REPENTING FOR OUR GOOD BEHAVIOR
In the early days of my Christian life I repented many times for my sins, weaknesses, and failures. Now, however, most of my repentance is for being short of Christ. A number of times after I have been with the brothers and treated them in a courteous, humble way, I have gone to the Lord to repent. “Lord, forgive me. I was humble, but I was short of You. The brothers appreciated me and thought I was nice, but I did not minister any Christ to them. Forgive me, Lord, that I did not live You.”
Have you ever repented that you are short of Christ? You love others, but there is no Christ. You behave properly, but there is no Christ. You may have repented for not honoring your parents or for other wrongdoing, but you need a higher repentance. You need to repent of your goodness, or of the humility you have practiced, outside of Christ. You may have been born humble. You live out your humility, but you have not lived out Christ; you are short of Him.
The church life is not a life of good behavior. The church is the Body of Christ, not the body of love, humility, or patience. Because we are His Body, what we are must be Christ. My physical body expresses only me. The Body of Christ must express only Him. The love in the church must be Christ. The same is true of every other virtue.
To see this is to have a revelation of life. This vision will make you hate your love. You will reject your patience. You will condemn your humility. This is not to say that you will be hateful, impatient, and proud. No, it means that you will live only Christ. You will not know love or patience or anything else. You will know only Christ and the church. Once you have seen life, you will hate what is good but not life. Many men love their wives, but it is not Christ who is the love. Our love must be Christ.
If you are truly seeking after the Lord, the day will come when you will see that what God desires is not your doing, your behavior, or your virtues, but Christ. Christ is to be your living, your daily walk, your everything.
One day, after I had been saved a number of years, Brother Nee asked me, “What is patience?” I did not know how to answer. Finally he said, “Patience is Christ.” Patience is Christ! It sounded like a foreign language. I knew what patience was, but I did not know how to answer his question. Then when he said that patience is Christ, I could not understand. I was not educated that way.
In these years, however, since 1962, I have ministered along this line many times. I have learned that many in the churches do not have this revelation. They may have some knowledge about it, but knowledge does not affect you. As Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people run wild” (Heb.). A vision controls, but knowledge does not. It is not enough to know that Christ is life. You need to see this as a vision which governs your life.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 41, by Witness Lee)