I. THE POSITIVE INTENTION
OF GOD’S ECONOMY
In eternity past the Triune God held a divine council. In that divine conference the Triune God made a counsel, and this counsel became His economy. The positive intention of God’s economy comprises three items.
A. To Have Man
in His Image and after His Likeness
for Man to Be One with Him
that He May Express Himself in Humanity
The first item of God’s positive intention in His economy is to have man in His image and after His likeness for man to be one with Him that He may express Himself in humanity (Gen. 1:26a). As a man on this earth, Jesus was made, or created, in God’s image and after God’s likeness. Christ was not only born but also created. When He entered into a human womb, Christ joined Himself with the created man, Adam. Hence, Christ was created in God’s image and after God’s likeness. As human beings, we all were begotten of our parents. But we were not only begotten; we were also created. We were created when Adam was created. Our birth merely caused us to participate in that creation. In the same way, Christ was created in God’s image and after God’s likeness to be one with man and one with God.
Man was made in God’s image and after His likeness so that God could express Himself in humanity. God expressed Himself in the humanity of Jesus while He was on the earth for thirty-three and a half years. John 1:18 says, "No one has ever seen God; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him." When He wept, Jesus expressed God. When He was angry with the Pharisees, He expressed God. He did everything to express God in His humanity.
Although God was seen in the humanity of the one man Jesus, this was not sufficient. The man Jesus had to be duplicated, mass-produced. In Christ’s incarnation, God entered into only one man, but in Christ’s becoming the life-giving Spirit, God entered into millions of people. On the day of Pentecost, three thousand were produced at one time (Acts 2:41). All of these believers were made small "Christs"; that is, they were the mass production of Christ.
B. To Give Man His Dominion
over the Earth
that Man May Represent Him
in His Administration
The second item of God’s positive intention in His economy was to give man His dominion over the earth and over all the creatures on the earth, in the water, and in the heavens that man may represent Him in His administration (Gen. 1:26b, 28b). Man should not only express God but also represent God in His administration. This touches the matter of God’s government. The four Gospels reveal that Jesus is not only God’s expression but also God’s representative. The little man Jesus rebuked the wind and silenced the sea (Mark 4:39). His disciples said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?" (v. 41). He was a small Nazarene, but the wind and the sea obeyed Him. This was because He had God’s dominion; as a man He represented God. The Lord Jesus represented God, and we also must learn to represent God.
(The Central Line of the Divine Revelation, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)