I. GOD’S ECONOMY
Our God has an eternal economy (Eph. 1:10; 3:9; 1 Tim. 1:4). Economy means plan. God has an eternal plan. He planned in eternity past to do something, and this plan was made by Himself according to His heart’s desire, according to His good pleasure, to carry out His intention. God has a heart’s desire, and He has to do something to work out what He desires. God has an eternal plan, an eternal economy, with an intention to do something.
A. To Be One with Man
The great God, who is very active and living, has an intention to be one with man. This may seem very simple, but this most simple thing is the most mysterious thing. Medical doctors have been studying the human body for many years, but they still cannot fully comprehend all of its mysteries. One doctor told me that after studying the human body, one cannot deny that there must be an almighty Being in the universe. Otherwise, the wonderful human body could not have come into existence. The human body seems to be simple, but this simple thing is wonderful. God’s economy to be one with man also may seem simple, but such a simple thing is the most wonderful thing.
Because we have believed into Christ, God is one with us. Do not forget that this is the very God who is one with us! The very God is in our spirit as a Spirit (2 Tim. 4:22; 2 Cor. 3:17). The Bible says that God indwells us and we indwell Him (1 John 3:24; 4:13). That means God is in us and we are in Him. We and God indwell each other. Theologians came up with the word coinherence to describe this mutual indwelling. The eternal God as the eternal life is in us and we are in the eternal God. Who can explain the fact that God and man coinhere? This is altogether wonderful!
1. Creating Man in His Image
Because God wanted to indwell man, He created man in His own image (Gen. 1:26-27). This identifies man with God outwardly. Outwardly, we look like God. Darwin said that we are descendants of monkeys, but this is nonsense. We are not descendants of monkeys, but we are men who were created in the image of God. Among the millions of items of God’s creation, nothing can compare with man. All the other living things are after their kind, but man is after God’s kind. This is because man bears God’s image; he resembles God.
2. Making Man of Three Parts— Body, Soul, and Spirit
Man bears God’s image so that he can be a container to contain God, that is, a vessel to be filled with God. This is why God made man in three parts—body, soul, and spirit (Gen. 2:7; 1 Thes. 5:23). Man was made as a container to receive God, and the container must be in the form of its contents. God made us with a spirit to receive Him, with a mind to understand Him, with a heart to love Him, and with a body to express Him. Thus, we have an organ to receive God, an organ to understand Him, an organ to love Him, and an organ, an outer vessel, to express Him. In this way, God can be one with us and we can be one with Him.
B. To Make Man His Organism
God wanted to be one with man to make man His organism. The spiritual, abstract, and mysterious God wants to have an organism. Our physical body is an organism. God wants to have a Body, that is, the Body of Christ, as His organism.
God makes man His organism by being man’s life and content to express Himself in humanity. Jesus was God in humanity. He was a real man, and God was living in Him, through Him, and out of Him. He was a man who expressed God in all of God’s attributes in His humanity. Jesus is so lovable and so beautiful because He is a man, but God lives in Him. God lives in Him with all of God’s attributes for the expression of God through humanity.
We believers as the followers of Jesus are also men living God, expressing God, and letting God live out through us in our humanity. We Christians do not live according to our wisdom or our cleverness. We live God. The unbelievers may think that we are foolish, but actually we are the wisest people. On the other hand, the apostle Paul said that “we are fools because of Christ” (1 Cor. 4:10). We are foolish in others’ eyes because we forsake our human wisdom for the sake of Christ. We are human yet we live God. We express God’s attributes through our human virtues.
(The Overcomers, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)