Lesson 6 – The Dispensing of the Divine Trinity
GOD’S DISPENSING BEING FOR GOD’S ECONOMY TO DISPENSE GOD HIMSELF TO MEN
In order to dispense Himself to man, the first step God took was to become flesh and be a man (John 1:14). When He was in the flesh, on the one hand, He was the Lamb of God who took away man’s sin (John 1:29). On the other hand, He was the brass serpent, which shows that He became flesh, that is, He was sent in the likeness of the flesh of sin (Rom. 8:3). As the brass serpent, He had only the form of a serpent; He did not have a serpent’s poison. While the Lord was in the flesh, He was lifted up on the cross and destroyed Satan, the old serpent (John 3:14; 12:31). Furthermore, He was also a grain of wheat that fell into the ground and died. Through His death He released God’s life (John 12:24).
The second step God took in order to dispense Himself to man was to become the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b). These two steps contain two “becomes.” The Lord first became flesh, and then He became the life-giving Spirit. His becoming flesh was for the accomplishing of redemption and the releasing of God’s life. His becoming the life-giving Spirit was for the dispensing of Himself as the Spirit into man to be man’s life. Christ became the life-giving Spirit in resurrection (1 Cor. 15:45). As such a Spirit He is prepared to be received by those who believe in Him. As soon as we believe into Him, the Spirit of life in resurrection enters into our spirit (Rom. 8:16) and abides in our spirit (Rom. 8:11).
As the life-giving Spirit, Christ first regenerated our spirit (John 3:5-6) so that, in addition to our natural life, we might receive the eternal life of God as the new source and the new element of the new man. After this, Christ as the life-giving Spirit spreads out from our spirit to transform our soul. If we set our mind, the main part of our soul, on the spirit and cooperate with the operation and work of the Lord Spirit within us, our mind will be renewed (Rom. 12:2). When our mind is renewed, our will and our emotion as the other parts of our soul will spontaneously be renewed also. In this way God’s life and nature will be
added into us, and we will be metabolically transformed into His image to express Him (2 Cor. 3:17-18).
Finally, He will transfigure our bodies so that our bodies may be redeemed to enter into His glory, and our entire being may be like Him in every way (Rom. 8:17, 23; Phil. 3:21; 1 John 3:2). This is the ultimate consummation of God’s salvation. In His salvation, God first regenerated our spirit. Now He is transforming our soul. In the end, He will transfigure our bodies, so that our three parts will be saturated with the Spirit and will be like Christ in every way. All these steps are part of the divine dispensing in us.
THE DIVINE DISPENSING IN EPHESIANS CHAPTER ONE
We must have a bird’s-eye view and a general understanding of God’s dispensing. Ephesians chapter one can be divided into three sections. These sections speak of the divine dispensing of the Divine Trinity in the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Verses 1-6 speak of the Father’s choosing and predestination. Before the foundation of the world, God the Father chose us (v. 4). This is something that happened in eternity past. According to God’s counsel and foreknowledge, He chose us before the foundation of the world. God’s choosing was not accomplished in time, but in eternity past. Before the foundation of the world, God chose us. Among millions of people, and even before we were born, God saw us and chose us. This is God’s predestination. This means that we were marked out ahead of time. God marked us out beforehand and ordained us to receive the sonship (v. 5) that we may not only have life to become the sons of God, but also may have the position to inherit everything of God.
Ephesians 1:7-12 speaks of the Son’s redemption. Although God loves us and chose and predestinated us to be the objects of His grace, we became fallen soon after we were created. Because of this we needed redemption, which was accomplished for us by God in Christ through His blood (v. 7). The redemption of the Son is through the blood that He shed for our sins on the cross (1 Pet. 1:18-19). Because the all-inclusive death of the Son on the cross has satisfied God’s righteous requirement, His blood has become the means for our redemption.
Ephesians 1:13-23 speaks of the sealing and pledging of the Spirit. The Father is the source, the Son is the expression, and the Spirit is the reaching forth. The Father as the source chose and predestinated us in eternity according to His plan. The Son as the expression accomplished redemption in time according to the Father’s plan, and the Spirit as the reaching forth becomes our seal and pledge to apply what the Son has accomplished of the Father’s plan.
Today we have heard the word of the truth, which is the gospel of our salvation, and have believed into Christ and have been sealed in Him by the promised Spirit (v. 13). Once we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit, the seal will never fade away and will never be lost. But the sealing of the Spirit, which is the anointing of the Spirit in us, is not something that happens once for all. On the contrary, the sealing work is going on continually. The seal was put into us at the time we believed, but the sealing has continued from that time until now. It will continue until the day of the redemption of our bodies (v. 14). The Holy Spirit is the seal, and He is also sealing. He continues to do the work of sealing in us. This sealing will spread from our spirit to our mind, emotion, and will. We have to admit that our soul has not been fully saturated. Even if our soul is saturated, our body has not been sealed. We need to be sealed continually, until our whole being is saturated. We are like a piece of paper or a cotton ball. When we received the seal of the Spirit, this piece of paper or cotton ball began to be saturated and permeated. Today, the sealing Spirit as the seal is sealing everything of the all-inclusive Christ, all that He has attained and obtained, into us (vv. 19-22). The result is that we all become one. This is the church, the Body of Christ, the fullness of the One who fills all in all (vv. 22b-23).
THE BELIEVERS’ EXPERIENCE OF THE DISPENSING OF THE DIVINE TRINITY
The Triune God, who has been processed and is dispensed into us, has Himself become the law of the Spirit of life (Rom. 8:2). This law of the Spirit of life is the automatic and spontaneous capacity of the Triune God as life in the believers. The processed Triune God has been put into us; He is now operating in us according to a law and not according to an activity. Today, He is a law operating within us. He is not operating in us merely as the Almighty God, but is operating in us spontaneously as a law that is transforming us. Our need today is to cooperate with the life function of the Triune God in our spirit.
Our experience of the dispensing of the Divine Trinity begins with regeneration in our spirit.
Regeneration makes our spirit life (Rom. 8:10). Next, our experience continues by our setting our mind on the spirit; this makes the mind in our soul life (Rom. 8:6b). Then, by the indwelling Spirit we put to death the practices of the body, making our mortal body also life (Rom. 8:13, 11). Furthermore, we walk only according to the spirit (Rom. 8:4). In this way our whole being will be saturated by the Spirit, and we will fully experience the dispensing of the Divine Trinity in our tripartite being. We will daily experience the increase of the Triune God in us. This is the growth in life, which continues until we are mature in life. At that time we will enjoy all the blessings of God’s presence.
THE DIVINE DISPENSING OF THE DIVINE TRINITY PRODUCING THE CHURCH AS THE BODY OF CHRIST
Christ in us is like electricity. Every day He is transmitting, and this transmission is a dispensing. The result of this transmission, this dispensing, is that the church is produced. This church is the Body of Christ, the fullness of the One who fills all in all. Because Christ is so great, all-inclusive, all-extensive, and fills all in all, He needs a universal Body which is the church. By the dispensing of the Father, the dispensing of the Son, the dispensing of the Spirit, plus the all-surpassing transmission of Christ, God has transmitted Himself into us. The result is the producing of the church. The church is not an organization, nor is it merely a gathering of the believers. When we enjoy the dispensing of the Divine Trinity, and come together to transmit this dispensing to others, making it their enjoyment as well, that is the church.