THE GRAFTED LIFE
In order to grow in life, we need to see that the Christian life is a grafted life (Rom. 11:24; 6:5; Gal. 2:20). Two trees of diverse kinds cannot be grafted. They cannot grow together because they are not of one kind. Because man was created according to God’s kind, man and God can be grafted together. If we are not clear about the principle of grafting, we will not be able to properly apprehend the matter of life. We will make mistakes related to life. Many Christians emphasize certain verses related to the Christian life, such as Romans 6:5 and Galatians 2:20. They feel that these verses refer to an exchanged life. However, the grafted life is not an exchanged life. The Christian life is a mingling of two lives, a life of two natures. Both lives still exist in the grafting.
Jesus was a fully grafted person, a person of two natures. On the one hand, when He lived on the earth He was the real God. On the other hand, He was a man expressing God. He was God expressed through man. We also are persons of two natures, the human and the divine. When we receive the divine life, our human life is not ended. Our human life still exists.
Even though the human and divine lives are of one kind, one is stronger than the other. We are now living by a weaker life with a stronger life. Whenever a weaker life is put with a stronger life, the stronger one subdues the weaker one. The sisters are the weaker vessels married to the brothers, who are the stronger vessels. For this reason, the wife takes the husband’s surname as her own. In this sense, the wives are subdued. On their wedding day, the sisters realize this and put a covering over their head. During the wedding only the husband’s head can be seen. This indicates that the two should live one life.
In the meeting we may joyfully proclaim, “I am a part of Christ, I am one with Christ, and I am mingled with Christ.” However, after the meeting, we may desire to be the head and want Christ to be the covered one. We must always remember that we are the wife and He is the Husband. As such, we are two persons living one life together without separation. One lives in the other and through the other. This is the way the grafted life can come into being.
When we love, we do not love by ourselves. We love with Christ, through Christ, and in Christ, and Christ loves through us. This kind of love does not express our human virtue alone, but our human virtue with Christ’s divine attributes. His divine love becomes the very essence of our human love. This is not two loves existing together, but one love living in the other. This can be compared to a hand in a glove. The hand and the glove are not two parties merely existing together. Rather, the hand is put into the glove, making the two objects one. When we are loving others, it is Christ who is loving, but not by Himself; Christ is loving through us. He is the “hand” and we are the “glove,” not as a pair, but as one in the other. The human life has the divine life within it as its content, and the divine life has the human life as its expression. If this is not clear to us, we can never understand the Christian life.
Thank the Lord that there is such a thing as grafting. Hymn #482 in Hymns was written by A. B. Simpson, the founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Verse three says:
This the secret nature hideth,
Harvest grows from buried grain;
A poor tree with better grafted,
Richer, sweeter life doth gain.
We must learn to see the grafted life and learn to exercise and practice it. We should not be joined with Christ as a pair. We must be joined to Him in the way of coinherence. He lives in us and we live in Him.
The Christian life is a grafted life, the mingling of two lives which are close in kind. To see this and practice it requires us to be in our spirit. We need to walk in life according to the spirit and do nothing without Christ. We should do everything with Christ and through Christ. If we do not have the assurance that we are doing something with Christ and through Christ, we should stop. This principle must be practiced throughout our entire Christian life.
(The Experience and Growth in Life, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)