General Sketch of the New Testament in the Light of Christ and the Church, A - Part 1: The Gospels and the Acts, by Witness Lee


The third main item revealed in the first section of the New Testament is the miserable condition of fallen man. In the four Gospels many cases are mentioned which show us the real condition of fallen man. Man is sinful, weak, full of sickness and death, possessed by demons, taken over by evil spirits and by darkness, and under the power and in the kingdom of the evil one. Wherever this incarnated One went, He encountered these things.


In addition, all these cases reveal to us the all-sufficiency of Christ in meeting man’s need. There was not one case in which Christ could not meet the need. The four Gospels give us a record of man’s condition and Christ’s sufficiency to meet man’s need.

The first two items above—the incarnation and the kingdom—are very important, but they are neglected by many Christians today. The third and fourth items, however, are not as important as the first two, but they are overemphasized by many today. Wherever we go, we may hear people speaking about the miserable condition of fallen man and the sufficiency of Christ to meet our need. This shows us that people often take secondary matters as being primary.


The fifth, sixth, and seventh of the main items of the New Testament are especially deep and vitally important. The fifth item is the wonderful living of the Lord Jesus, a living which was not a human life alone but a living of the divine life through the human life.

Four Kinds of Life

According to Genesis 1 and 2, in the entire universe there are four different kinds of life. The first is the vegetable life, the lowest life without consciousness. The second is the animal life, the lower life with consciousness. The third is the human life, the higher life with consciousness. The fourth is the highest life in the universe—the uncreated, eternal, divine life which is God Himself. The first three kinds of life are found in Genesis 1, while the last kind is found in Genesis 2:9. This, of course, does not include the angelic life, which is not mentioned in Genesis 1 and 2. The angels were created as part of God’s original creation, but Genesis 1:2 through the end of chapter two is not the record of God’s original creation but an account of the recovery of God’s creation.

In the entire history of the human race and of the universe itself, there had never been a living which was the living out of the divine life. There had been the living of the vegetable life, the animal life, and the human life, but there had never been the living out of the divine life in the human life, a living which is a combination of the divine life with the human life as God Himself living in man and through man.

The Genuine Christian Living

Such a living is very wonderful, and it must be our Christian living. What is the Christian living? The Christian living is the divine life, God Himself, lived out of humanity. This must be our Christian living today. Our Christian living must be the living out of God Himself through man, a living by the divine life through the human life. In the record of the four Gospels, especially the Gospel of John, there was a man on the earth who lived not by His own life but by another life (John 6:57). He was a man, but He always lived by God, by the divine life. He was a man with the living of God. He had a wonderful living, which was a combination of God’s life with the human life.

From my youth I heard many Christian teachers and ministers speaking about love. They told us that Christianity is the religion of love, so we should love others. We were instructed from the Scriptures to love our neighbors, to love one another, and to love even our enemies. However, even if all Christians could love others, that is not the real Christian love. Genuine Christian love is not from ourselves; it is a love by God, by the divine life. We may love others by ourselves, but that is not genuine Christian love. It is not a matter of our own love but a matter of living out God. We must live out God and live God through us. The genuine Christian living is not a matter of loving or hating, or of being humble or proud; it is a matter of living out God.

(General Sketch of the New Testament in the Light of Christ and the Church, A - Part 1: The Gospels and the Acts, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)