The Centrality and Universality of Christ, by Witness Lee


In this chapter I want to go on further and fellowship about the subjective Christ. The all-inclusive Christ is more subjective than objective to us. This is something missed, lost, and neglected by today’s Christianity. Apparently Christianity is a religion of Christ. Many people there are the believers, the followers, of Christ, and they more or less confess the name of Christ. However, in today’s Christianity Christ is mostly a Christ in name. He is mostly One who is objective, One who is far away from the Christians. Very few Christians today know that Christ is more subjective to us than objective.

All the things that are outside of us are objective. All the things that are within us are subjective to us. With all the truths in the Scriptures there are two aspects: the objective aspect and the subjective aspect.

For instance, there are objective justification and subjective justification. Sanctification also has its objective and subjective sides. At the time we received Christ, objectively speaking, we were justified and even sanctified. We have Christ as our righteousness and holiness, objectively speaking. Subjectively speaking, however, we may be quite poor in these things. We may be neither righteous nor holy subjectively. Objectively, we are justified and righteous in Christ, and we are also sanctified and made holy. But subjectively, in ourselves we are poor. Objectively, all the Christians are one hundred percent rich in Christ. Everything in Christ is ours. But subjectively, we Christians may be quite poor in Christ, possessing nothing.

With Christ Himself there are also these two sides. On the one hand, the New Testament tells us many times that Christ has ascended to the heavens and is now at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; Acts 1:11; 7:55-56; Rom. 8:34; Eph. 1:20). This is the objective Christ. But on the other hand, there are many more passages in the New Testament telling us that Christ is in us. Romans 8:10a says, "Christ is in you"; 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, "Jesus Christ is in you"; and Colossians 1:27 tells us that Christ in us is our hope of glory. Christ also dwells in us (John 15:4-5; Gal. 2:20), and He is making His home in our hearts (Eph. 3:17). Thus, we see that, on one side, Christ is in the heavens, and on the other side, Christ is in us. Are these two Christs? No. Is Christ divided into two parts, one part in the heavens and another part in us? No.

When I was young, I tried in vain to figure out how Christ could be in the heavens and in me as well. But one day the Lord pointed out to me the illustration of electricity. We all know the current of electricity is at the same time in this room and in the power plant far away. If it is only in the power plant and not in this room, it has nothing to do with us. If it is merely objective and not subjective, we cannot enjoy it. Likewise, if Christ is merely in the heavens and not in you and me, if Christ is just the objective Christ and not the subjective Christ, then Christ has nothing to do with us.

Let us use an apple as an illustration. While the apple is in my hand, it is objective to you and has nothing to do with you. You can appreciate it, but it has nothing to do with you because you do not have it. The objective apple has to become subjective to you. You have to take it and eat it, and then it can get into your stomach. In this way you have made the objective apple a subjective one. Then you have the nourishment, the life, and all the riches of the apple. I hope you can see the picture.

(The Centrality and Universality of Christ, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)