The Glorious Church, by Watchman Nee


We have already seen that Eve was not made of dust, but of Adam; Adam was the material of which Eve was made. Likewise, Christ is the material for the church. God used Christ to make the church. Now we will see how Eve was made, and how the church was made.

Let us read Genesis 2:21-23. "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."

God brought forth the church out of the death of Christ. Regarding the death of Christ, the words in Genesis 2 are very special. It says, "The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam" (v. 21). This verse does not say that God caused Adam to die, but that He caused him to fall into a deep sleep. If death had been mentioned, then sin would be involved, because verse 17 in the preceding passage says that death and sin are related. Adam’s sleep typifies the aspect of Christ’s death which was not related to redemption. In the death of Christ there was an aspect which was not related to redemption but to the release of Himself. We are not saying that the death of Christ is not for redemption—we truly believe that it is—but His death involved an aspect which is not related to redemption. This aspect is the releasing of Himself for the creation of the church. It has nothing to do with sin. God is taking something out of Christ and using it to create the church. Therefore, "sleep" is used to typify His death through which man receives life.

Redemption and the receiving of life are two distinct things. Redemption involves a negative aspect of dealing with our sins. We have sinned and deserve to die; therefore, Christ came to bear our sins. His death accomplished redemption for us. This aspect of His death is related to sin. But there is another aspect of His death which is not related to redemption: It is the imparting of Himself to us so that through His death we may receive life.

Adam’s sleep was not for Eve’s redemption; it was so that a rib could be taken out for her creation. (Sin had not yet entered the scene—that account is in Genesis 3.) Eve came into existence through Adam. Eve was able to receive life because Adam slept. In the same manner, an aspect of the death of Christ is for the imparting of life to the church.

(The Glorious Church, Chapter 2, by Watchman Nee)