GOD’S PLAN IN HIS ECONOMY
At this point, we need to consider God’s economy and what God plans to do in His economy.
To Have Himself Expressed through Man
In His eternal economy God has planned to have Himself expressed, manifested, through man. In order to have such an expression, He created man in His own image. For God to create man in His image means that He created man according to His attributes, especially according to His attributes of love, light, holiness, and righteousness. Because human beings were created according to God’s attributes, even though we have become fallen and ruined by sin, we may still have the tendency to love others, to be in the light, to do what is good, to be righteous, and to be excelling.
To Redeem Fallen Man
Since man became fallen, God in His economy also planned to redeem man and bring man back to Himself. This redemption has already been accomplished in Christ.
To Annul Man
In His economy God also intends to annul man, to bring man to nothing through death. What is God’s way to do this? God’s way to annul us is to crucify us in Christ and with Christ (Rom. 6:6).
To Have Man Fulfill His Requirements
by Being One with Christ
Finally, in His economy God has planned that man should do everything God requires of him. However, God does not want man to do all this by himself; He wants man to do this by Christ, in Christ, with Christ, through Christ, and by being one with Christ. This means that we need to have a spiritual union, an organic union, with Christ. In order that we may enter into such a union with Christ, God wants us not only to believe in Christ but to believe into Christ (John 3:15, 16, 18). To believe into Christ is to have an organic union with Christ, becoming one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17b). In this union we are joined to Christ, we are one with Him, and we are in Him. Now as those who are one with Him and in Him, we need to do all that God requires by Christ and through Christ. No longer should we live by ourselves and do things by ourselves, but we should live by Christ and do everything by Christ.
Because Paul had a thorough realization of this, he could declare, "I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." Here Paul was saying, "I have died in Christ through His death, but now He lives in me through His resurrection. His living in me is entirely by His being the life-giving Spirit." For Paul this was a reality, but for many Christians it is not a reality. We all need to have the reality of Galatians 2:20, realizing that God does not want us to live for Him by ourselves but to live for Him by Christ, in Christ, with Christ, through Christ, and by being one with Christ.
(Life-Study of Deuteronomy, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)