MEETING CHRIST IN RESURRECTION
As long as we are not in resurrection, we cannot experience Christ, because Christ today is in resurrection. Even if you are a Christian, you cannot experience Christ if you remain in the natural life. But when you are willing to be conformed to Christ’s death and are spontaneously brought into resurrection, you will meet Christ in resurrection. Here, in resurrection, Christ becomes our experience. Take being nice as an example. The sisters are usually very nice. This niceness, however, is natural. When some sisters hear this, they may decide to no longer be nice. But to do that is to be sinful. The way is neither to be nice nor to not be nice; it is to be conformed to the death of Christ. Whoever we are, whether we are young, middle-aged, or elderly, we all need to be conformed to the death of Christ. Even the teenagers need to be put into the mold of Christ’s death and conformed to it. If we are not conformed to the death of Christ, we simply cannot experience Him.
In speaking of the resurrection in verse 11, Paul specifically speaks of the out-resurrection. This indicates that Paul wanted to be in the outstanding resurrection. He did not simply want to graduate; he wanted to be the valedictorian, an outstanding graduate. Paul desired this because he realized that by this outstanding resurrection he was experiencing Christ, was partaking of Him, and was enjoying Him. Here in this resurrection Christ was truly the life-giving Spirit to him.
In our daily living we need to learn to practice one thing: To check whether we are conformed to the death of Christ before doing anything. Do not say that a certain thing is good, scriptural, spiritual, or heavenly. The thing you plan to do may be very heavenly or spiritual, but in doing it you may not be heavenly or spiritual. It is not a matter of how we do a certain thing; it is a matter of who is doing it, we or Christ, the natural life or the resurrected life. Even singing a hymn to God is wrong if we sing it in the natural way. Our singing, and our praises also, must be in resurrection. Do not question whether something is good or bad, right or wrong. Instead, check whether or not you are conformed to the death of Christ in doing it. If you are being conformed to His death, you will be in resurrection, and in resurrection you will meet Christ, experience Christ, and enjoy Christ. Christ today is the life-giving Spirit in resurrection. If you are not in resurrection, you need to repent that you may be brought into resurrection. Then in resurrection you will meet Christ.
Because Christians do not realize this, they exert very little influence on the people around them. But a Christian who is in the process of resurrection should influence others. Today’s Christians have so little influence. We, however, must not be a continuation of today’s Christianity. We must be known by our experience of being conformed to Christ’s death.
We need to forget everything ethical or religious and concentrate on practicing being conformed to the death of Christ, so that by any means we may attain to the out-resurrection from among the dead. I can testify that day after day I experience Christ and enjoy Christ in this way. This is the message of the book of Philippians.
We shall continue to be processed into resurrection until our whole being is resurrected. Then we shall simply need to wait for our body to be redeemed, that is, for our body to be resurrected. This was Paul’s meaning in Philippians 3. He was in the process of being resurrected by being conformed to the death of Christ.
(The Experience of Christ, Chapter 19, by Witness Lee)