The Centrality and Universality of Christ, by Witness Lee


The first item we want to consider is Christ in the Godhead. Even in the Godhead, Christ is the center. In the Godhead, there are three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. The Father is the source, the Spirit is the communion, the fellowship, the transmission, and the Son, Christ, is the center. All that the Father has planned and purposed is in the Son, for the Son, and through the Son, and all that the Spirit is doing is also for the Son. The Spirit comes to witness for the Son, to glorify the Son, and to make the Son real to us (John 16:13-15). Thus, we see that even in the Godhead, Christ is the center.

Furthermore, all the fullness of the Godhead is pleased to dwell in Christ bodily (Col. 1:19; 2:9). If we do not have the Son, we do not have the Father. If we have the Son, we have the Father also, because the Father is in the Son (John 10:38; 14:10-11) and the Son is the very embodiment of the Father (Col. 2:9). Christ is the image of God (Col. 1:15; 2 Cor. 4:4b) and the impress of God’s substance, the expression of what God is (Heb. 1:3a). Apart from Christ we cannot meet God or have God. Christ is God (John 1:1; 20:28-29; Rom. 9:5). Hence, Christ is the center of the Godhead.


The second thing we want to consider is Christ in God’s plan. We have seen clearly from Ephesians that in God’s economy Christ is the very center. In God’s plan Christ is the Head to head up all things (Eph. 1:10). The whole universe is for Christ. Whatever God has planned, whatever God has done, and whatever God is doing is to make Christ the Head, the center, and everything. This is God’s eternal purpose. This phrase, "to head up all things in Christ" (Eph. 1:10), indicates the divine economy. Hence, in God’s plan, in God’s economy, Christ is the Head and the center. Christ is everything.


The next item we want to consider is Christ in God’s creation, that is, the old creation. In God’s creation Christ is the first, the One who has preeminence among all creatures. In the old creation, all things were created in Christ, through Christ, and unto Christ (Col. 1:15b-16). Furthermore, all things cohere, subsist together, and are compacted as one in Christ (v. 17b). We can see the beauty of the universe and the oneness of all things in this universe. If the moon went out of its orbit even to a small degree, there would be a terrible result on this earth. However, today everything in the universe is going on in a good order. This is due to the power of Christ. Christ is the power by which and in which all things cohere. Christ is the center of God’s creation, and He has the first place in all creation.


The fourth item is concerning Christ in the new creation, that is, the church. Whereas the old creation was created by God in Christ, through Christ, and unto Christ, the new creation is something of the old creation that has died and resurrected into life to have a fresh start in newness. Christ is the Firstborn from the dead (Col. 1:18); He is the first in resurrection. As such, He has the first place in the church as God’s new creation (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15). Christ is not only the Firstborn of the new creation but also the Head of the church, the Body. Moreover, He is the constituent of the Body. He is all the members of the Body and in all the members (Col. 3:11). Even the Body itself is Christ (1 Cor. 12:12). Everything of the Body, the church, in a positive way and in the proper condition, must be Christ Himself. Christ is the Head, Christ is the life, and Christ is the constituent of the church. Hence, in the new creation, the church, Christ is everything.

(The Centrality and Universality of Christ, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)