Who is Christ and what is Christ? After reading the last chapter, you may answer that Christ is the bread, the crumbs under the table. This is correct. However, we need to know the element, the constituent, the ingredient, or the composition of Christ. Christ is not simple. In Matthew 16:16 Peter recognized that He was the Christ, the Son of the living God. These two titles relate to the ministry of Christ and the Person of Christ. The Son of God is the title of His Person; Christ is the title of His ministry or work. As to His Person, He is the embodiment of God. As the Son of God, He is the very expression of God and the embodiment of God. All of God is embodied and expressed through Him as the Son of God.
He is also the Christ of God. Christ means the Anointed One. The Son of God was anointed by God to accomplish God’s purpose. He was anointed and appointed to fulfill the purpose of God. In accomplishing God’s purpose, He took several major steps. First was the step of creation. Second was the step of incarnation. The following steps were crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and descension. After this, He established and is building the church. In the future, He will take a further step—to set up the kingdom of God on earth. By this we can see that from the creation through the establishing of the kingdom, Christ took a number of basic steps. All of these are the major steps of Christ’s ministry. For this work He has the title of Christ. To know Him as Christ we must understand all of these major steps in His work, and to know Him as the Son of God we must know Him as the very embodiment and expression of God.
Christ is marvelous and profound. It is not easy to realize who He is. Christ is not poor—He is all-inclusive. In Ephesians 3:8 Paul said that he preached the unsearchable riches of Christ. Consider His Person: He is the embodiment and expression of God. Consider His ministry, the major steps of His work: creation, incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, descension, the building of the church, and the establishing of the kingdom. What a work is this! The riches of Christ are unsearchable. Day by day in the churches, all the kingdom people need to know Christ in such a rich way. If we need doctrines, we need the kind of doctrine that reveals all the riches of Christ to us.
What is the church? We need many words to describe the church. Here I can only mention a few points. No one can surpass the Lord Jesus in His speaking. His word is simple, yet it is profound and full of implications. He told Peter, "You are a stone" (Matt. 16:18, lit.). We need to see that we are stones for the building. Matthew 16:18 mentions both a stone and a rock. We are all stones, and the rock is Christ. Both the stones and the rock are for the building. The church is built with Christ as the rock and with us as the stones. We may have the rock and the stones, but we need the building. Many seeking Christians talk a great deal about the Body, but they neglect the building. They simply discuss the Body in a doctrinal way, but we must have the building in a practical way. In every respect this building is a practical matter.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 26, by Witness Lee)