GROWING BY TAKING CHRIST AS OUR PERSON
Dear brothers and sisters, do you want to grow? In the past because of our lack of knowledge, our requirements for growth were very low and limited. We said that in order to grow we first would need to go into the Lord’s presence to confess our sins. I am not saying that this is wrong. We should first ask the Lord to enlighten us and then confess our sins one by one and apply the Lord’s precious blood. After confessing our sins, we need a consecration. Then after consecration, we need to daily ask for the Lord’s leading in all matters, great and small. These practices are also right. However, these requirements are not high enough. What should the requirement be? The requirement that is high enough is that we would be for the universal new man. We need to take the Lord Jesus as our person; this includes everything, such as dealing with our sins, consecration, and seeking the will of God.
We truly need message after message to unveil every one of us so that we can see that today in the Lord’s recovery we need to become the universal new man, and that we all need to rise up together to take Christ as our person. The brothers and sisters from Japan, the South Sea Islands, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand should all take Christ as their person. Whether we are from Europe, North America, South America, or Africa, we all should take Christ as our unique person. When this happens, the new man will be manifested on the earth in righteousness and holiness of the reality. This is the church and the new man. Those of us who are gifted, whether apostles or prophets or evangelists or shepherds and teachers, should all take this as our goal. We must perfect the saints in locality after locality that they may all enter into a situation where they take Christ as their person.
Brothers and sisters, I am truly burdened for this. My hope for you tonight is that you will see in the Bible something that is very high, something which not only Christianity but even we have not as yet touched. We can say that in this training we have only begun to touch this high matter. What is this high matter? It is that the church is not merely the assembling of a group of Christians; the church is the fullness of Christ and the one new man on earth. There is a great old man on this earth, and this old man is the Adamic race, the descendants of Adam. Today on this earth, however, God wants to have another man, the new man.
As I have said, today due to all the technological advances in transportation and communication, which are making progress monthly and even daily, all the peoples of the Adamic race on the entire earth have almost become one. When Hollywood produces something, it becomes popular all over the earth. When America comes out with something new, Hong Kong and Japan get it immediately. This is the universal old man. The Adamic race today has become the universal old man. All the components of this old man are the same in their corruption, evil, filthiness, fornication, and disorderliness. Just as New York is a mess, so are also Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Copenhagen. Every place is in an equally bad condition. When a new dance comes in, it becomes popular everywhere for a period of time. Consider clothing as an example. Because I am one who travels frequently to many places in the world, I often marvel at what I see. Something that has only recently come into the market in the United States is immediately available in other places. What is this? I tell you, this is taking the devil as the person to bring in the old man, who is dark, evil, and corrupt.
We thank the Lord, though, that today He wants to gain the one new man on earth. Today’s Christianity absolutely cannot meet this need. Christianity is full of divisions, and everyone is independent. The Lord’s desire is to have the one new man on the earth, so we all need to rise up to take Christ as our corporate person. If we want to make a decision or live a certain kind of life, we cannot decide merely in ourselves; instead, we must take Christ as our person in the new man and with the new man. This requirement is great and high. In this way the new man grows and matures, and we will arrive at a full-grown man.
I repeat, I am very happy to see that most of you brothers and sisters from the Far East are a new generation, and I can tell by listening to you that you have eaten to the full. This is a good sign. In other words, you have gotten onto the proper track for growing. However, you must not forget that this is only the beginning; you must arrive at a full-grown man.
If there is a full-grown man, then there will definitely be the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. If you take Christ as your person, then you will surely take Him as your life. Taking Christ as your person is for the new man, while taking Christ as your life is for the Body. If you take Christ as your person, then you will be able to grow and mature. The result will be that the Body of Christ will grow and have the adequate measure of stature as the fullness of Christ. Thus, you can see that as long as we grow and mature, there will be the necessary measure of the stature of the fullness. In other words, if you take Christ as your person, then you will certainly have Christ as your life. Christ as our person is for the growth of the new man; Christ as our life is for the increase of the measure of the stature of the Body.
(One Body, One Spirit, and One New Man, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)