One Body, One Spirit, and One New Man, by Witness Lee

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We still have not arrived at the highest point in our vision because our knowledge of the Body is insufficient, our knowledge of the new man is not enough, and also our knowledge of the bride is very limited. Nevertheless, I hope that we can see something concerning the Body and the new man. The Body is a matter of life, and the new man is a matter of person. The Body is for moving; it is an instrument for action. Thus, it was in one Body that the Lord Jesus reconciled both the Jewish and Gentile believers to God. This reconciliation is a Body matter. In the past we thought that when you were saved, you were reconciled to God, and when I was saved, I was reconciled to God. In other words, we thought that we were individually saved and individually reconciled to God. This is an erroneous concept. We must see that we who were far off and separated from God were reconciled to God not individually but in a corporate instrument. What is this instrument? This instrument is the Body of Christ. In one Body both the Jewish believers and the Gentile believers have been reconciled to God. This shows us that the Body is an instrument used by Christ.

When we move, we move in our body. For example, when I came downstairs today, I did it in my body. As I speak to you now, I am doing it in my body. If I were not in my body, there would be no way for me to speak. All my actions are in my body. My body is an instrument for different actions. When the church preaches the gospel, this is an action, and this action is in the Body and is carried out by the Body. Our body is an instrument for moving. Our life needs to increase and grow in order that our body might be healthy and strong enough to meet the need of our moving.

Then what about the new man? The new man is not for moving; the new man is for decision-making and for living. As a human being you may not move at all, but you still must live. The Body is for moving, and the new man is for living. Concerning the new man, Ephesians 4:24 says that it was created according to God in righteousness and holiness. Righteousness and holiness are conditions of our living. Thus, living is entirely a matter of the new man. The new man is for living, and eighty to ninety percent of our living is in making decisions. Therefore, you can see two things: the church as the Body is for moving, and the church as the new man is for living by making decisions. On the one hand, the church is the Body of Christ, and we take Christ as our life to act, to work, and to bear responsibilities. On the other hand, the church is the new man, and we take Christ as our person to make plans and to decide on how we should live. Whether it is the Body or the new man, whether in working and moving or in living and in deciding, everything is corporate; nothing is individual. You must see that your living today is the living of the new man, a corporate living, and your decisions are corporate decisions and not your personal decisions. For example, you may be trying to decide and to conclude whether you should open a factory or become an educator. There is a kind of living here. If you see that you are a part in the new man, you will not want to decide by yourself as the person. You will want to take Christ as your person together with all the other parts in the new man. At this time, when you are about to make a decision concerning your human life, you will not take yourself as the person; rather, you will take Christ as your person in the new man to make the decision. When you live your life by taking Christ as your person, your living will be the living of the new man.

The living of the new man has two characteristics: one is righteousness and the other is holiness. Righteousness is according to God’s ways, and holiness is according to God’s nature. When all the things in your living, whether great or small, are exactly the same in their nature as God’s nature and exactly the same in their ways as God’s ways, then there is holiness and righteousness. However, this kind of living is not the individual living of sanctification referred to in Christianity. Rather, the kind of living meant here is that you live a life in the new man by Christ as the person and that He is the One who makes all the decisions in you. Thus, whatever is lived out is righteousness and holiness. This is not related to our move or work; it is related only to our living. This is the aspect of the new man. The other aspect is the Body. As the Body, we move. Christ is our Head, so we move, and our moving is not based on our own strength or our own life but upon Christ as our life and strength. Furthermore, our move is not as individuals.

These two matters show that we cannot be individualistic. We must see that we are a corporate Body, and we are a corporate new man. Our living is corporate, and our moving is corporate. In our moving we take Christ as our life, and in our living we take Christ as our person. In the Body, Christ is our life, and in the new man, Christ is our person. In the Body we are members one of another, and in the new man we all have one mouth to speak the same thing. This is the church.

(One Body, One Spirit, and One New Man, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)