THE HUMANITY OF ONE WHO SERVES THE LORD BEING FOUND BY OTHERS TO BE IN CHRIST
Philippians 3:9 says, “And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness which is of the law.” The Chinese Union Version renders the first part of this verse, “And being in Him.” There is a big difference between being found in Him and being in Him. To be “in Him” does not involve the matter of humanity; it only expresses a fact and a hope. The proper translation is to “be found in Him.” To “be found in Him” has to do with our humanity.
Our humanity should be Christ. Christ should be my form as a man. Others should see a form in me. This form is Christ. Christ should be my humanity.
In Philippians 1 Paul said, “As always, even now Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death” (v. 20b). Paul did not care for life or death. He always magnified Christ in his body. This magnification is a form. This form can be likened to the squares in the exercise book which we used for practicing Chinese penmanship when we were young. The teacher would write the characters properly in the top squares first. The students would then copy the words in the other squares. There was a form there; one could not write randomly. Today, we also have a square around us, which is Christ.
BEING IN CHRIST AND MAGNIFYING CHRIST AS ALWAYS
The humanity that we are speaking of here is different from the humanity taught by the Chinese Confucianists. We both speak concerning humanity, but the elements of the two speakings are different and the natures are not the same. The Confucianists’ nature at best is but bronze. But our nature is gold. Take a pocket watch as an example. We may all have a pocket watch, but your watch is bronze or steel while mine is gold. They are all watches, but they are not the same kind of watch. The difference is in their nature and element. We have to see this.
The Christian humanity does not refer to our natural virtues; rather, it is the Christ who lives in us and out of us. According to Philippians, we are people in Christ. From the day we were saved, we have been transferred from Adam into Christ. According to the parable of the sower in Matthew 13, the Lord sowed Himself into us. However, 1 Corinthians 3 considers our salvation as a kind of planting (v. 6); we have been planted into Christ. On the one hand, it is Christ growing in us. Our hearts are like the soil; they are for growing Christ. On the other hand, it is of God that we are in Christ Jesus (1:30). It is God who has translated us from Adam into Christ. Today our position is in Christ. However, we have to attain to a condition in which we are found in Christ. Moreover, whether by life or death, Christ should be magnified in our body as always. This is the Christian humanity.
OUR OLD CREATION CAUSING PROBLEMS TO OUR HUMANITY
Over the past sixty years, I have seen much that has happened. In the first thirty years, I saw things happening to Brother Nee personally. In the second thirty years, I experienced them myself. We both realized that though some Christians did love the Lord and eventually, became co-workers and elders, after a period of time they changed, and their humanity became a problem. One could no longer see any love, forgiveness, or faithfulness. There was no humility and purity. On the contrary, we saw lying. This is an undeniable fact. More than twenty years ago, a co-worker wrote a letter to me which was filled with good words and was totally positive. But after three days, another letter was sent to me from Manila; it was a copy of a letter which this same brother had written. The content of that letter was totally negative. May the Lord’s blood cover me in saying this. This matter has affected me very much and has rendered me great help.
In 1962 when I first arrived in the United States, the messages released during the first one or two years were all on transformation. Transformation is a kind of metabolism. When you add one element to another, the substance will be transformed. Before we were saved, we only had improvements. Once we are saved, the heavenly chemical element, which is the Lord Jesus, is added into us. From that time on, we have another constituent in us, and we begin gradually to be transformed.
We are transformed from being in Christ to being found in Christ. This is like what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12, that he was then only a man in Christ (v. 2). But in Philippians 3 he said that he would like to be found in Christ (v. 9). When we were saved, we had the Lord’s mercy and grace to consecrate ourselves fully to the Lord and to love Him in a pure way. At that time, surely we were in Christ, living out Christ, and found by others to be in Christ. But after many years, due to positions, private interests, and other situations, we became disturbed; as such, we could no longer live in Christ and were no longer magnifying Christ.
We have to see that it is only when the Lord returns and our bodies are redeemed that we can be totally free from the old creation. Otherwise, a certain part of our being still remains in the old creation. This is the part of the old creation that gives problems to our humanity.
(The Glorious Vision and the Way of the Cross, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)