THE BATTLE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL
However, after man fell, the evil element entered into man causing man to have the evil nature. Consequently, man acquired a corrupted nature that was in opposition to the goodness in him from creation. The realization of the good nature of man, which came from creation, and the evil nature of man, which came in after the fall, divided the Chinese philosophers into two schools. One school believed in the innate goodness of man, while the other school believed in his innate evil. It is correct to say that man is innately good; this refers to God’s creation. It is also correct to say that man is innately evil; this refers to man’s fall. The goodness in man is God’s creation according to His image. Goodness is a part of man’s created nature. This goodness includes love, light, holiness, and righteousness. The sum of love, light, holiness, and righteousness is goodness. To love others is good, to be honest and upright is good, to be holy is good, and to be righteous is good. Conversely, to be unkind, dishonest, unholy, or unrighteous is evil. This evil originates from Satan, the devil.
We have to know assuredly that God created us with an innate goodness. Sometimes we may provoke our parents to anger, but when we calm down, we have a genuine sense that we have wronged them. This is what the Chinese refer to as the awakening of one’s conscience. As another example, a husband may have an exchange of words with the wife in the morning, but by the evening he feels sorry for his behavior. This is also the working of the conscience. We know that man is constituted of three layers: the outermost layer is the body, the innermost layer is the spirit, and the middle layer is the soul. Within the three-layered man, the innermost spirit includes intuition, fellowship, and conscience. The conscience is the natural goodness, the “bright virtue” referred to by Confucius.
According to God’s creation, man has a life that is good. For example, every time you help someone, you feel happy and glorious. However, if you take advantage of others, for example, by surreptitiously putting their belongings into your pocket, you may think it is profitable, yet within you there is a sense of dishonor and guilt. God created us with an innate goodness. Therefore, do not pay too much attention to the beauty in your appearance. Our appearance is not worth much. As the Chinese say, virtue surpasses beauty. Man was created in God’s image; this refers to virtue. This virtue includes a proper mind, a healthy emotion, and a strong will that are manifested through love, light, holiness, and righteousness.
THE LORD JESUS AS THE EXPRESSION OF LOVE, LIGHT, HOLINESS, AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
One day God, the Creator of the universe, became flesh. He was conceived in the womb of a virgin through the Holy Spirit and was born to be a man, whose name was Jesus. The Bible tells us that all the elements of God were in this man, Jesus. All the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in Jesus Christ bodily (Col. 2:9). At the age of thirty, He came out to preach. All that He was and all that He did, every movement and every action, fully manifested the wisdom of His mind, the richness of His emotions, and the strength of His will. He was exceedingly sober in His mind and very rich in His emotions. In at least two instances in the Bible, it was recorded that He wept (John 11:35; Luke 19:41). Moreover, He had a very resolute will. When He was going to Jerusalem to suffer death, even though many disagreed with Him and advised Him not to go, none was able to stop Him from going. With His face set like a flint, He went boldly to Jerusalem (9:51) and went to the cross to shed His blood and die on our behalf. His will was exceedingly firm. He is God, who possesses thoughts, purpose, and emotions. He lived out a life that was full of love, light, holiness, and righteousness. The life that He lived on the earth was the expression of love, light, holiness, and righteousness.
The four Gospels constitute the biography of the Lord Jesus in four aspects. There are many biographies of renowned men in the world, but there is none that is as inspirational and moving as the biography of the Lord Jesus recorded in the Gospels. Countless people, after reading the four Gospels, have been moved to tears and have even prayed to the Lord. There was a renowned French philosopher who said that if the Lord Jesus in the Gospels was a fabrication, then the fabricator was qualified to be Jesus. This statement is very reasonable. The stories in the Gospels are so marvelous and the words are so mysterious; indeed, they cannot be the speaking of men. The Lord Jesus is not an ordinary historical character; He is God incarnated to be a man, and all that God is dwells in Him. God is thoughtful, and so is the Lord Jesus. God is rich in emotions, and so is the Lord Jesus. God is purposeful with a strong will, and so is the Lord Jesus. God is love, light, holiness, and righteousness. The Lord Jesus is the embodiment of all these four items in all that He was and all that He did, in every word and in every action.
In Philippians, a book on the experience of Christ, Paul said that whatever circumstances he was in, whether through life or through death, Christ would be magnified in his body (1:20). What Paul meant is that in his body Christ’s thoughts of wisdom, rich emotions, and steadfast will, as well as Christ’s love, light, holiness, and righteousness would be magnified. Regardless of the degree of persecution and regardless of the circumstance, what Paul and the other apostles lived and manifested were thoughts of wisdom, rich emotions, and steadfast will, as well as love, light, holiness, and righteousness. This is the meaning of Christ being magnified in Paul’s body.
(The Subjective Experience of the Indwelling Christ, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)