TO LIVE BEING CHRIST
Paul was a good pattern of one who lived according to the spirit, one who lived Christ. He always allowed Christ to be magnified in his body under any circumstances, whether smooth or rough, good or bad, whether through life or through death (Phil. 1:20b). What does this mean? This means that he ignored his mind, emotion, and will but cared only for the spirit within him by always opening up to the spirit. In this way Christ was lived out through him and was magnified in his body. First Christ entered into him, and then Christ was lived out from him. Christ was lived out and thus magnified. As a result, he could say, “For to me, to live is Christ” (v. 21a). When Paul lived, his living was Christ; this was his experience. This is why I want to speak to you something concerning our experience. Ever since I spoke about living Christ three or four years ago, I have often been asked this question: What is it to live Christ? We coined the phrase live Christ. Most Christians would say live by Christ, but this kind of utterance is not adequate. The word living in the phrase living Christ is a verb not an adjective. To live Christ means to live out Christ; therefore, to live is Christ.
LIVING CHRIST IN OUR DAILY LIFE
Recently someone also asked me, “How do I live Christ?” I will give a general answer to this question. First of all, let us see the experience of Christians in living Christ. Many Christians live according to themselves in their daily life. When it is time to go to the meeting, a Christian reminds himself, “I am going to the meeting now, so I have to exercise my spirit.” Then he may have a little prayer to ask the Lord to bless the meeting. His wife would also remind him, “You always speak in haste. It is all right to speak hastily at the dinner table, but at the meeting you should be more cautious!” Thus, at the meeting he tries to be cautious and prays to the Lord, “O Lord, touch me by Your Spirit.” Then when he is inspired, he says, “O Lord! Indeed You are my life!” This is one who lives Christ only during the meetings. Another one may live Christ in another way: A wife, for example, may have been bothering her husband for the past few days, or a husband may have been showing his displeasure towards his wife, and the situation has become unbearable, and this one is compelled to turn to the Lord and say, “O Lord, I am in fear and trembling simply because I am afraid that I will lose my temper and get into an exchange of words or even a fight. I want to live by You in fear and trembling.” This is one who lives Christ only in times of difficulties. These examples prove that you do not live Christ when there are no meetings or difficulties. In our daily life, we all live ourselves instead of Christ. We live Christ only when it is time to go to the meetings or when we need to depend on Him in the midst of difficulties. This is the true situation of our daily living.
Brothers and sisters, we have to go against our habits. We should not wait to live Christ until we go to the meetings, speak in the meetings, or encounter difficult situations and persecutions. Rather, in our daily life, towards our wife, our children, or anyone, we should live and walk according to the spirit and not according to the soul, including the mind, emotion, and will. This is to live Christ in our daily living.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIVING CHRIST AND ADHERING TO RELIGION
If a Christian waits until he is in a meeting to act like he is living Christ, then that is to have a true, formal, first-class religion. To be in a religion is to perform a kind of life in the meetings that is different from one’s daily life. If you do not live Christ in your daily life, yet you try to perform something when you go to the so-called Sunday worship, that is religion. Today the Lord does not want religion; what He wants is for us to live Christ whether in our daily life or in the meetings.
Today the Lord is in our spirit as our life. Therefore, we must exercise our spirit daily that Christ may be lived out through us. Just as I speak in the spirit in the meetings before the elders, so I also speak in the spirit at the family dinner table to my wife and children. Every day I live and walk according to the spirit. Then this is not religion but a spiritual living. This is the kind of living we ought to have; this is to live Christ. By this we experience the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ to be our salvation in all things. The indwelling Spirit with the bountiful supply will save us from the old creation and from the living that is of the old creation. If we live by and according to the spirit in all things, including big things and small things, and not just only in the meetings, then we have Christ instead of religion. We need to see that today we are in the Lord’s recovery, not in religion. Therefore, we need to live Christ and not adhere to religion.
THE WAY OF SPIRITUAL LIVING— WALKING ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT
How can we have such a spiritual living? The secret lies in our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our God, our Creator, our Redeemer, our Savior, and the Lord of all, but today He has become the life-giving Spirit dwelling in us in a true and living way to be our life. Therefore, we should not speak, behave, live, or move according to our soul but according to our spirit. Moreover, we should remain in our spirit. The spirit in us is living and sensitive; we must exercise and learn to live and walk according to the sense of the spirit every time and everywhere. Moreover, we should establish a life of living Christ. Then we can say as Paul said, “For to me, to live is Christ.”
(The Subjective Experience of the Indwelling Christ, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)