A SON EXPRESSING THE FATHER
The second significance of a son in the Bible is that a son expresses the father. Thus, the Son of God is the expression of the Father. John 1:18 says, “No one has ever seen God; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” In John 14:9 the Lord Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” The Son does the Father’s will (6:38) and speaks the Father’s word (12:49-50). Thus, the Son’s word is the expression of the Father. When the Son speaks, the Father does His work (14:10). The Son’s life is for the expression of the Father.
A basic concept in the Bible is that the invisible God desires a visible expression. This was the reason God created man in His own image. We are the visible expression of God. Compare the sons of man sitting in a theater with the sons of God sitting in a church meeting, and see what a difference there is in the expression on their faces. We are here not to express Americans or Chinese, but God the Father. Notice that we do not express God the Creator, but we express God the Father. Ephesians 1:3 and 4 indicate that God the Father, not God the Creator, has chosen us. We need to do the will of our heavenly Father. To do His will is to express Him. When we do the will of our earthly father, what we do is an expression of his desire. Likewise, when we do the will of the heavenly Father, we express His desire. Thus, as sons of God, we have the divine life for the purpose of expressing the heavenly Father.
What a shame it is to express our nationality, culture, or anything that is not our Father! Since we are sons of the Father, others should be able to see the Father expressed in us. The reason we love each other is that we are brothers born of the same Father. I see the Father in you, and you see the Father in me. Our Father is the source not only of our life but also of our love. It is this kind of life and expression that constitutes us into that organism known as the Body of Christ.
THE BODY FUNCTIONING BY THE DIVINE LIFE
This brings us to the significance of the Body. According to the New Testament, the Body is for function. If you read Ephesians 4, Romans 12, and 1 Corinthians 12, you will see that in these chapters the Body is for function. In order to function, however, we must have life. If there is no life in our body, the body cannot function. The body functions with life. The life by which the Body functions is the life of the sons of God, the divine life for the divine expression.
Throughout the years, we have spoken a great deal about function, but we have not pointed out that our function must be by the life of the sons of God. It is possible to function in the church life by the life of the sons of man. Many times we have functioned by the wrong life, not by the life of the sons of God but by the life of the sons of man. This may be true, for example, in the arranging of chairs. As we arrange chairs, we may function by the life of a son of man or by the life of a son of God. The content of the life of the son of man is self. It is I, me, my, and myself. If we function by this life, we may say, “Every Sunday morning I arrange the chairs myself. Lord, no one else helps me. I use my time and energy to do this alone. But look at the good job I have done! Every chair is exactly in place. Whenever I do something, I do it thoroughly.” This is the life of the son of man, a son of Adam. However, it is also possible to arrange chairs by the life of a son of God. In such a case, it is not I but Christ who arranges the chairs. In all that we do, we need to live by the life of the sons of God. If not, we cannot be the Body of Christ because the Body functions by the life of the sons of God.
In this life of the sons of God, there is no self. In this life Christ is everything. The first life, the life of the sons of man, does not produce the Body of Christ. Instead, it produces only the self. It is the second life, the life of the sons of God, that constitutes the Body of Christ, because Christ is the content of this life. In fact, this life is nothing but Christ Himself. Therefore, for the proper Body life, we need the proper sonship. We need to be sons of God.
(Basic Training, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)