THE FIVE ITEMS OF THE JUDICIAL REDEMPTION AND THE EIGHT ITEMS OF THE ORGANIC SALVATION OF GOD’S COMPLETE SALVATION
God is the eternal life, and He desires to come into us to be our life. His coming into us is purposeful. After He comes into us, the first thing He does is to regenerate us. Do not think that God’s intention is merely to redeem you. Rather, God’s intention is to regenerate you. Suppose you are not a good person, and I want to change you so that you will be as good as I am. However, regardless of how much I try to change you, you still cannot be like me. What is needed is for me to enter into your being and cause you to be born again with my genes. In this way you will have my life and nature and can really become like me. This is precisely the way that God comes into us to regenerate us with His life and nature that we may have His life and nature. This is regeneration.
We all have believed in the Lord Jesus. We all have been saved and have had our sins both forgiven and washed away. Not only so, we have also been justified, reconciled to God, and separated, sanctified. Then, have we been regenerated? We have believed in the Lord, our sins have been forgiven, our sins have been washed away, we have been justified by God, we have been reconciled to God, and we have been separated, sanctified, unto God. All these items are sure. But do we know whether we have been regenerated? If we are sure concerning the aforementioned items, it is simply not possible to say that we have not been regenerated.
I believe we all know the five items of the judicial redemption of God’s salvation which include forgiveness of sins, washing away of sins, justification by God, reconciliation to God, and positional sanctification. But some may not know what regeneration is, nor do they know whether they have received the eternal life. To be regenerated and thereby receive God as our eternal life is the first item of the organic salvation of God’s complete salvation. In the organic salvation the first thing is for us to be regenerated and receive God’s eternal life. Following this, we have shepherding, dispositional sanctification, renewing, transformation, building up, conformation, and glorification.
To us, these eight points, beginning with regeneration, passing through shepherding, dispositional sanctification, renewing, transformation, building up, and conformation, and reaching all the way to glorification, are not easy to understand. We are very knowledgeable concerning all the five items on the judicial side. We know that we are sinful and that when we repent, confess our sins before God, and believe in the Lord, we receive forgiveness of sins and our sins are washed away, we are justified by God that we may be reconciled to Him, and we are sanctified positionally. We know all these things. Hence, some people may say, “These five things are sufficient for us to go to heaven. God will never condemn us again. He has forgiven us forever, so we can live in peace.” Therefore, they preach the gospel to others, saying, “Just be at peace and rejoice by trusting in Jesus. Try to be a good person and try to help others, then one day you will go to heaven.” They feel that this is good enough and that there is no need to talk about other things. This is the general condition of Christianity today. But the Bible says that this is not sufficient. In addition to the five items, the Bible covers another eight items: regeneration, shepherding, dispositional sanctification, renewing, transformation, building up, conformation, and glorification.
We should not despise the five items on the judicial side, and even more we should not despise the eight items on the organic side. The former group of five items is the base, like the foundation of a house. We need to build the latter group of eight items on the foundation of the former group of five items. I know that we brothers and sisters in the Lord’s recovery are very clear concerning the first five items. This shows that we have had adequately clear fellowship concerning the five items as the foundation. Therefore, our burden today is to fellowship concerning the latter eight items that we may have a more thorough knowledge concerning the eight organic items.
(The Organic Aspect of God's Salvation, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)