THE SUM TOTAL OF OUR CHRISTIAN LIVING
The experience of Christ is a mystery, and whatever we experience of Christ is unlimited. If we see this vision, it will not only control our life, but also strengthen our Christian walk. God's intention is to magnify Christ through us. The church life is the sum total of our Christian living. We all live by Christ, and our Christian living is added together to make the church life. Our Christian life is a mystery, and whatever of Christ we live out is also a mystery. We all are mysterious because Christ lives in us. For example, we may speak by Christ, but our speaking by Christ is a mystery. Although it is a mystery, it is nonetheless a fact. What we are experiencing of Christ today is a mystery. Day by day, our living is mysterious. Thus, when we come together as the church, we are a complete mystery. The sum total of all these mysteries is the church life. This mystery manifests the One who is unlimited.
THE MYSTERY OF EXPERIENCING CHRIST
In order for Christ to be lived out by us, He must be in us. Paul said, "For to me to live is Christ." This means that we can live to be Christ. As we are living to be Christ, we still expect to be with Him. Thus, Christ is present, yet absent. This also is a mystery showing that Christ is unlimited. Because we are limited, we cannot be both absent and present. The Christ we are experiencing is unlimited. Therefore, He can be present and absent.
The Christ whom we experience and by whom we live is different from what we think He is. Experiencing Christ and living by Him is a mystery. If you think that you are experiencing Christ, you may not be experiencing Him. But if you think that you are not experiencing Him, you are probably experiencing Him. As you are experiencing Christ, you may not sense that you are experiencing Him. He is not only mysterious, but also abstract, invisible, and intangible. When you feel like rejecting Christ and giving Him up, you have a certain sense within. This sense is different from the sense you have most of the time. Perhaps now you do not feel that you are experiencing Christ. You may feel that you are just experiencing yourself. Do not be robbedyou may actually be experiencing Christ. However, when you abandon Christ and give Him up, you have quite a different sense within. When you have that sense, then you can realize that you had been experiencing Christ. This shows that the experience of Christ is mysterious.
Those in the Pentecostal movement often try to make Christ someone who is not mysterious. But anything that is not mysterious is not real. If your experience is not mysterious, it is not the real experience of Christ. Christ is here, yet He is not here. It is the same with God. The Bible says that no man has ever seen Him, yet He has appeared to men. It is difficult to say whether Christ is abstract or concrete. People always try to make the mysterious Christ so concrete that He is no longer mysterious. This is a false performance.
In the past many of us have claimed to have had wonderful experiences. But after a certain period of time, we no longer thought that those experiences were wonderful. Rather, we realized that they were a performance. Although we may not have such so-called wonderful experiences in the church life, we cannot deny the fact that we have experienced Christ. We have experienced something that cannot be erased from our being. This is Christ as our mystery.
(The Experience of Christ, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)