The Mystery of Christ, by Watchman Nee


Paul spoke of "holding the Head, out from whom all the Body, being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God" (Col. 2:19). Since Christ is the Head of the Body, we have to hold the Head. Holding the Head is acknowledging that only Christ is the Head; it is coming absolutely under His authority. We can be joined to the brothers and sisters only when we hold the Head. The members of the Body are fitted together and able to live the Body life through holding the Head. Our relationship to the Head determines our relationship to the other members. All the questions regarding our relationship with the brothers and sisters can only be solved when we come under the absolute authority of the Lord. Unless we recognize the headship of Christ in the Body, we will never have a perfect fellowship with the other members, because it is our common relationship to Him that causes us to be related to one another. We may look different outwardly, but the Christ within us is the same. This is why we can fellowship with one another and be one with each other. Apart from Christ, we have no means of fellowship. When we do not hold the Head, our fellowship becomes invalid. The basis of our fellowship is our mutual holding of the Head. When we all hold the Head, we will hold to one another, and our relationship with the Body will be proper.

If we hold the Head, we cannot have a special relationship, feeling, or fellowship with any individual or group of individuals. There is no room for our own preferences in the Body. We have no direct communion one with another; it is all through the Head. For instance, when my left hand hurts, my right hand comes to its aid immediately. The right hand does this because both the left hand and the right hand are under the direction of the head. The mutual relationship of the members passes through the Head first. What does it mean to form parties? Forming parties means that a few Christians have a direct relationship with one another and are detached from the authority of the Head. They communicate with each other directly, but their communication has not passed through the Head. They have a special relationship with one another, but their relationship has not passed through the Head.

We must not move in relation to another member except under the direction of the Lord. If He asks us to do something for a fellow member and the fellow member does not appreciate it, we do not need to worry since all of our dealings are with the Head. If we hold the Head, getting all our direction from Him and doing all as unto Him, we do not need to worry about the consequences.

If we hold the Head, we cannot have different interpretations of Scripture. Differences arise when someone is not holding the Head, because He cannot possibly say one thing to one member and something else to another. If differences arise, we must not try to straighten them out by discussion; rather, we should just recognize Christ as the Head. In the church we all must hold the Head, whether it involves the understanding of the truth, the handling of business, or any other matter. Christ is the unique authority in the Body. The place of all the members is to hold the Head and to acknowledge Him as the unique and supreme authority in all things. If we let the cross deal with our natural life, we will find no difficulty in our relationship with the fellow members of the Body.

(The Mystery of Christ, Chapter 6, by Watchman Nee)