CHRIST BEING THE EXPRESSION OF GOD AND THE CROSS BEING THE TERMINATION OF MAN
What is Christ? Christ is the expression of God. What is the cross? The cross is the termination of man. The cross terminates man, and Christ expresses God. Just as Christ and the cross are inseparable, the experiences of God’s expression in man and the cross’s termination of man are also inseparable. Christ brings God to us whereas the cross terminates us. The purpose of God’s salvation is not for us to improve our behavior, to be zealous, to be loving, or to have the highest morality; instead, the purpose of God’s salvation is for us to be terminated through the experience of the cross. We need to be terminated and brought to an end. We deserve only to be hanged on the cross.
Here we need the light to see that the cross is an experience. This experience is always to terminate man, to bring man to an end, to bring man to nought, and to bring man to zero. The word zero is not welcomed by people. Businessmen do not want their business to become a “zero”; students do not like to get a “zero” on their tests; and bank depositors do not like to have a “zero” balance. No one likes the word zero. God’s salvation, however, is to bring man to zero, to bring man to an end, and to terminate man through the cross.
Those who do not know God’s salvation like to exhort people to reject evil, to turn to good, and to improve their behavior. The ultimate purpose of God’s salvation, however, is to bring man to death, to bring man to the cross. Does one who is hanging on the cross, dying on the cross, still need to improve himself or reject evil and turn to good? Does he still need man’s exhortation? We all know that there is no such thing as exhorting a dead person. We can exhort only a living person. If we know God’s salvation to a higher extent, we will see where we are. We will see that not only our sins and our behavior but also we ourselves were hanged on the cross.
Now every one of us knows that we are those who are on the cross. However, here is the question. Since we are on the cross, is our living also on the cross? The cross is not a doctrine. If it were so, it would take us only five minutes to understand it. One day God will open our eyes and grant us His view to see that we are already on the cross. This light will nail us down so that, like a nail, we are unable to move. After we have seen this light, the light will follow us, accompany us, and keep a close watch on us. From that time on, we will reject even good, not to mention sin and evil.
NEITHER DOING EVIL NOR DOING GOOD BY OURSELVES
Some people may not understand what this means. Many times we commit sins by ourselves. In addition, we also perform good deeds by ourselves. We do evil things by ourselves and we also do good things by ourselves. However, today God wants us not only to reject evil but also to reject good. God wants us to reject our evilness as well as our goodness. If we do not reject our goodness, then God’s goodness and God’s life will not be able to come out from us.
A certain elderly brother was a very good man. One day he said, “It is definitely good to live out God’s love, but to live out man’s love is better than to live out man’s hatred.” He said such a word because he did not see that only one kind of person can live out God’s love. What kind of person is this? This is a person who rejects himself. A person who rejects himself will reject not only his hatred but also his love. God’s love cannot be expressed in someone who lives in his hatred; likewise, God’s love cannot be expressed in someone who lives in his own love. God’s love is as bright as pure gold whereas man’s love cannot be compared even with yellowish clay. The Bible tells us that even our righteousnesses are like a soiled garment (Isa. 64:6), not to mention our sins. In God’s light we cannot but confess that even our love is not complete and that our inner motive is not pure. Our inward element is mixed. However, God’s love is not like this. Like pure gold, God’s love is pure, unblemished, boundless, immeasurable, and without motive.
In short, if what is of man is not rejected or broken, then what is of God will not be expressed in man. If we are not terminated, no matter what kind of help we ask of God, He will not answer. God never helps us to do anything. Whenever we do something by ourselves, God will not move His hand or do anything to help us.
(The Crucified Christ, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)