CHRIST BEING THE HEAD AND CHRIST BEING THE BODY
How then does Christ constitute Himself into us to become His fullness? I can say it in this way: The Lord Jesus in Himself is the Head, and the Lord Jesus constituted into us is the Body. A person is not a head only but a head with a body. If today I am here as a head hanging in the air and speaking to you, I believe you would be scared to death. If there were only a head without a body, this would not be a complete person. A complete person has both a head and a body. In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus in Himself is the Head, but when He gets into all of us and is constituted into us, then He is the Body. Thus, not only is the Head Christ, but also the Body is Christ. First Corinthians 12:12 says, “For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.” This verse clearly tells us that the Body is Christ. The Lord Jesus is the Head, and He is also the Body. We cannot say, however, that we are the Body and also the Head. We can be only the Body and cannot be the Head, but the Lord Jesus can be both the Head and the Body. In Himself, He is the Head, and in us collectively, He is the Body. The Head is individual, while the Body is corporate. Both are Christ.
Do not think, however, that because you are a Christian, someone else is a Christian, and I am a Christian, when we all come together, we are Christ. You should never say this, because there are certain conditions that must be met. When we all come together, we may be Christ or we may be completely Adam. Therefore, we should never think that simply because we are Christians, when we come together, we are Christ and that although we are many, we are one Body, and so also is the Christ. Perhaps when we first began to meet, there was a little bit of Christ, but once we begin to argue, we are void of Christ and become a gathering of old Adams.
Now do we all see what the church is? To say it more accurately, the church is Christ coming out of our experience of Him. Christianity is not the church, and even we in the Lord’s recovery are not the church unless Christ comes out when we meet. The real church is Christ coming out from within His believers in their experience of Him. You enjoy Christ, I enjoy Christ, and we all enjoy Christ. You experience Christ, I experience Christ, and we all experience Christ. Then each time we come together, Christ flows out from our experiences. This is the church, the Body, which is the fullness of Christ. Christianity is not the Body of Christ, and neither is any group of Christians who merely meet together without allowing Christ to be lived out of them. Even we who are in the Lord’s recovery meeting in the Lord’s name are not the Body if we do not allow Christ to live out of us. The church is Christ lived out of the believers and experienced from within the believers.
You may ask me, “What about the ground of the church for oneness?” No one who allows Christ to be experienced from within would be divided from others, because Christ is definitely not divided. One who truly experiences Christ from within will certainly practice one church in each locality, and he will stand firm on the ground. This is because Christ is not divided; any division is not Christ. Spiritual matters are a wonder in that very often a little difference may result in a huge discrepancy. This is “to be off by a hair at the beginning and miss by a mile at the end.” You should never think, “Isn’t Brother So-and-so very spiritual? Isn’t Brother So-and-so very deep in the Lord?” Yes, but even those who are deep can be divisive. Once you are in a division, you are no longer Christ; once you are divided, you are no longer in the Spirit, because there is no division in the Spirit. Do not worry about the matter of the ground; if a person allows Christ to be truly experienced from within, he will certainly be in the oneness.
(One Body, One Spirit, and One New Man, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)