HUMAN PERFECTING BEING UNABLE TO MANIFEST THE FUNCTIONS OF THE MEMBERS
The church is both the Body and the new man, and it grows by the riches and the power that are in the church. Now we need to see that the members need to function. After we receive the riches and the power, our feet can walk, our hands can do things, our eyes can look at people, and our mouth can speak. When we eat well and grow, our body is able to function. Therefore, Ephesians chapter four speaks about functions, telling us how every member of the Body manifests its function.
Allow me to tell you frankly that the churches in the Orient all pay too much attention to work, laying stress on doing this and doing that and hoping that by doing so the saints will be perfected. This is not the way to perfect the saints as revealed in Ephesians 4. Suppose there is a child who is small and skinny. For this child to grow, he must have ears that can hear, eyes that can see, a nose that can smell, a mouth that can eat and speak, hands that can do things, and feet that can run. However, if this little child cannot do these things, what shall we do? Suppose we divided his members into groups. We put the nose, eyes, and mouth into one group and then we worked on them to perfect them so that the nose would learn to smell, the eyes would learn to see, and the mouth would learn to speak. Do you think this kind of perfecting by grouping will be helpful? If you left the child in this situation, he would probably live a few more days. But after all your doings, eventually he will be dead. Methods like this are merely human works. I have stated that the cultivation of our conduct, the cross, and brokenness can only produce man-made improvement, man-made godliness, man-made spirituality, and man-made victory. Now I would even say that all the groupings are also man-made.
THE WAY FOR THE GENUINE PERFECTING OF THE GIFTS
The Giving of Grace and the Measure of the Gift
How do we perfect our gifts? We should begin by pray-reading Ephesians 4:7-16. This is a difficult section to understand. It begins by saying that God has given grace to each one of us according to the measure of the gift of Christ. What is the gift of Christ? Every one of us who is saved is a gift given by Christ to the church. Paul was a gift given by Christ to the church, and so are you. You may say that you are only a little member, but even the little members are gifts given by Christ to the Body. When my ear itches, I can conveniently scratch it with my little finger. Thus, I have deeply realized that my little finger is truly a precious gift given to me by the Creator. Every member of our body is a gift given to us by the Creator.
Due to some recent problems with my eyes, I have begun to realize how precious my eyes are. It would be a real misery to me to lose my eyes. The Creator has given our body two little eyes as a lovely gift. Every part of our body, without exception, is a gift. Suppose we only had a piece of skin instead of a nose on our face. How miserable we would be! Thus, the nose is also a gift. Every saved person is a member of the Body of Christ, and every member is a gift given by the Head to the Body. Do not consider yourself unimportant even if you are only a little brother. The church needs little brothers like you. As a little brother you are a gift of Christ.
Each member of the body has its measure. The measure of the little finger is rather small, but the measure of the arm is larger. The eyes have a certain measure, and the ears also have a certain measure. This is the measure of the gift.
Grace was given to us according to the measure of the gift. Based on Ephesians 3, grace is the unsearchable riches of Christ plus His great power enjoyed by us. We are both the Body and the new man, and the riches of Christ and His great power are our supply. When this supply comes into us, that is grace. For example, the food we eat first reaches our stomach, and after it is digested by the stomach, the nutrients are transfused into every member of our body according to the measure of each member.
(The Revelation of the Mystery, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)