THERE BEING NO FREEDOM TO SPEAK OUR OWN THINGS IN THE NEW MAN
In the new man there is no freedom to speak your own things. This is more limiting and restricting than being members one of another. Everyone knows that what limits you the most is the matter of speaking. If I cannot say this or that—whatever I like—then I am very much restricted, but if I can say whatever I want, then I am very free. However, in the church, in the Body of Christ, and especially in the new man, neither your natural man nor my natural man has freedom of speech. This is because we ourselves are not the persons. In the one new man there is only one person. Only this person has the freedom to speak, and our natural man has absolutely no freedom of speech. The Lord has the absolute freedom to speak, and I absolutely have no freedom to speak. We cannot allow the natural man to speak; we definitely must not allow it. Only the one person should speak.
You have to consider “one mouth” in Romans 15:6 and “speak the same thing” in 1 Corinthians 1:10 together with “one new man” in Ephesians 2:15. Otherwise, you will never understand the first two verses. You may wonder how the entire church can have only one mouth and how millions of members can speak the same thing. Humanly speaking, this is absolutely impossible. However, we must see that in Romans 15, Paul was speaking of a local church. In a local church, there must be only one mouth. Here in Taipei, there should be only one mouth. There should also be only one mouth in the churches in Southeast Asia. This is because there is only one person. In the past you had too many mouths because you had too many persons. When there are many persons, there are many ideas; when there are many ideas, there are many opinions, but we thank the Lord that now there is one mouth and one person here. There are no policemen here; each of us is absolutely free, but on the other hand, you have absolutely no freedom because within you there is another person. You may be about to speak, but something “pinches” you from within, telling you not to say anything. All you can say is, “Thank the Lord!” When you want to speak again, the Lord pinches you again, so you simply say, “Amen!” If the Lord did not pinch this one and that one, I tell you, the brothers and sisters would most certainly quarrel when they come together.
There are many people in the church in Taipei, but there is no quarreling. The reason is that for many years they have had the grace to take Christ as their person. It is not I speaking, nor is it you speaking, nor is it he speaking, nor is it the brothers speaking, nor is it the sisters speaking; instead, everyone says, “Lord, You speak!”
Do not think that the reason we do not speak is because we were born with only half a lip. No, rather it seems that we were born with eight lips. Many years ago, however, when I was young, I made those careful calculations. It was not up to me to be a man, but if I am a man, then I must be a Christian; if I am going to be a Christian, then I must be one according to the Bible; if I am going to live according to the Bible, then I will be “chained.” Hence, many times at critical moments I did not say anything. Why? Because the person within me did not speak. I am not the person; Christ is. We should take Christ not only to be our life but also to be our person. We should not only eat His riches to take them in and assimilate them into our being; we should also allow Him to be our person.
TOGETHER TAKING CHRIST AS THE PERSON IN THE NEW MAN
If you visit Christianity throughout all the world, you will not hear the phrase “taking Christ as the person.” This matter, however, is truly in the Bible because the church is the new man. Today this new man needs a person, and who is this person? It is Christ Himself. How do we know this? It is because Ephesians 3:17 says, “That Christ may make His home in your hearts.” If Christ wants to make His home in our hearts, does this not mean that He wants to be the person there? When you live in a house and make it your home, then you become the person of that house. Ephesians says more clearly than the other books that we must let Christ make His home in our hearts, and this is because He wants to be the person in us.
This, however, does not mean that He is in you as your person, He is in me as my person, and He is in another one as his person. This is an improper understanding. I tell you that He is in all of us as one person. The person in you is the person who is in me. We all have only one person. Who is this person? This person is Christ.
Brothers and sisters, in the last days of this age, before the Lord will be able to return, we must see the Body and the new man. When we come to the end of the Bible, in Revelation 22, the Spirit and the bride appear. At the end the new man is a bride. The church’s experience in Christ definitely must arrive at this stage. First it is the Body, then it is the new man, and finally it is the bride. It is not as some say in Christianity, that the believers will be gathered into one place, and the Lord will change them instantly into His bride. Instead, today we must receive grace to see the Body, to see the new man, and finally to see the bride.
(One Body, One Spirit, and One New Man, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)