why is that? Because it is in the local churches that Satan is defeated.
That is, when fallen sinners have been justified, sanctified, transformed, and built up to the point that they can dwell together in the genuine oneness of the Body of Christ, it is the complete destruction of Satan’s work; Christ has gained the victory in such ones, and through them He will bring His kingdom to the earth.
No wonder, then, that the Lord had promised the church in Philadelphia, as the representative of all such churches:
Because you have kept the word of My endurance, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which is about to come upon all the earth, to test those who dwell upon the earth.
— Revelation 3:10
Lord, have Your way in the local churches today!
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— 26 August 2023 —