The Crucified Christ, by Witness Lee

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What does it mean to believe in the Lord? In the countryside of mainland China many Christians refer to “believing in a doctrine” instead of “believing in the Lord” and speak of “listening to doctrines” instead of “meeting together.” However, a Christian’s experience should be a matter of touching Christ. To be a Christian is not to believe doctrines but to believe in the Lord, to touch the Lord, to receive the Lord, and to contact the Lord by faith. It is not a matter of religion or doctrine but a matter of Christ Himself. If a person merely believes doctrines without touching Christ inwardly, he is at most a follower of the Christian religion; in God’s eyes, he is still not a Christian, a Christ-man. He has doctrines but not Christ. He understands the doctrines with his mind, but he does not have Christ in his spirit. He does not have any contact with Christ and has not touched Christ; thus, he is not a Christian.

Hence, being saved by believing in the Lord is absolutely different from “joining Christianity.” A truly saved one is a constituent of the church; this is different from joining Christianity. Many who have joined Christianity have not received the Lord. They have received a religion without receiving the living Savior. They have joined Christianity, but Christ has not been joined to them. They are in Christianity, but Christ is not in them. They have a relationship with Christianity, but Christ does not have a relationship with them. They have Christianity but do not have Christ. They belong to Christianity but do not belong to Christ. All they have received is merely Christianity. As such, they have believed and received the doctrines concerning Christ, but they have not received the Lord. They understand and believe many doctrines, which are a matter of the mind and the intellect, but they have not received and do not possess the Lord in their spirit.

If someone tells us about the doctrine of an orange, this doctrine will only enter into our mind, but the vitamins of the orange will not enter into our stomach because our mind can receive only the concept of the orange, not the orange itself. We must use our mouth to eat the orange. In the same way, our mind can study the doctrines concerning Christ, but our mind cannot receive Christ Himself. In order to receive Christ, we must use our spirit. The Lord Christ is the Spirit, and His essence is Spirit. If we want to contact and receive Him, we cannot use our mind to merely think about Him. We have to receive Him with our spirit. No matter how much we understand an orange with our mind, the orange cannot enter into our stomach; likewise, no matter how much we understand Christ, Christ cannot enter into us. Only when we use our spirit and open our spirit to receive Christ will He enter into us. He has to pass through our mind, emotion, and will and enter into our innermost part—our spirit. To believe in the Lord is to have Christ enter into our spirit.

I hope that all the saved ones among us would realize that to believe in the Lord is to open our spirit to receive the Lord into us. Formerly our spirit and our heart were empty; we were without God and without Christ. However, one day, from our innermost part, we opened our spirit from deep within to receive Christ. From that day on, we had something added into us—Christ Himself. In this way we were saved. After being saved, we are no longer one person. We are two yet one. Formerly it was only we ourselves, but now we have Christ in us. The two—He and we—have become one. This is to believe in the Lord.

(The Crucified Christ, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)