THE INTRINSIC VIEW OF THE BODY OF CHRIST
IN EPHESIANS 3
Now we need to see the intrinsic view of the Body of Christ in Ephesians 3. Chapter three is a rich, high chapter. I say this because this chapter covers two main, crucial, vital, yet sweet items. First, it reveals that the Body of Christ is the consummation of the believers’ enjoyment of the unsearchable riches of Christ. Second, it shows that the Body of Christ is the consummation of the believers’ experience of the unlimited Christ making His home in their hearts.
The Consummation of the Believers’ Enjoyment
of the Unsearchable Riches of Christ
Ephesians 3:8 says that Paul announced, ministered, dispensed, the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel. The unsearchable riches of Christ are now being ministered to us. We may ask, "What are the unsearchable riches of Christ?" First, these riches are what Christ is. He is God, He is man, and He is the Son. He is also the Father. Isaiah 9:6 says that Christ as the child born to us and the son given to us is the mighty God and the eternal Father. He is also the Spirit. First Corinthians 15:45b says that the last Adam, Christ, became a life-giving Spirit. Christ is also love, life, light, righteousness, holiness, power, strength, might, patience, and humility. He is the reality of all the divine attributes and human virtues. He is even our time. He was our yesterday, He is our today, and He will be our tomorrow. Christ is everything to us. He is our air, our food, our drink, our sunshine, and our clothing.
Christ also has a particular name. He is the eternal "I am" (John 8:58; Exo. 3:14). Whatever we need, He is. Do we need wisdom? The Lord would tell us, "I Am." I have told my grandchildren that they need to trust in the Lord Jesus for their schoolwork and that He is their real wisdom. Do we need patience? He is patience.
Christ’s riches are not only who He is but also what He has. Christ has what He is. Whatever He is, He has. He is power, and He has power. Someone may think that he is a wise man, but where is his wisdom? He does not have what he claims he is. But Christ has whatever He is. He is light, and He has light. He is love, and He has love. He is life, and He has life. He is power, and He has power. What He has, is what He is, and what He is, is what He has.
Furthermore, Christ’s riches are what He has accomplished, achieved, and completed. How much He has achieved! He created the universe, He accomplished redemption, He completed resurrection, and now He is in the heavens. He has also attained to and obtained certain things. He attained to the heavens and to God’s eternal goal, and He obtained God’s glory and honor, the headship, the lordship, the kingship, the kingdom with its throne, etc. What He is, what He has, what He has accomplished, what He has attained, and what He has obtained all are included in His unsearchable riches!
We should be those who announce the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel. In his first Epistle, Peter said that when we New Testament priests preach the gospel, we are telling out Christ’s virtues. To preach the gospel is to announce His virtues. These virtues are the real gospel. Christ has a lot of virtues such as mercy, kindness, grace, love, and forgiveness. Do we have this virtue of forgiveness? If certain saints are offended, it seems that they will remember this offense for eternity. What husband has really forgiven his wife? What wife has really forgiven her husband? A wife may tell her husband that she forgives him, but when she speaks to her mother, she tells her mother that she could never forget what he did. The only One who can really forgive is God. To forgive is to forget. If we have not forgotten, that means we have not forgiven. Christ not only forgives our sins but also forgets our sins. This is a great virtue as a part of Christ’s riches.
We need to preach Christ by telling out His virtues. Some of the trainees in our training did not know what to say when they went out to visit people. If we do not know what to say to people, that means we do not know Christ. If we know Christ adequately, we will have many things to talk about. We can say, "Dear friends, Jesus Christ is the Savior. He has many virtues. One of His main virtues is His forgiveness." Then we can go on to speak about His forgiveness. Paul said that he was assigned by God, appointed by God, to announce the unsearchable riches of Christ to the Gentiles (Eph. 3:8). The Jews despised the Gentiles, but God assigned Paul to announce the unsearchable riches of Christ to them. This assignment was his apostleship and his stewardship. This was Paul’s business, his job, to carry out God’s eternal economy. Paul wrote down some of what he announced in fourteen Epistles in the New Testament. The New Testament has only twenty-seven books. Out of the twenty-seven books, fourteen were written by Paul. What an announcement these fourteen Epistles are! They are full of the unsearchable riches of Christ.
As we receive the riches of Christ, we are enriched and we become rich. When the riches of Christ are expressed, they become His fullness. The church is the fullness of Christ, the expression of Christ. Through the enjoyment of Christ’s riches, we become His fullness to express Him. The church as the Body of Christ, the fullness of Christ, is the issue of the enjoyment of the unsearchable riches of Christ.
(The Intrinsic View of the Body of Christ, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)