HWMR – LIVING IN AND WITH THE DIVINE TRINITY (Week 2)
Living in the Divine Trinity (1) – Abiding in Christ as the True Vine
1 John 2:24 As for you, that which you heard from the beginning, let it abide in you. If that which you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.
Our abiding in the Son and in the Father are both mentioned in 1 John 2:24. When we have the Son, we have the Father, because the Son and the Father are one. The Father is in the Son, and the Son is in the Father (John 14:10). When we abide in the Son, we abide in the Father. Our experiences confirm this fact. While we are abiding in the Son, we have the sensation that the Father is with us. We have the Lord, and we have the Father. We have the Son with the Father. When we abide in the Son, we enjoy the fatherhood because the Father is there.
We also need to be those who are abiding in God (1 John 3:24a). All these different titles—the Lord, the Son, the Father, and God—bear some significance. In order to understand what it means to abide in God, we need to read 1 John 3:22-24: “Whatever we ask we receive from Him because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, even as He gave a commandment to us. And he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And in this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He gave to us.” God is the One who gave the commandments. These commandments are that we have to believe in His Son and that we have to love one another. We need to have the faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and we need to have the love to love all the brothers. This is what it means to abide in God. This is a living that includes the main things of our Christian life. Our Christian life is a life that believes in Christ and loves the brothers. As long as we believe in Christ and love all other Christians as our brothers, we are complete….We abide in God because we are keeping His commandments, which charge us to believe in His Son and to love all the brothers of His Son. This is to have faith and love.
In 1 John we see that we need to abide in the Lord, in the Son, in the Father, and in God. This presents a full portrait of living in the Triune God. To live in the Triune God is to have a daily life in Christ as the organism of the Triune God, in the Lord with His headship, with His lordship, in the Son with His sonship, in the Father with His fatherhood, and in God with His commandments of believing in His Son and of loving all His other sons. This is what it means to experience the Divine Trinity in our daily life. We abide in God by the Spirit of God (3:24b). Without the Spirit of God there is nothing between us and God. The linking, the connection, between us and God, the Father, the Son, the Lord, and Christ is the Spirit. This “linking Spirit” is in our spirit. If we are going to enjoy a life of abiding in God, we must exercise our spirit, turn to our spirit, touch our spirit, and use our spirit. Then we will touch the linking Spirit. (CWWL, 1988, vol. 1, “Living in and with the Divine Trinity,” pp. 342-343)
Life-study of Galatians (Message 17)
The Gospel Preached to Abraham
Gal. 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles out of faith, announced the gospel beforehand to Abraham: “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”
The gospel was preached to Abraham as the promise that in him all nations would be blessed. The word blessed in Genesis 12:3 is of great significance. Through Adam’s fall, the human race was brought under the curse. But God promised Abraham that in him and because of him the nations, which had been brought under the curse, would be blessed. According to Galatians 3:13, the curse has been taken away. Christ has redeemed us out of the curse of the law so that the blessing of Abraham might come to the nations in Him. Christ died a substitutionary death on the cross to deliver us from the curse brought in by Adam. Now in Christ all the nations will be blessed. Hence, the blessing promised to Abraham comes to us through Christ’s redemption. The curse has been taken away, and the blessing has come. All the nations have been blessed in Christ, Abraham’s unique seed.
This blessing has the good land as the center. The good land typifies the all-inclusive Christ realized by the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit to be the blessing of the gospel (Gen. 12:7; Col. 1:12b; Gal. 3:14). We have pointed out again and again that the good land is a complete type of the all-inclusive Christ. After His resurrection, Christ is realized as the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit. Ultimately, this all-inclusive life-giving Spirit is our good land. Since the Spirit in Galatians denotes the processed Triune God, we may say that the good land is the very processed Triune God. In the gospel what God gives us is nothing less than Himself.
To children, their mother is everything. As long as children have their mother, they are happy. Using this as an illustration of our relationship to the Triune God, we can say that the processed Triune God is the all-inclusive One who is everything to us and that this One is our good land. When the children of Israel entered into the good land, they had no lack. Therefore, this good land is a type of the processed Triune God who is realized in full as the all-inclusive Spirit indwelling our spirit. The good land today is in our spirit.
When the all-inclusive Spirit comes into our spirit, a certain transaction takes place. This transaction is what we call the organic union. In his Word Studies in The New Testament, M. R. Vincent, commenting on Matthew 28:19, says that “baptizing into the name of the Holy Trinity implies a spiritual and mystical union with Him.” The Greek word for “into” in Matthew 28:19 indicates a union in life. Thus, baptism should not be a ritual; it should be the accomplishment of the organic union.
It is ridiculous to ask believers if they have received the Spirit. How could we have failed to receive the Spirit inasmuch as we have entered into an organic union with the Triune God? We have been grafted into Him. The process of grafting begins with appreciating the Lord, and it is accomplished by baptism. When you first heard the gospel, an appreciation for the Lord Jesus was awakened within you. Then you were willing to be baptized, at which time the organic union, the grafting, was accomplished. You were grafted into the Triune God. A sinner who believes in Jesus can then be baptized into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. The name denotes the Person. How marvelous that sinners can be baptized into the Triune God! The union accomplished through baptism is an intrinsic union, a union in life. If someone asks you if you have received the Holy Spirit, you may want to tell him that you have received the Triune God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
If we were to preach the gospel in a place where no one had heard the gospel before, those who heard our messages would immediately experience the organic union with the Triune God. Then we could easily help them to develop this union and not to live any longer by the self. To live by the organic union is to live by the Spirit, by the processed Triune God. There is no need for us to seek experiences such as speaking in tongues, for we can live by the Triune God in our spirit. In Taiwan we did not practice tongues-speaking, but within six years we increased from five hundred to twenty thousand. By contrast, many of those who emphasize the Pentecostal things have been fruitless. The organic union with the Triune God is much more powerful and prevailing than speaking in tongues. It is not necessary to practice tongues-speaking to have spiritual power. Through the organic union with the Triune God, I am energized and filled with power. The Lord’s recovery has spread to five continents, not through speaking in tongues, but through the organic union. Praise the Lord that this organic union is in us all! I have the confidence that the recovery will continue to spread by means of this union. Again and again we need to come back to our spirit to experience the hearing of faith. The more hearing we have, the more appreciation there will be and also more calling, receiving, accepting, joining, partaking, and enjoying.
Life-study of Galatians (message 18)
The Promise Versus the Law
Gal. 3:11 And that by law no one is justified before God is evident because, “The righteous one shall have life and live by faith”;
We have considered three important persons: Adam, Abraham, and Moses. Now we come to a fourth person, the most important of all—Jesus Christ, who came to fulfill God’s promise to Abraham. Christ fulfilled this promise according to the righteous requirements of the law given through Moses. In this way, He brought God’s chosen people out from under the curse. Therefore, the promise became not only a covenant, but also a testament, a will, for everything that had been promised was accomplished. The requirements of the law were met, the curse was removed, and the promise was fulfilled. Now in this unique seed of Abraham all the divided and cursed nations are blessed. Today Christ, our good land, is the all-inclusive Spirit for our enjoyment. With Adam there was the curse, with Abraham there was the promise, with Moses there was the law, and with Christ there is the fulfillment of the promise. Now we, the believers, those of the household of faith, enjoy the new testament. Those of the household of faith are the church people. We are not those who work—we are those who hear. As members of the household of faith, we have the hearing of faith and thereby inherit, partake of, and experience the Triune God as our blessing. By the hearing of faith we have become people of faith, the household of faith. The more we hear, the more our faith is strengthened, and the more our capacity to enjoy the blessing is enlarged.
In the Bible there are six outstanding names or titles: Adam, Abraham, Moses, Christ, the church, and the New Jerusalem. God’s intention in eternity past was not related to the law. His thought was focused not on the law, but on Adam, Abraham, Christ, the church, and the New Jerusalem, the ultimate consummation of God’s work with man. Today we are in the church; in eternity we shall be in the New Jerusalem. God uses the law temporarily to expose His people, who do not have the proper knowledge of themselves and their condition. He also uses the law as a custodian to guard and keep the people and as an escort, a child conductor, to bring them to Christ. But once the law has fulfilled its function of bringing us to Christ, the law should not be allowed to stand in the way. Moses was not only the one through whom the law was given; he was also the one to receive the pattern of the tabernacle and under whose leadership it was set up.
In the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose, the law has only a temporary place. It was given four hundred thirty years after God’s promise was made to Abraham. With the coming of Christ the law was fulfilled and terminated.
Faith is not related to the law, but related to grace. Our faith is the reflection of the grace of Christ. Faith functions like a camera, which is used to photograph a particular scene. The grace of Christ is the scenery, and our faith is the camera which takes the picture. Thus, our faith becomes the reflection of the grace of Christ. In other words, our faith is the reflection of God’s promise in its fulfillment.
Faith has nothing to do with the law. The Galatians were mistaken in giving place to the law once again and allowing it to be brought into the way. The law must no longer be in the scene. Instead, our camera of faith should be focused fully on grace. Instead of trying to keep the law, we should use our faith to photograph the scenery of grace. Now in faith we are enjoying grace, which is the Triune God processed to become the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit for our enjoyment. How wonderful! The curse has been taken away, and the law has been set aside. Now we have the unique fulfillment of God’s promise, which has become the blessing to all believers. We are believing Abrahams enjoying God’s promise in a full way. If we see this and understand it, we shall realize that the promise is versus the law. No longer is there any ground, position, or place for the law. The law has been taken out of the way. Praise the Lord that our camera of faith is photographing the scenery of grace!