1 John 1:2 …The life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and report to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us.
5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been begotten of God, and everyone who loves Him who has begotten loves him also who has been begotten of Him.
When we speak of the essence of anything, we are referring to its most intrinsic part. Regarding the church, the most important positive factor is its intrinsic essence….When some speak of the church, they mean a physical building…. Others… pay too much attention to the outward aspects of the church, such as its organization….Throughout the past nineteen centuries … Christians have been fighting one another…because [they] have turned from the intrinsic essence of the church to something outward.
There are four intrinsic matters of the church. The first of these is the essence of the church, [followed by] the growth of the church,…the building up of the church,… [and] its fellowship.
The divine life—God’s life, the eternal life, the uncreated life, the indestructible life—is the very essence of the church, and this divine life generates the church (1 John 1:2; 5:1). Of course, we cannot see this divine life, just as we are not able to see the structural steel in this meeting hall. This is because the steel is covered by stones and wood, yet the steel is the very essence of this building’s structure. (CWWL, 1989, vol. 4, “The Organic Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christ to Be the Organism of the Processed and Dispensing Triune God,” pp. 267-269)
The essence of the church is the divine life, and the divine life is Christ as the very embodiment of the processed Triune God (John 14:6; Col. 2:9)…. God passed through all these processes [from incarnation to ascension] to become someone who can carry out the dispensing. This is why we say that the church is the organism of the processed and dispensing Triune God….We should not forget that without God being processed, there is no ground for Him to dispense Himself into us.
Because He is the dispensing God, He is able to regenerate us, and this regenerating life is the divine life….The divine life is the dispensing God, who is the very essence of the church….We Christians love one another because we have the same essence. It does not matter whether we are American, European, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, white, black, yellow, brown, or red. As long as we are real Christians, we have a loving essence within us. When we turn away from this intrinsic essence to touch other things, we begin to fight one another…. In order to solve the problems between Christians, we must come to the intrinsic matters of the church: first, the intrinsic essence; second, the intrinsic growth; third, the intrinsic building up; and fourth, the intrinsic fellowship.
The intrinsic essence of the church is the divine life that the processed Triune God has dispensed and is now dispensing into us. The divine life generates us by the regeneration of the Spirit in our spirit. The divine Spirit begets the human spirit (John 3:3, 5-6). How wonderful it is that these two spirits are mingled as one (1 Cor. 6:17)!…The Spirit is mingled with our spirit as one spirit. The Spirit becomes one with man, and this regenerated man becomes one with God. Is this not wonderful? Within us is a part that is mingled with God. God is so high, yet He has become one with us…. I hope that all the new believers could have this kind of uplifted understanding regarding regeneration. As soon as we were saved, we became mingled with God. (CWWL, 1989, vol. 4, “The Organic Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christ to Be the Organism of the Processed and Dispensing Triune God,” pp. 269-271)
Further Reading: CWWL, 1989, vol. 4, “The Organic Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christ to Be the Organism of the Processed and Dispensing Triune God,” ch. 1