THE CHRIST IN THE SPIRIT
When did Peter begin to know Christ in such a clear way? Not during the three years that he followed the Lord back and forth. The One he knew then was only the Jesus of Nazareth. Only after resurrection and in the Spirit did he begin to know Christ in the way that we know Him. Unless Christ is in the Holy Spirit and unless He comes into us, we can never know Him in a real way.
A few years ago I passed through the country of Egypt. There were a number of missionaries in our group who tried to persuade me to take a tour to Palestine and stay there for two months. They said, "Go and visit Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the Mount of Golgotha. See all the places where Jesus trod His feet. It will strengthen your faith."
At that time I had both the time and the money to travel. But I told them, "I have no desire to go there. It will not strengthen my faith, nor will it help me to know Christ more. The Christ in whom I believe will never be affected by Jerusalem. Even if Jerusalem, Galilee, and Nazareth all vanish away, my knowledge of Him will still remain. I am one with Him, and my experience of Him can never be affected by any outward factors. I have absolutely no interest in the so-called manger, wood and nails of the cross, and other relics. These things can at most help me to know the Christ in the flesh. What I treasure more is the Christ in the Spirit. He is more real and my knowledge of Him is more solid than the physical presence of you and me."
THE CHRIST WHO IS LIVING IN US
A passage we read earlier says that we no longer know Christ according to the flesh. If what we believe in is merely an outward religion, then we will need a holy land, a mecca, or a Rome to be a center for us to go for worship and service. But what we believe in is a Christ inside of us. We know that He is both the God in heaven as well as the Lord in us.
Not only is He the very Creator, but He was also the Christ that put on the flesh. And now He is in us as the Holy Spirit. The Christ in the flesh is over! The Christ in the Spirit lives forever in us.
IN THE FLESH OR IN THE SPIRIT
Dear friends, let me ask you a question. The Christ that you know, is He in the flesh or is He in the Spirit? Putting it another way, is your Christ the One in the Gospels or the One in the Epistles? I am not saying that you should not believe in the Christ of the four Gospels. It is right to believe in Him. However, that is only the first half. The second half is to know and experience the Christ in the Spirit.
We have seen three aspects of what God is. First, He is the God in the heavens; second, He is the God who came to earth to become a man; and third, He is the God in the Holy Spirit. These three aspects constitute the three steps of our experience of God.
(The Normal Christian Faith, Chapter 11, by Watchman Nee)