CHRIST LIVING IN US AND WE BEING IN HIM
The purpose of the book of Galatians is to reveal that we need to experience Christ in the presence of God. Nothing can please God but Christ experienced by us. Christ must be not only righteousness but everything to us. According to Galatians, Christ must first be revealed in us. Then this Christ must live in us (2:20). We are familiar with these verses, but we may not pay attention to them. Do we really mean business that Christ has been revealed in us and is now living in us? Not only so, we have put on Christ, just as we put on a garment (3:27). That we have put on Christ means that we are put into Christ. Christ has been put into us, He is being revealed in us as our life, and we have been put into Christ. He is like a garment covering us.
CHRIST BEING FORMED IN US
In addition, Christ must be formed in us (4:19). We may use a glove to illustrate the matter of being formed. When we put our hand into a glove, the hand is in the glove, but it is not formed in the glove until all the fingers are fixed in place. Gradually the thumb fits in place, and then the second, third, fourth, and fifth fingers; finally, the entire hand is formed in the glove. Christ must be fully, thoroughly, and wholly mingled with us in all our inward parts—in our mind, emotion, and will. We may have Christ in us only in a general way. We have Christ in our spirit as our life, but we may not have Christ in our mind as our thought. We also may not have Christ in our emotions as our love. Christ must even be our hate; we need to hate certain things by Christ and with Christ. We also must have Christ in our will as our decision and choice. Christ must be everything in our inward parts. He must be mingled with us in every part of our being. Then He will be formed in us, and we will be conformed to His image. This means that we will be absolutely one with Him, not only in life and nature but also in form, expression, and image.
Christ must be subjective to us. In more than one place, people have criticized our hymn that says, “Christ to me is so subjective” (Hymns, #537). Many people do not have the concept that Christ is subjective. Once when I had trouble with my car, a brother tried to explain the problem to me, but I could not understand all the mechanical terms. I simply took the car to a garage and let someone do the talking for me. Today too many Christians are like this concerning Christ. To speak about Christ being the life-giving Spirit causes havoc. They say, “Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior. This is good enough. Don’t say anything beyond this.” This is the poor situation today. Today I still do not drive a car, because in order to drive I must understand things about the car. In the same way, in order to be a good, normal Christian, we have to know the details of who Christ is. Christ must be revealed in us, He must live in us, we have to put Him on, and He must be formed in us.
BEARING THE BRANDS OF JESUS
AND CARING ONLY FOR THE NEW CREATION
In addition, we should bear the brands of Jesus and care for neither circumcision nor uncircumcision (6:17, 15). We do not care about being religious or unreligious. We care for only one thing: the new creation. Who or what is the new creation? It is Christ in our spirit to be experienced by us. This is the principle of the new creation.
We need to apply these things to ourselves. Are we persons like Paul? Many people in today’s Christianity pay attention to something other than Christ. I am afraid some of us are also this way. We may say that we do not pay attention to the gifts, but we may still pay attention to something else other than Christ. We need to be delivered from so many other things.
RECEIVING THE SPIRIT
The main items in Galatians are that Christ is revealed in us, Christ lives in us, we put on Christ, and Christ is formed in us. In principle, this means that we know Christ and live by Him in our spirit. In addition, the Spirit is mentioned several times in this book. The Christ who is revealed in us, who lives in us, whom we have put on, and who is being formed in us is the Spirit. This Spirit today is in our spirit. This is why at the close of this book Paul says, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit” (6:18a). The grace of the Lord is nothing less than the Lord Himself, and this grace, which is Christ as the Spirit, is with our spirit. Verse 2 of chapter 3 tells us clearly that we have received the Spirit, and verse 14 says that we have received the promise of the Spirit, that is, the Spirit promised by God. The Father is the source, the fountain of living water; the Son is the course; and the Spirit is the flow. The Father as the source is in the Son as the course, and the Son comes as the Spirit, the flow. This flow has come, has flowed, into us. When the Spirit of God comes into us, He comes with Christ and with the Father. The Father is in the Son, the Son is the Spirit, and this Spirit has come into us. Therefore, when verse 14 mentions the promised Spirit, it refers to God Himself dispensed into us.
God has dispensed Himself into us in His Son and through His Spirit. Today this wonderful Spirit is within our spirit. Therefore, what we need today is simply to walk by the Spirit and cooperate with this Spirit (5:16, 25). Galatians 6:1 tells us that even when we go to restore a fallen brother, we must do it in our spirit. We have to walk in the spirit, live in the spirit, and sow the seed in our spirit (v. 8). Whatever we are and whatever we do must be in the spirit, because the Triune God dwells in our spirit, and in our spirit we realize the very Christ as the Spirit. This is the way to contact Christ.
(The Experience of Christ in Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)