ONE IN SOUL
When we all think this one thing, we shall be one in soul. It is easy for us, the regenerated children of God, to be one in our spirit. As we sing, praise, and pray in the meetings, we are one in spirit. But when the meeting is over, the brothers turn to the mind and the sisters to the emotion. When this happens, we are no longer one. Perhaps in spirit we are still one, but we are not one in soul. The problem with the believers in Philippi was that they were not one in soul. Therefore, Paul charged them to think the one thing and to be one, not in spirit, but in soul. Paul told them that whether he was present or absent, they needed to obey his word. He was asking them to drop all other thoughts and to take his word so that they might think the one thing and be one in soul.
WORKING OUT OUR SALVATION
In Philippians 2:12, Paul tells them to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Since the Philippians were already saved, why did they still need to work out their salvation? When I read this verse as a young man, I was troubled by it and wondered why these saved ones still needed to work out their own salvation. Furthermore, Paul told them to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. When we were saved, we were saved in joy, not in fear and trembling. Thus, the salvation spoken of in this verse is different from eternal salvation. We receive eternal salvation, and there is no need for us to work it out. It has already been accomplished, completed, and presented to us as a gift. But there is another kind of salvation that needs to be worked out. When something is presented to us as a gift, we need only to receive it and enjoy it. Take the example of a dinner that is prepared for you. You do not sit at the dining table eating the food in fear and trembling. No, you enjoy the food. There is another kind of salvation, not for us to receive joyfully, but for us to work out fearfully. Although we have been saved, we still need to be rescued from certain things. As long as you need to be rescued, it proves that you are in a situation that is not positive. You may not be in the big hell, but you may be in a little hell.
MURMURINGS AND REASONINGS
Two of these little hells are seen in verse 14. This verse says, "Do all things without murmurings and reasonings" (Gk.). One little hell is called murmurings, and the other is called reasonings. Murmuring is a hell for the sisters, and reasoning is a hell for the brothers. Murmurings come from the emotion, and reasonings come from the mind. Thus, both the brothers and sisters need to be rescued, the brothers out of their mental hell and the sisters out of their emotional hell. Although we are the saved children of God, we may still fall into the hell of murmuring or into the hell of reasoning. Both our murmurings and our reasonings are little demons. Thus, we need salvation.
The way to be saved from the hells of murmuring and reasoning is to obey the word of the Apostle Paul to think the one thing and to be one in soul. When we think the same thing, we do not murmur or reason. Instead, we experience Christ as our enjoyment. Every part of our mind, emotion, and inner being is filled with the experience and enjoyment of Christ.
Although we have been saved from the eternal hell, we still need to be saved from the small hells of murmuring, complaining, reasoning, and arguing. Every married couple has experienced the exchanging of words. This is a hell. Because the wives murmur and the husbands reason, there are arguments. During the course of such an argument, both the husband and the wife fall into a hell because they are not thinking the one thing. This illustrates how we need to think of the experience and enjoyment of Christ for the church life. If a husband and wife would think one thing, there would be no exchange of words, the wife would be rescued from the hell of the emotion, and the brother would be saved from the hell of the mind. This is a daily, practical, and present salvation. We need to work out this salvation with fear and trembling.
Paul wanted the Philippians to stop their murmurings and reasonings. But how can people stop murmuring or reasoning? It can only be done by turning our thinking to the experience of Christ. Brothers, think this one thing. Sisters, you also think this one thing. If we all think the one thing, there will be no reasonings and murmurings. This is the way to enjoy Christ.
The book of Philippians reveals in detail the way to enjoy Christ. We may consecrate ourselves and follow the inner anointing, but still not have very much of the enjoyment of Christ. However, if we think the one thing, immediately the enjoyment of Christ will be our portion. We all know the doctrine that the proper church life comes out of the experience of Christ. But we may not know the practical way to experience Christ. The wives murmur against their husbands, and the husbands reason with their wives. When we do this, where is the enjoyment of Christ? It disappears. Instead of enjoying Christ, we are in a little hell. As we have seen, the way to be rescued from this hell is to think the one thing. Whenever we do this, we are immediately in the enjoyment of Christ and our family life and church life become very pleasant.
(The Experience of Christ, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)