The Body of Christ, by Witness Lee


The issue that flows out of the dispensing of the divine Trinity is the church as the Body of Christ (Eph. 1:17-23). The unique God is triune—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. The divine Person, the Triune God, has dispensed Himself as the Father, the Son, and the Spirit into all God’s chosen and redeemed people, making them an issue out of His very essence, His very element. The issue of the dispensing of the divine Trinity is the church as the Body of Christ. The dispensing Triune God becomes the Head, and the issue that comes out of His dispensing becomes the Body. This is a great, universal Man. The Head of this Man is the Triune God, the dispensing One, and the Body of this Man is His issue, the issue of the dispensing God. The church is the Body of the dispensing Triune God.

Called into a Hope without Limitation

We, the chosen ones of God the Father, have been called into a hope without limitation—the Triune God as the unlimited hope to us (v. 18b). The unbelievers do not have any hope, but we, God’s chosen ones, have an unlimited hope. This hope is the unlimited God Himself. We are hoping for what God has promised to give us, which is He Himself. His unlimited self has been given to us as the unlimited hope, into which we, God’s chosen ones, have been called. We are living in America, and we may say that we have been called into America to explore the riches of America for our enjoyment. Likewise, we have been called by the Triune God into the Triune God. We have to declare that we are now in the Triune God, but the Triune God is unsearchably rich. We have only enjoyed Him to a small extent. There is a vast territory of His riches to be possessed. We have not exhausted Him. We have been called into the vast territory of the Triune God. We are in the Triune God as our hope and we are exploring Him as our hope.

Having Been Made His Inheritance

We, the predestinated ones of God the Father, have been made His inheritance with the glory of His riches—the very Triune God expressed in the riches of all that He is (v. 18c). God has given Himself to us as an inheritance in hope. He has also made us His inheritance with the glory of His riches. The hope into which we have been called is God Himself, and the glory into which we will enter is also God Himself. God is both our hope and our glory. This glory is the very Triune God expressed in the riches of all that He is. God is life, light, love, and many other items. Each item is one of His riches. All of these riches will bear different degrees of glory to express God in different degrees. Ephesians 1 presents a picture of where we are and where we shall go. We are in God as our hope, and we shall go to Him as our glory (1 Pet. 5:10).

Having Been Healed and
Brought Back to the Headship of Christ

We, the redeemed ones of Christ the Son, have been healed and brought back to the headship of Christ that all things might be headed up in Christ for God’s economy and made an inheritance of God for His enjoyment (Eph. 1:7-12). The purpose of the universe is to have all things headed up in one unique Head, and this one unique Head is our Redeemer, the very Christ, the second in the divine Trinity. At the present time, the entire universe is in a heap of collapse, but the day will come at the fullness of the times when all things will be headed up in one wonderful Person. In order for this to be carried out, there is the need for a group of people in God’s creation to be firstly gained by this Head. The way for this Head to gain this group of persons is through His death and resurrection. Through His death our sins are taken away, and through His resurrection His life is imparted into us. We are now taking the lead among the created things to be headed up in this one Head. We have received Him, and He has wrought Himself into us to make us one with Him, making us a group of headed up people. The headed up Body of Christ is a living organism with absolutely nothing related to organization. In bringing us back to the headship of Christ, God made us His inheritance for His enjoyment.

(The Body of Christ, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)