BELIEVING BECAUSE OF THE SPIRIT
If, however, we preach the biblical gospel, as found in John, we are surely constrained to put our trust in the Spirit. “Lord, if You do not open people’s eyes, if You as the life-giving Spirit do not work deep within their hearts, no one will follow; even I will not understand.” The result will be that many will understand and believe. The truth is that we do not believe because we understand. When we hear the gospel, we have no choice but to believe. It was foolish to believe, but we could not help it! When unbelievers hear about the Word which was in the beginning, the Word that was with God and that was God, they will believe and find themselves praising God. They will praise Him for this One called the Word; they do not know who He is, but they believe He is God.
PREACHING JOHN’S GOSPEL
Try preaching what you know others cannot understand! Will you be foolish enough to do this? Will you practice on your parents? Do not preach about nuclear science! Preach from the Gospel of John! Tell your relatives, “So-and-so, I would like to tell you that the Lord Jesus is a vine. I am one of the branches. You are not one yet, but I hope that after we talk together, you will be.” Believe me, you will find a response. That one will say, “Oh, I’d like to be a branch like you. How does it happen?”
Then what will you say? How will you proceed? I hope you will not start telling him he is a sinner and needs to confess the things he has stolen, and then that he needs to pray for the Lord Jesus to come into his heart. Of course, if the Holy Spirit so leads you, that is all right. But many times that is simply your routine way of handling people. You need to answer according to the instant leading you have for each time, not according to the method you have devised.
The Holy Spirit may lead you to answer like this: “Look at John 1:16. It says, ‘For of His fullness we all received, and grace upon grace.’ So-and-so, you have to receive something of the Lord. This is the way for you to become a branch.” Do not think he will not understand. If you follow the Spirit and the Spirit works with you, he will understand. Your preaching of the gospel must no longer be natural, superficial, shallow, and low.
Have you yourself received of the fullness of Christ? Surely you will answer yes. But how much have you received? Christ is universally wide. An ocean is too small a measure to use in describing His fullness. His dimensions are those of the universe. Who can measure their breadth, length, height, and depth? Have you received only a drop, or a cup, or a pitcherful of His fullness?
Your receiving must continue daily, hourly, and minute by minute. The fullness of Christ is so vast that your receiving can not be once for all; it must be grace upon grace.
Are you abiding in Christ right now? While you are in the meeting, it is easy to abide, but were you abiding this morning at the breakfast table? When you return home after the meeting, are you still abiding? I would like to help you abide by preaching the gospel of abiding to you!
The Lord says, “Abide in Me and I in you.” Then in John 15:7 He says, “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall come to pass to you.” Is the Lord abiding in you? Do you have His words abiding in you? I am preaching the gospel to you! Christ, the infinite God, is the vine. You and I are His branches. We are branches of the infinite God! We can abide in Him, and He can abide in us, making us one with Him. Hallelujah for the gospel! We are the branches of Christ! Even among us in the Lord’s recovery, very few have entered into this gospel.
(Life Messages, Vol. 2 (#42-75), Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)