The Economy and Dispensing of God, by Witness Lee

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By ourselves we can never live out all the virtues of Christ. In our daily living we need the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:19). In order to save fallen man, God became flesh and became a man in the Son and through the Spirit. He passed through thirty-three and a half years of human life. At the end of His life, He was crucified on the cross and was resurrected to become the life-giving Spirit. Such a Spirit is not merely the Spirit of God as He was before the Lord became flesh, but is the Spirit of God after the Lord’s resurrection, being produced as a mingling of the Holy Spirit, who has divinity, with the Lord’s incarnation (His humanity), His human living under the cross, His crucifixion, and His resurrection. This Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus Christ. He includes all the rich ingredients of Christ’s divinity, humanity, human living, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. He is the compound, all-inclusive life-giving Spirit of the Triune God. Hence, with Him there is the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. He Himself even is the bountiful supply. Now He is living in us, daily supplying us and dispensing Himself to us as our food. He is whatever we need.

God created man according to His image. God’s image is all that God is. God is love, light, holiness, and righteousness. Love, light, holiness, and righteousness are what God is; hence, they are the image of God. Since man was created in the image of God, within man there are human virtues, such as love, light, holiness, and righteousness. But these human virtues are not the reality; they are merely the image of the reality. Man’s virtues are a picture of God’s image. A picture is not the reality of a man; it is not the man himself. When we believe in Christ and receive this pneumatic Christ, He enters into us to be our life within, and He lives Himself out from us. By this we will have the reality of all the virtues of God’s attributes, and we can live out the real love, light, holiness, and righteousness, which are the expressions of Christ in us.

When the Lord Jesus lives in us, we can love others in a genuine way. We do not love by our own love; rather, we love by the Christ who is living in us and who is our bountiful supply. This Christ who is living in us is the Spirit with the bountiful supply. He has become one with us. We do not need to do good or to be moral by ourselves. Everything we do and all our living should come about by the bountiful supply of Jesus Christ.

The Spirit of Jesus Christ is the Christ who is the life-dispensing Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b; 2 Cor. 3:17). The supply of this pneumatic Christ is His dispensing in life. The supply and dispensing of His life cause us to be saved in our living of Christ, so that we may not be put to shame because we have not lived Christ, and may not lose the testimony that we ought to bear for Christ because of our failure to magnify Christ. On the contrary, with all boldness, as always, even now, daily, Christ will be magnified in our bodies, whether through life or through death.

(The Economy and Dispensing of God, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)