THE MINGLING OF THE TRIUNE GOD
WITH THE BELIEVERS
In the Bible there are four great chapters on the matter of oneness: Deuteronomy 12, Psalm 133, John 17, and Ephesians 4 with the last part of Ephesians 3. It is a great loss and a frustration of understanding to separate Ephesians 4:1-6 from 3:16-21. It is very helpful, however, when all these verses are read together as one unit. The oneness spoken of in 4:1-6 is intimately related to what is covered in 3:16-21. The word therefore in 4:1 indicates this. It shows that these verses in chapter four are the result of what immediately precedes them in chapter three. In 3:16-21 Paul prayed that the Father would strengthen us through His Spirit into our inner man so that Christ may make His home in our hearts, that we may be rooted and grounded in love and be strong to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, length, height, and depth, that we may know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, and that we may be filled unto all the fullness of God. The result is that, according to the power which operates in us, there is glory to God in the church and in Christ Jesus. In the light of all this, Paul declares in 4:1, "I beseech you therefore, I, the prisoner in the Lord, to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called." As the context makes clear, to walk worthily of the Lord is mainly to keep the oneness of the Spirit. In verses 4 through 6 Paul goes on to point out that the oneness of the Spirit is the very Triune God. Paul speaks of the Body and of the one Spirit, the one Lord, and the one God and Father. The fact that the Body and the Triune God are mentioned together indicates that oneness is actually the mingling of the Triune God with the believers.
In Ephesians 3 Paul refers to the Three of the Triune God. Paul prays to the Father to strengthen the saints through His Spirit into the inner man so that Christ may make His home in their hearts. Here we have the Father, the Spirit, and Christ (the Son). Then in chapter four Paul speaks of the Spirit, the Lord, and the Father. He refers to the Triune God in relation to the oneness of the Spirit and to the Body. This indicates that oneness is not merely a matter of addition, but of the mingling of the Triune God with the believers. Oneness is the mingling of the processed God with the believers.
Many references to the Triune God, especially in the Epistles, indicate the process through which God has passed. In the New Testament the Triune God—the Father, the Son, the Spirit—is revealed clearly in relation to the incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ. In Matthew 28:19 the Lord Jesus charged His disciples to disciple the nations and to baptize them "into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Before the resurrection of Christ, people could not be baptized into the name of the Triune God. Only after God had been processed through Christ’s incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection could believers be baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit. To be baptized, immersed, into this name of the processed God is to participate in the processed God. Furthermore, in the Epistles we see that the processed Triune God is for our participation and enjoyment. Therefore, eventually the Triune God becomes mingled with us. This mingling is the oneness.
The mere oneness of addition is very superficial. The oneness revealed in the Bible is the mingling of the processed Triune God with His chosen people. If we see this, then we can more easily understand the Lord’s prayer concerning oneness in John 17. The oneness in John 17 is the mingling of divinity with humanity. However, we do not mean simply divinity in itself, but divinity after it has been processed through incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection. Having passed through such a process, the Triune God becomes our portion and enjoyment. As the life-giving Spirit, He mingles Himself with those who believe in Christ.
With this concept of oneness in mind, let us come back to John 17:21. We have seen that here the Lord prayed that "they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us." Here the Lord says that He is in the Father and that the Father is in Him. This no doubt indicates that the Father and the Son are mingled. This mingling is the oneness between the Father and the Son. The oneness between the Father and the Son is that the Father is in the Son and that the Son is in the Father. The Lord prayed that we would be one in the same way, even that we would be one "in Us," that is, in the Triune God.
(The Genuine Ground of Oneness, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)