BEING FOR NOTHING BUT CHRIST AND THE CHURCH
Based on this word I would ask you, how much of Christ have you enjoyed today? Perhaps twelve hours have passed today, from the morning to the evening. How much of Christ have you enjoyed? If I ask what kind of food you have enjoyed, you can immediately tell me what you had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Now, however, I am asking you in a practical way how much of Christ you enjoyed today. Christ is our life and life supply as our food. As our food, we must enjoy Him daily. He is our daily manna. I am afraid that we talk much about doctrines, and perhaps even about Christ, but we neglect the enjoyment of Christ. I would like to see that from now on, by the mercy and help of the Lord, the church will learn how to help the saints in a practical way to enjoy Christ, not only to know Christ, but to partake of Christ.
This time of training from the very beginning to the end is for nothing but Christ, along with His Body. It is for us to enjoy Him as our life and express Him as our Head. I beg you to learn to forget about other things. Do not talk about other matters, and do not listen to this kind of talk. Talk about things other than Christ is distracting. I realize that a number of the young people have been distracted by that talk. This is not right. This is to not be faithful. Our training is not for this. It is for the experience of Christ. I hope that from now on we do not give the young people any kind of mere teachings. Rather, we should give them the adequate instruction that they may know how to contact Christ, deal with Christ, be dealt with by Him, and share Him with others. The leading brothers among the young people have to pray together very much that the Lord would deliver them from anything other than Christ.
We do not know anything else. We just know this one thing, to fellowship one with another about Christ. What we apprehend with all the saints is not knowledge and teachings about absolute grace or sovereign will. That is something of the Lord’s recovery of four or five hundred years ago. Today is not the time of Martin Luther. Luther was a great servant of the Lord; there is no doubt about that. But today the teachings of absolute grace and sovereign will are too childish. The Lord’s recovery today is Christ Himself as life and His Body as His expression. God’s recovery today is Christ and the church. Even the gifts are an item of the Lord’s recovery in the previous century. God’s recovery today is the full experience of Christ and the practical expression of Christ in each locality. We should never be distracted by anything else, even by the good things. I hate to see that anyone among us would speak only on those other, good things. Those things distract from the very purpose of the church. The church is not for anything else but Christ and His Body. The church should help the saints in a very practical way, not to talk about anything else or even merely to talk about Christ, but to share Christ with one another.
Ephesians 3:18 is Paul’s prayer that we would apprehend with all the saints the dimensions and the riches of Christ. In addition, 2 Timothy 2:22 instructs us to flee. At that time there was the need to flee, to escape, and today there is still the need. Flee from the distracting, dissenting, and vain talk. Moreover, we should pursue after righteousness toward others, faith toward God, and love and peace, which are also toward others, with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. We must learn to experience Christ in such a way and not know so many other things.
PUTTING WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED INTO PRACTICE
The church must help the saints to experience Christ, partake of Christ, and share Christ with one another. As a rule, the church should not give people much teaching. Rather, it must give adequate instruction concerning the experience of Christ. Then after giving instruction, the church should help the saints to practice what they have been taught. For instance, we can instruct the saints that Christ is the life-giving Spirit who dwells in our spirit today; therefore, we must walk in our spirit and exercise our spirit to contact Christ and take Him as our life. This much is good enough. Now we have to help the saints to put this into practice, because the messages, teachings, doctrine, and knowledge are not adequate.
(Practical Lessons on the Experience of Life, Chapter 18, by Witness Lee)