A MAN IN CHRIST
In 2 Corinthians 12:2 Paul said, "I knew a man in Christ." Paul referred to himself as a man in Christ. What a marvelous designation! I hope that we all shall be able to refer to ourselves in this way. I hope after some years, you will be able to look back and say, referring to yourself, "Seven years ago, I knew a man in Christ."
THE REVELATION OF A WONDERFUL PERSON
Let us consider the four Gospels once again. I have already pointed out that it is possible to take the Gospels as stories, lessons, teachings, and examples. But the primary thing about the Gospels is that they present a Person who is life. I am still coming to know the Lord as He is revealed in the Gospels. How sweet is the record in the Gospels of the One who is my life! To me, the Gospels are no longer books of stories, lessons, teachings, or examples. They are the revelation of a wonderful Person. This Person is the very God who created all things. In Him was life. One day, He became flesh, full of glory, grace, and reality; and of His fullness we have received grace upon grace. This One lived on earth until He was betrayed, arrested, condemned, and crucified. Then He was buried. On the third day He was resurrected to become the heavenly pneuma breathed into His disciples (John 20:22). From that time onward, He was in the disciples. However, He is also the One who has ascended into the heavens.
When the Lord Jesus was on earth, He always lived a life under the death of the cross that dealt with His natural life. Even before He was put on the cross, He lived under the cross by denying His natural life so that His divine life could be released in the power of resurrection. Realizing this has changed my view of the Gospels. It has helped me to know Christ not simply by revelation, but by daily experience. Day by day, I experience a little more of Him. Now whenever I open any page of the Gospels, I see this wonderful Person and experience Him. This means that I taste Him, enjoy Him, and partake of Him. In eternity I shall still be enjoying Him and partaking of Him. The very Jesus Christ revealed in the four Gospels is our life; we need to know Him in this way.
Firstly, God has been pleased to reveal Christ into us. Secondly, we must all be willing to pay the price to receive this revelation that we may gain Christ. Thirdly, we need not only to gain Him, but also to live in Him and be found in Him by angels and by all those around us. In Him we live in a situation that is regulated and conditioned by faith. Little by little, we need to know Him experientially. This is the way to experience Christ and to know Christ.
After we receive the divine revelation, we have the experience of Christ as life. In this way we know Christ, not in theory, but in our daily experience, and His virtues are lived out in our humanity. If we need meekness, He is our meekness. If we need truth, He is our truth. He even becomes our very person. Thus, we live in Him by taking Him as our person and by doing everything in the person of Christ. This is the proper and normal Christian life. The normal Christian life is not good behavior or improved conduct. The one who lives a normal Christian life lives in the person of Christ to live out God as his righteousness without struggling or striving, but with rest and enjoyment. What a life of enjoyment this is! Such a life is our daily salvation.
(The Experience of Christ, Chapter 14, by Witness Lee)