THE WAY TO EXPERIENCE LIFE
Romans 8 gives us the way to experience the life of Christ. In this chapter there are five critical verses related to life. Verse 2 speaks of the Spirit of life. Verse 10 says that if Christ is in us, our human spirit is life. Verse 6 says that the mind set on the spirit is life. Verse 11 says that the indwelling Spirit gives life even to our mortal body. The Spirit is life, our human spirit is life, our mind is life, and even our body is life. Finally, verse 13 says that we need to put to death by the indwelling Spirit the practices of the body. If we do this, our entire being will live. These verses speak on the one hand of the Holy Spirit and on the other hand of our human spirit. These two spirits are mingled together as one spirit. The dispensing of the Triune God into us makes us life in the three parts of our being: first in our spirit, second in our mind, the main part of our soul, and third in our body. We are becoming persons in life. In this way, we are being saved in the life of Christ minute by minute, and we live a life in resurrection. Moreover, the element of resurrection is the newness of this life. Now, after being reconciled to God, we are being saved in such a life, the life that has passed through death and burial and today is in resurrection.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Question: Romans 6:4 says that we have been buried with Christ through baptism into death. Then verse 5 says that we shall be in the likeness of His resurrection. However, note 3 of Philippians 3:10 in the Recovery Version says, “With Christ, the sufferings and death came first, followed by the resurrection; with us, the power of His resurrection comes first, then the fellowship of His sufferings and conformity to His death.” In what order do we experience death and resurrection?
Answer: In Romans 6 death is first, followed by resurrection. According to fact, resurrection is based upon death. The facts are our history: first we died with Christ, and then we resurrected. However, Philippians 3 is not according to fact but according to experience. In our experience, resurrection is followed by death. The power of resurrection is Christ Himself. Since we have Him within us, we have the power of resurrection. By this power we are enabled to live a life on the path of Christ’s death, in the mold of His death.
Question: Often when situations surprise us, there is a reaction of the old man within us. How should we deal with that reaction? Should we simply say “No” to the old man at that time, or must we remain “on the mountaintop” at all times in order to be prepared for every situation?
Answer: The Lord Jesus with His three disciples did not remain on the mountaintop for very long (Matt. 17:1-8). When they came down from the mountain, they found a case of demon possession (vv. 14-21). We must realize that our environment fluctuates all the time. The Lord Jesus is on the mountaintop, and He is also in the valley. According to His presence, there is no difference between the mountain and the valley. He always remains the same. We should not care for the environment; we should care only for His presence. We do not live according to the environment. For the unbelievers, the only aspect of their experience is the environment. We believers, however, live according to the Lord’s presence. This requires a daily experience of the Lord. If we have the adequate experience of the Lord every day, we will remain the same when the environment changes.
(The Experience and Growth in Life, Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)