The Crucified Christ, by Witness Lee

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If a person wants to allow Christ to be born in him, and if he wants to experience Christ’s death and resurrection, this person must be a Mary. What is it to be a Mary? When we read their stories, we have to bow our heads and worship the Lord. Perhaps they did not have much learning, talent, or knowledge, but they did have a love for Christ and the experience of letting Him pass through them. The first Mary loved the Lord Jesus to the extent that she forsook her own status. When the angel told her that she would conceive in her womb and bear a son, she replied, “How will this be, since I have not known a man?” Then the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:28-35). For this pure virgin to receive this commission, she had to sacrifice her status. Even her fiancé misunderstood her and wanted to send her away. This shows that this Mary had experienced the Lord Jesus, allowed Him to pass through her, and entirely disregarded her own status.

Everyone who experiences the Lord must be one who loses himself. Today some Christians do not give Christ the way to pass through them and to fill them because they are not willing to sacrifice their status. They are truly saved, but they do not let Christ pass through them. What is the reason that they do not allow this? They do not allow this because they have their own status and are not willing to sacrifice or lose it. One who truly loves the Lord and wants to experience the Lord must be one who sacrifices his own status. Mary was a virgin, but she was willing to sacrifice her status of being a virgin. If she had maintained her status of being a virgin, the incarnation of Christ could not have happened in her.

Although many among us have been saved, Christ still does not have a way to pass through us. What is the reason that He does not have a way? It is because we stay in our status and are not willing to forsake it. We all know about the great and famous revival of the Moravians in history. The unique reason for that revival was that there was a person who allowed Christ to pass through him. A young count named Zinzendorf loved the Lord to the extent that he forsook the title of count and became even more common than the common people. Because he sacrificed his own status, Christ had the way to pass through him, to fill him, and to gain ground in him so that he could be an outlet. This led to a big revival.

Today our big problem is that even though we preach Christ, very few of us are willing to sacrifice our own status. If a boss is willing to not act like a boss due to his love for the Lord, this is to sacrifice his status as a boss. If a person is not willing to sacrifice his status, Christ will not have the way to pass through him. Some Christians are very spiritual, but the problem we find in them is that they want to maintain their status. Despite the fact that they love and pursue the Lord, they still have this problem. It is this problem that prevents Christ from passing through them. A man should maintain his status as a man; however, as a lover of the Lord, he must be willing to cooperate with the Lord when the Lord requires him to sacrifice his status.

Perhaps someone will ask, “What does it mean to sacrifice one’s status?” I will give you some examples. Suppose a saint who is a manager says to his employee, “Tomorrow is the Lord’s Day. Go and hear the gospel.” This is an example of one who is not willing to sacrifice his status. Suppose a wife says to her maidservant, “Amah Wang, if you do not believe in Jesus, you will not be saved.” Although her word is right, Christ will not be able to come out of her because she remains in her status. Some people bring their status with them when they come into the church. A saint who is in a suit may not shake hands with another saint who pulls a cart for a living. He will shake hands only with a boss. This is status. This is not to say that those who love the Lord and are touched by the Lord’s love will be unethical people. In fact, they will be very ethical and will love their colleagues and servants even more. If a manager is touched by the Lord, he will be able to exhort his employee, saying, “In the flesh I am your manager, and you are my employee. But in fact, we both are sinners. What a sad thing it will be if you do not receive the Lord Jesus! I look to the Lord that you would sincerely listen to the gospel.” Please remember that this is not a doctrine but is Christ’s coming out of a person.

Sometimes people are willing to give up everything except their status. The rich fellowship with the rich, the learned fellowship with the learned, the students fellowship with the students, and those who have a position fellowship with others who have a position. Some people may say, “Birds of a feather flock together.” In principle, however, as Christians we are all of the same species. The problem is that outwardly we all have a status that we are not willing to sacrifice. As a result, the Christ within us cannot come out of us. Why is it that we still have status, and why are we not willing to lose our status? It is because we do not love the Lord enough.

As human beings, we should keep our status; however, as lovers of the Lord, we should overflow life and release Christ. Please remember that the first requirement for the overflow of life is to lose one’s status. The reason that your servants and employees are not saved is that you are not willing to lose your status. As men, we have our own status; however, as lovers of the Lord, we have no status. If for the Lord’s sake, the richer saints in the church fellowship with the poorer saints, what a beautiful scene this will be! If as a rich person with a high status and a good family, you invite some poor saints to your home to have fellowship, how beautiful this will be! This is not to say that you must do this in order to be a Christian; rather, this is to say that even though you are saved, Christ will not be able to have a way in you or to pass through you if you do not lose your status. May the Lord have mercy on us to show us that the church is Christ Himself and the outflow of Christ’s life.

(The Crucified Christ, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)