Enjoying the Riches of Christ for the Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christ, by Witness Lee

More excerpts from this title...


Christ is the wisdom of God. First Corinthians 1:30 says, “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom to us from God: both righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” Hallelujah, we are in Christ Jesus! It is of God that we are in Christ. We were not born in Him, but we were made to be in Him. Christ was made wisdom to us from God as three items: righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Righteousness is for our past, sanctification is for our present, and redemption is for our future.

Christ as Our Righteousness for Our Past

As an older person, I dare not look at my past. Even a young man of twenty years of age realizes that his short past is terrible. None of us has a good past. Because our past is awful, we need Christ as our righteousness. This is the real remedy, the real cure. Hallelujah, we have Christ as our righteousness for our past! Now we should no longer say that our past is awful. We can say, “Our past is glorious, because our past is Christ.” Formerly, our past was awful because of our wrongdoings, but now it is glorious because of Christ. Christ is our righteousness.

Christ as Our Sanctification for Our Present

Our past is glorious, but what about our present? Christ is our righteousness for our past, and Christ is our sanctification for our present. Sometimes our present is awful, but we have to say, “Hallelujah, I have Christ as my sanctification!” Sanctification is more than holiness; it is holiness “to us,” not in a doctrinal way, but in a subjective and experiential way. Whereas holiness is the thing itself, sanctification is holiness becoming our experience. It is not something objective but something very personal and subjective to us. Christ is our sanctification.

Suppose a brother has a wife who gives him a hard time, irritating him, humiliating him, and causing him to lose his temper. What should he do? The teaching of fundamental Christianity would tell him that he must love his wife. Perhaps on his wedding day he was told by his pastor that he must love his wife according to Ephesians 5:25. In his hard circumstance, he may exercise his mind to remember to love his wife. However, this does not work. He should not try to remember this teaching. When his wife gives him a hard time, he should call, “O Lord Jesus.” This is to enjoy Christ, apply Christ, and appropriate Christ in our situations. Many of us can testify that this truly works. In this way Christ becomes our sanctification. Instead of losing our temper we gain Christ as our holiness in a subjective way. Sanctification is Christ becoming holiness in our experience.

Among Christians today there is much talk about sanctification. However, sanctification is a person—Jesus Christ—to be experienced today. Whenever we experience Christ today, that is a part of our sanctification. Sanctification includes many things. According to the present trend of this age, very few women can overcome the department stores. As they look in the windows and at the showcases, they get captured, and eventually they buy some of the up-to-date fashions. Then when they wear them, they lose their sanctification; instead of experiencing sanctification they experience worldliness. What should the sisters do? As a sister looks at the show windows of the department stores, she should call, “O Lord Jesus.” Even if she is already at the counter, it is not too late. She can still say, “O Lord Jesus.” This may cause her to leave what she has picked up. Then if she continues to call, the Lord within her may tell her to go home and forget about the store. In such a way she will experience Christ as her daily and hourly sanctification. This is not a mere doctrine; this is Jesus as our personal sanctification.

Many young men today like to have long hair. If a brother has long hair, do you believe that people will realize that Christ is his sanctification? I do not believe so. Some long-haired Christians today call themselves “Jesus People.” However, these people of Jesus are not wearing Jesus; they are wearing their long hair. If a young man with long hair calls, “O Lord Jesus,” as he combs his hair, the Lord Jesus may say, “Cut it.” Even the length of our hair is not a matter of regulation or outward correction; it is a matter of sanctification. Jesus Christ should be our haircut. This is the experience of sanctification in all matters.

Many Christians today are poor because they have the doctrines, but nothing is effective. They have the gifts, but there is no change in life. Day by day, we need to experience Christ as our sanctification. Every aspect of our daily walk must be Christ. Our haircut must be Christ. Our shopping must be Christ. Our clothing must be Christ. Our attitude must be Christ. Our relationship with our family must be Christ. Even the pair of shoes we wear must be Christ. In this way Christ becomes prevailing in our daily walk. This is the experience of life with Christ as our daily sanctification. Thus, we are sanctified, separated, marked out, and absolutely different from the worldly people. Our shopping and our clothing must be different from that of the worldly people. This is not merely my teaching; it is our experience of Christ as our daily holiness.

Christ as Our Redemption for Our Future

Christ is also for our future. Some day He will come, and we will be transfigured. That will be the redemption of our body (Rom. 8:23; Phil. 3:21).

(Enjoying the Riches of Christ for the Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christ, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)