The Christian Life, by Witness Lee

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Recently, I looked at two books which I purchased in San Francisco twenty-nine years ago in 1963. One is called Bone of His Bone, and the other is called Born Crucified. Bone of His Bone is a reference to Adam’s word when God presented Eve to him (Gen. 2:23). Adam was looking for a counterpart, and God presented to him all the animals one by one. Of course, all of these animals could not match him. Adam named every living creature, but not one matched him. Then God put Adam to sleep, opened up his side, and took out a rib. Genesis 2:22 says that with this rib God built a woman for Adam. The King James Version says that God "made" a woman, but this is an inadequate translation. The Hebrew text says that God "built" a woman. The rib of Adam was the building material with which God built a female. Then Adam woke up, and God brought Eve to Adam. When Adam saw Eve, Adam said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh." In typology the bone with which Eve was built signifies the resurrection life of Christ. "Bone of my bones" indicates that we, the members of the church as the Body of Christ, are parts of the resurrected Christ.

On the jacket of the book Bone of His Bone, the publisher says that Christ’s death on the cross was not just for redemption but for identification. Identification here means union. Christ died so that we could be united with Him. He died on the cross not only for objective redemption but also for subjective union, subjective identification. The book Bone of His Bone says that the Christian life is not an imitation of Christ but a participation of Christ. To imitate Christ is wrong. Christ died on the cross and we cannot imitate that, but we can participate in Christ’s death. We cannot imitate Christ, but we participate in Him and in all that He has accomplished.

This union between us and Christ began from incarnation. Before incarnation God was merely God, and man was man. God and man did have some kind of relationship and some transactions with each other before the incarnation, but there was no union between them. The thought of union is in the divine revelation. First Corinthians 6:17 says, "He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit." Some call this union a union of life. We have a life union with the Lord Jesus. We are identified with Him. However, even the word identification is not fully adequate, because it does not convey the full thought of the divine economy. An identification card may have our picture on it, but that picture is not the real, living person. This shows that our terminology in human language is always inadequate.

We need to see the revelation of the union of God and man, beginning from the incarnation. Incarnation is God in His second person, embodying the entire Divine Trinity, becoming a man. In other words, incarnation was the Triune God embodied in Christ becoming a man. This is God uniting Himself with man. John 1 says that the Word, who was God, became flesh (vv. 1, 14). Thus, the identification between divinity and humanity, or the life union between divinity and humanity, began with divinity being joined to the flesh. Thus, when God became a man, the union between God and man started.

(The Christian Life, Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)