CALLING ON THE LORD TO ENJOY HIS RICHES
In Romans 10 Paul said, "Do not say in your heart, `Who will ascend into heaven?’ that is, to bring Christ down; or, `Who will descend into the abyss?’ that is, to bring Christ up from the dead" (vv. 6-7). You do not need someone to bring Christ down from the heavens for you or to bring Christ up from the abyss for you. As the last Adam, He has come down from the heavens and has risen up from the abyss. He was incarnated, coming down from the heavens. He was resurrected, rising up from the abyss. He has completed all of His traffic. Now where is He? Christ, who is the end of the law, is not far from you. Paul said that He is in your mouth (v. 8). Many say that we have to believe in the Lord Jesus in our heart. This is true but we also need to exercise our mouth. Romans 10 says you have to confess, "Lord Jesus," with your mouth (v. 9). You should not merely exercise your heart; you also have to use your mouth.
Many of you have not used your mouth. You may say that you have prayed much, but have you ever shouted, calling on Jesus with your mouth? Use your mouth, not just to pray to the Lord Jesus, but to confess the Lord Jesus, to call upon His name. I hope that you all would underline the word mouth in Romans 10. You have to use your mouth to call on the name of the Lord Jesus. Romans 10 does not say that the Lord is rich unto all that believe in Him, worship Him, meditate on Him, or pray to Him. It says that the Lord is rich to all who call upon Him (v. 12). Have you ever called upon the Lord? I am sharing something with you that is missed by Christianity. Many will tell you that you have to believe in the Lord Jesus. Then you have to confess your failures and sins to the Lord and pray much. But in today’s Christianity, the matter of calling on the name of the Lord has been and still is missed.
I would like to illustrate the difference between calling and praying. If my house were on fire, I could come to someone and say, "Sir, my house is on fire, and we are short of water. Please come to help us." This is an illustration of what it is to pray by saying, "Lord Jesus, I am a sinner. You are my Redeemer. I need You." But a person whose house is on fire can also cry out, "Fire! Fire!" This is what it is to call on the Lord’s name —"O Lord Jesus! Lord Jesus!"
When Saul of Tarsus fell on the ground on his way to Damascus, he cried out, "Who are You, Lord?!" Later, the Lord went to Ananias and told him to visit Saul. Ananias was concerned and told the Lord, "He has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon Your name" (Acts 9:14). While Saul was on the way to Damascus, he wanted to bind all of the ones who called on the Lord Jesus day by day. Suddenly he fell down to the earth and said, "Who are You, Lord?" Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you persecute" (v. 5). Without his being conscious of anything, Jesus came into him.
If we call on a person who is real, true, and living, he will come to us. Is Jesus real today? Is Jesus living? Surely He is. When we call, "O Lord Jesus," He comes to us with all of His riches. The Lord is rich unto all that call upon Him. Whosoever calls upon His name shall be saved (Rom. 10:12-13). Do not consider that being saved is such a simple thing. When we believed in the Lord Jesus, we were saved, but we also need to be saved throughout our Christian life. To be saved is not merely to be delivered from hell, to be rescued from God’s eternal judgment. That is too negative. To be saved is to get into the full enjoyment of all the riches of Christ. Christ is so rich. He is everything to us. We can enter into the enjoyment of all the riches of Christ by calling on His name —"O Lord Jesus."
On his way to Damascus, Saul of Tarsus did not know that when he called, "Lord," Jesus came into him. Later in Galatians 1 he told us that it pleased God to reveal Christ into him (vv. 15-16). God revealed Christ into Saul when he fell to the earth and called, "Who are You, Lord?" In a sense, he was stopped from keeping all laws. In another sense, from that time, Paul was brought into the riches of Christ. He began to be saved from many things into the riches of Christ.
Romans 8 tells us that Christ is the life-giving Spirit who is the very content to us. Chapter nine tells us that we are the vessels to contain Him. Then chapter ten tells us the way that we, the vessels, can take Christ, the content, into us. The way is to call on Him. Today He is the life-giving Spirit. He was the last Adam. He came down from the heavens and came up from the abyss. He has completed His incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection. Now He is not merely the last Adam. He is the life-giving Spirit. He is the living Word, the living Logos, and He is in your mouth. The only thing that can be in your mouth all the time is the air. Christ today is the life-giving air. What you need is not to exercise your mind to understand, but to exercise your mouth. If you open up your mouth and call, "Lord Jesus," He will get into you.
When you preach the gospel, you may talk a lot and try to convince people and change their concept. But the more you try to convince them, the more they will have something to reason about. That is the wrong way. You need to cause them to open up their mouth and call, "Lord Jesus!" The way to take the Lord in is to call upon His name. Do not think that this is a small thing or that this is something new invented by us. This is an ancient thing which has been lost and missed by today’s Christianity. By the Lord’s mercy, He has recovered this with us.
(The Living and Practical Way to Enjoy Christ, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)