The Economy and Dispensing of God, by Witness Lee

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Today many Christian workers talk about the building up of the church. Some say that Christ is the One who directly builds up the church. Others say that He builds up the church through ministers and preachers. But this is all human talk. The real way to build up the church is revealed in Ephesians 4:7-16.

By the Giving, the Dispensing,
of the Divine Grace according to
the Measure of the Gift of Christ

1. The Gift of Christ Being a Person
Constituted with Christ’s Life and Element,
Dispensed into Him by the Divine Trinity

2. Each Gifted Person Having a Measure,
and the Divine Grace Being Given, Dispensed,
to Him according to That Measure

The way Christ builds up the church is by the giving, or dispensing, of the divine grace according to the measures of the gifts of Christ, who are the persons constituted with Christ’s life and element through the dispensing of the Divine Trinity (v. 7). Each gifted person has a measure, and the divine grace is given, or dispensed, to him according to that measure.

By the Giving of the Gifted Persons,
Such as Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, and Shepherds and Teachers, Who Are Constituted
in the Dispensing of the Divine Trinity,
by Christ as the Head in His Ascension
(Including His Resurrection),
to the Body of Christ

The short portion of the holy Word from verse 8 to verse 11 shows us that the Lord first accomplished incarnation, and then He went into death. Through His death He went down to Hades, to the lower parts of the earth, and rose again from that place (Acts 2:24, 27). Then He ascended to the heavens (Acts 1:9). Through this wonderful journey, He captured us, the sons of Adam, taking us out of Satan’s hand. We were fallen and were the captives of Satan. Christ died on the cross not merely to take away our sins, but also to destroy Satan and to capture us, the captives of Satan. Then in His ascension He brought this train of redeemed captives to the Father and gave them as a present to Him. The Father accepted them and returned them as gifts to Christ (Psa. 68:18). Christ in turn passed on these gifts to His Body. These gifts then became the gifted persons in the churches.

Today in the Body there are gifted persons. Some are apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some shepherds and teachers. Although we may not realize it, the Lord is working unceasingly to produce many gifts for His church. He, as the Head in His ascension, is still giving the church these many gifts, who exercise their ability and capacity to perfect all the saints.

(The Economy and Dispensing of God, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)