Lesson Book, Level 5: The Church—The Vision and Building Up of the Church, by Witness Lee

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[In Ephesians 3:19 the King James Version says we are “filled with all the fullness of God.’’ The preposition with literally means “unto, resulting in.’’ We are filled unto all the fullness of God. We are filled, resulting in an expression of God. Fullness here means expression. Paul said he prayed that the Father would strengthen us with power through His Spirit into the inner man that Christ might make His home in our hearts, and that we might know Christ’s dimensions—the breadth, length, height, and depth—that we might be filled unto, resulting in, the fullness of God, the expression of God (Eph. 3:14-19).

The entire book of Ephesians deals with the church. It is the house or household of God (2:19), it is the Body of Christ (1:23), and it is the fullness as the expression of Christ and of God (1:23; 3:19). According to chapter three, the church can be such an expression, not only of Christ but also of God, when Christ makes His home in our hearts that we may experience His unsearchable riches. While we are enjoying Him in such a way, we are being filled with all the riches of Christ, resulting in an expression of God.

The church today should be such an expression, issuing out of the rich enjoyment of the unsearchable riches of Christ. We are burdened for the situation among Christians. Where is there an expression of God? I hope that among us there will be such an expression. We all need to pray for ourselves as Paul did for us in Ephesians 3. We should bow our knees to the Father that He may strengthen us into our inner man that Christ may make His home in our hearts, fully settling down in every avenue, every part, of our inner being. Then we may enjoy His love, and we may touch and possess His dimensions. We will be filled with Him unto the fullness of God, the expression of God. This is not just an assembly or a called-out congregation of Christians. This is a group of people fully possessed by Christ and enjoying Christ to the uttermost, being saturated by Him and filled with Him to such an extent that they become an expression of God.

Whatever we eat we express. When I was young, I would sometimes visit my grandparents who lived at the seashore. They often ate fish, whereas our family hardly ever ate fish. Whenever I went to my grandparents’ home, I smelled nothing but fish. One day I asked my mother why everyone there smelled like fish. My mother replied, “Do you not know that they eat fish every day? That is why they smell like fish!’’ What we eat we become and we express.

When we eat Jesus, we “smell of’’ Him (2 Cor. 2:15), we express Him, and we become Him. What is the church? The church is the expression of the very Christ whom we eat. All the fullness of the Godhead is embodied in this Christ, and this very Christ is our bread of life (John 6:48). He said, “He who eats Me shall also live because of Me’’ (John 6:57). When we eat Christ, we live by Him. This Christ is the embodiment of the Triune God; when we eat Christ, we eat the Triune God. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, the embodiment of the Triune God, is our daily manna, our daily food. We eat Him, so we express Him. This expression is the fullness of the One who fills all in all. Eventually this is the fullness of the Triune God. We can be such an expression by eating Jesus. Let Him saturate your entire being. Let Him settle in every room, every avenue, and every corner of your inner being—in your mind, your emotion, your will, your conscience, your soul, and your spirit; in your loving, your decisions, your intention, and your motive. Whatever you do must be filled with Christ.

To eat Jesus is simply to take Him in and let Him be assimilated into our being. To eat means to receive food into our being; to eat Jesus means to receive Him into our being. The issue of our eating Him is the fullness of the One who fills all in all and also of the very Triune God. This fullness is the church. The church is not only an assembly, nor is it only the house of God, the family of God; it is also the Body, an organism of this living One, which eventually becomes His fullness and the fullness of the Triune God.]

Do you know how to eat Jesus? He went through the process of incarnation, human living, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to be the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b). According to John 6, He went through the process to be embodied in the Word. That is why He said in John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken unto you are spirit and are life.’’ The word is spirit and life. The Spirit is His person. The word has His essence. Whenever we come to the word with our spirit, we may touch the Spirit. When we mix our reading of the Word with calling and praying, we touch the Spirit. This is the way to eat Jesus. Ephesians 6:17-18a confirms this. It says, “And receive the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God, By means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit.’’ By praying in spirit, we take in the Spirit which is the word of God. This is the way to eat Jesus. You can eat Jesus by yourself and with your companions. This is the way for us to take in His riches to become His fullness. Right now, practice pray-reading the two verses quoted in this paragraph.

(Lesson Book, Level 5: The Church—The Vision and Building Up of the Church, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)