GOD FORGIVING OUR SINS
God cannot lie. If we speak the truth, we must confess that we have a sinful nature within and sinful deeds without. Hence, we are bona fide sinners. Perhaps in the eyes of men, you are a perfect gentleman, one who is filled with a sense of justice. Before God, however, you cannot say that you have no sins or trespasses outwardly, nor can you deny that you have a sinful nature inwardly. Thus, we all need God’s forgiveness. But how does God forgive us? He does not sit on high in the heavens with majesty and authority, saying, “Because I love you, I erase your debt of sin and forgive you.” If He did it in this way, He would be a loose, careless, unrighteous God. The Bible reveals that God is a God of principle, a God who is righteous and holy; He cannot do things in a way that would violate His holy nature or His righteous character. He must do things that are judicially righteous.
The Bible indicates that the first step God took in saving us sinners was to be incarnated as a man, and this man was called Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was God incarnated, a true man with a body of bones, blood, and flesh; He was a man with real human blood. Therefore, He was qualified to be the Substitute for humanity in shedding His blood and dying for man. Furthermore, the Lord Jesus did not become a full-grown man in the twinkling of an eye. He was not born one day, crucified the next, and raised and raptured on the following day. He was incarnated according to the laws of creation by being conceived in the womb of a virgin. He remained there for nine months and then was born as a baby. He then lived the human life on earth according to the laws of human growth.
It seems the Lord Jesus did not do anything in His first thirty years except to live as a true man in the home of Joseph, a carpenter, whom others thought was His father. He truly and actually passed through the trials and tribulations of human life. When He was thirty years old, He came out to minister, preaching the truth, healing the sick, casting out demons, and releasing the people who were oppressed by sin. After ministering for three and a half years, He personally delivered Himself up to the cross as the Substitute for all men, using His real human body with its human life and nature to vicariously take God’s punishment on the cross for us, shedding His real human blood to cleanse us from our sins. In this way He accomplished the work of redeeming us so that God could legally forgive us. This was truly a marvelous work!
THE ALL-INCLUSIVE HOLY ANOINTING OINTMENT
In the universe there are two great, marvelous matters: one is God’s incarnation and the other is His death on the cross with His resurrection in which He became the life-giving Spirit. In His incarnation the Lord became a man of flesh and blood with God in Him, and as the last Adam who passed through death and resurrection, He became the life-giving Spirit. Today this life-giving Spirit is both God and man, both the Creator and the Redeemer, even the Savior. As the Redeemer He died on the cross for us to redeem us from the curse of sin, and as the Savior He enters into us to save us from the bondage of sin, the world, and the flesh. Moreover, as the life-giving Spirit, He enters into us not merely to give us life but also to be our life.
This Spirit is the all-inclusive Spirit, who comprises God, man, the Redeemer, the Savior, the life-giving Lord, and the Holy Spirit. This Spirit also includes all the experiences of the trials, tribulations, and bitterness which the Lord passed through in His human life on earth. Moreover, this Spirit includes the Lord’s death and resurrection on the third day with their efficacy. So now the Spirit is an extraordinary Spirit, a mingled and all-inclusive Spirit.
In Exodus 30 there is a type of the Spirit—the holy anointing ointment. The holy anointing ointment is made of one hin of olive oil (signifying the unique God) with four ancient spices (signifying the four living creatures, the creation): myrrh and cassia, five hundred shekels each; and cinnamon and calamus, two hundred fifty shekels each. The four kinds of spices are of three units with the middle unit split into two, signifying that the middle One of the Divine Trinity was split and died for us on the cross, and in resurrection He was completely mingled with us. This is the holy anointing ointment typifying the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit.
In this Spirit, who is typified by the ointment, there are God, man, the experience of human life with its trials and tribulations, the death on the cross, the power of death, resurrection, the power of resurrection, and all that He is, such as His human virtues and divine attributes. All these items were compounded into the Spirit. Therefore, this Spirit is the Triune God, our Lord Jesus, the Creator, the Redeemer, the Savior, the life-giving Spirit, and life, compounded with all the items of His human living, His death, His resurrection, and all that He is. Moreover, Revelation tells us that this Spirit has been intensified sevenfold. What a Spirit!
Today, all that the Lord Jesus is and all that He has accomplished are written in great detail in the Bible. This Bible is the gospel; the content of the gospel we preach today is the entire Bible. We thank and praise Him that as the Spirit He is experientially real. When we preach the Bible, this Spirit comes along. The same is true when we read the Bible because this Spirit, who is God and the Lord Jesus, cannot be separated from the word of the Bible.
When you hear the gospel, when you hear people preaching the Bible, your spirit within you is moved because your spirit can touch this Spirit, who is God Himself, that is, the Lord Jesus Himself. When He moves you and your heart turns to Him, you feel that you need Jesus, that your life is vain, and that you are a sinner without hope in the world. You feel that you have been struggling and laboring, and that even if you have some fame or accomplishment, it has no meaning. What is there in the end? What will the future be? Your heart turns and you call, “O Lord, I have sinned! O Lord, I need You!” As soon as you call, you have believed and you are saved. Many believers prayed very simple prayers when they were saved. Nevertheless, their heart turned and their mouth called. As soon as they opened their mouth to pray, the Spirit entered into them and they were saved.
(Abiding in the Lord to Enjoy His Life, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)