God’s economy & purpose
An economy is defined as: “The state of a country or region in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services and the supply of money.”
Acts 2:41-43 NIV
41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
1 Tim 1:3-7 (Paul teaching Timothy the apostles doctrine)
“That you might charge certain ones not to teach different things nor to give heed to myths and unending genealogies, which produce questionings rather than God’s economy, which is in faith. But the end of the charge is love out of a pure heart and out of a good conscience and out of unfeigned faith; from which things some, having misaimed, have turned aside to vain talking, desiring to be teachers of the law.
God’s economy defined
God’s economy is simply His plan to dispense Himself into humanity. God’s economy is God’s dispensation, which means nothing else than God dispensing Himself into the human race.
Its definition is nearly the same as the Greek word economy. It means the administrative arrangement, the governmental management, or the dispensing, distributing stewardship of God’s plan. In this divine dispensation God, who is almighty and all-inclusive, intends to dispense nothing other than Himself to us. This needs to be repeated many times in order to impress us deeply.
God is exceedingly rich. He is like a successful businessman who has an enormous amount of capital. God has a business in this universe, and His vast wealth is His capital. We do not realize how many billions, countless billions, He has. All of this capital is simply Himself, and with it He intends to “manufacture” Himself in mass production. God Himself is the Businessman, the capital, and the product. His intention is to dispense Himself to many people in mass production and free of charge. Therefore, God requires such a divine arrangement, a divine management, a divine dispensation, a divine economy, in order to bring Himself into humanity.
Why the Trinity?
When a businessman plans to manufacture a product, he must first of all be clear about the substance, or its basic constituent. God’s substance is Spirit (John 4:24). The very essence of the almighty, all-inclusive, universal God is simply Spirit.
Why are there God the Father, God the Son, and also God the Holy Spirit? It is because only through the Trinity can the essential means be provided whereby His Spirit is dispensed into us.
Second Corinthians 13:14 shows the steps of God’s economy by the Trinity. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” Here we have the grace of the Son, the love of the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. What are these? Are these three different Gods? Are love, grace, and fellowship three different items? No. Love, grace, and fellowship are one element in three stages: love is the source, grace is the expression of love, and fellowship is the transmission of this love in grace. Likewise,
God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit are one God expressed in three persons: God is the source, Christ is the expression of God, and the Holy Spirit is the transmission bringing God in Christ into man. Thus, the three persons of the Trinity become the three successive steps in the process of God’s economy. Without these three steps, God’s essence could never be dispensed into man. The economy of God is developed from the Father, in the Son, and through the Spirit.
God the Father is the universal source of all things. He is invisible and unapproachable. How can God the Father, who dwells in unapproachable light (1 Tim. 6:16), be within us?
If God is only a Father, He would be inaccessible and could not be dispensed into man. But through the divine arrangement of His economy, He put Himself into His Son, the second person of the Trinity, in order to make Himself available to man. All the fullness of the Father dwells in the Son (Col. 1:19; 2:9) and is expressed through the Son (John 1:18). The Father, as the inexhaustible source of everything, is embodied in the Son.
But we still need another stage, a third and final step, for God to dispense Himself into man. The first step was that the Father embodied Himself in the Son; the second step was that the Son became incarnate in humanity to have all the seven wonderful elements mingled within Him; the third step is that both the Father and the Son are now in the Spirit. All that is in the Father is in the Son, and both the Father and the Son, containing all the elements in Christ, are brought into the Spirit.
Fulfil His purpose
Now we are to go and share and bear witness to this truth.
1 Corinthians 15:45 (NIV)
45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[a]; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.
Extracts from Witness Lee teachings