BEING JOINED TOGETHER AND BEING KNIT TOGETHER
Verse 16 says, “Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together.” Out from whom is a continuation of the phrase grow up into Him. If you have not grown up into Him, how can you be out from Him? I would say that if by this time you have grown up into Him, I have grown up into Him, and we all have grown up into the Head, Christ, in all things, then the entire Body now is out from Him, being joined together. This kind of being joined together is not in our naturalness, where your disposition matches my disposition and thus we are joined together. That kind of being joined together will end up in a quarrel after a short period of time. Joining together out of ourselves is absolutely unreliable; our being joined together must be out from Him.
This verse continues to say, “Through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part.” In our bodies there are many joints of supply, such as the shoulders, knees, and hips. In the Body of Christ, some brothers and sisters are tendons and others are joints. Tendons are for joining, while joints are for supplying. “Through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part” means that every part has its function. Consider my little finger. It is not a joint of supply, but it is a part. Whenever my ear itches to the point that I cannot stand it any longer, this little finger is very useful. If I did not have this little finger to function but only had my thumb, it would not be practical. In the same way, you may not be a large shoulder or a knee, yet you are at least a little finger with your own function. If you have not grown up into the Head, however, your function cannot be manifested; you can only be like a so-called church member at the worship services in today’s Christianity. The “church members” in today’s Christianity do almost nothing but attend worship services. For this reason, in such a situation there is absolutely no building up of the Body. This is not the Lord’s recovery. We are against this, and we renounce this. Today we desire to have a living Body and a testifying church. Where is the testifying church? It comes when every part exercises its function. However, this does not mean that merely because I encourage you, you now are able to function; rather, you need to grow up into the Head, Christ. You must grow. As you grow, your function will become manifested. The more you grow, the more your function will be manifested. The measure of function that is manifested depends entirely on the measure of your growth.
It is through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part that the Body can be knit together. I have known and coordinated with a few brothers for more than thirty years now, and by the Lord’s grace we can boast that we have certainly been knit together. What is the reason? It is because we have practiced growing up into Christ so that every joint of the rich supply can release its supply and that the operation of each one part can be manifested. In this way we are knit together. It is not because we have a thirty-year-old friendship in the Lord, nor is it because we have stood shoulder to shoulder to fight for the Lord’s recovery and have gained an inexpressible affection for one another. That kind of relationship is unreliable, and that kind of knitting together is not solid. We, however, can testify by the Lord’s grace that the condition among us is a knitting together. Furthermore, there are many American brothers and sisters here today with whom I can boast to the enemy that a condition of being joined together and of being knit together exists among us also. It is not emotional, nor is it a matter of having common likes and interests; rather, it is through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part.
CAUSING THE GROWTH OF THE BODY UNTO THE BUILDING UP OF ITSELF IN LOVE
The knitting together causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love. What is this? This is the practical, subjective experience. This is growth and building. In the last message we spoke of sanctification, transformation, and conformation; in this message we will see growth and building.
You may frequently pray, “O Lord, cause us to be built up.” It is true that the Lord will hear your prayer, but He will immediately require you to grow. Where does the secret of growth lie? It is in sanctification, transformation, and conformation. If you are not sanctified, transformed, and conformed inwardly, it will be hard for you to grow. To grow up is another way of saying to be sanctified, transformed, and conformed. In other words, if we look at this from another angle, sanctification, transformation, and conformation are simply growth. The amount of transformation you have determines the measure of your growth. Your growth depends on your transformation, and transformation depends on the divine element being added into you. When the divine element is added into you, you are transformed and conformed inwardly. When you have the growth, you grow up into Christ.
It is not sufficient to merely be zealous and burning; you and I need to be transformed and to grow. We need to have the element of God constantly increasing in us until we are saturated with the divine element. In this way we will grow up into Christ. Then, if we are the joints of supply, our supply will be able to come out; if we are the parts, our function will be manifested. Thus, we will be knit together and will cause the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.
Dear brothers and sisters, can this teaching be found in Christianity today? Absolutely not. However, today among us it is not enough only to have this teaching; the Lord’s goal among us is to recover this reality—the reality of growth and building.
(The Subjective Truths in the Holy Scriptures, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)