II. THIS IS TO CONSUMMATE
GOD’S INTENTION IN MAKING
THE BELIEVERS HIS NEW CREATION
Second Corinthians 5:17 says, "So then if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, they have become new." On the one hand, God created the new creation. In God’s salvation everything is done once for all, but the application and continuation of what has been done are needed. According to 2 Corinthians 5:17, in God’s eyes we are a new creation already. But in our experience we are not yet fully new. In our experience there is a process.
In many things we are still old. The full-time training is to help us not just in knowing things but in being renewed. All the things in our environment should help us to be renewed. Every kind of inward correction is a renewing. Every kind of inward adjustment is a renewing. We need to be corrected and adjusted.
Before leaving the room where we are working, we may not return our chair to its original position under the desk or return the books to their proper place on the shelf from which we took them. Instead, we leave everything in a collapsed situation. This shows that we are short of renewing. When we are corrected again and again, we are renewed again and again. When we leave the room where we have been working, the things there should not be in a collapse but should be headed up in Christ. We need to be renewed in many small things. Every correction is a renewing. This renewing is to consummate God’s intention in making the believers His new creation.
Many of us are too rough; we are not so fine. In 1935 I was staying with a co-worker in Shanghai. Because we did not have modern conveniences where we were staying, we had to go to the kitchen to get some water for washing. When I brought this water from the kitchen to my room, I had to pass by my co-worker’s bed. When I passed by his bed, some drops of water spilled on his bed. That bothered me. I cleaned up this water, but I did not have the peace until I saw him and asked him to forgive me. This happened a number of times when we were staying together. Eventually he said, "The worst thing is to sin and not confess. The best is not to sin. To make mistakes and apologize is in between the worst and the best." I was disappointed and told the Lord, "Lord, I can never be the best. At the most I can only make mistakes and confess." That experience with that brother renewed me. If I had been careless, I could have spilled a little water on the brother’s bed without being bothered. But if we are careless in our behavior, we will not be renewed. I am often corrected by the Lord within and renewed. I hope that we can learn to be so fine. We have to be trained both in truth and in life in this way.
Washing is a fine matter. In order to wash our hands properly, we have to wash them with soap in a fine way. The renewing in our experience is very fine. We must be washed and renewed finely. When we leave our desk, it should not be a mess, in a collapsed situation. We should clear up our desk, and it should be neat when we leave it. If our desk is a mess, that means we are still old; we need to be renewed. A renewed man would not live in such a way.
A number of years ago a brother went with me to the Philippines. One day some sisters cleaned this brother’s room, and they were very troubled. His room was a mess. They saw one of his socks upon a cup on the desk. I talked to this brother and told him, "We are workers for the Lord. If you are such a person, how could you work for the Lord?" If we are careless in our living, we will also be careless and rough in the way that we study the Bible. This brother was not a new man. A new man should be renewed, adjusted, corrected. Every mistake of ours belongs to our oldness. Why are we wrong? Because we are old. A new man is not wrong. A new man is always gentle, fine, and careful, especially in his relationships with others.
Even in our own rooms, we should learn the lesson to put everything in order. In order to experience the proper renewing for our growth in life, we must be very fine. Often after we have a good time with the Lord in prayer, we become a very fine person. Our time with the Lord causes us to be restricted. If we did not pray, we would be loose and rough. But after our prayer, we do not have the peace to do certain things. This is according to our experience. How much we have grown in the Lord’s life is seen by how fine we are. If we are too rough and too fast in doing things, that is not the new man’s living.
(The Spirit with Our Spirit, Chapter 13, by Witness Lee)