Life-Study of 2 Corinthiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Chapters three and four of 2 Corinthians are the most crucial chapters of both 1 and 2 Corinthians. No other chapters in these Epistles are so related to the constitution of Christ for the deeper experience of life. These two chapters are very deep in the experience of life. First, these chapters reveal how the apostles, as ministers of the new covenant, were constituted. They were reorganized, rearranged, having been made ministers of the new covenant.
Paul considered himself the chief among the sinners. How could such a rebel against God become a minister of the new covenant, a minister of Christ for the carrying out of God’s economy? It is certainly a great matter to convert a rebel against God into a minister of Christ for the accomplishing of God’s administration in the New Testament age.
In order for Paul to become a minister of Christ, he was first reborn and then reconstituted. Rebirth is not sufficient to make someone a minister of the new covenant; it is also necessary for that one to be reorganized, rearranged, reconstituted. A new constitution, however, requires a new element. Without the element as the essence of the constitution, it is not possible for us to be constituted of anything. The redemption of Christ brings us back to God, but it does not do the work of constitution. This work requires some element in addition to the redeeming blood of Christ. This element is not only life, or the Spirit; it is the processed God.
I would call your attention to the steps of the process through which God has passed: incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection. These four major steps of God’s process are also the ingredients of the processed God as the element with which we are constituted. These ingredients are typified by the four spices compounded with olive oil to make the ointment in Exodus 30. The olive oil was the basic element, and the four spices were the ingredients compounded with this element. The compound produced as a result of this process was the ointment with its ingredients.
God is the Spirit, the olive oil, the basic element. The four spices are related to incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection. Incarnation brought divinity into humanity and made them one entity. But neither divinity nor humanity was changed in nature. No, divinity remains divinity, and humanity remains humanity. This is illustrated by the mingling of oil with fine flour in the meal offering. The oil and the flour are mingled together to form one entity with two natures. However, each nature remains separate and complete. The oil does not lose its nature, and the flour does not change its nature. Nevertheless, the oil and the flour are mingled together to produce one entity. But this entity is not a third nature, something that is neither oil nor flour. Rather, it is a complete entity with two natures, the nature of oil and the nature of flour. This is an illustration of incarnation bringing divinity into humanity, making them one and causing them to live as one.
The Lord Jesus, a wonderful Person with two natures, divinity and humanity, lived in the home of a carpenter in Nazareth for thirty years. After completing His ministry, He was crucified. His human living implies that He passed through everything in humanity related to the first creation. When He was crucified, He brought the entire old creation to the cross and terminated it. Because the old creation has been terminated, we should not be bothered by our problems. In the sight of God, all these problems have been terminated. God sitting on the throne can say to Satan, “Little Satan, what are you trying to do? Are you still causing trouble? I’ll give you a little more time to play. However, you must realize that I have already terminated you. You, along with the old creation, have been terminated.” Satan and the old creation have been terminated, and we also were terminated by the death of Christ on the cross. This termination is the true significance of the crucifixion.
Through His resurrection Christ brought God’s chosen and redeemed people into God. Incarnation brought God into man; resurrection brought man into God. Today we, the redeemed people of God, not only have God in us; we also are in God. It is wonderful to have God in us, but it is even more wonderful to be in God.
Perhaps you are not very conscious of the fact that you are in God. By the Lord’s mercy I can testify that I definitely have the sense, the consciousness, that I am a man in God. Apparently, I am a man living on earth; actually, I am a man in God. God is in me, and I am in Him.
God has been brought into us through incarnation, and we have been brought into God through Christ’s resurrection. This is the Triune God, the processed God. The processed Triune God is the very element with which we have been constituted.
Some may say, “I do not feel as if I have been constituted with the processed Triune God.” You may not feel this, but you need to believe it. As Christians, we need to live by faith and walk by faith, not by sight (5:7). We are believers, not those who walk by sight. Are you a believer or one who walks by sight? A believer is one who does not trust in things that can be seen, but he takes certain unseen things, confesses them, and realizes them by faith. To be one who walks according to feelings is even worse than being one who walks by sight. You may not feel that you are living in a certain place. Actually you are living there. Feelings are not trustworthy. You may feel that you are wonderful, but your condition may be pitiful. Do not believe in your feelings— believe in the facts. It is a fact that we all have been brought into God. The processed Triune God is the very element with which we have been constituted. You may not feel constituted, or that there has been any change within you. Again I say, be a believer, one who walks by faith, not one who walks according to his feelings. When God says a certain thing, you should also speak that thing simply because the Bible tells you so. The Bible reveals that God has been processed through incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection. Now in resurrection, He is the life-giving Spirit dwelling in our spirit as the constituting element. The Bible says this, and we must believe it.
Brother Nee often said that first we have fact, then faith, then experience. The sequence is not experience, faith, and fact. The facts are always first. But how do we know about the facts? The facts are recorded in the New Testament. This testament is a will, something stronger and better than a covenant. A covenant is an agreement similar to a contract. But a testament, a will, refers to something already accomplished. Suppose a will declares that a person has been given a million dollars. The evidence, the proof, of this is the will.
The New Testament is a will. This will says that the processed God is now in us, that He is our portion, and that He is the element with which we have been constituted. Yes, we have been constituted. We need to believe this fact, just as we believe that we are children of God. Sometimes the Devil says, “Look at yourself. Are you a son of God? How can you say you are a son of God when you lost your temper this morning?” Even when we lose our temper, we must insist on believing that we are sons of God. Thus, we should say, “Satan, even though I have lost my temper many times, I am still a son of God. Losing my temper does not change the fact that I am a son of God. Satan, with my declaration of this fact, I chase you away.”
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