God’s intention is to have us
All conformed to His dear Son;
Thus a work of transformation
By the Spirit must be done.
Lord, transform us to Thine image
In emotion, mind, and will;
Saturate us with Thy Spirit,
All our being wholly fill.

God hath us regenerated
In our spirit with His life;
But He must transform us further-
In our soul by His own life.

Spreading outward from our spirit
Doth the Lord transform our soul,
By the inward parts renewing,
Till within His full control.

By the power of His Spirit
In His pattern He transforms;
From His glory to His glory
To His image He conforms.

He transforms, all sanctifying,
Till like Him we are matured;
He transforms, our soul possessing,
Till His stature is secured.


I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His wondrous love to me;
On the cruel cross He suffered,
From the curse to set me free.
Sing, oh, sing of my Redeemer,
With His blood He purchased me,
On the cross He sealed my pardon,
Paid the debt, and made me free.
I will tell the wondrous story,
How my lost estate to save,
In His boundless love and mercy,
He the ransom freely gave.
I will praise my dear Redeemer,
His triumphant pow’r I’ll tell,
How the victory He giveth
Over sin, and death, and hell.
I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His heav’nly love to me;
He from death to life hath brought me,
Son of God with Him to be.

Glory, glory to the Father!
Glory, glory to the Son!
Glory, glory to the Spirit!
Glory to the Three in One!
Let us praise Him! Let us praise Him!
Praise our God, the Three in One!
Give Him glory; give Him glory!
Wondrous things for us our God hath done.
Praise the Father who has purposed!
Praise the Son who all has done!
Praise the Spirit who transmitteth!
Praise the Three who work as one!

Lord, teach us how to pray,
Not as the nations do in vain,
But turn us from our way,
And cause us, Lord, to call on You each day—Lord Jesus, grow in us.

Lord Jesus, soften us;
You know the source from which we came.
By calling on Your name,
Lord, let no earth unturned nor rocks remain—
Lord Jesus, grow in us.
Make us in spirit poor;
Lord, take whate’er we think we know.
We’ll open to life’s flow,
And thus take in the life that makes us grow—
Lord Jesus, grow in us.
Yes, Lord, impress our heart
That we must take You in each day;
The seed will have its way;
Your growing brings the kingdom here to stay—
Lord Jesus, grow in us.

Lord, You’re the seed of life;
You’ve sown Yourself into our heart,
And now You have a start;
So day by day more life to us impart—
Lord Jesus, grow in us.

Lord, how Your light makes clear
That we could not but e’er fail You;
Yet there’s a message true,
The seed of life within us will break through—
Lord Jesus, grow in us.

Lord, make us pure in heart;
For we’ll be not content until
You all our being fill,
O Lord, renew our mind, emotion, will—
Lord Jesus, grow in us.

Amen!—The growth in life!
There’s nothing that Your life can’t do;
Our every part renew.
We’ll make it, we’ll make it just by You.
Lord Jesus, grow in us.
Lord Jesus, grow in us.

How mysterious, O Lord,
That Thy Spirit dwells in mine;
O how marvelous it is,
Into one, two spirits twine.
By the spirit I can walk,
Spiritual in spirit be;
By the spirit I can serve,
And in spirit worship Thee.
Thru Thy Word and by my prayer
In the spirit touching Thee,
Lifted high my spirit is,
Strengthened shall my spirit be.
Make my spirit strong I pray
Others’ spirits to revive;
Lift my spirit high and free,
Others’ spirits then may thrive.
Every time I speak, O Lord,
May my spirit actuate;
And whatever I may do,
Let my spirit motivate.
Every time my spirit acts
Others’ spirits opened be,
Every time my spirit moves
Others’ lifted unto Thee.
Lord, have mercy, from above
May Thy Spirit breathe on me;
Then my spirit will be rich,
Strengthened and refreshed by Thee.

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my cleansing this I see—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
For my pardon this my plea—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Nothing can my sin erase
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Naught of works, ’tis all of grace—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
This is all my hope and peace—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
This is all my righteousness—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

In the bosom of the Father,
Ere the ages had begun,
Thou wast in the Father’s glory,
God’s unique begotten Son.
When to us the Father gave Thee,
Thou in person wast the same,
All the fulness of the Father
In the Spirit to proclaim.
By Thy death and resurrection,
Thou wast made God’s firstborn Son;
By Thy life to us imparting,
Was Thy duplication done.
We, in Thee regenerated,
Many sons to God became;
Truly as Thy many brethren,
We are as Thyself the same.
Once Thou wast the only grain, Lord,
Falling to the earth to die,
That thru death and resurrection
Thou in life may multiply.
We were brought forth in Thy nature
And the many grains became;
As one loaf we all are blended,
All Thy fulness to proclaim
We’re Thy total reproduction,
Thy dear Body and Thy Bride,
Thine expression and Thy fulness,
For Thee ever to abide.
We are Thy continuation,
Thy life-increase and Thy spread,
Thy full growth and Thy rich surplus,
One with Thee, our glorious Head.

O Lord, as we consider Thee,
We worship Thee for all Thou art;
Thou art so rich, so wonderful,
So dear and precious to our heart.

What Thou art meets our every need!
Our hearts o’erflow with praise to Thee!
All our desires Thou dost exceed
And satisfy continually.

Thou art the very God in truth,
The God who is both love and light;
The God who is to us our life,
The God in whom we all delight.

Thou also art a man indeed,
A man so fine, so good, so pure;
A man in whom our God delights,
A man who can our love secure.

Thou even art a lowly slave,
A slave of God to serve for us;
Obedient to the cross’s death
That we might be delivered thus.

Thou art, beside all these, a King,
A King in life and love to reign,
By God anointed with His pow’r
To rule with us in His domain.

Dear Lord, as we remember Thee,
We thus partake of all Thou art;
As we enjoy Thyself in love,
We share Thee as Thy counterpart.

Earthen vessel I was made,
Christ in me the treasure laid;
His container I must be,
As the content He in me.

In His image I was made,
Fit that Christ should all pervade;
Thus the vessel God did form
With the content uniform.

In my spirit He remains,
With His power He sustains;
As the Spirit one with me,
He is my reality.

Moving in me day by day,
Mingling with me all the way,
All my steps He regulates,
Every part He saturates.

Him expressing from within,
Making Him to others seen,
I transparent have to be
That He may be shown thru me.

Transformation is my need,
To be broken more indeed,
That the clay may change in form,
To the treasure to conform.

Father, to us Thy mercy Thou hast shown,
In Thine own way;
Sinners like us as dear sons Thou wouldst own,
In love for aye.
Vessels of mercy, Thou didst us prepare;
Vessels of honor, we Thyself declare.

”In mercy I delight, not sacrifice,”
Thou hast declared;
Thru this Thy mercy, favor in Thine eyes
We all have shared.
’Tis not of them that will nor them that run,
But of Thee showing mercy as was done.

Father, Thy mercy with Thy love and grace
Did we obtain;
And in Thy mercy, with Thee face to face,
We’ll e’er remain;
And for Thy mercy we would worship Thee
Through all our days and through eternity.

God, we praise Thee for Thy mercy,
’Tis so great and so profound!
In our weakness and our failures;
With its greatness it abounds.
We adore Thee! we adore Thee!
With such mercy we’ve been crowned!

How we marvel at this mercy
So far-reaching and so vast!
It has reached us, e’en the sinners,
And will ever hold us fast.
From this mercy, from this mercy,
What can cause us to be cast?

For Thy mercy we are grateful,
’Tis so rich, so plenteous!
Thru Thy mercy in redemption,
Thou hast richly favored us.
If without this, if without this,
How could we be favored thus?

Oh, Thy mercy, so inspiring!
Gentle, tender, dear and sweet!
With Thy patience and Thy kindness,
Us in all our need it meets.
It we treasure, it we treasure,
Nothing can with it compete.

Father, we enjoy Thy mercy,
Ever fresh and ever new;
Every morning shed upon us,
It refreshes as the dew.
How we taste it! how we taste it!
Giving Thee the praises due.

We can never cease to praise Thee,
As Thy mercy e’er endures;
All Thy grace and all Thy favor,
Ever for us it secures.
Trusting in it, trusting in it,
Thy sure mercy us assures.

The church is Christ’s deep longing
And His good pleasure too.
His every word and action
Is made with her in view.
His heart’s love is established,
And nought can Him deter;
Before the earth’s foundation
His thoughts were filled with her.
The eve of all creation
He mused on His delight,
And pondered every feature,
Well-pleasing in His sight.
Creation sprang to being,
But deep in Him did hide
A heart of depth unfathomed
Fixed on a glorious Bride.
And thus His will was ’stablished
His counterpart to gain:
This blessed, firm intention,
Eternally the same.
Though sin should e’en beguile man,
Then mock his helpless state,
He never could forsake her,
His yearning ne’er abate.
Then mercy richly flourished,
And love was, oh, so vast,
As graciously He sought her
With wisdom unsurpassed.
The love He gave to win her
God only comprehends!
His life laid down, an offering
Whose fragrance yet ascends.
And now in resurrection
To her He draws most near,
And with untold affection
In glory does appear.
As she beholds her Bridegroom,
His glory floods her heart,
’Til she, His Bride, is raptured,
His longed-for counterpart.

There is always something over,
When we taste our gracious Lord;
Every cup He fills o’erfloweth,
Rich supply He doth afford.
Nothing narrow, nothing stinted,
Ever issued from His store;
To His own He gives full measure,
Running over, evermore,
To His own He gives full measure,
Running over, evermore.
There is always something over,
When we, from the Father’s hand,
Take our portion with thanksgiving,
Praising for the things He planned.
Satisfaction, full and deepening,
All our need He doth supply,
When the heart has tasted Jesus
Its desires to satisfy,
When the heart has tasted Jesus
Its desires to satisfy.
There is always something over,
When we share in all His love;
Unplumbed depths still lie beneath us,
Unscaled heights rise far above.
Human lips can never utter
All His wondrous tenderness.
We can only praise and wonder
And His Name forever bless,
We can only praise and wonder
And His Name forever bless.

I love Thy kingdom, Lord,
The house of Thine abode,
The Church our blest Redeemer bought
With His own precious blood.
I love the Church, O God!
Her walls before Thee stand,
Dear as the apple of Thine eye
And graven on Thy hand.
For her my tears shall fall,
For her my prayers ascend;
To her my cares and toils be given
Till toils and cares shall end.
Beyond my highest joy
I prize her heavenly ways,
Her sweet communion, solemn vows,
Her hymns of love and praise.
Sure as Thy truth shall last,
To Zion shall be given
The brightest glories earth can yield,
And brighter bliss of heaven.

My search for the Truth started as a young man in the Sunday school of a very conservative Christian denomination. I was always one to ask, “Why?” I was never satisfied with the pat answer, “Because we have always done it this way.” I went to a Bible college in Northern Indiana, still searching for the Truth, and still not satisfied. The Lord intervened in my life through a terrible accident in which I was confined to the hospital for thirty days. At this time, flat on my back, nineteen years old, I asked the question, “What would you have me do with my future?” Within three months, I left my safe, secure home and found myself in the US Navy. The Lord opened my eyes to see that there were in fact other Christians in the world and that they were not confined to Northern Indiana.

My wife and I were going to many denominations searching for the Truth. None of the denominations answered my heart’s deep longing for answers. One question that always was with me, “Why are there all the denominations?” I was excommunicated from my former denomination because I had married my wife who was not of that denomination. I will never forget the letter that I received stating that I was not welcome to the Lord’s Table. A search through the Word revealed absolutely no grounds to denominate the Body of Christ. At this time we were asked to join the non-denominational church we were attending. I replied, “How can I join one when I just got kicked out of one?” Hence, my search continued.

I was introduced to Witness Lee, in 1963, through a series of audiotapes heard in an apartment in Pittsburgh, PA. Although the tapes were of poor quality and the speaker spoke in broken English, my search for the Truth intensified. There was definitely something of the Truth in that speaking that echoed satisfaction deep within me. I was given two books during this time: Sit, Walk, Stand and Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. These two books once again intensified my search and kept the fire burning within. We were studying a book entitled Release of the Spirit by Watchman Nee, which really made clear to us that there was a spirit in man.

My wife and I were asked to go to a conference in Los Angeles in 1968. We had no idea what we were in for! It was there that we saw the matter of the oneness of the church composed of all believers. We were never the same after that time. We heard the ministry of Witness Lee during the next period of time in the church in Los Angeles. The informal, new beginners meetings, and the numerous conferences during those years were answering my quest for the Truth in a wonderful way.

We have been in the local church now for over thirty years. I still consider myself a seeker after the Truth in the Word. Witness Lee exhorted us many times to not take his word, but to search the Scriptures ourselves. He never would allow himself to be set up on a pedestal, but was a humble slave of Christ Jesus in everything. All of his fellowship and council was always with the goal of the Body of Christ and not his own glory. He led by example in so many ways. His life was truly a pattern for my life and conduct before the Lord.

Donald Klopfenstein

When I was ten years old I received the altar call invitation in a small denominational church in Alabama. At that time I had become “marked out”, preserved, for God’s purpose, although it was not clear to me what had occurred (Romans 8:29). Soon after this my family and I moved away to Arkansas, then to Oklahoma, and finally to Tennessee in 1980. I did not meet anywhere regularly after moving from Alabama.

In 1991 I started meeting with a small denominational group and again received the altar call, and this time I knew that I had received Jesus Christ into my life as my personal Savior when I was ten years old. However, after about two months, I was empty inside again. I left the denominations but I never left my pursuit of Christ. In fact, my pursuing of Christ Himself increased although it was not so clear to me what was happening. In December of 1992 I met a brother in the Lord who had recently started meeting with the local church in Nashville. He also came from a denominational background and was so excited to finally have found the local church. In February of 1993 I went with him to a Lords Day meeting and, let me tell you, I had found my home where the members’ focus was, and still is, on our wonderful Christ. My brothers and sisters in the Lord here cared for me through prayer, cherishing, nourishing, and teaching. They taught me how to exercise my human spirit to contact the all-inclusive Spirit of God in a new and living way. They taught me how to enjoy the Lord through the many experiences of my Christian life. One of the top things they taught me was how to enjoy Christ with others.

In the local churches I am brought into a real, living, organic union with God (1 Corinthians 6:17), both individually and corporately. In the corporate sense I can truly see Christ in His many different angles and vast dimensions (Ephesians 3:18). Here I can see that Christ is absolutely inexhaustible and experiencable.

Dennis Brown

Having grown up in the northeastern part of the U.S., I was exposed to many diverse cultures. I was raised in a Protestant family in a predominately Catholic neighborhood. As a boy growing up, I always had an interest in God and a heart that was soft towards Him. Most of my friends were Catholic, but some were Jewish and others were Protestants like myself. All of us believed in God. Often I pondered this question: If there was only one God, why were there so many different kinds of believers? Even the advertisements on the city buses said, “Attend the church of your choice.”

At the age of five, I opened my heart to the Lord, and he came into my being as my Lord and Savior. Because I lacked the proper teaching and shepherding in the Word, the seed of life within lay dormant. Eventually I turned to philosophy and the counterculture of the age. But God did not stop loving me; eventually He turned me back to Himself when I was 20 years old. This was during a time when the Lord, as a result of the turmoil in our society also captured many young people.

For approximately two years I tried to walk with the Lord in the context of traditional religion. Still the matter of divisions among Christians bothered me. Eventually I became so discouraged by my own failure to fulfill the Christian standard that I told the Lord, “If this is all You have for me, I’ll go back into the world.” But God’s mercy still prevailed as He worked in me “both the willing and the working for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). In July of 1974 I took a trip to Atlanta to visit an old friend of mine who happened to be meeting with the local church there. What I witnessed for the first time was a group of Christians meeting in the genuine oneness of Christ. It answered my own deep longing and as I later discovered in John 17, Christ’s longing: “that they may be one even as We are.” Christ had brought me to a place where members of His Body were willing to drop personal differences for the sake of the testimony of Christ in that city. Finally, I was at peace because the Lord within me was at peace! There really is only one God, one Body, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one Spirit (Ephesians 4). I thank the Lord for bringing me to the local church and keeping me for all these years.

Jim Dilg

I was saved when I was nineteen years old. Afterwards, I never had a strong spirit to follow the Lord. At that time I didn’t know what my human spirit was. I knew of God but I didn’t know how to contact Him. As I began to read the Bible, the Lord began putting Christians in my life to help me in the ways of the Lord. The more I contacted the Lord through His Word; something within began to get stirred up. I began to talk to God from deep within. I remember sensing this feeling growing up in a Catholic environment. Even then I felt somewhat separated; somewhere during my teenage years, I lost contact with God. As a result, I began to have a deep longing to have a profound relationship with Jesus. I didn’t want something superficial; I longed for something deeper than anything that I had experienced previously.

It wasn’t until I met my wife that the Lord answered my prayers and satisfied my longings. She became the “open door,” by which I entered into that relationship with the Lord. Through her I met brothers and sisters in Christ who were genuinely seeking and pursuing after God. The more I met with them, the more I realized how rich God was to me. Their portion of Christ was attractive to me. I wanted and enjoyed their portion. My heart found peace in their speaking. One weekend, I went to watch video messages on the book of Isaiah. It was held in a brother’s house in Nashville, Tennessee. I didn’t recall the exact words a man named Witness Lee said, but I was deeply touched. Later that night, I felt a peace that I had never felt. I found myself calling upon the name of the Lord. Hallelujah! I was liberated. This was the breakthrough my heart had been longing for those past years. Within there was joy deeper than any feeling of mind, emotion, or will. I knew I could not excuse this experience, it caused my life to change dramatically.

My wife and I have three girls and are in the local church. It’s not always a “smooth road,” but the Lord has taken care of us in every aspect of our living. I have enjoyed Him more than ever. I cannot say enough about the printed writings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. Their writings have helped me in seeking God’s heart, knowing and experiencing Christ daily, exercising my spirit (I Timothy 4:7-8) for the growth in life, matters regarding the church, being built up into the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:16), becoming His universal expression (Revelation 21:10-11), and ultimately preparing for His return (1 John 3:2) by matching Him in life and nature but not in the Godhead and becoming the bride He desires. I can only sum up my local church experience through the following chorus of a hymn that I’ve sung:

I love the church life, eating, drinking, breathing Jesus.

I love the church life, taking in God’s word.

I love to hear those “O Lord, Amen, Hallelujahs!”

I love the church life feasting with the Lord.

The local church has been a real feast in the spirit. A feast that I enjoy with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

John Cortez

Since I was old enough to remember, I had a seeking in my heart to know God—Who He was and how and why He made the universe. I also wanted to know why there was such beauty in nature, but such ugliness in humanity. What I saw in newspapers and on TV overwhelmed me; often at night I would fret over the suffering and cruelty in the world. Praying to God helped me to pour out my feelings, but I never had the assurance that He heard me.

As I matured, I began to form a personal philosophy that did not include God—at least, not the God of the Bible. To me, Jesus Christ was only a historical figure, irrelevant to my problems or the chaotic situation that characterized our country in the 1960’s. I began to believe strongly in the counterculture politics of the day: that only by concerted, organized civil action could the injustices of the world be righted.

But under God’s sovereignty, my personal life fell apart, and I knew that inwardly I needed a lifeline to God, the One in whom I used to find comfort. Amazingly, one day a classmate whom I admired spoke as though she were electrified by a power of conviction in something so real that it made her radiate with joy. I desperately wanted something to believe in that was real—not just an invention of the human mind. Immediately, I opened to Jesus with a believing heart, and in a moment, I was flooded with the conviction that He was more real than anything in the universe. I rejoiced that I had discovered that Christ is Truth (John 14:6)!

I applied to and was accepted into a very liberal university. My old ideas were intact as I sought out the various political groups on campus. We met and marched and protested, but as we did, I made the painful discovery that these people, far from being pure, had the same “diseases” that infected the people we were protesting: hypocrisy, selfishness, ambition, corruption, and lust. I made up my mind to quit school, join a Christian commune, and wait for the Lord’s return…but God, in His mercy, intervened! Sitting on a bench downtown one day, I was invited by a girl my age to a free dinner hosted by some Christians. My concept was that they were probably too religious and “straight”, but right away the Lord rebuked me within for my bias. So I went, not knowing what I’d find.

Inside this old storefront was an eclectic assortment of people: young, older, straight, hippie, talkative, quiet. As my mind groped to categorize them, I felt a strange sense of calm within, as if I were home. After dinner, we began to sing songs–love songs to the Lord Jesus. My heart melted as I sang with these people whom I could tell were not faking their love for a very real, personal God. When they rose up to speak about Him, without shame or pretense, it was with the same radiancy and joy I had remembered in my high school classmate. I felt that this was what I had been seeking all my life: a people who were inwardly motivated by something pure and genuine, a people who were investing their lives not for some earthly power struggle, but for the only One who could change the condition of humanity permanently.

I have been enjoying participating in the local church for 27 years. It has been the joy and purpose of my living because after all these years, only one person, Christ, is exalted among us. I have witnessed His power to change people. And I am filled with hope that He will transform His church into a bride “without spot or wrinkle”, blameless before Him in love, ready to receive Him at His coming (Ephesians 5:27).


My parents found the local churches when I was 14 months old. For the first time they felt as though they were home. All the people here took care of us and treated us as family.

I was saved when I was about three years old. I just remember feeling so free and happy.

About eight years passed and my heart started to become hard toward the Lord. During the next three and a half years the Lord took me through a lot of trials and test. The Lord allowed these situations to re-soften my heart. Finally, He caused me to realize that I can do nothing on my own and that I need Him for everything in my life. My final turn was during a church conference. I don’t know how to explain it, but all of a sudden it dawned on me that I needed to just hand the Lord Jesus my whole being, my life. I felt as though a great wind of peace and satisfaction blew over my whole being. I just wanted to shout, “Praise the Lord. I’m free in Him.”

Well, it’s been fifteen years since my family and I came to the local church and I am now 16 years old. I am so thankful that the Lord brought me here. Praise the Lord, for such a King of kings!