The Intrinsic View of the Body of Christby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The title of this first chapter says that the Body of Christ is the issue of God’s impartation and transmission. If you are going to know the Body of Christ, you have to know God’s impartation and God’s transmission. The issue, the coming out, of God’s impartation and transmission is the Body of Christ. This divine impartation and divine transmission is in His Divine Trinity. God was imparted to us and transmitted to us in His Divine Trinity. When I came up to the platform to speak this evening, I did not jump up. I took three steps to get to the platform. God is imparted and transmitted to us in His Divine Trinity in three steps, or stages.
John 3:16 is a familiar verse to us. It says that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Sometimes I asked why this verse did not say that He sent His only begotten Son to us. But it says that He gave His only begotten Son to us. How did God give His Son? He could not give His Son in a simple way. He gave His Son in His Divine Trinity. God imparted Himself into us and transmitted all that He is into us in His Divine Trinity—in the Father, in the Son, and in the Spirit.
He imparts and transmits Himself into His chosen people. We are not merely people created by God. We have also been chosen by Him. We may not feel that we have been chosen by God, but Ephesians 1:4 says that before the foundation of the world, God chose us, selected us. He chose us to impart and transmit Himself into us. We are His divine chosen people as the church, and the church is the fullness of the One who fills all in all (vv. 22-23).
Actually, ten messages are needed to convey the burden embodied in the title of this first chapter—“The Issue of God’s Impartation and Transmission in His Divine Trinity into His Chosen People, as the Church, the Fullness of the One Who Fills All in All.” We need many messages for a full definition of this subject. We trust, however, that the Lord’s burden can be released in our short word here. We need to keep in mind that God imparted Himself into us in His trinity—first in the Father, second in the Son, and third in the Spirit.
The church is the issue of God the Father’s impartation of His holy nature into His chosen people that they may be separated from the world and sanctified wholly unto Him. Ephesians 1:4 says that before the foundation of the world, God chose us to be holy. God’s choosing has a goal—to make us holy. The Chinese have their notion about what it is to be holy. They say that Confucius was holy. This, however, is not the biblical notion of what it means to be holy. The Bible reveals that in the whole universe, only One is holy; that One is God Himself. Besides God everything is common, unholy. Then how could we common people be made holy? How could a common American be made holy, since in the whole universe only One is holy—God? Let us use gold as an illustration. Gold signifies God in His divine nature. Only gold is golden. No other metal is golden. We are like black iron. How can black iron become golden? God can make us holy by only one way. He must impart Himself, especially His holy nature, into our being. We are a piece of iron, but gold has been added and inserted into our being. Thus, we are “golden iron.”
If I were to ask you whether you are holy, you probably would not have the boldness to say so because of your poor condition. We need to see what it means to be holy. Only God is holy, so to be holy means to have God in you. Do you have God in you? A brother has God in him, but why does he still quarrel with his wife? This is because he has too much “iron.” He forgot that he has at least a small amount of gold. We often forget that we have gold in us.
How can God make us holy? He makes us holy by imparting His holy nature into us. Before we were born, before the foundation of the world, God chose us to be holy. Before the foundation of the world, He imparted Himself into us as the holy nature. We may not be able to see how God could have imparted His holy nature into us before the foundation of the world. To help us see this, I would like to ask when we were regenerated. First Peter 1:3 tells us that God regenerated us through the resurrection of Christ. When Christ was resurrected, we were regenerated. This is God’s way to reckon time. We all were made holy before the foundation of the world. It was then that God imparted Himself as the holy nature into our being.
God the Father also predestinated us that we may become His sons (Eph. 1:5). How could we become His sons? There is no other way but by God’s imparting Himself as life into us. The church is the issue of God the Father’s impartation of His divine life into His predestinated people that they may become His many sons for His expression. God imparted His divine life into us, so we were born as sons of God. By His choosing He imparted His holy nature into us, and by His predestinating He imparted His divine life into us. His holy nature makes us holy, and His divine life makes us sons of God. God’s predestinating us unto sonship is for the praise of the glory of His grace, that is, for the praise of His expression in grace (v. 6).
Are we holy? We have to be bold to say yes. Are we sons of God? We have to say Amen. This is because we have the holy nature of God in us and the divine life in us. The realization that we have God’s holy nature and divine life should cause us to rejoice. We are holy, and we are the sons of God. This is because of the impartation of God the Father.
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