HWMR – Crystallization-study of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth (Week 10)
Ruth’s Choosing for Her Goal, Exercising Her Right, Seeking for Her Rest, and Receiving a Reward for God’s Economy
Key Point – The book of Ruth portrays the way, the position, the qualification, and the right of sinners to participate in Christ and to enjoy Christ;
Col. 1:12 Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you for a share of the allotted portion of the saints in the light.
Ruth, as one who had returned to God from her heathen background, exercised her right to partake of the rich produce of the inheritance of God’s elect. Ruth, a Moabitess, had come to the good land as a sojourner. According to her threefold status as a sojourner, a poor one, and a widow, she exercised her right to glean the harvest. Although she was poor, she never became a beggar. Her gleaning was not her begging; it was her right.
The book of Ruth portrays the way, the position, the qualification, and the right of sinners to participate in Christ and to enjoy Christ. According to God’s ordination, we have been qualified and positioned to claim our right to enjoy Christ. This means that today we do not need to beg God to save us. We can go to God to claim His salvation for ourselves. We have the position, the qualification, and the right to claim salvation from God. This is the highest standard of receiving the gospel.
As a narration, the book of Ruth is lovely, touching, convincing, and subduing. In the aromatic story in chapter 2, four types are implied. Boaz, rich in wealth (2:1), typifies Christ, who is rich in the divine grace (2 Cor. 12:9). The field of the God-promised good land (Ruth 2:2-3) typifies the all-inclusive Christ, who is the source of all the spiritual and divine products for the life supply to God’s elect (Phil. 1:19b). Barley and wheat (Ruth 2:23) typify Christ as the material for making food for both God and His people (Lev. 2; John 6:9, 33, 35). Ruth, a Moabitess (Deut. 23:3), a heathen sinner, alienated from God’s promises (Eph. 2:12), given the right to partake of the gleaning of the harvest of God’s elect typifies the “ Gentile dogs” who are privileged to partake of the crumbs under the table of the portion of God’s elect children (Col. 1:12; Matt. 15:25-28). (Life-study of Ruth, pp. 14-15)
Life-study of Colossians (Message 53)
In Christ Made Full, Circumcised, Raised, and Made Alive Together with Him
Col. 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,
Col. 2:10 And you have been made full in Him, who is the Head of all rule and authority.
The section of Colossians which includes 2:8-15 is rather complicated. It contains a number of important points. Many of these points are related to Christ as the good land, as the rich soil in which we have been rooted. The expression “having been rooted” in verse 7 implies that there is soil. Verses 8 through 15 are a full description of Christ as the soil in which we have been rooted. Having been rooted in the soil, we grow with the elements we absorb from the soil. We know that Christ as the soil is in our spirit. Now we must go on to see, from verses 8 through 15, a description of the very soil in which we have been rooted. These verses present a full description and definition of the soil.
The first aspect of this very special soil is found in verse 9: “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” We have been rooted in the One in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily. We should not allow anyone to carry us away from such a soil. To be carried away from this soil is to be uprooted from it. When the book of Colossians was written, some were trying to uproot the believers from Christ. The believers had been rooted in Christ as the good land, as the One in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells. Instead of allowing anyone to carry us away from this soil, we must stay rooted in it.
In 2:10 Paul continues, “And you in Him are made full, Who is the Head of all rule and authority.” Here we see more concerning the substance of Christ as the soil. One aspect of the soil is that of the fullness of the Godhead; another aspect is that Christ is the Head of all rule and authority. In Christ as the good land we have a number of different elements. The first element is all the fullness of the Godhead, and the second is the Head of all rule and authority.
In verses 11 through 15 we find more elements. Verse 11 says, “In Whom also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ.” The soil also includes the circumcision of Christ, which denotes cutting and killing. In the soil there is, therefore, a killing element. Verse 12, which says that we were buried together with Christ in baptism, indicates that the soil also contains the element of burial. In Christ as the soil there is a substance which causes us to be buried. After burial, we are raised up. In verse 12 Paul speaks of God who raised Christ from among the dead. This expression indicates that in Christ as the soil there is an element which causes us to be raised up. According to verse 13, we also are made alive. There is an element in the soil which gives us life, enlivens us. In 1 Corinthians 15:45 Paul speaks of the life-giving Spirit. In Colossians 2:13 he uses the same Greek term for life-giving, only in the past tense. As the soil, Christ has made us alive; He has given us life.
In verses 14 and 15 Paul continues, “Wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us, which was contrary to us; and He has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross. Stripping off the rulers and the authorities, He made a display of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Here we have more elements that are found in Christ as the soil. The wiping out of the handwriting in ordinances is an element in the soil. The same is true of the stripping off of the rulers and the authorities, the making of a display of them openly, and the triumphing over them in the cross. As the soil, Christ includes all these marvelous elements. Praise Him that He is such a rich soil! We have been rooted in this soil. Day by day, our roots need to sink deeper into Christ as the unique soil.
Life-study of Colossians (Message 54)
In Christ and According to Christ
Rom. 8:4 That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit.
The commandment to walk according to spirit is all-inclusive. It includes what the Bible says about husbands loving their wives, about wives submitting to their husbands, about children honoring their parents, and about parents caring for their children. All the necessary virtues, such as humility, kindness, honesty, faithfulness, and love, are included in the walk according to the spirit. God does not want us to endeavor to be virtuous, loving or submissive. He only wants us to walk according to the spirit. Oh, it is crucial for us to see this!
The book of Colossians reveals that Christ is all-inclusive and extensive. In Him we have everything, for in Him we are made full, perfect, and complete, and we are supplied and satisfied. Now we must go on to see that, for our practical experience, this all-inclusive and extensive Christ is the Spirit. Those who do not care for the experience of Christ will deny that Christ is the Spirit. But we who care for the experience of Christ must see that the New Testament reveals clearly that the Lord is now the Spirit. As the Spirit, the Lord is in our spirit. Thus, we know what the Lord is—the Spirit—and we know where He is—in our spirit. The Lord wants us to be able to locate Him. Knowing that He is the Spirit in our spirit, it is easy for us to contact Him. Should someone ask you where is the Christ about whom you talk so much, you should answer that He dwells in your spirit.
We need to apply the matter of walking according to spirit in every aspect of our daily living. For example, the brothers who live together need to apply this to their conversation with one another. One brother may be accustomed to speaking according to his mind, whereas another brother may talk according to his emotion. Both brothers must learn to talk according to the spirit. When they rise up early in the morning, they should exercise to talk not from the mind or from the emotion, but from the spirit. The brothers should pray, “Lord, grant me the grace to speak from my spirit.” However, instead of doing this, the brothers may live according to the tradition of men and the elements of the world. Although they may not quarrel with each other, they may live according to their humanity which has been refined by the church life and not live according to Christ.
A very important area in which to walk according to our spirit is our married life. It is difficult for husbands to remain in the spirit with their wives. It is easy for them to be either in the mind, the emotion, or the will. One of the most difficult things for a brother to do is to turn to his spirit in the presence of his wife. But we brothers need to learn to walk according to spirit in relating to our wives. If a brother’s wife treats him well, he may be happy. But if she is not pleasant to him, he may be offended. Instead of turning to the spirit, he may choose to stay in his emotion. But whether our wives are kind or unkind, we need to stay in our spirit. If your wife rebukes you, stay in the spirit. If she speaks well of you, stay in the spirit. If you stay in the spirit, you will walk according to Christ in your married life.
Wives also need to learn to be in the spirit when they are with their husbands. This is even more difficult than for a husband to be in spirit with his wife. Many sisters can be in the spirit with almost anyone except their husbands. When they are with their husbands, they are usually in the emotion, not in the spirit. We need the Lord’s mercy and grace to be in the spirit with our husband or wife. We must confess that, to a large degree, our married life is not according to Christ. Let us look to the Lord that He would grant us the mercy and grace to have our married life according to the spirit. This is basic and crucial for the church life. The married life is the foundation of the family life, the family life is the basis of our daily life, and our daily life is the basis of the church life. This shows the crucial importance of our married life. If we can live according to our spirit in our married life, a great many difficulties will disappear.
It is vital that we learn to behave according to our spirit at home. A brother may be careful to be in spirit with the saints, but not with his children. Actually, we should be more exercised to be in spirit with our children than with the brothers and sisters. If in our daily life at home we are exercised to live, walk, and have our being according to the spirit, our living will be according to Christ, not according to the tradition of men or the elements of the world. If our daily walk is according to the spirit, we shall spontaneously know what to say and what to do. There will be no need for regulations or a code of behavior. The Spirit in our spirit will be our unique, living regulation. When we walk according to the divine Spirit mingled with our human spirit, we shall have our being according to Christ. Then not only shall we be in Christ, but we shall also be according to Christ. May the Lord grant us the grace to go on from simply being in Christ to living according to Christ. Praise the Lord that we are in Him. Now He is waiting for us to satisfy the desire of His heart by walking according to Him.