PRESERVED IN LIFE AND LIGHT
We have seen that life is related both to the corporate man of God’s original creation and to Abraham and his descendants, the children of Israel. Now we shall go on to consider how life and light are the essence of the oneness of the church as God’s new creation. In John 17 the Lord deals with the matter of oneness not by teaching His disciples about it, but by praying regarding it. This prayer reveals that oneness can be preserved and realized only in life. In verse 11 the Lord prayed, "Holy Father, keep them in Your name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are." To be kept in the Father’s name is to be kept by His life, because only those who are born of the Father and have the Father’s life can participate in the Father’s name. The Son has given the Father’s life to those whom the Father has given Him (v. 2). Hence, the believers enjoy the divine life as the essence of their oneness. If we are kept in the Father’s life, we shall be preserved in the oneness.
In verse 17 the Lord went on to pray, "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth." To be sanctified is to be separated unto God from the world. In a very real sense, to be sanctified is to be preserved. Here the Lord prays to the Father to sanctify the believers in the truth, which is the Father’s word. As the Father’s name is a matter of life, so the Father’s truth is a matter of light. Life and light are, therefore, the very essence of oneness.
John 17:22 says, "And the glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, even as We are one." This verse indicates that the Triune God with His glory keeps the oneness of the believers. We are not kept in oneness by teachings or doctrines. We are preserved in oneness by life and light. The Triune God Himself is the life, and His word with His speaking is the light. By this life and this light the oneness is maintained. This is the reason Ephesians 4 relates the oneness of the church, the Body of Christ, to the Triune God, to the Spirit, the Lord, and God the Father.
In the meetings of the church we enjoy the presence of the Triune God. This is especially true at the Lord’s table meeting and at the prayer meeting. Through the prayers uttered by the saints in the prayer meeting, I enjoy the sweetness of the Lord. I can testify that whenever I come to the prayer meeting, I enjoy the Lord’s anointing. Many of us can testify that we did not have such an enjoyment before we came into the Lord’s recovery. But as we taste the sweetness of the Lord in the church meetings, we receive the supply of life and experience the enlightenment of life. Oh, how I am supplied and enlightened in the church prayer meetings! The Triune God with His glory surely is present with us. In the Triune God—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—with His glory we are kept in oneness. For this reason, after the prayer meetings we often sense a fresh love for the saints. We also have the consciousness of having experienced more building up.
(The Genuine Ground of Oneness, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)