X. MEMBERS OF THE BODY
Romans 6:13 says, "Neither present your members as weapons of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as alive from the dead, and your members as weapons of righteousness to God." Verse 19 also says, "I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to uncleanness and lawlessness unto lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness unto sanctification." These two verses say that God can save our members to the extent of being sanctified.
Our members were slaves to sin, slaves to uncleanness and lawlessness unto lawlessness, but how about now? Have we been freed from the sins of every member of our body? Does every member yield itself to be the slave of righteousness? If we have not yielded our members as slaves to righteousness, we are still the slaves of sin, and the salvation which we have received is not complete. The salvation Christ renders is a salvation that saves us to the extent that we yield all the members of our body as slaves to righteousness unto sanctification. This is possible; this can be done. We praise and thank Him!
Galatians 2:20 says, "I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." We are very familiar with this verse. Many of us can even recite it. This verse says that God is saving us not only to the extent of being crucified with Christ, but also to the extent of having Christ living in us right now.
The word here is not that we should be like Christ or that we should imitate Christ. It says that Christ has become me. Now it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. God saved Paul to such an extent; He will also save us to the same extent.
Brothers and sisters! If we still do not have Christ living in us, the salvation we have received is not complete. Praise and thank God! He saves us to the extent that for us to live is Christ. This is possible. This can be attained by every Christian.
Brothers and sisters! We need to pay attention to one thing: the full salvation which God has prepared for us must be received in full and obtained in full. I do not believe in perfection in sinlessness, perfection in eradication of sin; but I believe in the perfection to which God can save me. I believe that the cross is not an eradication of me, but a substitution of me through the Lord’s death. God is not uprooting my sin or evil; rather, He is giving me a Christ who lives in me. Formerly, it was Christ who died for me on the cross. Now it is He who lives for me within. Before it was the substitutionary death; now it is the substitutionary living. The extent of my receiving salvation is the extent of God’s salvation to me. We do not have to remain in any temper, worry, filthiness, or lust. God can save us and set us free from all of these things. He will deliver us not only from what is bad but also will impart what is good into us.
Now we can see how great God’s salvation is and how great the extent of our salvation is! It is as if we have selected some merchandise. Now we must ask, "How do we obtain it?" We know that a price must be paid. Concerning this, there are several conditions which we will talk about next time. But today I will just ask you to do one thing: believe in God’s Word. God’s Word says that He can save us to such an extent. If we believe it, we will have it. We ought to believe that this is possible. The biggest problem lies in the fact that we do not believe in what the Bible says. God will fulfill according to our faith. If we do not believe in it, we will not have it.
This is a most solemn matter! God has spoken His word! Now if we say that we can do it, then we can do it. But if we say that we cannot do it, then we cannot do it. We must believe in God’s Word; only then can God accomplish what we believe.
Mr. Andrew Murray was a very deep person in the Lord. I purposely studied the notes of his sermons. Each time he mentioned the victorious life, the sanctifying life, or the resting life, he always listed some conditions. There was a common condition that he mentioned each time: "one must believe that it is possible." Indeed if you think it is impossible, God will have no way to fulfill it for you. If you believe in what God has said and that He will do it in you, you will see His accomplishment of what He has said in you.
Brothers and sisters! What do you think of your own Christian life? If you confess that your present situation comes short in so many ways, are you ready to see God’s full salvation fulfilled in you? If you are, you should right now believe that this is possible and that this can be done; you must also allow God to accomplish His work in you.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 08: The Present Testimony (1), Chapter 27, by Watchman Nee)