LIVING OUT CHRIST RATHER THAN MORALITY
It is very serious and very crucial to our spiritual progress to have such a turn. Therefore, I hope that these words will shine on us that we may be enlightened to see that what God wants is just Christ Himself. Being a Christian is not a matter of morality, for the goal of a Christian is something higher than morality. Being a Christian is a matter of Christ. Living morally does not make us Christians who are up to standard. Only when we live out Christ are we standard Christians. Christ is the reason a Christian can be a Christian. A genuine Christian does not only have Christ within, but he also lives Christ without.
When a Christian lives out Christ, he lives out the highest morality. However, strictly speaking, the power of a Christian does not depend on living morally but on living Christ. Even if we reach a certain standard of morality, this does not make us Christians who are up to standard. When Christ is continually increasing in us, we will be Christians who are up to standard. Everything related to a Christian is a matter of Christ. If we see this, we will turn our concept from morality to Christ, and we will treasure Christ more than morality. This seeing is very powerful. In fact, this seeing will change our Christian life. Without seeing this, our reading of the Bible will be merely a mental comprehension, our prayer will be in our mind, our decisions will be according to our mind, and everything we do will be done in our mind. However, from the day we have this seeing, we will no longer use our mind to contact Christ, read the Bible, or pray; rather, we will use our spirit in doing everything.
It is not a question of whether or not we have doctrines but whether or not we have Christ. The focus is not on seeking doctrines but on seeking Christ. When we are seriously seeking Christ, He will have the ground in us and will move in us, speak to us, and touch us. In other words, inwardly we will have nothing other than the living Christ. Because we treasure Him, seek Him, and touch Him, He will have the opportunity in us, and His Spirit will be able to move in us and touch us. As a result, Christ will increase in us. Once Christ increases in us, when we are about to lose our temper, Christ will touch our temper. As a result, there will be some conflict with Him, and some friction between the two of us. At this time, if we love Him, treasure Him, and allow Him to gain the victory, He will have the opportunity and ground in us to get rid of our temper by His resurrection power, and in the end our temper will be gone. This will be a genuine change; this is what God desires.
GOD’S PURPOSE BEING FOR CHRIST TO BE FORMED IN US
On the one hand, we will have the increase of Christ inwardly, and on the other hand, we will have a change of expression outwardly. The inward increase of Christ will get rid of our outward temper, pride, and rudeness. Hence, the improvement of our temper will not be due to an uplifting of our morality but to an increase of Christ. Christ will increase in us to the point where everything that is incompatible with Him will be discharged.
We treasure Christ instead of morality, but this does not mean that we do not need morality. There are many Christians who do not treasure morality, but in the end their morality is higher than that of others. Some Christians esteem Christ more than they esteem their parents, but in the end they honor their parents more than others, because Christ in them gets rid of everything in them that is against honoring their parents. Their living comes out of Christ and expresses Christ, and this expression is an honoring to their parents. Although they highly regard Christ and do not highly regard the matter of honoring their parents, when they live out Christ, they do have a living that honors their parents. This is a real spiritual living. The more there is of this kind of spiritual living, the more Christians will make progress.
A Christian’s progress is nothing but Christ living out through him. When Christ is lived out through him, Christ not only increases in him but also grows in him into a full-grown man and is formed in him. At this time, not only will a Christian have the life of Christ, but he will also have the stature of Christ. Then, because Christ is filling him to be his everything, Christ’s view will become his view and Christ’s thought will become his thought. He will have the revelation and the light to realize that everything that comes out of man—even though it may be supreme and appear to be the best—cannot please God. Thus, he will reject all that comes out of himself. He will despise his own goodness and morality and will put aside everything that comes out of himself. He will treasure Christ inwardly and give Christ the opportunity to move in him and touch him in every way. Eventually, the element of Christ will increase in him. This increase will dismiss everything that is not of Christ. In this way, the Christ in him will increase unto full stature and unto a full-grown man. His whole being will be filled with Christ. His thoughts will be Christ, his concepts will be Christ, his inclinations will be Christ, and his judgments will also be Christ. He will be filled with the element of Christ in every single matter. Christ will then be formed in him. This is the purpose of God’s work in us.
(The Crucified Christ, Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)