Lesson 18:
The Believers' Tripartite Being for the Practice of the Body of Christ
Bible reading
Please pray over these verses. 

Romans 12:1, 2, 5, 11
1 I exhort you therefore, brothers, through the compassions of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And do not be fashioned according to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect.
5 So we who are many are one Body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
11 Do not be slothful in zeal, but be burning in spirit, serving the Lord.


Following the process of God’s complete salvation revealed in Romans 1—8, Paul goes on to unveil the purpose of this salvation in chapters 12—16, which is to have the Body of Christ for His full expression. To realise the practical Body life requires a transformed living through the exercise of all three parts of our being—the presenting of our body, the renewing of our mind, and a burning spirit.

Bible study reading
Please prayerfully read through the following portions of ministry related to this lesson.

For the Body life, we need a body that is presented, a mind that is renewed in the transformation of the soul, and a spirit that is burning. Our whole being—spirit, soul, and body—is included in the church life. For the sake of the church life, our body needs to be presented, our soul needs to be transformed, and our mind needs to be metabolically changed. Our mind must be renewed, not simply by being taught, but by being transformed, having the element of Christ spread into it to produce a metabolic change...If we are serious about practicing the church life, we need to present our body, to have our soul transformed, and to be burned and burning in our spirit. (Life-study of Romans, msg. 27, section 2)

The book of Romans has four stations. The first is the station of justification, then sanctification, then the Body, and then the churches. The journey begins from the first station of justification, and it passes through sanctification to reach the Body. Finally, there are the churches to express the Body. From this sketch there is no argument that the real focus of this book is the Body. It is not even the churches but the Body. The churches are simply the expressions of the Body. It is altogether right to say that Romans is a sketch of the Christian life, but most of the teachers of the Bible did not see the focus of the Christian life. The focus of the Christian life is not justification or sanctification but the Body. If you miss the Body, you do not have the center of the Christian life; you do not have the goal; you do not have the aim; you do not have any direction. For what are you sanctified? You are sanctified so that you can practically be a member of the Body. The Body is the focus, the center, of the Christian life. (Perfecting Training, ch. 24, section 2)

Most of the seeking Christians devote their full attention to Romans 8, pursuing the experiences of the Spirit of life. But they do not realize that the experiences of Romans 8 are for the corporate life in Romans 12. God’s goal is for us to live a Body life, which is a corporate life. (Life-study of Romans, msg. 25, section 2)

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Going deeper
Please read or listen to these materials for an in-depth study of this lesson.

Further reading:
Life-study of Romans, msg. 25
Life-study of Romans, msg. 59, section 1
Perfecting Training, ch. 24

Radio broadcast links:
Broadcast 26, Transformation in Practicing the Body Life (1)
Broadcast 28, Transformation in Practicing the Body Life and in Subjection, Love and Warfare
Broadcast 60, The Practice of the Body Life

Footnotes from Recovery Version of the New Testament:
Romans 12:1, footnotes 1 and 4
Romans 12:2, footnotes 4 and 6
Romans 12:11, footnote 1

Questions for personal or corporate study:

References in brackets indicate readings or broadcasts that may be helpful in answering the questions.
  • How is the exercise of all three parts of our being essential for the practical reality and living out of the Body of Christ in the local churches? (Broadcast 28, from 5:57 to 11:11-minute mark; Life-study of Romans, msg. 25, sections 3-4)
  • What is the relationship between the process of life to produce sons of God in Romans 1—8 and the corporate practice of life in Romans 12—16? (Life-study of Romans, msg. 25, sections 1-2)
  • Why is the revelation of the Body of Christ the focal point of Romans and even the goal of God in His eternal purpose? (Perfecting Training, ch. 24)
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Works Cited

Lee, Witness. Life-study of Romans. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1990.

---. Perfecting Training. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1992.

All verses and excerpts © 2021 Living Stream Ministry.
Used by permission. Reproduction is prohibited. 
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