LIVING AN UPLIFTED HUMANITY IN THE ONE WHO EMPOWERS ME
By the end of Philippians, Paul was full of wisdom and mentioned six virtues: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is righteous, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is well-spoken of” (4:8). These six items are the proper humanity of a Christian. But all of these virtues can be achieved only through the cross. Hence, Paul went on to say, “In everything and in all things I have learned the secret… I can do all things in Him who empowers me” (vv. 12-13). The secret here is the experience of death and resurrection. We are conformed to the cross by the power of resurrection. We live out salvation by the God who operates within, and we live out the likeness of His death, that is, we magnify Christ, by the bountiful supply of the Spirit.
We have to see that this kind of experience of Christ is totally different from the cultivation [of the bright virtue] taught by the Chinese Confucianist. No matter how much the Confucianists improve themselves, they have no resurrection power within, which is the Spirit with the bountiful supply. They can only develop the conscience that is within them by nature. However, this is quite limited. For us, we are obeying the God who operates within us. Our conscience and inner sensation is the Spirit with the bountiful supply. When we experience the Spirit day by day, we live out a life with an uplifted humanity.
Paul used the highest and topmost expressions within this short Epistle to the Philippians: the bountiful supply of the Spirit, the God who operates, the power of resurrection, and the Christ who empowers us. They are used to show the Philippians how to experience Christ. A servant of the Lord must be familiar with these truths. At the same time, we have to see that this is the humanity we who serve the Lord should have. Our humanity is the expression of the work of the Triune God in us. As far as the Spirit is concerned, He is the bountiful supply. As far as the Father is concerned, He is the operating God. As far as the Son is concerned, He is the One who empowers me. In the end, the Triune God becomes my power within in resurrection. I am being conformed to His death through this power.
This operating God, bountifully supplying Spirit, and empowering Christ work in me continually. In the end, the Triune God becomes in me the resurrected One, supplying me daily with the resurrection power. If I live by this power, I will surely love the conformation to the cross. In the end, salvation is lived out, and Christ is magnified in me. I will have the highest humanity, and whatever is true, honorable, righteous, pure, lovely, and well-spoken of will be found in me.
Although the book of Philippians is a short book, I hope that you would fellowship about it in depth. Not only should you learn these truths, you have to get into the light revealed in these truths, so that from your youth, you would build up a proper humanity and would even be able to possess the highest humanity.
(A message given by Brother Witness Lee in Taipei on March 21, 1989)
(The Glorious Vision and the Way of the Cross, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)