Life-Study of Philippiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the foregoing message we pointed out that the word of life is the embodiment of the living God. Now we shall go on to see that the word of life is identical to the living Christ. The Word is both the embodiment of the living God and identical to the living Christ. First John 1:1 and 2 say, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us).” These verses indicate that the word of life is the Son of God, Christ. Therefore, the word of life is identical to the living Christ.
The Triune God is mysterious, far beyond our comprehension. To say that God is triune means that He is three-one. The English word triune is derived from the Latin tri-, meaning three, and -une, meaning one. Hence, the word triune does not actually mean three-in-one; it means three-one.
Language is intimately related to culture and expresses various aspects of culture. However, in man’s culture there is nothing which is three-one. But God, the mysterious, invisible One, is triune; He is three-one. The expression three-one is not that of an earthly language, but of a divine, heavenly language.
John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In this verse one clause says that the Word was with God, whereas another clause declares that the Word was God. To say that the Word was with God would seem to indicate that the Word and God are two. But to go on to say that the Word was God indicates that the Word and God are one. Are the Word and God one or two? We may say that they are two-one, even though there is not such an expression in our language because there is not such a fact in our culture. However, we need a divine language to express the divine reality.
Today many fundamental Christians claim that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are three separate Persons. However, according to the Bible, we may say that the Father, Son, and Spirit are distinct, but They definitely are not separate. The Lord Jesus said, “I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me” (John 14:10). How, then, can the Father and the Son be separate? He also said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). How, then, can the Son be a separate Person from the Father? Furthermore, the use of the Greek preposition which means “from with” in the Gospel of John (para) is very significant. The Lord Jesus, the Son, is not only from God, but also with God. While He is from God, He is still with Him (John 6:46; 8:16, 29; 16:32). Likewise, the Spirit was sent not only from the Father but from with the Father (John 15:26). This indicates that when the Spirit comes from the Father, He comes with the Father. Therefore, although the Father, Son, and Spirit are distinct, They cannot be separate. The Three of the Godhead are inseparable. Although They are three, They are truly one. In fact, They are three-one.
According to the Bible we have the unique God, who is called the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19 indicates that the Three of the Godhead have just one name. This verse speaks of baptizing believers into the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Here we have a three-one name. This is a divine fact, although our language is not adequate to express it.
Many Christians today, perhaps unconsciously, hold to tritheism, the belief in three Gods. The traditional teaching of the Trinity has a tendency toward tritheism. But we do not believe in tritheism; we believe in the revelation of the Triune God according to the Bible.
Concerning the Godhead, many portions of the Word are rather puzzling. For example, Hebrews 1:2 says that God has spoken to us in the Son. But according to verse 8, the Son is addressed as God. Furthermore, speaking of God, verse 9 then uses the expression “Your God.” According to grammar, this must mean the God of God. How are we to understand this? It certainly is mysterious. Verses such as these indicate that we need to be delivered from the natural, traditional, and religious way of understanding the Bible.
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