Gospel of God, The (2 volume set), by Watchman Nee

More excerpts from this title...


Let us look at a fourth point. When we were saved, not only did God regenerate us and give us eternal life; He made us one spirit with the Lord. First Corinthians tells us that we have not only become one spirit with Christ, but we have become members of His Body (12:27). In 1 Corinthians 6:15 we have the same word. It says that our bodies are the members of Christ. Hence, when an unbeliever is saved, not only has he received regeneration and eternal life from God, but he at the same time is joined to the Body of Christ to become a member of the Body of Christ. The Bible says that we are the Body of Christ.

If God saves us one by one in Christ, and if Christ died for us, washed away our sins, gave us eternal life, and caused us to have a life relationship with Him to become His members, what is our end? Salvation includes being a member of the Body of Christ. If we were to perish, what would the end be? The end would be that the Body of Christ would be maimed. This Body would either be short of an ear or short of half a nose. It would either be one finger short or one toe short. The Body of Christ is a definite truth in the Bible. It is a concrete thing. If we have become one Body with Christ after being saved, the perishing of any one person will mean the missing of a part of the Body of Christ, and the Body of Christ will be maimed.

Once a black slave woman was working in the home of a white family. The lady of the house was a nominal Christian, but the black woman was a genuine believer. All day long the slave woman sang joyously. The lady was so bothered by the joyous singing that she could not refrain from asking why she was so happy. The woman told her, "Don’t you know that God has sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to wash away all of our sins? Don’t you know that we will be with God in the future? Why should I not be joyous?" The lady asked, "How do you know that you will be with God in the future? What happens if you are lost?" The slave said, "The Lord Jesus told us that the Father is greater than all. I am in my Father’s hands. These hands are upholding me and preserving me. How can I be lost?" The lady thought about it for a while and then said, "But you are a fool! If God is greater than all, His hands would be large! If things can slip through your fingers, then things can slip through His fingers also. Since His hands are large, the space between His fingers must also be wide. If you slip through His fingers, He would not even notice it. You claim that His hands will protect you. But God is so great, and you are so small. There is no comparison between you and God. If you slip out of His hand, He will not know it." The woman answered, "Madam, you do not understand. I am not only in His hand, I am a little finger in His hand. If I were only in His hand, He may not notice when I slip out. But if I am a little finger in God’s hand, how can I slip away?" If a man has believed and has become a Christian, he is a member of the Body of Christ and is a little finger in God’s hand. If I am a member of the Body of Christ, God will never allow me, as a member, to slip away. I thank the Lord today that I can never slip away.

First Corinthians 12 says that if one member in the body suffers, all the members suffer (v. 26). We cannot have one finger hurting while the other members remain unaffected. If every believer is a member in the Body of Christ, then if one day one of us were to suffer in hell, everyone else would feel the hurt in heaven. If one person perishes, then every Christian will have to perish as well. This is the oneness of the Body of Christ.

Not only does 1 Corinthians tell us that we are the members of the Body of Christ, but other books tell us the same. The book of Ephesians talks about the process that the Body of Christ goes through. It also says that we are the members of Christ, but in a different way. First Corinthians talks about the relationship and sphere of the members. Ephesians talks about the future of the members. Ephesians 5:29-30 says clearly, "For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ also the church, because we are members of His Body." We are the members of the Body of Christ. Let us read the preceding verses. Verses 25 through 27 say, "Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her that He might sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing of the water in the word, that He might present the church to Himself glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that she would be holy and without blemish." If we read the entire portion from verse 25 to verse 30, we will discover one thing—the church is the Body of Christ. Christ is washing the church by the water in the word. He will continually wash her until she becomes holy. The end is to present her to Himself a glorious church. If there are any lost ones in the church, we will have a maimed Body, and there will not be the presenting of a glorious church. The persons will not even remain, much less the glorious church. This church has no spot or wrinkle or any such things. What does this mean? Ephesians 5 explains, "But that she would be holy and without blemish." To be without blemish is to be without any spot. If it is possible for the members of Christ to perish, then not only will there be blemishes, but maimed parts as well. But the Bible says that this Body is not only without maimed members; it is without any blemish.

Hence, we cannot lose our salvation. Since Christ will have a glorious church without spot or wrinkle, one that will be presented to Him holy and without blemish, none of us can perish.

(Gospel of God, The (2 volume set), Chapter 15, by Watchman Nee)