V. HIS TRANSFIGURATION
INTO THE LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT
Next we would like to see that in His resurrection Christ became a life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b). Although the Lord Jesus was resurrected with a physical body, a body with flesh and bones (Luke 24:39), He was also resurrected spiritually. This means that in His resurrection He was transfigured into the Spirit (John 7:37-39; 1 Cor. 15:45; 2 Cor. 3:17). We cannot explain how He could both have a body and at the same time become the Spirit, but that is what the Bible says. This is a major point in the Bible. We see that Christ is sitting on the throne in the heavens with a physical body, yet at the same time, He is dwelling in us as the life-giving Spirit. God’s economy is to dispense Himself into us. His death redeemed us, but without His resurrection He could not dispense His life into us. We were not only sinful, we were also dead (Eph. 2:1). As the Lamb of God, Christ can redeem us. But as the life-giving Spirit He can enliven us and regenerate us to become the children of God. Now, day after day, we can enjoy the rich supply of life that is in the Spirit. We can pray, call on His name, and pray-read the Word. Christ is now so available to us because of His resurrection. Christ’s resurrection is not just a historical event; it is very much for our inward experience and enjoyment of Christ.
VI. HIS PRODUCING OF THE CHURCH
The death and resurrection of Christ were very productive steps in God’s economy: He released His divine life and propagated (spread) Himself into many people to make them the church. According to the Gospel of John, prior to His resurrection, the Lord never called His disciples "brothers." The most intimate term He used was "friends." But after His resurrection, His "friends" were regenerated to become His "brothers" (John 20:17; 1 Pet. 1:3). In the evening of the day of His resurrection, Christ came back to His disciples as the Spirit and breathed Himself into them to be their life. It was through His resurrection that the Lord was able to impart Himself as the life-giving Spirit into all His disciples. By receiving His life, they were regenerated and became His brothers. Therefore, in His resurrection, the only begotten Son became "the Firstborn among many brothers" (Rom. 8:29).
Through Christ’s resurrection, the divine life of the Father has been imparted into us. Thus, we all have become sons of God and brothers of Christ. Praise the Lord that Christ, the God-man, is our elder Brother! He is not ashamed to call us His brothers (Heb. 2:11). What a wonder! Do you realize who you are? You are a brother of Christ! This is the same principle as that of the grain of wheat in John 12:24. The many brothers are the many grains of wheat, and these many grains are blended together to form the church. Therefore 1 Corinthians 10:17 tells us that "we who are many are one bread, one Body." The many grains have become one loaf, one Body. The one Body, of course, refers to the church as the Body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23). The church is just the duplication and multiplication of Christ.
Praise the Lord for His resurrection! Many Christians speak a great deal about Christ’s death on the cross, but rarely do they talk about Christ’s resurrection. When they do, they only speak about how the Lord rose up from the grave. They consider His resurrection to be only a historical event that happened two thousand years ago. They celebrate it one day of the year. That is too shallow! In just two lessons we have seen some of the tremendous items of Christ’s resurrection. We must be thankful for the wonderful riches that the Lord has shown us from His Word in these days. We encourage you to dig into these matters even more and to enjoy Christ as the resurrected One in us.
- Explain how Christ’s divine life was glorified.
- Christ was the Son of God before His resurrection. Why does Romans 1:3-4 say that He was designated the Son of God out of the resurrection?
- Which two verses clearly tell us that Christ is now the Spirit?
- Why was Christ called the "only begotten Son" in John 1:18, but was called the "Firstborn" in Romans 8:29.
Quoted Portions from (Lee/LSM) Publications
- Life-study of John, pp. 316-317, 546-549.
- Life-study of Romans, pp. 18-23, 552-554, 570-571.
- Life-study of First Corinthians, pp. 614-616.
- Life-study of Hebrews, pp. 94-96.
(Lesson Book, Level 2: The Triune God—The Triune God and the Person and Work of Christ, Chapter 20, by Witness Lee)