CHRIST BEING ONE WITH HIS MEMBERS
As believers in Christ we have been made one with God and have become the members of Christ. God is embodied in Christ, and Christ is both the individual Christ and the corporate Christ. The individual Christ is simply Christ Himself, but the corporate Christ is Christ with all His members. God has made Himself one with man and has made man one with Him. The oneness of Christ with His members is seen in Acts 9. In Acts 9:4 the Lord Jesus said to Paul, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Paul had never persecuted the individual Jesus. He persecuted the members of Christ, yet Christ considered that as a persecution against Himself. In Philippians 1:21 Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ.” This indicates Paul’s oneness with Christ. First Corinthians 6:17 also shows that we and Christ are one wonderful entity. This verse says, “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” The one spirit in this verse is the mingled spirit.
The early church fathers in their writings used the word mingling to describe our oneness with the Lord. They also taught that the believers were “deified” by being joined to the Lord. However, in using these terms there is the possibility of being misunderstood. When we say that we are one with God, we do not mean that we become the person of God. This is to make ourselves an object of worship and should be condemned as blasphemy. To be one with God is to be one with Him in His divine life and nature. Every life produces offspring after its own kind (Gen. 1:11, 21, 24). As children of our physical father we have our father’s life and nature, but we are not the same person as he is. A grandfather, a father, and a son all have the same life and nature, but they are different persons. In life and nature they are the same, but in person they are different. As the children of God (Rom. 8:16; 1 John 3:1) we have been “deified,” not in person but in life and in nature. We are one with God in His life and nature, but not in His person.
CHRIST AS THE GOD-MAN IN DEATH AND RESURRECTION
Christ is a God-man, a man born of two natures, the divine nature and the human nature. He lived a human life on the earth and passed through trials and temptations. As the God-man He also entered into death and accomplished an all-inclusive death. Christ’s death terminated everything negative in the universe. His all-inclusive death ended sin, Satan, the flesh, the old creation, our old man, and everything negative. Then He was buried with all the items which He had terminated through His death. Our old man was buried with Christ (Rom. 6:4, 6). Sin, sins, and the devil were also buried in Christ’s tomb. Many times Satan attacks us under different cloaks. To Eve he came in the cloak of a serpent. Many times he comes to us in the cloak of a person or a situation to tempt us. At that time we should tell him not to remain with us, but to return to the tomb. Christ came out of the tomb in resurrection, and in resurrection He ascended to the heavens.
(The Experience and Growth in Life, Chapter 31, by Witness Lee)