THE CHURCH BEING THE BODY OF CHRIST AS THE EXPRESSION OF CHRIST
This Christ was God who became flesh and who passed through death and resurrection. His resurrection was a work of God’s power because it was God’s power that raised Him from the dead and brought Him into ascension in the heavenlies, highly exalting Him to be far above all and giving Him to be Head over all things to the church.
This resurrection power of Christ not only enabled Him to ascend to heaven, to be far above all, and to become Head over all things; it also operates within us today. Because the Spirit of God operates in us, this power operates in us along with the Spirit of God. This power not only regenerates and sanctifies us but also transforms us, bringing us into an organic union with God. In this organic union we enjoy Christ’s powerful life for us practically to become members of the Body of Christ. The aggregate of all the members of Christ is the Body of Christ, which is the church, the fullness of Christ, who fills all in all. This fullness is the expression of the Christ who fills all in all (Eph. 1:23).
The church is not an organization, nor is it merely an assembly formed by a group of the Lord’s believers joining together. That may be a religious body but not the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is an organism. As such, we have the life of God within us and the Spirit of God sealing us, step by step, with all that God is in Christ, that we may be sanctified and transformed and that we may experience the power that enabled Christ to rise from the dead, ascend to heaven, transcend all things, and be Head over all things. It is not in our natural life nor in our natural disposition nor in our own abilities and power and much less in our own merits, goodness, or good points that we become the Body of Christ. It is altogether through the sealing by the Spirit of God with God’s life and nature that we are regenerated, sanctified, and transformed, thereby being fully united with Christ. Individually speaking, we have become the members of Christ; corporately speaking, we have become the Body of Christ. Therefore, the Body of Christ is not an organization but an organism.
All the stories of God are in Christ. God is in Christ, and Christ is the embodiment of God. After Christ’s death and resurrection, all the stories of Christ are in the church. Today the church is the Body of Christ; Christ lives in this Body and is expressed through this Body. Hence, the church is a matter of Christ’s life. The church has Christ as her life and everything. Just as God lived in Christ and was expressed through Christ, so Christ also lives in the church and is expressed through the church. The Head is Christ, and the Body is the church. The life of the Head is the life of the Body. All that the Head has is all that the Body has. In the Head there is God, and the Head is the expression of God; in the Body there is also God, and the Body is also the expression of God. All the stories of God are in Christ, and all the stories of Christ are in the church. In Christ we are not scattered; rather, we are one Body. There is nothing other than the Body that can express how intimate and inseparable our relationship is. This is an organic union.
THE CHURCH BEING THE NEW MAN
Ephesians 2:14-16 shows us that Christ’s death on the cross abolished the barriers between the Jews and the Gentiles, breaking down the middle wall of partition between them, that in the salvation of the power of His life the two may become one Body, which is the one corporate new man, the church. In this new man, only Christ is all and in all (Col. 3:10-11).
Christ is also every part of this corporate new man (1 Cor. 12:12) and lives in every part (every member). He is the content and reality of this new man. This new man is the mystery and story of Christ, the all-inclusive One.
(Five Great Mysteries in the Bible, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)