THE PROCESS OF BEING “SONIZED”
Romans 8 mentions Christ and the Spirit; it also mentions “all things.” Along with Christ and the Spirit, we need “all things” to work together for us so that we may be “sonized.” We are not easily “sonized.” Being “sonized” is not the result of a mushrooming development. It is easy to get the Spirit of sonship into us. We do this by saying, “Lord Jesus, I repent. I am a sinner. Thank You, Lord, for dying on the cross for me. I take You as my Savior.” If you pray like this, the Spirit of sonship will come into you immediately. But it is a far more difficult matter to “sonize” our whole being.
In order to be “sonized,” we need “all things,” which include different kinds of brothers, both wild brothers and mild brothers. We need to listen to brothers who are eloquent and to brothers who speak in a staggering way. Those who speak haltingly, not eloquently, are the ones who expose us. Even in spiritual things we are still so much in ourselves, but those who speak in a staggering way expose where we are. Even such speakers are included in the all things mentioned in Romans 8:28. Without such halting speakers, how could we be “sonized”?
I have been in the process of being “sonized” for over fifty years, and I am still not completely “sonized.” The more we are “sonized,” the more sonship we have. My wife and so many brothers have helped to “sonize” me. Those who contact me daily have helped me the most in this matter. I am happy to be under the “sonizing” hands of so many people. Day after day I am under the “sonizing” hand of my wife and the brothers. No matter how kind they may be to me, they have unconsciously performed a “sonizing” work on me. I thank the Lord for all those who are helping to “sonize” me. I confess that I have needed everything and everyone for this process.
“SONIZED” FOR THE BODY LIFE
Having the Body life depends upon how much “sonizing” work we have passed through. If we have little sonship, we cannot have very much of the Body life, for the Body life comes out of the sonship. Romans 8 tells us that we are being conformed to the image of God’s Son. This conformity is not accomplished mainly by the Spirit, but by the “all things.”
Romans chapters nine, ten, and eleven are a parenthesis. This means that chapter twelve is the direct continuation of chapter eight. In Romans 12 we have the Body. After so much “sonizing,” we are qualified to discern what the will of God is. The will of God is to have the Body. Nothing is as precious to God as the Body of Christ. This is what is most on His heart. The Body of Christ is not only God’s will but also His good pleasure. God wants a Body through which His Son can express Himself. This is the desire of His heart. After experiencing the sonship in Romans 8, we can realize that the good pleasure of God’s eternal will is to have the Body life.
Sonship is for the Body. Without sonship, there can be no Body. When we do not live in the divine life, the life of God, we are through with the church. We may come to the meetings, but we are through with the practical Body life. However, when we live by the life of the sons of God, we are daily practicing the Body life.
Today there is much talk about the Body life. When I came to this country in 1962, I was invited to visit a number of places. During my first five years in this country, I traveled through many states and met all kinds of Christians. In not even one place did I find the practical Body life. Instead, I found groups of people merely meeting together. The reason there was no Body life was that very few Christians lived by the life of the sons of God.
How I worship the Lord that by His mercy and through His grace many of us are living not by our natural life, the life of the sons of men, but by the divine life, the life of the sons of God! Although we are very complicated, the Father is arranging all things to work together for our good that we may be thoroughly “sonized,” that the sonship allotted to us in eternity past may be wrought into our whole being. This sonship will be wrought not only into our spiritual being but also into our psychological being and consummately into our physical being.
NO MORE MURMURINGS OR REASONINGS
Because the sonship is being wrought into our soul, the book of Philippians says that we can be one both in spirit and in soul. After we have been “sonized” through the working of all things, the murmurings and the reasonings will be gone. I can testify that even during the time we have been in Anaheim, the murmurings and reasonings have diminished. This is the Lord’s doing. As long as we are here in the Lord’s recovery and mean business with Him, He will mean business with us. Sometimes it seems that we let Him go. At those times He says, “You have let Me go, but I will never let you go.” We all have signed a contract with God. Because we have signed this contract, even though we let Him go, He will not let us go.
We are in the process of being “sonized” so that we may gradually partake of more of the sonship. As we partake of more of the sonship, the Body life grows among us day by day. I am very happy about the church here, for the practical Body life is much higher now than it was four years ago. Those who look upon the outward appearance may not believe this. But I look at the inward situation, and I do believe it. I have seen the growth, and I have noticed the diminishing of the murmurings and the reasonings. After a period of time, all the murmurings and reasonings will disappear. The day is coming when we shall be tired of murmurings. Even if someone offered to pay us to murmur, we would have no interest in doing so. Eventually, we all shall say, “I have no interest in murmurings or in reasonings. Christ is my life. I just like to praise the Lord and love Him.” In Philippians 1:21 Paul said that to live is Christ. I like these four words: to live is Christ. The day is coming when we all shall be able to say this. The “sonizing” work is increasing, and we are receiving more of the sonship.
(Basic Training, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)