CHRIST LIVING, AND WE ALSO LIVING BECAUSE OF HIM
In John 14:16-17 the Lord Jesus said to His disciples, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may be with you forever, even the Spirit of reality.…” Then in verse 19 He said, “…because I live, you also shall live.” It was on the day of resurrection that the disciples knew that the Lord lived and they also lived. But the way they lived was different from the way they had lived before they had been crucified with Christ. Whereas formerly they had lived by their own life, now after they had been crucified with Christ, they lived by the life of the Triune God, who had resurrected them. In John 6:57 even Christ, who was sent by God, said, “As the living Father has sent Me and I live because of the Father.…” Christ lived because of the Father. This means that Christ did not live by Himself. It is difficult to determine the meaning of the word because in Greek. Some versions translated the word “by.” However, this is a wrong translation. In his translation Darby has a note on this word saying that the word here is not simply “by” or “through” or “on account of.” The Lord was sent by the Father with a commission, that is, to live out the Father. Hence, since the Lord was sent by the Father, He came to live out the Father. It was for this reason that the Father sent the Son. Furthermore, Darby said that here it refers to what the Father is and His living. The Father has what He is and His living. The Son was sent with the commission to live out what the Father is and His living. In John 6:57 the Lord went on to say, “So he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.” To live because of the Lord is to live out what the Lord is and His living.
Christ was resurrected, and the Spirit came into us. Since that time, because He lives, we also live. He lives, and we also live because of Him. This is because He and we, we and He, live together. Therefore, in resurrection He and we, we and He, are altogether joined and mingled as one. Hence, Paul said, “To me, to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21). Moreover, he said, “…as always, even now Christ will be magnified in my body” (v. 20). It was Paul who lived, but it was Christ, not Paul, who was manifested. When Jesus lived, what was manifested was not Jesus nor a carpenter from Nazareth, but God. In the human virtues of Jesus the divine attributes were manifested. What was lived out was the God-man as the issue of the union and mingling of God with man. This God-man was enlarged in the resurrection of Christ. Whereas formerly this God-man consisted of one Son, now he has been enlarged to be the firstborn Son and many sons. This enlargement is an organism, which is the Body of Christ.
THE REALITY OF THE BODY OF CHRIST BEING THE UNION AND MINGLING OF GOD WITH MAN TO LIVE OUT A CORPORATE GOD-MAN
The Body of Christ is not merely a term but a reality. The reality of the Body of Christ is the union and mingling of God with man to live out a corporate God-man. For this we need to pass through death and resurrection, dying daily and being resurrected daily. We also need to be in the Spirit and walk according to the Spirit daily.
Again, let me speak something of my own experience. For many years I have felt that I am quite all right, but recently the Lord showed me differently. I have been telling the brothers and sisters that the people of God are God’s wife and that they should take God as their Husband, and I have presented this in a very clear and reasonable way. Yet, in reality, instead of taking God as the Husband, I have been taking myself as the husband in my living. It is according to moral standards that I do not do bad things or speak bad words to my wife. Yet, I do not take God as my Husband and speak by Him. I myself am the husband, and I speak by myself and speak concerning the work by myself. Recently, because of the great vision that I saw, I have been practicing one thing, that is, when I am going to speak to others, within me I ask, “Is it you who want to speak, or is it your Husband?” In other words, “Is it you who want to speak, or is it the Spirit who dwells in you? Is your speaking in the Spirit and according to the Spirit?” If we use this standard to weigh or measure ourselves, we will see that we are far below the standard. Although we have seen the vision concerning the Body of Christ and can speak clearly about it, what we have as the reality of the Body of Christ is very little.
(The High Peak of the Vision and the Reality of the Body of Christ, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)