Enjoying the Riches of Christ for the Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Following chapter 10 is the Lord’s supper in chapter 11. Although I was in Christianity for many years, and I attended so-called communion many times, I never heard anyone say that to remember the Lord is to eat Him and to drink Him. The Lord Jesus told us to eat and drink unto the remembrance of Him (11:24-25; Matt. 26:26-27). The proper remembrance of the Lord is to eat and drink Him. To have the remembrance of a certain loved one is to exercise our mind to recall the goodness and virtues that person had. But to remember the Lord Jesus is not that way. To remember the Lord Jesus is to eat Him, to take Him in. “Take, eat; this is My body” (v. 26); “This do unto the remembrance of Me” (1 Cor. 11:24). “Drink of it, all of you, for this is My blood” (Matt. 26:27-28); “This do, as often as you drink it, unto the remembrance of Me” (1 Cor. 11:25).
The Lord’s table is an exhibition of our daily life. Day by day we live by eating Jesus. He said, “He who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me” (John 6:57). Day by day we eat Jesus and we live by Jesus. Then on the first day of the week we come together to make a declaration to the whole universe. We may say, “Satan, angels, demons, all come and see. Our way of living day by day is to eat Jesus. Now we come to the Lord’s table for an exhibition. This is our life, and this is our daily walk.” However, if we do not have such a life and daily walk, the Lord’s table meeting is merely a performance. In this case, the church becomes a theater for actors and actresses to perform something. This is not genuine. This is not an exhibition, a declaration. Rather, it is a performance. The Lord’s table meeting should not be a performance. It must be an exhibition, a declaration, made by us to all the beings in the universe. I hope that whenever we have the Lord’s table, we would make such a declaration: “Oh, all beings, come and see! Satan, come and see! All the angels, all the demons, and all creatures, come and see! Our way to live is to eat and drink Jesus.” Now we exhibit this living to the whole universe. This is the remembrance of the Lord Jesus.
First Corinthians 12:13 says that we “were all given to drink one Spirit.” The way to drink is in verse 3: “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking in the Spirit of God says, Jesus is accursed; and no one can say, Jesus is Lord! except in the Holy Spirit.” Whenever we say, “Lord Jesus,” we are in the spirit. When we say, “O Lord Jesus,” we are drinking. This is to take in the living water.
In 3:6 Paul says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth.” By drinking, we get the watering, and the watering is for growing. Following growth is the transformation. As we have seen, the church is a farm for growing plants, but eventually all the plants are transformed into precious materials—gold, silver, and precious stones (v. 12). This is not an outward change but a change in life. The Greek word for transformation is anglicized as metamorphosis. Metamorphosis is a metabolic change. It is not a change by outward improvement but a kind of chemical change. A new element is added into us, nourishing us, discharging all the old things and replacing them with something new. Metamorphosis is a change in life with a new element replacing the old. This is the very meaning of transformation.
The way to have this change is by eating. If our face is pale, we may use cosmetics to change its color. This is an outward change, not a transformation. However, if day by day we take steak, chicken, milk, eggs, and fruit, after two months our face will be shining. This is not a mere outward change but a transformation. Day by day we eat Jesus as the heavenly steak and chicken. By this eating we have growth, and with the growth there is transformation. By transformation we are no more the wood, grass, and stubble; we become gold, silver, and precious stones.
In the New Jerusalem there is nothing muddy or wooden. Everything there is gold, pearls, and precious stones. Paul is a marvelous writer. He says, “According to the grace of God given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid a foundation, and another builds upon it. But let each man take heed how he builds upon it...But if anyone builds upon the foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, stubble” (vv. 10, 12). We do not know how he received the concept of gold, silver, and precious stones, but this concept is very scriptural. In a previous chapter we have seen that the two ends of the Bible as well as the sections between the ends speak of gold, silver, and precious stones. These are the precious materials that are good for the building of God’s house, God’s city, the church.
The church is built only with precious materials. There is no clay, burnt brick, or anything wooden or natural. All the materials have to be transformed. Precious stones are not merely created by God. They are something of God’s creation that has passed through a process of being burned and pressed. This is transformation. Today we all are under the process of being transformed. Second Corinthians 3:18 says, “We all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.” Romans 12:2 says that in order to have the Body life we must “be transformed by the renewing of the mind.” Many Christians today talk about the Body life according to Romans 12, but they neglect the word transformed. Without being transformed, there is no possibility for us to have the Body life. The Body life is not something natural; it is not something brought about by our work. The Body life is something of Christ wrought into us. Therefore, we need transformation. Every part of our natural being has to be transformed so that we will be no more “wood” but “petrified wood.” This is the concept of 1 Corinthians. May the Lord be merciful to us. We need a deliverance from teachings and gifts into the enjoyment and eating of Christ. Then we will have the growth, transformation, and building.
We must pray not only for ourselves but for others also. We are in the Lord’s recovery. The Lord is recovering something, but many seeking ones in today’s Christianity are short in their concept. Therefore, pray for them and pray for yourselves that you may receive what is needed. In the Lord’s recovery today what is needed is the real enjoyment of Christ. This Christ is the life-giving Spirit (15:45b), and we all have been given, positioned, to drink this one Spirit, the all-inclusive Christ. The one Spirit is nothing less than Christ Himself as the life-giving Spirit. This is the all-inclusive Christ for us to enjoy. We need this enjoyment.
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