Life-Study of Ephesiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In Ephesians 1 we have a general view of what the church is and how the church comes into being. Then in chapter two we see that the church is the new man created by Christ in Himself. In chapter three we have a clear vision of Christ making His home in the hearts of those in the church. For Christ to make His home in the heart of the church means that He is transfused into the center of the church’s inner being. Through such a transfusion, the church is filled unto all the fullness of God. In this way the church is mingled with divinity and saturated with it. Therefore, the church is humanity mingled, saturated, and permeated with divinity.
In chapter four we see the church as the new man. The new man in chapter two is organically complete, but not functionally perfect. In order to be functionally perfect, the church as the new man must grow in life. The more the new man grows, the more he will be able to function. In Ephesians 4 we also see the daily walk of the new man. As we have pointed out, fallen mankind walks according to the vanity of the mind, but the walk of the church as the new man is in the spirit of the mind.
In Ephesians 5 we see another aspect of the church—the church as the Bride prepared for Christ. In one sense, the church is the new man who needs growth, function, and a proper daily living. In another sense, the church is the Bride who must be beautified in order to be presented to Christ at His coming. With the church as the Bride, the problem is not with ordinances, doctrine, or the old man. The problem is with the spots and wrinkles, defects that are organic and that ruin the beauty of the church. In order to be free from such defects, the church must be sanctified, purified, nourished, and cherished by having the element of Christ wrought into her metabolically. This element will cause the spots and wrinkles to disappear, and it will beautify the Bride for her presentation to Christ. Eventually, through this process of metabolic transformation the church will become glorious.
In Ephesians 6 we see still another aspect of the church. In this chapter the church is not the Body, the building, the family, the kingdom, the new man, or the Bride. Here the church is God’s warrior. The church should be not only the Body to express Christ, the dwelling place for God’s habitation, and the new man for the fulfillment of God’s economy; the church must also be a warrior, a soldier, to defeat God’s enemy.
According to Revelation 19, the church is both the Bride who is presented to Christ and the warrior who fights with Him against God’s enemy. At His coming again, the Lord Jesus firstly will meet His Bride. After receiving the Bride, Christ and the overcomers will enter into battle against the enemy. According to Revelation 19:11, the Lord will ride on a white horse, and the armies which are in heaven will follow Him on white horses, dressed in fine linen, white and pure (v. 14). Revelation 17:14 also refers to this: “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and they who are with Him are called and chosen and faithful.”
In Revelation 19:7 and 8 we see that the Bride is clothed in “fine linen, bright and pure.” Then in verse 14 we see that the armies which follow the Lord into battle are “dressed in fine linen, white and pure.” These verses indicate that the Bride’s wedding garment will also be the uniform she wears as God’s army to fight against His enemy. Therefore, to have the wedding garment is also to have the uniform.
In Ephesians 5 and 6 we see the church as the Bride and as the warrior. In Revelation 19 we also have these two aspects of the church. As the church, we are not only the Body, the dwelling place of God, the kingdom of God, the family of God, and the new man; we are also the Bride and the warrior. As the Bride, we must be beautiful, without spot or wrinkle, and be clothed in fine linen. As the warrior, we must be equipped to fight against God’s enemy.
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