THE CHURCH AS A MAN WITH A UNIQUE PERSON
The church is not only the assembly, the household, and the Body. The church is a man. Nothing could be higher than this item. The new man is the highest aspect of the church. As the Body of Christ, the church needs Christ as its life; whereas as the new man, the church needs Christ as its person. Fifty years ago I was always trying to love others, but one day I saw that the church is the new man. That terminated my trying because in the new man there is only one Person.
Colossians 3:10 and 11 have never been so clear as they are today. These verses say, “And having put on the new man...where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, freeman, but Christ is all and in all.” You do not have any place in the new man, and neither do I. We do not have any place to hate anyone. We do not have any place even to love anyone. You may charge me to love others, but in the new man I have no place. You may charge me to be so kind to others and so nice and gentle. But I have seen that the church is the new man, and in this new man I have no place. In this new man Christ is all.
In verse 11 “all” does not refer to all things or matters but to persons. In the new man Christ is all the persons. Christ is you and Christ is me; Christ is all and in all. He is all the members of the new man and in all the members. Many misinterpret this word all. They understand this to mean that Christ is all things to me. The word all in this verse is the same as in Ephesians 4:6, where it says, “One God and Father of all.” All there does not refer to all matters or all things, but to all persons. God the Father is not the Father of all matters or of all things, but of all persons, the believers. It is the same in Colossians 3:11.
In this new man you have no place. In other words, in this new man the Jew has no place, and neither does the Greek. The American has no place, and neither does the British. The Japanese has no place, and neither does the Chinese. In this new man the natural man has no place. The hating ones have no place. Neither do the loving ones have any place. We all have no place in this man. The quick one has no place. The slow one also has no place. Circumcision refers to the religious ones and uncircumcision to the unreligious ones. The religious ones and the unreligious ones all have no place in this new man. The civilized or the barbarian have no place. The slaves and the freemen have no place because Christ in this new man is all the persons. Christ becomes you and Christ becomes me. Christ becomes every one of us. Christ is all the persons and Christ is in all the persons. In this new man it is not a matter of being humble, kind, gentle, or loving. It is altogether a matter of a person living in us. In this new man it is not a matter of morality, ethics, or goodness. In this new man there is only one person.
The church in its uttermost aspect is a new man to accomplish God’s eternal purpose. God needs a man, a corporate man. I do look to the Lord that we all may be brought into the highest vision, that we would see that the church is not only the gathering, the assembly of God’s called ones, not only the folks of God’s household, and not only the Body of Christ, but also the new man, created according to the image of God—Christ. The new man is created according to Christ, having Christ as his person. This new man can accomplish what God intends to fulfill on this earth.
(The One New Man, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)