Life-Study of Ephesiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Chapter three of Ephesians reveals that the Apostle Paul had a walk worthy of God’s calling. As one with such a worthy walk, he was a prisoner, a steward, and a minister. In this chapter Paul told us that the revelation of the mystery concerning Christ for the church has been given to the apostles and prophets (v. 5). Paul’s revelation of Christ was mainly a revelation of Christ’s unsearchable riches. Because Paul’s walk was governed by his revelation of Christ, he could not keep from speaking of the riches of Christ. The apostle’s preaching was focused on the riches of Christ, not on the doctrines. The riches of Christ are what Christ is to us, such as light, life, righteousness, and holiness. These riches are unsearchable; it is beyond our ability to trace them out. Since we also can be apostles and prophets, there is the need for us to see the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Many Christians have the mistaken concept that the apostles in the universal church and the elders in the local churches are high officials, far above the so-called laymen or common believers. As we pointed out in the foregoing message, the Apostle Paul, realizing that such was a wrong concept, purposely indicated that the apostles and prophets were not extraordinary. On the contrary, they should be regarded simply as leading ones among the saints in the churches. They take the lead to receive the revelation concerning Christ for the church, to live Christ, to experience Christ, to enjoy Christ, and to minister the riches of Christ to others. If the enjoyment of the riches of Christ were available only for certain exceptional persons of high rank, then the rest of us would have no share in it. But in 3:8 Paul said that he was less than the least of all saints; yet he could preach the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel. The fact that Paul could do this indicates that we can do it also. Because he was less than we are, what was available to him is available also to us.
The apostles and prophets are not a special class of believers. Rather, they are ordinary believers like the rest of us. The difference between them and other believers is that they are leading ones. It is the same with the elders in the local churches. The elders are not extraordinary people of high rank, higher than other believers. No, they are simply those who take the lead in the church life. We all need to allow this concept to sink into our being.
In the Lord’s recovery we must drop the thought of rank. There is no rank among us. At most, we just have some leading ones to take the lead to live Christ for the church life. There is no higher class, no special class, in the church. We have no leader. According to the Lord’s word in Matthew 23:8-10, He is our unique Leader, and we all are brothers. We must drop the concept that the apostles and elders are special. We all are sheep, and the apostles, prophets, and elders take the lead to set an example, a pattern, of how to know Christ, to enjoy Him, to gain Him for the church life, and to dispense Him into others. This is a matter of setting an example, not a matter of rank or position.
In order to be apostles, prophets, stewards, ministers, and even prisoners in Christ, we need to know the unsearchable riches of Christ. These riches are for the producing of the church to be the fullness of Christ.
The riches of Christ are depicted in types. It is not easy to find all the types of Christ in the Old Testament. Some types are hidden. For example, the earth that emerges in Genesis 1:9 and 10 is a type of Christ. Many other types are found in chapter one of Genesis: light, the sun, the star, and the trees. Elsewhere in the Bible we see that the vine tree, the apple tree, the cedar, and the cypress are all types of Christ. Herbs also typify Christ. At the time of the Passover, the children of Israel ate not only the lamb, but also unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Wheat and barley are also types of Christ, and the henna flower spoken of in Song of Songs as well. Certain persons also typify Christ. Adam, Abel, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron are some of these who are types of Christ. The priests, the kings, and the prophets also typify Him.
The more I study the Bible, the more I realize how little I know it. A hundred messages could be given on Genesis 1, mainly on the types of Christ in this chapter. The Bible is deep and profound. Only when we get into its depths do we see the riches it contains. Beneath the surface of the Bible are the riches of Christ. Because these riches are so vast, it is difficult for anyone to say how many types of Christ there are in the Old Testament. Just this one matter of the types reveals many of the riches of Christ.
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