THE ONENESS OF THE BODY IN EPHESIANS 4
Now we come to the oneness of the Body. The oneness of the Body is also taught in Ephesians 4. In chapter four Paul mentioned the word oneness twice. In verse 3 he told us to diligently keep the oneness of the Spirit. Then in verse 13 he said that we all need to arrive at the oneness of the faith. We have the oneness of the Spirit, but we have not yet arrived at the oneness of the faith.
The oneness of the Body is the Triune God Himself. We have seen from Ephesians 4:4-6 that the Body, the Spirit, the Lord, and God the Father are one. The oneness of the Body is constituted with the Spirit, the Lord, and the Father. The three of the Godhead are one, and these three are now working in the Body to mingle Themselves with the Body. One Spirit, one Lord, and one Father are working in the Body.
In the Lord’s prayer in John 17, He revealed that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, the three of the Divine Trinity, are one. The oneness of the Body is the one Triune God. The Spirit is the reality of the Triune God, so the oneness of the Body is called the oneness of the Spirit. When we are all in the Spirit, we are one.
We need to be those who are diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit. In a meeting a husband and a wife may sing together in oneness, but when they return home from the meeting, they may fight with each other. In some churches, the elders may fight with one another. From 1936 to 1938, I helped the church in Peking, the old capital of China. The elders in that church could not be one with one another. They called me to come and help them. When I stayed with them, they were so happy, but when I left, their problems with one another returned. I am not speaking something lightly. This is why it is hard to see a church which has been really built up among us. The mingling and the building have been held back because we are not diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit so that we can arrive at the oneness of the faith.
Paul put the mingling and the building together in Ephesians 4. On the one hand, he presented the mingling of the Divine Trinity with His redeemed people. On the other hand, he showed us the building of the Body through the functioning of all the members. In the section of Ephesians 4 on the building, Paul speaks of his desire that we would be no longer children, no longer babes (v. 14). As we are being perfected, we are on our way to arriving at the oneness of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, at a full-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (v. 13). When we arrive at this destination, we will be full-grown. Today in the recovery, many still remain in babyhood. According to Ephesians 4:14, the babes are tossed by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching. We need to grow in the divine life until we arrive at the oneness of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God.
In 1984 I realized that the churches in the Lord’s recovery were in a dormant situation. Thus, I began to minister to bring the churches into the new way, the God-ordained way, to build up the Body of Christ. Because of the practice of the new way, however, some among us began to fight. Some said they were for the new way, whereas others said they were for the old way. Of course, the new way is the scriptural way, but the new way is not our faith. Neither the new way nor the old way is our faith. Whether or not we practice the new way does not determine our eternal salvation.
(The Intrinsic View of the Body of Christ, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)