Life-Study of Hebrewsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The focus of the divine revelation in the Bible is sonship. God’s intention is to express Himself. In order to have His expression, He must have many sons. Do not think that salvation is the center of God’s revelation. The center of His revelation is sonship. God wants many sons. When God sent His Only Begotten Son into the world, His intention was to beget many sons through Him, making Him His Firstborn Son. Although the Lord Jesus came the first time as the Only Begotten Son of God, when He comes the second time, He will come as the Firstborn Son (Heb. 1:6). Being the Firstborn Son means that He is the first among many sons, the Firstborn Son among many brothers (Rom. 8:29).
In the Bible, the significance of sonship is the expression of the Father. A son always expresses his father. When we look at a boy, we see in him the expression of his father. A human father may need only one son to express him, but the divine Father, who is marvelously and wonderfully great, needs millions of sons to be His expression. One day the earth will be filled with the sons of God, and wherever we go, we shall see the image of the Father, the expression of God. If you read the New Testament carefully, you will see that God does not want a company of sinners who have been redeemed, cleansed, and brought into heaven. This is meaningless. God wants many sons to be His corporate, universal expression. Wherever these sons are, there the Father will be expressed. This is sonship. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). This is the basic concept in the Scriptures.
If you spend time with a father and his son, you will discover that the son not only bears his father’s image, but that he also carries his father’s nature. As his father’s son, he has his father’s nature. Likewise, if we have truly been born of God, then we must have His nature. The nature in life is a very significant thing. Every life has a nature. The nature of a life is the very substance of that life. If there is no nature, then there is no life. Regardless of the kind of life it is—vegetable, animal, human, or divine—as long as it is a life, it has a nature. The substance and essence of a life are in its nature. What the nature is, that is what the life is also. An apple tree produces apples because it has an apple-tree nature. In like manner, a dog has a dog’s life because it has a dog’s nature, and a man has a human life because he has a human nature. Could we be human without having a human nature? Of course not. We are human beings because we have a human nature. Because we have a human nature, whatever we do, think, and say is human. Similarly, whatever a dog does is according to the dog’s nature. This nature is the source of the law of life.
The law of life is not only according to the nature of life; it is also of the nature of life. The law of life comes out of the nature of life. Because a particular life has a certain nature, it has a certain law. An apple tree has an apple-tree nature; hence, its law is the law of the apple-tree nature. Why does an apple tree bring forth apples? Because the life law regulates it according to its life nature. In this we see that the law of life is actually the working of the nature of life. When the nature of a life works, the law of that life also works. Suppose we have two trees, an apple tree and a peach tree. If these trees fail to bring forth fruit, we cannot see the law of life. But if the apple tree spontaneously produces apples and if the peach tree spontaneously produces peaches, we see the working of the law of life regulating each tree according to the nature of its life. Therefore, the law of life is simply the working, the functioning, of the nature of life.
Suppose a dog and a man are standing in front of you. If the dog and the man do not move, you will not see the function of the law of life. But if the man behaves in a human way and if the dog begins to bark, these actions will indicate the working of the nature of each life, which is the law of that life. You may command the dog, saying, “Little dog, you must imitate this man. I charge you to follow him and to be one with him, saying and doing whatever he does.” But the more you speak this way to the dog, the more it will react according to the working of the law of its nature. If, on the contrary, you command the man to behave like the dog, he will find it impossible, for he does not have a dog’s nature.
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