EXCERPTS FROM THE MINISTRY
A Necessity in Our Christian Life
I am concerned about those who are troubled by our emphasis on calling on the name of the Lord Jesus. It is not correct to say that we stress this too much. Actually, calling on the Lord is a necessity in our Christian life. If you practice calling on the Lord’s name, you will be in the initial stage of the dispensational transfer. I assure you that the more you call on the name of the Lord Jesus, the more you will be brought out of the old things into the new.
Some believers have been Christians for many years. As the years have gone by, their Christian life has become quite old. Because of this oldness, they need to experience a transfer in a practical way. The most prevailing way to have such a transfer is to call, “O Lord Jesus!” I encourage you to practice this. If you call on the Lord’s name day by day, you will be able to testify many things concerning your experience of the Lord.
Calling on the name of the Lord is a great help to Christian husbands. Married brothers often have difficulty in loving their wives. If a married brother will call on the name of the Lord Jesus, he will experience a genuine change in relation to his wife and truly love her.
Likewise, a married sister can be helped by calling on the Lord’s name to submit to her husband. If such a sister does not contact the Lord by calling on Him, she may say to herself, “It is not fair that I must submit to my husband. Why should I submit to him? God is not fair to ordain that he be the head instead of me.” God’s word, however, cannot be changed. Neither can this married sister ignore the requirement that she should submit to her husband. How, then, can she be helped? The best way for her to receive help in the matter of submitting to her husband is to call on the Lord’s name. If she calls on Him day by day, she will be able to submit to her husband.
When we call on the Lord’s name, we experience a real transfer. We are brought into another realm; we are brought into the kingdom of God, which is actually the propagated Christ Himself. If we realize this, we shall understand why the matter of calling on the name of the Lord is emphasized so much in the Bible.
Whenever we call on the Lord, He has both the opportunity and ground to spread Himself within us. This is not a mere doctrine; it is something very practical for our Christian experience. Today our Lord is the all-inclusive Spirit. As the Spirit, He is omnipresent, and He is now working within us, waiting for the opportunity to spread in us. When we call on His name, we give Him the way to increase in us.
To Participate in the Lord’s Riches
An important verse related to calling on the Lord is Romans 10:12: “There is no difference between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord of all is rich to all who call upon Him.” For years, I knew only the following verse in Romans 10: “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (v. 13). I had been told that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, but I had never heard that the Lord is rich to all who call on His name. He is rich not only in initial salvation—He is rich in all divine and spiritual things. If we would participate in the Lord’s riches, we need to call on Him. Day and night, we should call on the name of the Lord. Although we may call quietly so as not to disturb others, we can still softly call, “O Lord Jesus.”
To Be Brought into Our Spirit
Once we call on the Lord’s name, we cannot remain in our natural thoughts and reasonings. From experience we know that when we call on the name of the Lord we are brought into the depths of our being, that is, we are brought into our spirit. We cannot call on the name of the Lord and at the same time stay in the natural mind. Those who reason concerning the calling may say, “Is it right to call on the name of the Lord? Is this practice scriptural? If it is scriptural, why has it not been taught by others during the last nineteen centuries?” If such a person will call on the Lord, he will be saved from his natural thoughts and reasonings. When we refuse to call we remain in the natural mind. But when we call on the Lord, we are brought into the spirit. Oh, how we need to call on the Lord so that we may enjoy Him!
To Experience the Lord’s Nearness
Calling on the Lord is a reality, for when we call on Him we touch Him. In a verse related to this calling Paul says: “The word is near you, in your mouth” (Rom. 10:8). In a very practical sense, the word here is equal to the Lord. Thus, for the word to be near means that the Lord is near. Whenever we call on the name of the Lord, we experience His nearness, His intimate presence.
How do we know that the Lord is near us? We know this by calling on the Lord. You cannot convince someone that the Lord is near him by arguing or debating with him. The more we argue, the farther away the Lord may seem to be. But if instead of arguing we call on His name a few times, we shall sense that He is near. If we continue calling on Him, we shall realize that He is not only near but even within us. The more we call on the Lord, the more He becomes our enjoyment. Through calling on Him He also becomes our peace, rest, comfort, and solution in all kinds of situations. This is not a mere doctrine or superficial teaching; this is a truth for our experience.
REMAINING IN THE TRANSFER
BY BEING FAITHFUL TO OUR VISION
With Paul, we all should learn to call on the name of the Lord Jesus in order to have a complete transfer. Then, also with Paul, we should be faithful to our vision. As we shall see, Paul was able to testify, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision” (26:19). Paul’s faithfulness is seen in his not avoiding the use of the word “Gentiles” in 22:21. May we all learn to be faithful to the vision we have seen concerning the church, the ground of the church, and Christ as the life-giving Spirit.
We should learn of Paul to present the truth in a very good way. However, this does not mean that we shall always be able to avoid opposition and attack. No matter what our presentation of the truth may be, certain ones will still oppose. Nevertheless, we must be faithful. If at any time we are not faithful to the Lord’s vision, then we are no longer in the dispensational transfer. The way to keep ourselves in this transfer is to be faithful. First, we make the transfer by calling on the name of the Lord. Then we remain in this transfer by being faithful to our vision.
(Life-Study of Acts, Chapter 61, Section 3)
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