CHRIST BEING FORMED IN US
Galatians 4:19 says, “My children, with whom I travail again in birth until Christ is formed in you.” Once a person is saved, he has Christ within him. However, at this point Christ has not yet been formed in him because he has too little of the element of Christ. Although we are saved, up to now we still may not have much of Christ in us. Some people may have been saved ten or twenty years ago. They are full of doctrines—they know about Adam, Eve, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. When you ask them about Genesis, they say that it is about God’s creation. When you ask them about Revelation, they tell you that it is about the seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the seven bowls. They probably know more than you do. However, they do not have much of the element of Christ within them. Such ones are merely saved; Christ has not yet been formed in them.
Some of us have been in the church for more than twenty years. We have heard many doctrines, we are zealous, and we also love the Lord, but Christ’s element has not increased much in us inwardly. We have very little of Christ’s element both in our judgment and in our conversation. Why is this the case? It is because we only have a small amount of Christ in us, and Christ has not grown in us or been formed within us. This is why Paul said that he travailed again in birth until Christ was formed in the believers.
If we know this and see this, we will prostrate ourselves before God and say, “O God, have mercy on me. Even until today I do not have much Christ in me. There is very little sense of Christ in my living, in my inclinations, in my daily walk, and in my attitude. There is very little of the element of Christ in all these aspects. Christ has not yet been formed in me, and I have just a small amount of Christ.” Then what other things do we have in us, seeing that we have only a small amount of Christ? We have our self, the world, our preference, our sins, our goodness, our meekness, and our temper. In short, within us there are both good things and bad things. Many things apart from Christ occupy us, leaving no room for Christ.
Therefore, Paul told the Galatians, “My children, with whom I travail again in birth until Christ is formed in you.” The problem with the Galatians was not that they loved the world or lusted after sins. Their problem was that they turned their attention to things other than Christ. They paid attention to doing good deeds by themselves. Since they relied too much on themselves, they left very little room for Christ. This does not mean that it is wrong to perform good deeds but that when you rely on yourself, Christ has no place or opportunity to gain your time and space so that He can gain ground in you. As a result, He has still not been formed in you.
CHRIST BEING MAGNIFIED ALWAYS
Paul told the Philippians, “According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I will be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, even now Christ will be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death” (Phil. 1:20). What Paul meant by saying this was that he always allowed Christ to be magnified in him in any circumstance, whether through joy or through sorrow, through light or through darkness. Christ was not only formed in him but also magnified in him. Paul allowed Christ to fill him continually so that whatever circumstance he encountered, whatever pain he suffered, and whatever hardship he experienced, Christ could be magnified in him, not just in any particular situation, but always.
Therefore, we all need to know one thing. There is no way for Christ always to be magnified in us and in our Christian life except to allow Him to be our element within and to increase in us. If we do this, Christ will be expressed through us. Our insight will be Christ’s insight, our mind will be Christ’s mind, our expression will be Christ’s expression, our preference will be Christ’s preference, and our living will be Christ’s living because Christ will have been mingled with us.
(The Crucified Christ, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)