REDEMPTION AND SALVATION BEING FOR GOD’S DESIRE
TO WORK HIMSELF IN CHRIST INTO US
According to the common understanding and view among Christians, God gave Christ to be our Redeemer and our Savior. He died for our sins, accomplishing redemption; He rose up from among the dead; and He has become our life. However, this does not tell us what God wants to do. God wants to work Himself in Christ into us. Redemption and salvation are for this. Christ’s incarnation, Christ’s human living, Christ’s death and resurrection—they all are for God’s desire to work Himself in Christ into us. Everything that Christ is and everything that Christ has accomplished are for this one thing. All the steps, big and small, that God takes in our daily life are to fulfill His intention of building Himself in Christ into our being.
THE PROPHECY THAT GOD
WOULD BUILD A HOUSE FOR THE MAN
WHO WAS ACCORDING TO HIS HEART
In 2 Samuel 7:2 David, a man according to God’s heart, said, "See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within curtains." This indicates that David felt that he should do something for God, that he should build a house for God. God reacted by saying to David through Nathan the prophet, "Will it be you who builds Me a house to dwell in?" (v. 5). God went on to reveal to David, through a prophecy in typology, that His intention was not that David would build a house for Him but that He would build Himself into David. First, God told David that He would make him a house (v. 11b). Then He said, "I will raise up your seed after you..and I will establish his kingdom. It is he who will build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he will be My son" (vv. 12-14a). Here God revealed to David something concerning building, a matter that had not been revealed to either Job or Abraham.
The prophecy in typology in 2 Samuel 7 is related to the prophecy in Isaiah 11:1, which tells us that a twig will come forth from the stem of Jesse and that a branch from his roots will bear fruit. This refers to Christ. The house of David, which was a flourishing tree at Solomon’s time, eventually was reduced to a stump consisting mainly of Joseph and Mary. Out of that stump the child Jesus came forth as a twig, a sprout. That was God’s building a house for David, and through this house God gave David a seed—Jesus Christ. Thus, the prophecy given to David in the way of typology was fulfilled in Christ’s incarnation and human living. Christ is the seed that is the issue of God’s building a house for David.
CHRIST’S SOWING HIMSELF AS THE SEED
INTO US AS THE SOIL FOR GOD’S BUILDING
Matthew 13 reveals that Christ has sown Himself as the seed into us as the soil. Christ is the seed, and we are the soil with the nutrients for the growth of the seed. Christ in resurrection, Christ as the life-giving Spirit, has sown Himself into us not simply to stay in us but to grow in us. The growth of Christ in us equals the building.
The Christ who has sown Himself into us is now doing a particular work in us—the work of making His home in our inner being, in our hearts (Eph. 3:17). This is building, and it is carried out through the mingling of divinity with humanity. Such a building is mentioned in John 14:23: "If anyone loves Me,..My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him." This abode is not only for the Triune God but is also for us. Hence, it is a mutual abode.
This thought regarding the building is strengthened in 1 Corinthians and in Revelation. In 1 Corinthians 3:10 Paul says, "According to the grace of God given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid a foundation [Christ], and another builds upon it. But let each man take heed how he builds upon it." Then he goes on to speak of building "upon the foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, stubble" (v. 12). Revelation 3:12 tells us that Christ will make the overcomer a pillar in the temple of God, which is the New Jerusalem. Eventually, the New Jerusalem, the consummation of the building, a composition of the Old Testament saints and the New Testament believers (21:12-14), will be the wife of the Lamb, Christ, and a mutual abode for God and His redeemed for eternity (vv. 2-3, 9).
(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Samuel, Chapter 29, by Witness Lee)