EXPERIENCING A LITTLE OF CHRIST AT A TIME
When some Christians speak about experiencing Christ, they become greedy and desire to swallow all of Christ at one time. But it took Paul more than thirty years to enjoy Christ. However, some of the young people are impatient in the experience of Christ and complain about enjoying only a little of Him at a time. Do not try to experience too much of Him at once. Simply keep on experiencing Him and enjoying Him daily. Regarding the experience of Christ, we need to slow down and realize that it will take eternity to enjoy Him. Day by day we need to experience a little more of Him. We need to partake of Christ many times a day. In this way we shall have a greater enjoyment of Him. The enjoyment of Christ is an eternal matter. He is inexhaustible, and we cannot exhaust the experience of Him even in a lifetime.
THE RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS OF GOD BY FAITH
Now we come to the second kind of righteousness in Philippians 3, the righteousness which is of God by faith. As we have seen, the righteousness of the law requires us to keep the law. The more we obey the law, the more of the righteousness of the law we shall have. Thus, the righteousness of the law depends upon our effort and behavior. The righteousness of God is different, for it does not depend upon our behavior. Actually, the righteousness of God is simply God Himself living in us and out of us. When God lives in us and then out of us, He becomes our righteousness. For example, it is not we who honor our parents or refrain from stealing. It is the righteous God who lives in us and out of us. By living out of us, He becomes our living righteousness. When we try to keep the law, we endeavor to honor our parents. Even when we are angry, we know that we are obliged to honor our parents and suppress our anger. The righteousness of God by faith is in a different category. God lives in us. This causes us to be full of joy and shining. The righteousness of the law is dead, but the righteousness which is of God Himself is living. We experience this righteousness only when we repudiate ourselves and enjoy Christ as the remainder. At that time, God lives in us and out of us. Then our daily living will be full of God’s expression.
THE POWER OF CHRIST’S RESURRECTION
In verse 10 we see that Paul wanted to know the power of Christ’s resurrection. This power is the resurrected Christ living in us. Our Christ today is the resurrected One. As the resurrection, He lives within us. Like a dynamo, the resurrected Christ lives within us as our source of power. When we repudiate our flesh and our natural man, we often have a sense of this power working in us. Christ as the remainder is like a motor empowering us from within. This is the power of His resurrection.
Because we have the power of resurrection, it is easy to die with Christ. The second stanza of a hymn written by A. B. Simpson goes like this:
’Tis not hard to die with Christ
When His risen life we know;
’Tis not hard to share His suff’rings
When our hearts with joy o’erflow.
In His resurrection power
He has come to dwell in me,
And my heart is gladly going
All the way to Calvary.
A. B. Simpson certainly knew Christ as resurrection power. He knew that the resurrected Christ lived in him as resurrection power. By this resurrection power, we can overcome all negative things, including Satan himself. The Christian life is a life lived by resurrection power. Experiencing the power of Christ’s resurrection requires that we repudiate the flesh, the self, and the natural man. When we do this, we shall experience the resurrection power within. By this power we experience all the riches of Christ.
(The Experience of Christ, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)