THE VISION OF GOD’S ECONOMY
We need to see the vision concerning the economy of the Divine Trinity. We have seen that this economy is a plan, an arrangement, or a dispensation (Eph. 3:9b; 1:10). Paul uses the word oikonomia in Ephesians, 1 Timothy, Colossians, and 1 Corinthians. In 1 Timothy 1:3-4, Paul urged Timothy to remain in Ephesus to charge certain ones not to teach differently from God’s economy which is in faith. This dispensation, or economy, is not in the law but in faith. The law represents the Old Testament dispensation. All the things written by Moses in the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch, are in the law. But whatever Paul ministered as God’s economy is in faith. Paul told Timothy to charge certain ones not to teach differently. The main different thing taught by these ones was the law. Paul, however, said that the economy of God ministered by him was not in the law but in faith.
God’s economy is in faith. It is not by our doing but by our faith in God’s grace. It is not by our doing in ourselves but by our believing in Christ, the embodiment of the Triune God. In the Lord’s ministry, we are not teaching the saints to observe something, to keep something, or to do something. We are ministering to the saints something that needs the exercise of their faith. Faith does not originate from us. Faith originates from what we see. When we see God’s economy, this generates and initiates a believing within us. God’s economy is God’s will to dispense Himself into you and me to produce an organism, the Body of Christ, for His good pleasure. Faith comes from seeing this vision. We need a vision, a seeing. We need to see that in the whole universe God’s good pleasure is to impart Himself, to dispense Himself, into us so that we may become parts of His organism, the organic Body of Christ. A dispensary is a place where medicine is dispensed to sick patients. God Himself is a dispensary, and He is also an all-inclusive dose, dispensing Himself into us, His patients.
The apostle Paul’s teaching begins from God’s heart, not from man’s fall. His teaching shows us the good pleasure that God has had since eternity past. God’s desire is not merely to save sinners but to impart, to dispense, Himself into us as all our need. His dispensing is not only to heal us but also to make us His organism, His living Body. In eternity past God had the desire to dispense Himself into His chosen people to make them all the Body of His embodiment, Christ. This Body is the very organism of the Head, Christ. Our physical body is an organism to match us and to complete us in order to express us in a full and adequate way. In the same way, the Body of Christ is His completion for His full expression.
We need to go to visit people with the gospel in order to carry out God’s economy. God needs people as vessels (Rom. 9:21, 23), as "bottles," to contain Him as the all- inclusive dose. We go out to visit people with the gospel to gain more bottles for God, and we fill these bottles with God Himself. When I looked at the situation of all the churches in the Lord’s recovery in 1984, I saw that there were very few new bottles. We need to be those who are one with God’s heart to gain some new bottles, some new people, into whom He can dispense Himself.
God loves us because we are the vessels, the bottles, who have been made by Him in order to contain Him. God does not merely desire to save us because we are fallen. He wants us as vessels for His dispensing. He needs a Body and a wife to match Him. In the universe there is a divine romance. The concluding picture of the entire Bible is a couple, a husband and a wife (Rev. 21:2; 22:17a). The New Jerusalem is actually a divine couple composed of the processed Triune God married to the transformed tripartite man. This divine couple is the issue of the divine dispensing in God’s economy. Since I have seen this, my concept concerning God, Christ, the church, and the believers in Christ has been revolutionized. We need such a vision of God’s economy, which is altogether in faith.
(Living In and With the Divine Trinity, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)