CONFORMED TO CHRIST’S DEATH FOR THE RELEASE
AND IMPARTATION OF LIFE
A stanza of a hymn in our hymnal says:
When we see the ripened harvest
Of the golden countryside,
We may know that many seeds have
Fallen to the earth and died.
Before there can be a harvest, many grains need to fall into the earth and die. But who is willing to die? Instead of dying, nearly everyone wants to receive glory. Thus, no life is imparted into others. It is easy to have a crowd, but difficult to impart life into others. To do this, we need to die. This is my burden in this message. In the Lord’s recovery we do not need a crowd; we need the death that releases life. We need to experience this aspect of Christ’s death.
To be conformed to Christ’s death is the real and practical experience of Christ. To experience Christ to the uttermost is to die and be conformed to His death. In the conformity to Christ’s death, we experience Christ in the release of His divine life. We should not be content with mere outward increase. We must care for how much life the new ones receive through our impartation, for how much life is infused into others through us. This infusion of life depends not on our ability, strength, or teaching; it depends on our being conformed to the death of Christ. We need to be conformed to His death so that the divine life within us may be released and imparted into others. Time will tell how much life we have imparted into others. We may be able to stir up people or excite them, but what counts is how much life is in them after a number of years.
Life lasts; it is enduring. Anything that does not last is not life. Rather, it is merely something of emotion or excitement. I repeat, the Lord Jesus was not happy to have a large crowd. He preferred to fall into the ground and die so that life could be imparted into others. He had a baptism to undergo, and He was compressed until it was accomplished. The Lord seemed to be saying, "I am compressed, limited, confined. The divine life in Me is eternal and immeasurable. Yet, it is confined in the shell of My humanity. I need to pass through baptism to break the shell of My humanity so that the divine life within Me can be released." The principle is the same with us today. Apart from being conformed to Christ’s death, there is no way to experience Him.
In today’s Christianity there are many big revivals, and thousands, even millions, of people claim to have been saved. But where is the power of today’s so-called church? There is so little power because there is so little life. It is difficult to tell a Christian from someone who is not a Christian. We must not repeat the history of Christianity. The only way for us not to be a part of Christianity is to die. We need to pray, "Lord, grant me the grace to be willing to die. Lord, I want to follow You. You said that wherever You are, there will Your servants be. Lord, since You are in death, we must be in death also." What a need there is for the release of the divine life from within us! For this, we all need to die. I have a baptism to be baptized with, and I am compressed until it is accomplished. I need to be released by death, by falling into the ground and dying. Hallelujah, Christ died! Through death, the one grain has become the many grains.
(The Experience of Christ, Chapter 18, by Witness Lee)