HWMR – MEETING GOD’S NEED AND PRESENT NEEDS IN THE LORD’S RECOVERY (Week 7)
Our Need to Labor on the All-inclusive Christ to Have the Produce to Exhibit Christ in the Church and to Have a Surplus of Christ to Bring to the Church Meetings for the Corporate Worship of God Our Father
John 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.
We need to worship God in spirit with Christ as the reality….Whenever we come to a meeting, we should bring Christ, that is, our experiences of Christ, and our spirit must be living….We should begin to sing and to call on the Lord on our way to the meeting. Then when we sit down, our spirit will come forth in a released way. In this way, we will have the experiences of Christ as well as the release of the spirit….When our spirit is strong and our testimonies are rich, simple, and concise, the meeting will be rich, and God will be glorified. This is to worship God. (CWWL, 1970, vol. 3, “Being Delivered from Religious Rituals and Walking according to the Spirit,” pp. 370-371)
We must realize that whenever we come to the meetings, whenever we come to worship the Lord, we should not come with our hands empty. We must come with our hands full of the produce of Christ. We have to labor on Christ day by day so that we produce Him….We need more than just a little of Christ to satisfy our own needs. We must produce enough of Him so that there will be a surplus remaining for others….And above all, the best of the surplus must be reserved for the Lord….We must labor diligently, not only to bring forth enough to satisfy our own needs but also to acquire a surplus to meet the needs of others, with the best reserved for the Lord. Then we will be acceptable to the Lord, and He will be pleased with us.
To worship God with Christ does not mean to worship Him individually but to worship Him collectively with all the children of God by enjoying Christ with one another and with God.
This is the life after the possession of the good land. It is a life of working on Christ, producing Christ, enjoying Christ, sharing Christ with others, and offering Christ to God that He may enjoy Him with us. This kind of enjoyment and sharing is an exhibition of Christ to the entire universe. It is a worship to God and a shame to the enemy.
The life in the land is a life full of the enjoyment of Christ, both personally and collectively with the Lord’s people. May we be diligent to labor on Him, to have our hands filled with Him, and then come to the place that He has appointed, to the very ground of unity, to enjoy this rich and glorious Christ with God’s children and with God Himself. (CWWL, 1961-1962, vol. 4, “The All-inclusive Christ,” pp. 344-345, 348, 352)
Life-study of Galatians (Message 11)
Not Nullifying the Grace of God
Gal. 2:21 I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness is through law, then Christ has died for nothing.
It is important for us to find out the genuine and proper significance of the grace of God in the New Testament. In the Old Testament there is actually no mention of God’s grace. The word grace used in the Old Testament means favor. John 1:17 tells us that grace came with Jesus Christ. Before the incarnation of the Son of God, grace had not come. Grace came when the Lord Jesus came. Prior to that time, the law had been given through Moses. The promise of grace had also been made to Abraham; it was given before the law was. First, God gave the promise of grace to Abraham. Then, four hundred thirty years later, the law was given at Mount Sinai through Moses. Approximately another fifteen hundred years passed before grace came with Jesus Christ, with the incarnated Son of God.
According to John 1:1 and 14, the Word that was in the beginning with God and which was God became flesh and tabernacled among us, full of grace and reality. Verse 16 says, “For of His fullness we all received, and grace upon grace.” Since grace came with Jesus Christ, grace was not yet present in the Old Testament.
Now we must give a definition of grace. Grace is God in His Trinity processed through incarnation, human living, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to be everything to us. After passing through such a long process, the Triune God has become everything to us. He is our redemption, salvation, life, and sanctification. Having been processed to become the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit, the Triune God Himself is our grace.
If we would understand grace as revealed in the New Testament, we need a clear view of the New Testament as a whole. Grace is a matter of tremendous significance. To the Jews, the giving of the law through Moses was a great event. The fact that the coming of grace is contrasted with the giving of the law indicates that grace is greater than the law. As far as the Jews were concerned, apart from God Himself nothing was greater than the law. But John 1:17 indicates that grace is greater than the law. The law was given, but grace came.
According to the concept of many Christians, God’s grace is mainly a matter of material blessing. At the end of the year, some Christians gather together to count the blessings God has bestowed on them during that year and to thank Him for His great grace in sending these blessings. Then they proceed to thank the Lord for things such as a large home and new clothes. Such a concept of grace is much too poor! The Apostle Paul would count such things as dung, not as grace.
We have pointed out that, according to John 1:17, grace is greater than the law. Surely God Himself is higher than the law. However, if God remains objective to us, in our experience He will not be greater than the law. In order to be greater than the law to us, the Triune God must be subjective. Hence, in the New Testament, grace denotes the Triune God processed to become everything to us and to live in us. Nothing can surpass the living in us of the processed, all-inclusive life-giving Spirit.
Life-study of Galatians (message 12)
Gal. 3:1O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly portrayed crucified?
In 3:1 Paul says, “O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly portrayed crucified?” The crucifixion of Christ indicates that all the requirements of the law have been fulfilled by the death of Christ, and that Christ through His death has released His life that it may be imparted into us in His resurrection to free us from bondage under the law. This was fully portrayed before the eyes of the Galatians in the word of the gospel. How could they neglect this and be bewitched, drifting back to the law? How foolish!
Before the eyes of the Galatians, Christ had openly been portrayed crucified. Paul wondered how the Galatian believers could forget such a portrait. Those who go back to the law have nothing to do with such a crucified Christ. If God wants us to keep the law and if we are able to keep it, then there was no need for Christ to be crucified. For this reason, Paul declares in 2:21, “If righteousness is through law, then Christ has died for nothing.” Galatians 3:1 is the direct continuation of 2:21. Christ certainly was not crucified without cause. On the contrary, He was crucified for a very great cause. In fact, the cross is the center of God’s operation in His economy, just as Christ Himself is the center of God’s economy. In the carrying out of God’s economy, the cross is the center. Without Christ, God’s economy has no center, and without the cross of Christ the operation of God’s economy is without a center. Thus, the carrying out of God’s economy wholly depends on the cross of Christ. The cross is the center of God’s operation in the universe to carry out His economy.
In 3:1 Paul brought the Galatians back to the cross. He wanted them to have a thorough look at the crucified Christ. In this message I am burdened that we also have such a view of Christ crucified. Therefore, let us consider the verses in Galatians which refer to the cross or to the death of Christ on the cross, and let us see all the important points in these verses.
In 1:4 Paul says that Christ “gave Himself for our sins, that He might rescue us out of the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.” Here we see that in His crucifixion Christ gave Himself for our sins. How foolish were the Galatians, and how stubborn and rebellious were the Judaizers! In returning to the law, they had no way to deal with their sins. In this book Paul seems to be saying, “You have committed many sins. What will you do about them? Apart from the death of Christ on the cross, there is no way to be redeemed from your sins.”
Although Christ was crucified for our sins, the goal of His crucifixion was to “rescue us out of the present evil age.” Sins are devilish, whereas this age is satanic. We have pointed out that the present age is the present section of Satan’s cosmos, his world system. As the Devil, God’s enemy is involved with sins; and as Satan, he is involved with the evil age. Even if the Galatians and the Judaizers could have been successful in keeping the law, how would they have dealt with the Devil, Satan? Can you overcome Satan? He is subtle, lurking behind sins and the evil age. Apart from the crucifixion of Christ, we have no way to deal with sins, behind which the Devil hides, or the evil age, behind which Satan hides. Christ was crucified for our sins that He might rescue us from this evil age. This indicates that only Christ can save us from the Devil and Satan. Both sins and the evil age have been dealt with by Christ crucified. He gave Himself for us on the cross according to the will of God.