CHRIST—THE MAN GIVEN TO US BY GOD
Chapter one of 1 Corinthians reveals that Christ is the man given to us by God. Verse 2 says that the Lord Jesus Christ is “theirs and ours.” Christ is yours and mine. As John 3:16 tells us, God loved the world—fallen mankind—and gave His only begotten Son to us. Now Christ is ours, and we have been called into the fellowship of God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Cor. 1:9). We may now enjoy Him, participate in Him, and share Him with one another.
Furthermore, 1:30 says, “Of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom to us from God: both righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” It is of God that we are in Christ Jesus, and Christ has become wisdom to us. Such a Christ has been given to us.
Christ is God’s present, God’s gift, to us. This present is a person; He is the Son of God and also the God-man. God has also called us into the enjoyment of this gift and has made this gift to be wisdom to us, righteousness and sanctification and redemption. This is Christ as a man revealed in 1 Corinthians 1.
THE SPIRIT OF GOD
The second element in the meal offering is the oil, which signifies the Spirit of God. First Corinthians has a great deal to say about the Spirit. Paul speaks of the Spirit of God in chapters two and three. In 2:4 he says that his speech and preaching were “in demonstration of the Spirit,” and in verse 12 he tells us that we have received “the Spirit which is from God, that we may know the things which have been freely given to us by God.” Then in 3:16 he goes on to say, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwells in you?” Many Christians do not realize that they are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in them. Do you know that in your daily life there is One who indwells you? Do you realize that the Spirit of God takes you as His dwelling place? The Spirit has been given to us, and now He dwells in us.
In 6:17 Paul says, “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” This indicates the mingling of the Lord as the Spirit with our spirit. Since we are one spirit with the Lord, we are part of Him. This does not mean that we are part of God as an object of worship; it means that we are a part of the Lord in our life experience. In our spirit we are one with the divine Spirit. We have been oiled with the Spirit, and we have even been joined to the Spirit. Not only have we received the Holy Spirit—we are one with Him.
If we were not one with the Spirit, we could not have the church life. The church life is a life of humanity oiled by the Holy Spirit and with the Holy Spirit. We are one with the Holy Spirit, and we need to remain in this oneness.
CHRIST IN RESURRECTION
In 1 Corinthians we also have the frankincense, that is, Christ in resurrection. In fact, one entire chapter, chapter fifteen, is devoted to the matter of resurrection. Therefore, in this book we surely have the fragrance of the resurrected Christ.
Some of the Corinthians had been deceived by the Devil to say that there would be no resurrection of the dead. Paul argued with them, saying, “If there is no resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then is our preaching vain; your faith also is vain; and we are found also false witnesses of God, because we witnessed concerning God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise if indeed the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised” (15:13-16).
In 15:9 and 10 Paul speaks concerning his experience of the resurrected Christ. First, in verse 9 he refers to himself as “the least of the apostles.” Then in verse 10 he says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am; and His grace unto me was not in vain, but I labored more abundantly than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.” In this verse the grace of God equals resurrection; it equals the resurrected Christ. The grace of God which we are enjoying today is Christ in resurrection. With Paul we can say that it is not I but the grace of God, not I but Christ in resurrection.
In verse 58 Paul gives us a word of encouragement. “Wherefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Our labor is not in vain because we are laboring not in our natural life but in the resurrection of Christ. Our labor for the Lord in His resurrection life will never be in vain.
(Life-Study of Leviticus, Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)