SPEAKING AND EXPRESSING THE SAME THING
First Corinthians 1:10 says, “That you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be attuned in the same mind and in the same opinion.” Similarly, Romans 15:5-6 says, “Now the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one accord and with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Years ago these verses bothered me. How could tens of thousands of believers speak the same thing with one mind and one mouth? Today I have the full assurance, not merely doctrinally but experientially, that we all can speak the same thing because the same thing which we speak is the all-inclusive Christ. What we speak is not concerning baptisms, head covering, or foot-washing. We speak one thing—the all-inclusive Christ and His church. If we only take Christ as our life and Christ as our person, spontaneously we will all speak the same thing. Then practically we will be the new man. When you go to another country, a saint there will meet you, speaking the same thing. Wherever you go on this earth, regardless of what kind of people or what kind of language is there, you will hear the same thing. We all can speak the same thing, and we can all be attuned in the same opinion. We would only have one concept, Christ and the church.
Many have been distracted from Christ to other things, including scriptural, fundamental, and so-called spiritual things. Many believers are fighting concerning certain ordinances. Some may oppose how we practice baptism without a formal ceremony. We should not be caught in the snare of opinions. God does not care for this. What God cares for is whether or not we live by Christ and take Christ as our person. We should forget about all the opinions, and simply take Christ as our life and our person. Spend your time, your energy, and your being on Christ, and let others have their freedom.
Wherever we go we should not care for a way, an ordinance, or a ritual. We only care for Christ being ministered to us and our ministering something of Christ to others. The churches will progress in the divine life to such an extent that eventually we all will be absolutely the same. This means that we all will be reduced to taking our dear Lord Jesus as our life and as our person. We do not care for long hair or for short hair, but eventually we will all be the same, even in our cutting of our hair. A brother will know how long his hair should be, not by following another brother, but by fellowshipping with Christ who is his life. The day will come in which all the tribes, races, peoples, nations, and languages, the tens of thousands of believers, will all be the same, not by teaching, regulation, or ordinances, but by taking our living Christ as our life and as our person. We will express the same thing, we will speak the same thing, and we will have one mind and one mouth, glorifying our God and Father. This will be the time in which the new man will be perfected throughout the entire earth, and we will usher in God’s kingdom to bring Christ back. Then Christ will set up His kingdom on this earth. We will be there with Him to rule over the earth to express our Father, the very God, and to exercise His dominion. This is the new man replacing the old one. This is not a movement, this is not an organization, and this is not a denomination or a sect. This is the living of such a new man.
THE NEW MAN AS THE EXPRESSION OF GOD
We as the new man will bear the image of our Father who created us. The invisible God has a visible image. The image of God is not physical; it is visible yet intangible. Our physical body is visible and tangible, but besides our physical form we have an image. This image may be considered as a composition of our human virtues. As human beings we may be kind, loving, and righteous. These virtues constitute our intangible but visible image. As a physical person we have two images; one is the physical image, and the other is the intangible, but visible image.
God, as the divine Being, has His virtues. Through the Ten Commandments, God revealed Himself as the righteous God, as the holy God, as the loving God, and as the God full of light. Righteousness, holiness, love, and light are God’s divine virtues which constitute the image of God. Ephesians 4:24 says that the new man “according to God was created in righteousness and holiness of the truth,” while Colossians 3:10 says that the new man “is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.” The image of God in Colossians 3:10 is the righteousness and holiness of the truth in Ephesians 4:24. Christ is the image of God and He is the very embodiment of God (Col. 1:15). Colossians 2:9 says, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Christ bears the image of God and expresses God. What He expressed of God was mainly righteousness, holiness, love, and light. When He was on this earth, He was a Man who was righteous, holy, loving, and full of light. This was God’s image expressed in a man.
Today as the new man the church bears the image of God, that is, God’s righteousness, holiness, love, and light. If we would drop all the things we picked up from our background and come back to this one Person, the living One, Jesus Christ, taking Him as our life and our person, day by day we will express righteousness, holiness, love, and light. We do not need to try to be righteous and holy, or to love others. Neither do we need to try to enlighten others. As long as we live Christ out, taking Him as our person, we are expressing righteousness, holiness, love, and light. This is the expression of God. All the fullness of God is embodied in Christ, and this Christ is wrought into our being to be our righteousness, our holiness, our love, and our light. This is the new man with the new man’s expression. Such a new man with such an expression will usher in the kingdom of God and will bring Christ, the King, back to this earth. The goal of the Lord’s recovery is to become such a new man which is the very expression of God.
(The One New Man, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)