CHRIST WITH HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION BEING COMPLETE SALVATION
In Christ’s salvation there is the element of death. Complete salvation comprises Christ, His death, and His resurrection. The death of the Lord Jesus and His resurrection constitute complete salvation. The salvation that God gives us is Christ plus His death and resurrection. Every saved one has received Christ, and everyone who has received Christ is identified with Him. Moreover, to be identified with Christ is to be identified with His death and His resurrection. Romans 6 clearly mentions that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death and have been buried with Him (vv. 3-4). If through baptism we died and have been buried and raised with Christ, does this mean that we are really dead? Yes, we are dead. It is true that we may know that we have been baptized into Christ’s death, but we still may not have been inwardly enlightened to receive the revelation that Christ’s death is actually our death. In 1930 I was baptized and died with Christ, but not until 1933 did God show me that I had been crucified with His Son and was already terminated and done away with in Christ. Both the evil and the good in me have been terminated. I have been terminated in Christ’s death. His death is my death.
The death of Christ is a great item in His salvation. All that comes out of man and everything that belongs to man, sin, the old creation, the flesh, the world, and Satan have been dealt with through Christ’s death. Nevertheless, where His death is, there also is His resurrection. He died, but He was also resurrected. Through His resurrection everything that belongs to God has been released. Only those who have seen Christ’s death and resurrection can live in Christ. They see that Christ’s death has already dealt with them, and at the same time they also see that the resurrection life of Christ dwells in them for the glory of God to be expressed through them. Once they see this death and resurrection, they are delivered from themselves and live in God. This is God’s revelation, this is service with revelation, and this is absolute deliverance from religious concepts.
Suppose that we all are clear about Christ’s death and resurrection and a brother comes to us and says, “The church ought to be such and such. It ought to be exceedingly zealous and do many good works.” After hearing these suggestions we should first ask, “Brother, when you say these things, are you hanging on the cross or have you jumped down from the cross?” The question here is whether or not our concepts have passed through the death of the cross. Have we passed through the dealing of the cross? Are we those who are truly hanging on the cross, or have we jumped down from the cross? Only those who have experienced the cross can express something of Christ. Whatever has not passed through the dealing and death of the cross is something of man, of the natural being, and of the old creation. These things may be good in man’s eyes, but they are not of God.
What are the things that are of revelation, and what are the things that are of the natural being? What are the things that are of God, and what are the things that are of religion? Here is the big test. Have we received the breaking of the cross? How much have we been worked on by the death of the cross? Objectively speaking, Christ is one with His death and resurrection, yet subjectively speaking, how do we experience Christ? To experience Christ is to see His death and resurrection and to live in His death and resurrection. Since we are those who belong to Christ, God will open our eyes to show us that all that is out of us has been hanged on the cross—even our entire being has been hanged on the cross. Everything we are has already been dealt with on the cross. When we see this, we will be able to say, “I have been crucified with Christ. The ‘I’ with its religious concepts has been crucified with Christ, and now it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. I do not know what religion is, what it is to sin, or what it is to do good; I have already died to all these things. Now it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.”
When we see and know that it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us, then when we encounter a certain matter, we will test ourselves and ask if we are on the cross or if we have come down from the cross. We will immediately be clear about what has its source in religion and what has its source in revelation, and about what has its source in the natural man and what has its source in God. The focus of God’s salvation is not the original goodness or evilness of man; rather, the emphasis of God’s salvation is that the original man has been dealt with on the cross. Moreover, it is that God has gained the ground in this man who has been dealt with on the cross. This is absolutely not a matter of religion, nor even of Christianity; it is a matter of Christ. The cross dealt with man, and resurrection released God. Christ’s death dealt with our human element, and Christ’s resurrection released God’s element to the fullest extent. The more we pay attention to Christ’s death and resurrection, the more we will touch the spiritual things and be before God. If we do not pay attention to Christ’s death and resurrection, then regardless of how much people praise us, we still will have too much of our fallen human element. Hence, in our daily living we have to pay more attention to our identification with Christ’s death and resurrection.
(The Path of Our Growth in Life, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)