We were also constituted righteous by this man. “For as through the disobedience of one man the many were constituted sinners, so through the obedience of the One shall the many be constituted righteous” (Rom. 5:19). By the one man, Adam, we were all constituted sinners, but by another man, Jesus, we were all constituted righteous. We were made righteous simply by this man alone.
We appreciate the work and the teachings of Martin Luther. He pioneered God’s recovery by recovering the teaching of justification by faith. He fought the battle against the Catholic Church on this matter, saying that if man is to be justified by God, it is not by works, but by faith. While this is right, I feel today we must tell people that justification is just Christ. Today some Lutheran pastors hold the teaching of justification by faith, yet they themselves have never been justified. They hold the doctrine, but they are not in Christ. There may be a person who knows nothing concerning justification by faith, yet he believes in Christ and says, “Hallelujah, Jesus is mine, and I am His!” Don’t you believe that this person is justified already? Though you may read a great dictionary defining justification by faith, if you have never enjoyed Christ as a Person, you could never be justified. Justification is not a matter of a teaching; it is a Person. We are constituted righteous not by a teaching, but by a Person. Hallelujah! Christ is our justification. By receiving Him, we are constituted righteous.
RESURRECTION BY A MAN
First Corinthians 15:21 tells us that by man came death, and by man came also the resurrection of the dead. Resurrection came by the man Jesus. We have already seen many items which come to us through the humanity of Jesus. The destruction of the old serpent, the blessing upon all the people, grace abounding with all its gifts, being constituted righteous, and the resurrection from the dead all come to us by the humanity of Jesus.
Satan on the one hand has been bruised and destroyed on the cross, yet on the other hand he is still here making trouble. As human beings, we are under the damaging influence of Satan. How can we destroy this damaging serpent? There is only one way—by feeding on the humanity of Jesus! If we enjoy and eat His humanity, the serpent is destroyed. In John 6:57 the Lord says, “he who eats Me shall also live because of Me.” The word “eat” in this verse is a special word, a word which is different from the other words used in this chapter for eating. One version translates this word as “masticate.” This means to chew finely, to eat bit by bit in a slow and fine way. We have to eat the Lord, and sometimes we need to masticate Him. This is not to eat roughly, but bit by bit. When we eat too fast, our digestion is impaired. So we must learn to masticate the Lord’s humanity. If we eat Him in this way, the old serpent will be nailed to the cross again. This kind of masticating will bruise the head of the serpent. We need to feast on Jesus as the man.
(Christ as the Reality, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)