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What is God's Economy?

“And to enlighten all that they may see what the economy of the mystery is, which throughout the ages has been hidden in God, who created all things.” Eph. 3:9

Because God has a purpose, He needs an economy. The Greek word for economy is oikonomia. This Greek word is composed of two words—oikos meaning house or household and nomos meaning law. Economy is a “house law,” a household administration. This household administration is for the carrying out of God’s purpose, God’s plan. God’s economy is God’s planned administration to carry out His eternal purpose....

If you trace the root of the word economy, it goes back to a word that refers to the parceling out of food, the distributing of food as in parcels. Joseph is a good illustration of this. His job was to distribute all the food supply of Pharaoh to feed all the hungry people. This root word also means to distribute food to the cattle for grazing. To distribute is to dispense. In God’s economy, He dispenses Himself into His people as life, as life supply, and as everything to them. God wants to dispense Himself as food to us.

The Holy Bible tells us that God is rich as food to us. The Lord Jesus declared that He was the bread of life (John 6:48), and Paul said that he was charged to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8). Christ is life, and His riches are unsearchable. All these riches of life are to be dispensed into His believers. Paul was commissioned to be a dispenser of these riches, a steward. He was to be a steward in the same way that Joseph was a great steward to distribute the rich life supply of Pharaoh’s household.... By this we can see what the proper denotation of the word oikonomia is—God’s household administration to dispense the divine riches of the Triune God as life and life supply into His chosen and redeemed people....

The Divine Economy, pp. 7-10, by Witness Lee.

The Divine Trinity is for God’s dispensing. The matter of dispensing is revealed in Ephesians 3:2 and Colossians 1:25-27. In these verses the word stewardship has the sense of dispensing. God’s stewardship is the dispensing of the processed Triune God in Christ into His chosen, redeemed, and regenerated people that He may be their life and everything, to produce the unique Body of Christ in the universe to be His corporate expression. This Body is the church in this age and the New Jerusalem in eternity.

This is what God is after. God saves us for this. He regenerates us, transforms us, makes us spiritual, and causes us to be seeking, all for this. We are not saved, regenerated, transformed, spiritual, or seeking, for ourselves. Rather, we become such in order that we may be delivered from the natural life and the self so that we can be built up with all the saints into God’s habitation. This is God’s economy and dispensing.

The Economy and Dispensing of God, pp. 8, 20.

For further reading on this subject please see The Economy of God, God’s New Testament Economy, The Divine Economy, and The Economy and Dispensing of God published by Living Stream Ministry.

From Issue No. 6, October 1998 and Issue No. 76, August 2004

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