GRAFTING AND GROWING
When Paul says, “We have grown together with Him in the likeness of His death,” he is saying that in the place where we were cut, we were grafted into the Lord. This grafting is the growing. We are not first grafted and then begin to grow. Rather, we have been grafted into Him in the likeness of His death and have grown together with Him all at the same time.
IN DEATH AND IN RESURRECTION
Notice the two aspects of grafting and growing together in Romans 6:5: “For if we have grown together with Him in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” The first aspect is in the likeness of His death and refers to our being grafted into Him. The second is in the likeness of His resurrection and refers to His coming into us to grow in us. This second aspect is resurrection.
The initial grafting is related to the Lord’s death. He is the true vine. When He was crucified, He was thoroughly cut. Now His cut wound is waiting for the repentant sinners, and He as the life-giving Spirit moves in us, searching our inner being, enlightening us so that we repent. Our grief and tears are the cut we receive. We have no choice but to believe in the Lord and ask Him to save us. “O Lord, thank You that You died for me. Thank You for shedding Your blood for me. Thank You, Lord, for saving me.” This is the time when we are grafted into Him and grow together with Him in the likeness of His death.
Once we are thus grafted into Him, His resurrection life comes into us and removes all the negative elements within. His life becomes ours in resurrection. He uplifts the original functions given us at creation, and enriches, strengthens, and even saturates our whole being. This new life is a life of two lives grafted into one. In this union are victory, life, light, power, and all the other divine attributes. All these are ours, not by an exchange, not by reckoning, but by being grafted into Him.
This concept of the divine life and the human life being grafted into one is foreign to human thought. Because of this, when we come to read the Bible, we miss it. I trust that now we have all been deeply impressed that as saved ones, the life we live is that of two lives grafted into one. By the Lord’s grace we have repented, and through repentance and believing we have been grafted into the divine life. In this grafting we grow together with Him. Then in resurrection His life grows in us. The divine life is in us, supplying us. This is the Christian life.
(Life Messages, Vol. 2 (#42-75), Chapter 17, by Witness Lee)