APPLYING THE DEATH OF CHRIST
When I was a young Christian, I found out that I had been crucified with Christ. According to some books I read, when Christ was crucified, I was included in Him. This puzzled me. He had died hundreds of years before and far away. How could I have died when He died? It was beyond my comprehension, but gradually I concluded that I should accept it by faith, in spite of its sounding so illogical. Other books later came to my attention. The thought in them was that the death of Christ is credited by God to my account. My part was to reckon myself dead, based upon that deposit in my account. For quite some time I practiced this advice, but frankly the more I reckoned myself dead, the more alive I seemed to be! No doubt many of you have had this same experience.
For years I was bothered by this failure to make the death of Christ apply to my everyday living. One day, however, the Lord opened the divine Word to show me that the death of Christ is included in His wonderful Person.
If you reach for the God of eternity past, all you will find is divinity. Today, however, when you come to God, He reaches you full of rich ingredients. We can liken Him to a flavorful drink. In eternity past He was only plain water. Now tea has been added. Then milk. Then sugar. Perhaps some other flavors. God is now a rich, delicious beverage, no longer just plain water!
Have you ever before realized how rich is the God in whom we believe? Since the day the Lord opened my eyes to see this, I have been released from my efforts to believe and to reckon. I have this living One within me. He is called the almighty God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the life-giving Spirit, the Spirit of life, and the Spirit of Jesus Christ. These are all different titles for the same wonderful Person.
In my early Christian life, my understanding of the Bible was according to what is generally believed. Only later did I begin to see how much more there is to the Bible than what is conventionally taught. I began to realize how great is this wonderful Person. As the years have gone by, He has shown me more and more. I long to convey to you how precious this One in resurrection is.
When you call on His name, He will reach you not merely as God, but with all that has been added to Him. God is Spirit. Do not think of God as one Person and the Holy Spirit as another. There is only one God, even though He is triune. The divine Spirit today includes divinity, humanity, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection. This is the God in whom you are abiding. “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit,” 1 John 4:13 declares.
THE SPIRIT MOVING
This Spirit He has given us, which is simply Himself, is not dormant within. He is living, active, moving. Thus, the writer of this Epistle uses the term anointing. “Ye have an anointing [Gk.] from the Holy One, and ye know all things…. The anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him” (1 John 2:20, 27).
Electricity moving and harnessed for our use is called the current of electricity. The current is not other than the electricity; it is simply electricity in motion. God moving within us is called the anointing. Because God today is the all-inclusive Spirit, He is symbolized not by oil but by an ointment. Ointment is a compound of various ingredients. God as the Spirit has been compounded with all these elements through which He has passed. This Spirit is gently and constantly moving within us as the anointing.
THE OLD TESTAMENT TYPE
This compound ointment is pictured for us in Exodus 30:23-25. The anointing ointment was made of four spices added to a hin of olive oil. Every one of the spices has a spiritual significance. Myrrh typifies the Lord’s sweet death. Whenever we consider that death, we find we have a sweet sensation within. Myrrh was one of the spices used in preparing Him for burial (John 19:39). Cinnamon, another of the spices of the anointing ointment, signifies the effectiveness of the Lord’s death. Cinnamon has certain healing properties. The third spice was calamus, a reed which grows out of muddy places high into the air. It speaks of resurrection. The Lord’s resurrection was like a reed shooting out of the muddy situation into the clear sky. Cassia, the last spice, repels insects and especially snakes. It reminds us of the power of His resurrection. The anointing ointment, then, includes the death of Christ, the effectiveness of His death, the resurrection, and the power of resurrection.
(Seven Mysteries in the First Epistle of John, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)