THE LIVING OF MAN BECOMING GOD BEING A LIVING OF DEATH AND RESURRECTION UNDER THE CROSS
After the Lord practically lived out a typical God-man, He accomplished redemption through His death and resurrection to redeem us and regenerate us to be the same as He is. We are of the same life and nature as He. In this way we become God and we become the children of God. However, we still have many negative things in us. Thank the Lord, He dealt with all these negative things in His death. He went to the cross with our flesh and with our sinful human nature. We all were dealt with by Him on the cross. Our old man has been crucified with Him; thus, the old creation, the flesh, Satan, and the world, that is, everything involved with the old man, were also dealt with on the cross. Today, since we have been regenerated, we should no longer participate in or live by these things. Rather, we should reject our self as the Lord Jesus denied His self. Our self is corrupt, even corrupt to the extent of being incurable. Christ has not one bit of evil in Him and He is absolutely good, yet He had to put aside His good self. This being the case, how much more do we need to put aside our evil self. Therefore, today, if we desire to have the reality of the Body of Christ, we must live the God-man life. To live the God-man life, we need to receive the cross.
Stanza one of hymn #631 in Hymns says, “If I’d know Christ’s risen power,/I must ever love the Cross;/Life from death alone arises;/There’s no gain except by loss.” Stanza two says, “If I’d have Christ formed within me,/I must breathe my final breath,/Live within the Cross’s shadow,/Put my soul-life e’er to death.” If we know the power of resurrection, we will surely be delighted to be in the mold of the cross and to be conformed to it. Hence, Philippians 3:10 says that it is through the resurrection power of Christ that we are conformed to the death of Christ. By ourselves we cannot be conformed to Christ’s death; by ourselves we cannot deny ourselves. We are conformed to the death of Christ by the power of His resurrection, which is not a thing or a matter but a person, the life-giving Spirit.
The life-giving Spirit is the compound Spirit, the pneumatic Christ, the consummation of the processed and consummated Triune God. This is resurrection. The Lord clearly said that He is the resurrection (John 11:25). Therefore, resurrection is the consummation of the Triune God, the pneumatic Christ, who accomplished redemption for us and who is the life-giving Spirit indwelling us. Today He lives in us to dispense the divine life into us daily. This divine life is the life of the One who is God yet man, the life that was lived out by the One who was God incarnated to be a man and who became the God-man, not by His human life but by His divine life.
NO LONGER I LIVING ALONE, BUT GOD LIVING TOGETHER WITH ME
The way for us to live out a God-man is by death and resurrection. We are dying every moment of every day, and we are living every moment of every day by the indwelling life-giving Spirit. According to my experience as a Christian, in the beginning, before I had received any help from Brother Nee, although I was pursuing, I did not know anything regarding what the experience of life is. I was taught by the Brethren for seven and a half years, but all those teachings were outward, superficial things. From the time I came into contact with Brother Nee, I knew I needed to die, I needed to remain on the cross, and I needed to live according to the Spirit. Gradually, in the Lord’s recovery the Lord has shown me that this is not all and that this is not sufficient. We still need to see that the Christian life which the Lord desires is one in which we are all day long, every minute and every second, under death, having one life and one living with the indwelling Triune God, the pneumatic Christ, the life-giving Spirit. This is why stanza three of the new hymn says, “No longer I alone that live,/But God together lives with me.”
Concerning this matter, there is a wrong teaching in Christianity. Some say that we Christians live an exchanged life. They say that our life is very bad, so Christ nailed it on the cross, and in exchange, Christ Himself comes to live in us; hence, it is a matter of an exchange in life. This kind of teaching is wrong. We were crucified on the cross, but that crucifixion was not our end; rather, we were resurrected. It is true that Galatians 2:20 does say that we are crucified with Christ, yet we did not stop there but were resurrected with Christ. On the one hand, I was terminated; on the other hand, the resurrected “I” still lives. I did not hand myself over in exchange for another life. Rather, the old “I” was uplifted, and Christ is living in the new “I.” This is why, on the one hand, Paul said that he was crucified with Christ and was terminated, but on the other hand, he went on also to say that “I…live.” “It is no longer I who live,” but this does not mean that there is no more I, because “I now live.” How do I live? I live by exercising the faith of the Son of God; that is, I live by Christ Himself. “No longer I” does not mean that I am no more; it means that I who live by myself am no more. When we say that we are crucified with Christ, it does not mean that Christ comes in to replace us and there is no more I. This kind of interpretation is wrong.
(The High Peak of the Vision and the Reality of the Body of Christ, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)