THE APPLICATION OF CHRIST AS LIFE
Let us be very practical about this matter. As a regenerated Christian, how do you deal with people? As a brother with Christ as your life, how do you deal with the brothers? Do you deal with them by Christ, or by yourself? To deal with a brother by Christ is to be in the Spirit. We must deal with one another in the Spirit.
What does it mean to be "in the Spirit"? First, we must realize that Christ is now living with us in the Spirit. He is the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:17), the "Lord Spirit" (2 Cor. 3:18, Greek), because He was transfigured from the flesh to the Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45). He is in us today as our life (Col. 3:4). Second, having Christ as our life, we must live by Christ (John 6:57) and not by ourselves. This is a problem, for there are many of us who have Christ as life, but do not live by Him. Third, we must know that Christ is living in our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22; Rom. 8:16)—not in our mind, emotion, or will. Have we not often had the experience of something deep within contradicting us—contradicting our mind, our emotion, or our will? That "something" is really the Lord Spirit. Sometimes we intend to talk with a certain person, but that something within says, "No!" Don’t we all have this experience? Even in ministering the Word it is often so. We make up our minds to speak on a certain subject, but something within does not agree. He tells us, "Forget about what you are going to say." It seems that the Lord is always troublesome, never giving us a free hand, but always asking us to follow Him. Yes, we must follow the Lord Spirit (Rom. 8:4), not He follow us! He is the resurrection life living within us, and we must follow Him.
We all have a natural life, but we must give it up and take Christ alone as our life. We must not serve the Lord by our mind or by our emotion, but in our spirit (Rom. 1:9). When we come to the meetings, we must be dead to ourselves, our desires, our thoughts, and that which we love. We must tell the Lord, "You are my life; I live by You and not by my will, my mentality, or my knowledge." So often we have a certain thought or a certain emotion that we want to express in the meeting. But we must forget our thoughts and emotions and only remember the Lord Himself as life and live by Him. Brothers and sisters frequently come to talk with me about the right way to meet together. I always answer that the right way is Christ Himself in the Spirit. We must forget about forms, opinions, and our way of thinking. We have to say, "Lord, You are my life. Whatever I do here in ministering or serving, I do by You as life and not by myself. I wish to learn how to live by You."
This is why I asked how you deal with people and with the brothers and sisters. We must learn to deal with people by CHRIST. If we actually take Him as our life, He will be real to us!
We need to know Christ, even as the Apostle Paul said, "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection" (Phil. 3:10). We need to know Him as the resurrection life. We must not know Him in knowledge, teaching, doctrine, the mind, the emotions, the desires, or the will, but in the Spirit.
One day a brother came to me and asked if I thought Christians should joke. I said, "There is no regulation. There is no law in the Scriptures. Christ did not give us such a law; so I dare not say whether it is right or not. But there is one thing I must say. If you would joke, you must first consult Christ. You must take Him as your life. If you can joke by Christ, go ahead. If He is your life in joking, it is quite right. You yourself know whether or not Christ will go along with your joking. The only rule is Christ Himself!" Today there is only one law, one rule, one regulation: Christ Himself, the all-inclusive Christ as our life in resurrection.
How should we deal with people? Simply by taking Christ as life! Christ is risen to be our life. May we realize this positively in our daily lives. Listening or reading is not enough. We must put this into practice. We must take Christ as our life for every occasion. How very real and practical it is! If we do this, we will very quickly be filled with Him in our spirit (Eph. 5:18). We will be full of Christ and our whole being will be saturated with the Spirit. The Lord is seeking this kind of people today. To live by Christ is true spirituality!
(The Four Major Steps of Christ, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)