THE APPLICATION OF CHRIST’S DEATH
Now the question is, how can we apply this death of Christ? It was accomplished once for all by Christ on the cross, but how do we apply it personally today? Let us remember that it was through the eternal Spirit that Christ offered Himself (Heb. 9:14) to die on the cross. Thus, it is only through the Holy Spirit that it is possible for us to apply the death of Christ to ourselves. We cannot comprehend it mentally. Nor can we, by exercising the mind, reckon ourselves dead. It doesn’t work. The death of Christ is not in our mentality; it is in the Spirit of Christ. We need to be in the Spirit of Christ in order to apply the death of Christ to ourselves. We must contact the Lord, and be in living touch with Him. We must be in the Spirit instead of in the mind, the will, or the emotions. We cannot just reckon ourselves dead. The more we reckon ourselves dead, the more we will find we are alive. But when we are in the Spirit, having living contact with the Lord, we will experience the death to ourselves.
Let me give you an illustration. A certain brother had a very dear sister as his wife. This brother was frank and simple, but the sister was always murmuring and exceedingly mysterious. She was a real test to that brother. One day he came to one of the co-workers for fellowship, saying, "Brother, what shall I do? I have such a lovely wife, but she is continually murmuring and so mysterious." The co-worker answered that according to the fifth chapter of Ephesians he must love her. The husband replied, "Brother, I know that, but I cannot love her! Whenever I am with her, I cannot be patient with her." The co-worker, finding that the fifth chapter of Ephesians did not help, recommended the sixth chapter of Romans, saying, "Well, brother, you must reckon yourself dead." The husband took the word and went home to "reckon." But before long he returned, saying, "Brother, it doesn’t work. The more I reckon myself dead, the more I am alive! I cannot be dead by reckoning!"
What was the reason? It is very simple. We must be in the Holy Spirit. We need living contact with the living Lord. Then His death will be effective to us in the Spirit! The effectiveness of the death of Christ revealed in Romans 6 is in the Spirit mentioned in Romans 8. When we have that living contact with the living Lord in the Spirit, there is the "killing" of His death within us. After many struggles, the brother was finally helped. He realized his need to experience the effectiveness of the Lord’s death by having living contact with Him. He learned the lesson and practiced it. All the time he tried his best to contact the Lord. Sometime later he testified: "The more I contact the Lord Himself, the more I am dead, and the more there is a ‘killing’ power within me."
Brothers and sisters, I would recommend that we go to the living Lord day by day, and even moment by moment, to touch Him in the Spirit. Then we will experience the power of the death of Christ. The more we contact the Lord, the more we will be slain by His death. We must live in the Spirit in order to experience the death of Christ. I repeat, the only way for us to have the real experiences of the "killing" of Christ’s death by the Holy Spirit is to have living contact with the living Lord.
We must realize that nothing from ourselves is good or desired by God. God has put everything of ourself to an end by the crucifixion of Christ. Now He has given us the Spirit, who dwells within us. We must simply live and walk according to this Spirit and have living contact with the Lord. Then the effectiveness of the death of Christ will be realized in us through the Holy Spirit.
(The Four Major Steps of Christ, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)