THE COMPLETE SALVATION OF GOD HAVING TWO ASPECTS—THE JUDICIAL ASPECT AND THE ORGANIC ASPECT
The complete salvation of God has two aspects: the judicial aspect and the organic aspect. It is not that easy to understand what organic is and what judicial is. However, by the word judicial we know it has something to do with the law, and by the word organic we know it has something to do with life. Therefore, God’s complete salvation has both the judicial aspect, an aspect related to the law, and the organic aspect, an aspect related to life.
We all know that God so loved the people of the world that He gave His only begotten Son to them that they may have eternal life (John 3:16). God gave His only begotten Son to the people of the world that they may receive eternal life by believing into Him and receiving Him. In eternity God had a good pleasure, His heart’s desire, to be one with man, even to make man the same as He to be His species. Hence, in the creation of man He created man in His image and after His likeness for man to become a vessel to contain Him. He created the plants and the animals each after their own kind; when He created man, however, He created him in His image and after His likeness (Gen. 1:11-12, 20-21, 24-27). Image is something inward and likeness is something outward. Since God created man in that way, was the created Adam man or God? Yes, he was a man but he had God’s image and God’s likeness. Therefore, at the time of creation, the idea concerning a God-man was already there.
In the New Testament God came to regenerate man with Himself as life. John 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those who believe into His name.” When we become children of God, we have God’s life and nature. Since goats beget goats and cows beget cows, surely God begets gods. If cows begot cows and goats begot goats yet God begot human beings, this would indeed be something strange. That which is begotten must be the same as its begetter. There is no such thing as a cow giving birth to a donkey or a goat giving birth to a dog. God’s heart’s intent is to make us the same as He is that we may be exactly like Him not only in the inward image and the outward likeness but also in His life and nature. We the regenerated people of God have the life of God and also the nature of God. This is really precious.
However, the God-created man sinned and fell by following Satan; thus, man violated God’s righteousness. God so loved the people of the world that He even wanted to make man the same as He is by His life. Yet man was seduced by Satan and became fallen by committing sin; thus, man violated the righteousness of God. What man violated was not God’s grace or God’s love but God’s righteousness. According to the entire holy Scriptures, God’s righteousness is God’s principle of doing things. Whatever God does is righteous, and His righteousness as the foundation of His throne (Psa. 89:14) is the strictest. Therefore, we see two things here: God’s love and God’s righteousness. According to His love, God wants to make man the same as He is. However, man sinned and violated God’s righteousness. God’s righteousness is strict; whatever God wants to do for man must meet the requirement of His righteousness. Whatever is required by righteousness becomes the law. Therefore, the Bible shows us that after God’s creation of man and man’s fall, after a period of time, God came to give man the law. The law of God was written and enacted according to His righteousness. Since God is righteous, every item of the law enacted by Him is righteous, and every item is a righteous requirement; hence, the law becomes the law of righteousness (Rom. 8:4a; 9:31).
Therefore, concerning all that God wants to do for man according to His heart’s desire, there is a great need judicially. All that God wants to do for man organically according to His life requires that God redeem the fallen sinners back judicially according to His righteous requirement. God’s righteousness requires that God redeem the sinners. It is as if God’s righteousness says to God, “O God, it is good that You love them, and it is also good that You desire to carry out many things in them organically. But You must first redeem them to satisfy the requirements of Your righteous law.” This is redemption. By redeeming the sinners judicially, God may freely do as He pleases by His life organically according to His heart’s desire. “To do as one pleases” does not sound very positive. How can we say that God may do as He pleases? Yes, indeed, because of His redemption, today our God may do as He pleases. If He wants to save a robber, He may do so; if He wants to save a prostitute, He may also do so. Hence, in the Bible we see a robber saved (Luke 23:39-43) and we also see harlots saved (Matt. 21:31-32; cf. Luke 7:37; John 4:17-18). Today God truly may do as He pleases. Thus, God’s complete salvation comprises the redemption required judicially and the salvation accomplished through God’s life organically. We need to distinguish between these three things: God’s redemption, which is judicial; God’s salvation, which is organic; and God’s complete salvation, which is the totality of God’s redemption and God’s salvation.
(The Organic Aspect of God's Salvation, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)