THE BODY OF CHRIST
God’s house, the family of God, is organic, but, in a sense, it is not as organic as the Body. The church is the Body of Christ. A group of Christians may be an assembly, but may not actually be the house of God because they do not live in the spirit. They may say they are the Body of Christ, but actually they may not be, because they are still living in the natural life. As long as we live in our natural life, we are not the Body of Christ.
When I was young, I heard of two or three elders who met together to talk about matters in their so-called church. Eventually one threw his Bible and another got up and walked out. Was that the Body? That was not the Body, but the fallen flesh.
What is the Body? Look at yourself. Your body is the greatest part of your being. Nothing can be your body, but you yourself. Dentures are not a part of your body; they are something extra without any life. Our real teeth are joined to our body, not by organization but by life. They grow organically in our body. A member of your body is organic; it grows in an organic union with your body. Whatever is not in organic union with your body is foreign to it.
In like manner, the Body of Christ is an organism, not an organization. A podium, for example, consists of pieces of wood organized and fitted together. A man’s body, on the other hand, is not organized but organic, full of life.
The church is not only the living family of God the Father, but even more a living organism of Christ the Head. Christianity has fallen into a state where there is organization instead of life. There are millions of Christians on earth. They have been forgiven through Christ’s redemption, washed by His precious blood, and regenerated by the Holy Spirit; they are children of God and members of Christ. Yet actually in their life and service what is seen is an organization, not an organism. Christ is organic, but "anity" is not. Any kind of anity, including Christianity and even "local churchanity," is an organization.
The church should be only organic, an organism full of the life of Christ. Whatever you do must be from the life within. You are living. You have Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God living in you. Do not move by yourself. Move by Him. Do not act by yourself. Act by Him. Sometimes when I have intended to visit a brother, I have been held back because I realized that Christ was not going to visit that brother. It was only I, the natural I the good I, the I with good intentions; it was altogether myself, not Christ. Then I would pray, giving my position, my ground, and everything pertaining to this visit to the Lord. Then the Lord began to go with me. There are many who love the Lord and are devoted to Him and yet who do not realize that their natural life should be put aside.
In the new man, the church, there "cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, freeman, but Christ is all and in all" (Col. 3:10-11). "All" denotes people. To say Christ is all means that He is you, He is me, and He is everyone else in the church. To say Christ is in all means that He is in everyone in the church. The new man, the church, is not Chinese Japanese, French, English, German, or American. The new man is Christ. Therefore, when we act as those who are Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, American, British, German, French or Italian, we are no longer the church. In the new man there is no Jew and no Greek. Actually in the new man there cannot be any Jew or Greek. There cannot be any Chinese or any Japanese. In the new man there cannot be any white or any black. If you still want to be black or white, you are through with the Body of Christ. The church is an organism. Therefore, we must act in our spirit, totally repudiating our natural life.
(The Basic Revelation in the Holy Scriptures, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)