VIII. BESIDES THE ABOVE LACKS,
THE EPISTLE OF JAMES BEING DEVOID
OF THE FIVE FOLLOWING CRITICAL ITEMS
Besides the above lacks, the Epistle of James is devoid of the five following critical items concerning the believers’ spiritual experiences in life, without which the New Testament becomes only a book of doctrine and no longer a book of experience in the divine life.
A. The Union and Mingling
of the Believers with the Triune God
The believers are united and mingled with the Triune God (Matt. 28:19; Eph. 4:4-6).
B. The Believers Being Joined
to the Lord as One Spirit
First Corinthians 6:17 says that we believers are joined to the Lord as one spirit. This means that we become Him and He becomes us. This is not merely union but also mingling.
C. The Believers’ Regenerated Spirit
James is devoid of the truth concerning the believers’ regenerated spirit (Rom. 8:16; 2 Tim. 4:22).
D. The Discernment of
the Believers’ Spirit from Their Soul
James is also devoid of the revelation concerning the discernment of the believers’ spirit from their soul (1 Thes. 5:23; Heb. 4:12). A sister may want to go shopping for items which are on sale out of the desire from her soul. But another part of her being tells her not to do this. This is her spirit. We need to learn to discern our spirit from our soul.
E. Living by the Spirit
and Walking according to the Spirit
James also lacks the thought of living by the Spirit and walking according to the spirit (Gal. 5:16, 25; Rom. 8:4b).
All the lacks and defects in the Epistle of James mentioned above are evidences that the Christian perfection stressed by James is not one up to the standard of the high level of the genuine Christian perfection as revealed in the New Testament, but one which is inadequate in fulfilling God’s New Testament economy and which is even mistaken under the vague vision concerning God’s eternal economy.
The New Testament, which is of twenty-seven books, is composed of mainly nine items. If we see them, we understand the New Testament. These items are the economy of God, the all-inclusive God with His fullness, the all-inclusive Christ with His riches, the all-inclusive Spirit with His supply, the divine life which is Christ Himself as the embodiment of the Triune God, Christ’s death, Christ’s resurrection, and the Body of Christ. All these items consummate the New Jerusalem (the final item) as the ultimate goal of God. The economy of God is a plan to produce the Body of Christ through the Triune God (the Father, the Son, and the Spirit), through the divine life, and through Christ’s death and resurrection. The building up of the Body of Christ will consummate the New Jerusalem. The entire New Testament covers these nine items. All the other things in the New Testament are like the leaves of a tree, whereas these items are the fruit.
The book of James touches only two of the above items: the begetting Father and the indwelling Spirit. But even these items are spoken of by James in an inadequate way. Thus, the book of James is devoid of the main items in the New Testament.
(Crystallization-Study of the Epistle of James, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)