Life-Study of Galatiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the New Testament the books of Romans and Galatians stand together in a special category. These two books reveal not only God’s redemption, but also the economy of God’s redemption. Redemption is one thing, and the economy of redemption is another. When many Christians read the books of Romans and Galatians, they can easily see the matter of redemption. However, very few see God’s economy of redemption, because this matter is somewhat hidden in these two books. Although the word economy cannot be found either in Romans or in Galatians, the fact of the economy of redemption can nonetheless be found in these books. Our burden in this message is to consider God’s economy in His redemption.
Although redemption is covered both in Romans and in Galatians, redemption is not God’s goal. Rather, it is a process, or step, toward the goal. In God’s economy redemption is used to bring forth a certain issue or result. What is God’s goal in redemption? Also, what is the issue produced by God’s redemption? The answer to both questions is sonship. Sonship is both God’s goal in redemption and the issue of the process of redemption. However, many Christians only see that Romans covers justification by faith. They do not see the divine sonship in the book of Romans. If we read Romans carefully, we shall see that justification by faith is covered for the most part in the first four chapters. Beginning with chapter five, Paul moves on toward the goal of sonship. According to the revelation found in the book of Romans, God is transforming sinners into sons. Hence, the book of Romans shows us how God is in the process of producing sons out of sinners. Here we see God’s economy. God’s economy is not simply to redeem lost sinners. His economy is to redeem sinners with a view to making them His sons. In God’s economy the two main matters are redemption and sonship.
In the Bible the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, is not for doctrine, theology, or teaching. The Trinity is for God’s economy. In His economy, God the Father is the One who plans, who forms an eternal purpose. Because He has a purpose, a plan, He has a great many arrangements to correspond to His purpose. In the Trinity, God the Father is the source, the One who plans to accomplish His economy. For the carrying out of the divine economy, two crucial matters must be worked out—redemption and sonship. In Galatians 4 we see that the Father sent forth His Son to accomplish redemption (vv. 4-5). Then He sent forth the Spirit of His Son to bring forth the sonship. Thus, for the accomplishment of His economy, the Father sent forth first the Son and then the Spirit.
Galatians 4:4 and 5 say, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, come of a woman, come under law, that He might redeem those under law, that we might receive the sonship.” For the accomplishment of redemption, it was necessary for the Son of God to become a human being born of a woman and born under the law. In order to put on humanity, a human nature, He had to “come of a woman.” It is a heresy to say that Mary was the mother of God. Although Jesus was God incarnated as a man, Mary was not the mother of God. She was the mother of the man Jesus. By coming of a woman, Jesus, the Son of God, was a man with blood and flesh (Heb. 2:14). If He had not had blood and flesh, there would have been no way for the Son of God to accomplish redemption. Redemption required the shedding of blood.
After the Son of God accomplished redemption for us, the Spirit was sent to carry out the sonship and to make it real to us in our experience. The Spirit was sent to make all the redeemed ones sons of God. Thus, Christ came for redemption, and the Spirit came for sonship. Christ redeemed us, and the Spirit imparts the divine life into us to make us sons of God.
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