IN HIS EXPRESSION
Just to live in the Triune God is not adequate. For the oneness to be doubly secure we must also be in God’s expression. Our work together here is to express Him. It is not for the accomplishment of our own purpose. We all have our own intention, our own aim, and our own goal. All these are killed in the expression of the Triune God. To whatever extent they are not killed, to that measure we are not secure in the genuine oneness. If our goal is anything other than the expression of the Triune God, sooner or later this other goal will cause division.
Why is it that Christians cannot be one? What is the cause of the countless, endless divisions? All the denominations have had splits. Even a small group, after it meets together for just two or three years, will end up divided into perhaps three groups. This divisiveness is because most Christians do not live in Christ and do not care for the expression of God. Their low concern is for their taste and their preference. Their high concern is for the achievement of their goals. Because they care for these things and not for the expression of God, the genuine oneness is not secure with them.
THE TRIUNE GOD IN US
The Lord’s prayer about the oneness reached a further stage in John 17:23: “I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one.” Notice that in verse 21 the prayer was that we might be in the Triune God. In this verse the prayer is that the Triune God may be in us. For Him to be in us is more experiential.
Is the Triune God in you? Or are you occupied by a girl friend? your wife? a new pair of shoes? your children? your savings account? If these other things are in you, there is no room for God. Christians may blame doctrinal differences, but the real reason they are not one is that the Triune God is not in them, they do not care for His expression, and they do not live in Him.
From verse 23 we can see that even if we are in the genuine oneness, we still need to be perfected. The Triune God is in you to work in you until you are perfected. You may say you are one with others, but your oneness is shallow because you are still so natural, so full of the flesh, so selfish. Once the Triune God has worked in you to rid you of the old man, you will be perfected into one.
Surely there is a oneness in the church in your locality, but that oneness is not so high and not so secure. We all need the Triune God to be more deeply in us that we may be perfected into one. If Peter and Paul and Mary were here, they would all be thoroughly one. Our oneness may be genuine, but it is fragile because our living in the Triune God is shallow, and we do not care enough about His being expressed.
Pray regarding the points on oneness covered in these three verses:
(1)Verse 21 stresses our being in the Triune God.
(2)Verse 22 says that it is the glory of God that makes us one.
(3)Verse 23 emphasizes that the Triune God is in us to perfect us into one.
As you pray, you will see the need of grace to keep the oneness. Today your oneness is spontaneous and natural. When the test comes, however, you will find you cannot stand it. If you do not realize the need for the genuine oneness, eventually you will drop out of the church life even if you have been in the recovery for many years.
THE NATURE OF THE RECOVERY
What differentiates the Lord’s recovery from Christianity is our nature and standing. The church has Christ Himself as its nature. In contrast to Christianity, it is not an organization built upon certain concepts, but an entity with Christ as its content and nature. Christianity is composed of divisions and has sundry things as its nature. As for our standing, the ground of the church is the genuine oneness. If we miss this, we are no longer the church but rather a continuation of Christianity. To remain in the Lord’s recovery we must keep Christ as life and the oneness as our standing.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 17, by Witness Lee)