THE REALITY OF THE BODY OF CHRIST
Now we go on to see the reality of the Body of Christ. The reality of the Body of Christ is the Spirit, and the Spirit is the resurrection. Brother Nee made a statement, saying that “the Holy Spirit is the reality of resurrection; without the Holy Spirit, there is no resurrection.” In John 11:25 the Lord Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” He is not only the life but also the resurrection. However, most of us can understand that the Spirit is life, but we cannot comprehend that the Spirit is resurrection. The Lord Jesus said that He is the resurrection. What is this resurrection? This resurrection is the ultimate consummation of the Triune God. The work of the Triune God in us is to produce the Body of Christ, the reality of which is the Spirit, the pneumatic Christ. This Spirit as the consummated Triune God, the resurrection, works in us. When we have the pneumatic Christ, the consummated Triune God, the resurrection, we are practically the Body of Christ. Without this, neither the local church nor the elders and the deacons are the Body of Christ. The local church and the elders and deacons are used by the Lord to lead the children of God who are still living in the flesh, the physical body.
We are still in the flesh, and in the flesh we need to live and we need a place to live in. Furthermore, whenever we come together we should not act improperly; rather, we should behave in an orderly manner. Therefore, we need the elders and the deacons. But these are not the diamond itself; they are merely the wrapping for the diamond. Moreover, the diamond needs a box to hold it. Therefore, in the local churches all the elders and deacons and all the practices are just the outward wrapping and the box; they cannot be brought to the New Jerusalem. We do not need to argue about things such as the autonomy of the local church and the local boundary. Although the local churches are independent of each other in business affairs, they all are one in the matter of the treasure. What is the treasure? It is the testimony of Jesus. Today how can we produce this treasure? It is by Christ having accomplished everything and ascended to the heavens. Today, in His ascension, as the Minister in heaven He is working into us, bit by bit, everything that He has accomplished, from His incarnation to His resurrection.
Today we do not need to continue to preach the old teachings as the outward wrappings. We do not need to argue about the superficial things. As long as the treasure is here, it is good enough. When you package the treasure, whether you package it this way or that way is not worth arguing about. Whether you package it this way or that way, it is still the same gem. Whether you put two layers or three layers of wrapping around it, it is the same gem. Even if you do not put any wrapping around it, it is still the same gem. As long as this gem is here, it is good enough. As long as we can experience Christ, it is all right; there is nothing to argue about. Whether immersion, sprinkling, hot water, cold water, sea water, or fresh water, nothing matters. Therefore, we need to have a thorough seeing. All that is worthwhile is the Spirit. We should allow the Spirit to come into us and let the cross of Christ be practically put into us. This is what is worthwhile. This is the treasure.
Where are we today? Today we are not throwing away all the outward things; we still keep the outward things. But we keep the outward things not according to what we like. We keep them according to the examples shown in the Bible. The example given in the Bible for baptism is by immersion. So, we baptize people into water. We do not necessarily baptize people in a baptistery. We just put people into water; even in a bathtub is all right. We should not be legal. The outward things are not worth our attention. We need to pay attention to the treasure within. When we see the treasure within, we will not be divided. As long as we are divided, we no longer see the treasure. Hence, the reality of the Body of Christ is the consummated Triune God within us, who is the pneumatic Christ, the resurrection. May the Lord have mercy on us to turn us from the outward things to the reality.
(The High Peak of the Vision and the Reality of the Body of Christ, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)