THE BODY OF CHRIST BEING PRODUCED THROUGH DEATH AND RESURRECTION
In the Body of Christ, the Head is uniquely Christ, and the Body is produced by the God-chosen people passing through Christ’s death and resurrection. In the old creation we died and were buried with Christ completely. However, in the resurrection power of Christ we were resurrected. The original creation came out of God; it was something created by God and it was good. But later it was poisoned by Satan. Satan’s poison entered into the man originally created by God so that, in addition to the original element created by God, other elements were added; these elements are death, the world, sin, the flesh, and Satan. Hence, God’s original creation became old, and its nature was changed, having things other than that created by God.
Therefore, when Christ brought us with Him in His death on the cross, He brought the entire old creation with Him to die there. In His resurrection He was raised with the part which was created by God. “No longer I” means that it is no longer the fallen “I” in the old creation. “I now live” refers to the resurrected “I” in the new creation. This resurrected “I” is joined with Christ as one. How did Christ resurrect us? In His resurrection He mingled His divinity with our humanity; thus, we were resurrected. Hence, we can either say that the Body of Christ is Christ, or we can say that the Body of Christ is all the members of the Body of Christ.
THE HUMAN PART OF CHRIST BEING DESIGNATED THE SON OF GOD BY THE SPIRIT OF HOLINESS THROUGH DEATH AND RESURRECTION
Romans 1:3-4 says, “Concerning His Son, who came out of the seed of David according to the flesh, who was designated the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness out of the resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.” Christ is not only man but also God. His divine part is the Spirit, that is, God Himself, the Spirit of holiness. When Christ died, His entire being was hung on the cross. However, because He had the Spirit of holiness within Him, that Spirit enlivened Him out of death and designated Him the Son of God.
Before His incarnation Christ already was the Son of God (John 1:18; Rom. 8:3). By incarnation He put on an element, the human flesh, which had nothing to do with divinity; that part of Him needed to be sanctified and uplifted by passing through death and resurrection. By resurrection His human nature was sanctified, uplifted, and transformed. Hence, by resurrection He, with His humanity, was designated the Son of God, that is, the firstborn Son of God.
If Christ was only man and not God, when He died and was buried, He would have been finished. But He was man and God. Although His human part died, His divine part, which could not die, lives forever. Christ could be resurrected from the dead because He has the divine element in Him, and that divine element is the Spirit of holiness. This Spirit of holiness was able to resurrect Him out of death and designate Him the Son of God. By this designation His humanity was uplifted into divinity and was joined with divinity to be one. Consequently, He was completely the Son of God. When He lived in the flesh, a part of Him was merely man, merely the seed of David; that part was not the Son of God. How did that part become the Son of God? It was by the designation through death and resurrection.
Acts 13:33 says, “You are My Son; today I have begotten You.” Here “today” refers to the day of Christ’s resurrection. Christ was begotten in His resurrection to be the firstborn Son of God. In resurrection the human part of Christ was made alive by God and uplifted into divinity. In this way Christ was begotten to be the firstborn Son of God (Rom. 8:29).
Since Christ is the firstborn Son of God, we as the many sons of God are exactly the same as He. However, because His humanity was without sin and had never become fallen (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15), His human part did not need to be redeemed but it needed to be uplifted. Our humanity consists of two parts: one part is the God-created part, and the other part is the fallen and corrupted part. When Christ brought us with Him to die on the cross, our fallen, corrupted part died and ended together with Him, but the God-created part within us was made alive together with Him by the power which raised Him from the dead (Eph. 2:5).
Today Christ is the union and mingling of God with man. Likewise, we are the union and mingling of God with man and man with God. This is the Body of Christ. This is the normal believer’s living, which is not merely God’s living or man’s living; it is a God-man living. This is just like when the Lord was on this earth. His living was not merely God’s living or man’s living; it was a living that lived out God in humanity.
(A General Outline of God's Economy and the Proper Living of a God-Man, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)