The Glorious Churchby Watchman Nee
We should then ask, "What is the church?" The church is that part which is taken out of Christ. We need to see the two aspects of Adam, and then it will be easy for us to understand. On one hand, Adam stands merely as himself; on the other hand, he is a type. As far as Adam himself is concerned, he was made of clay. All natural men are made of clay. But Adam also typified Christ. The fact that Eve was made from Adam signifies that the church is made from Christ. Eve was made with Adam's rib. Since Eve came out from Adam, she was still Adam. Then what is the church? The church is another form of Christ, just as Eve was another form of Adam.
The church is just Christ. Oh, there are many people who think that the church is the coming together of the "people" who believe in the Lord and who are saved. No, this is not true! Then who constitutes the church? The church is only that portion which has been taken out of Christ. In other words, it is the man which God has made by using Christ as the material. It is not a man made of clay. The material of the church is Christ. Without Christ, the church has no position, no life, no living, and no existence. The church comes out of Christ.
First Corinthians 10:17 says, "Seeing that there is one bread, we who are many are one Body." This verse means that even though we are many, the bread which we break is one; therefore, the Body is also one. The apostle Paul clearly stated that the one loaf represents the Body of Christ, that is, the church as a whole. Though we are many, yet the Body is one. When we remember the Lord, I take a little piece from the loaf, you take a little piece from the loaf, and others do the same. For many centuries throughout the world, all Christians have taken a little portion of this loaf and eaten it! If you could take all the pieces they have eaten and put them together, they would become the whole church. The church is not an individual "I" plus an individual "you." It is not Mr. Smith plus Mr. Jones or even all the Christians in the whole world put together. The church is the Christ in you, the Christ in him, and the Christ in all the Christians around the world throughout all the centuries put together. Our natural man has nothing to do with the church. The only part of us which is related to the church is the portion of the loaf which we have eaten. This is especially shown in the Gospel of John, where it is revealed that all those who believe in the Lord have Christ dwelling in them and are therefore one in the Spirit.
The church is composed of that which is out of Christ. Man's talent, ability, thought, strength, and all that he has are outside the church. Everything that comes from the natural life is outside the church, and anything that is brought into the church of the natural life will only result in a tearing down, not a building up. Only that which comes out of Christ is in the church. Eve was not made from clay, but from Adam, the one who typified Christ. The preciousness is that God took a rib from Adam and made Eve. Only that which came out from Adam, not from clay, can be called "Eve," and only that which comes from Christ can be called the church. Whatever is not from Christ has nothing to do with the church.
Some people were very frank before they believed in the Lord. After they were saved, they used their frankness to serve God. They considered their natural frankness to be quite useful; they were proud of it. But from what source does their frankness come? Is it from Christ? Has it been dealt with by the cross? Oh, if it is not out of Christ, if it has never been dealt with by the cross, it is of no use to the church! Eve was constituted only of that which came out of Adam, and the church, likewise, is constituted only of that which is out of Christ. Whatever is of man himself is not the church.
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