The Body of Christ, by Witness Lee


The Apostle Paul prayed that the saints would experience Christ in all of His riches for the building up of His Body. In Ephesians 3, he prayed that the Father would grant these members of the Body of Christ to be strengthened through the Spirit into their inner man (v. 16). The inner man is our regenerated spirit indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God to become a mingled spirit. Now we are one spirit with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17). How wonderful this is! But we must confess that we do not spend most of our time in our spirit. Although we are the organic members of Christ, we still spend too much time in our mind, emotion, and will. After becoming members of the Body of Christ, we have been bothered, troubled, and confused by our ugly mind, emotion, and will. Because we spend so much time in our mind, emotion, and will, we are troubled by anxiety. The brothers are mostly in their mind, the sisters are mostly in their emotions, and all of us exercise our independent will.

Our inward being is like a building composed of four rooms: our mind, our emotion, our will, and our spirit. The spirit is the unique room, the wonderful room, the room that joins earth to heaven and brings heaven to earth. It is the room that makes us one with the Lord. We all have to admit, though, that we do not spend much time in this room. This is why Paul was so burdened to bow his knees to the Father to pray that the Father would grant us to be strengthened with His divine power through His Spirit into the inner man. Because we are mostly in the rooms of our mind, emotion, and will and not in our spirit, the wonderful room, we need to be strengthened into our inner man. To turn to our spirit is to come back to our inner man. Whenever we turn to our spirit, everything is ready for Christ to move, to work, to spread, and to root Himself in our entire being. Christ desires to spread within us, to work Himself and to root Himself deep down into every part of our inner being, our heart (Eph. 3:17a).

The three main rooms of our heart are our mind, emotion, and will. Christ is now in our spirit, but our heart may be devoid of Him. The rooms of our heart are short of Christ. They are full of other things such as anxiety, vain thoughts, imaginations, and self-decisions. What is in our heart? Things other than Christ, such as department store sales, a Master’s degree, a better car, or modern fashions, may fill up our heart. You are a Christian, a member of Christ, but what are you thinking about? Do you have Christ in your mind, in your will, and in your emotion? Where is Christ? He may be imprisoned in your weakened spirit. You may be so strong in your mind, emotion, and will but so weak in your spirit. After rising up in the morning some may immediately be thinking about a sale at a certain department store. Their spirit is weakened by all of the things in the other rooms—their mind, emotion, and will. This is why Paul prayed for us. His prayer was unique.

Not only did Paul pray for us but also our High Priest in the heavens is interceding for us and within us (Heb. 7:25-26). While you are thinking about other things, something is there reminding you to turn to the Lord and to call on Him. You may say, "O Lord Jesus, I do not love You, but Lord, make me willing to love You." Then you may continue to pray, "Lord Jesus, have mercy upon me. Lord, fill me with Yourself. Take me over, Lord. Occupy me and spread Yourself within me." If you prayed in such a way for ten minutes, you would be strengthened into your inner man. You would no longer be in your mind, emotion, or will but in your spirit. Your prayer would make a way for Christ to make His home deep down in your heart. In your prayer you have the sensation that you are rooted for growth and grounded for building up in the divine love, the nobler love, the very agape (Gk.) of God (Eph. 3:17b).

When you are strengthened into your inner man through prayer, Christ has a way to make His home in your heart and you are strong to apprehend the dimensions of Christ, not individually but with all the saints (v. 18). You have to come to the meetings of the church to meet with all the saints so that you can apprehend the dimensions of the universally extensive Christ—the breadth, the length, the height, and the depth. No one knows how broad, how long, how high, or how deep Christ is. His dimensions are the dimensions of the universe! They are immeasurable. We need to be strong to grasp with all the saints the extensiveness of Christ. We need to explore the universally extensive field of the Christ whom we are in. When we apprehend the extensiveness of this universal Christ, we are led to know the knowledge-surpassing and unlimited love of Christ that we may be filled with the extensive Christ unto all the fullness of the Triune God (v. 19), which is the church as the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ, the church, is the result of our being filled with the extensive Christ to be the very expression, the manifestation in full, of the Triune God.

(The Body of Christ, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)