BUILDING THE CHURCH
WITH THE PROCESSED AND CONSUMMATED TRIUNE GOD
In 1 Corinthians 3:12 Paul said that there are two categories of building material—wood, grass, and stubble, which are human and worldly, and gold, silver, and precious stones, which are precious treasures and transformed materials. If we build the church with wood, grass, and stubble—with the attainments that come from our natural background or with the natural way of living—we will mar the church (v. 17). We should build the church with gold, silver, and precious stones, signifying respectively God, Christ, and the Spirit. To build the church with these materials is to build the church with the processed and consummated Triune God. When we build the church with the processed and consummated Triune God, it is not actually we who are building. Rather, God is building through us, using us as a means to dispense and transmit Himself into people.
BUILDING THE CHURCH WITH THE TRIUNE GOD
AS THE SOURCE, THE ELEMENT, AND THE ESSENCE
In Matthew 16:18 the Lord Jesus said, "I will build My church." But how is the church to be built? The church is built with the Triune God: with the Father as the source, with the Son as the element, and with the Spirit as the essence. This is clearly indicated in Ephesians 4:4-6. According to these verses, the whole church, the Body of Christ, is a mingling of the human frame with the Triune God as the source, the element, and the essence. On the one hand, the gifted persons perfect the saints unto the work of the ministry so that the Body may build up itself in love. On the other hand, the processed and consummated Triune God as the source, the element, and the essence is building the church by building Himself into our being.
We need to have this realization as we are working for the Lord. It is not adequate simply to present to others some knowledge concerning God’s economy and other divine, spiritual, and heavenly things. We need to dispense the Triune God into others. Through our prayer, fasting, repentance, and confession, the Triune God can fill us, saturate us, and mingle with us as our source, element, and essence. Then we can go with Him and work with Him. If we are filled with the Triune God, when we speak He will flow out and be ministered to others for their nourishment.
A PROPHECY CONCERNING THE TRIUNE GOD
WORKING HIMSELF INTO US TO MAKE US HIS HOME
Second Samuel 7 is a prophecy predicting that the church will be built up by God Himself among His people in the New Testament. Christ is the One who actually builds God’s house, God’s temple. Christ is also the element in which and with which the church as God’s house is built. In this chapter God seemed to be saying to David, "David, thus far you are still vacant and empty. Do not think that you should do something to build a house for Me. You need to realize that you need Me to build Myself into you as the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Then you will have a house, and that house will also be My house."
The intrinsic significance of 2 Samuel 7 is that the Triune God is working Himself in His processed and consummated Trinity into His chosen people. Therefore, 2 Samuel 7 is a chapter on the Triune God working Himself into us to make us His home (Christ with the church) and to produce a seed (the all-inclusive Christ). Here we have a house and a seed. Christ is the house, and Christ is also the seed. Christ is the element, and Christ is also the issue. Christ is everything.
This Christ is both God’s house and our house. Hence, we and God have a mutual abode. Christ abides in us, and we abide in Him. He and we, we and He, are mingled together as one entity. The universe is waiting for this. Romans 8 tells us that the whole universe is eagerly awaiting the expression of the Triune God mingled with the tripartite man through His building, which is by Himself, with Himself, in Himself, and for Himself. This is what we all need, and this is what the universe needs.
(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Samuel, Chapter 24, by Witness Lee)