Life-Study of Colossiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the previous message we spoke about experiencing Christ as the mystery of God. Now we shall go on to consider how to walk in such a Christ. In 2:6 Paul says, “As therefore you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him.” To walk in Christ as the mystery of God is to live, act, behave, and have our being in Him.
In chapter one of Colossians Paul presents a profound revelation of Christ. The first aspect of Christ unveiled in this chapter is Christ as the portion of the saints (v. 12). The good land in the Old Testament typifies Christ as the saints’ portion or lot. In this chapter Paul also shows that Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, the Head of the Body, the firstborn from among the dead, and the One in whom all the fullness is pleased to dwell.
Paul opens chapter two with a word about his great struggle for the Colossians that their hearts would be comforted “unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, unto the full knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ” (v. 2). Only when the hearts of the saints in Colosse were comforted, cherished, and warmed, could they have a proper understanding of Christ. This would enable them to have the genuine experience of Christ. The Colossians needed a comforted heart and a sober mind in order to have the full knowledge of the Christ they had received and from whom they had been distracted. This Christ, the mystery of God, is the One in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden (v. 3). Furthermore, He is the One in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily (2:9). Once the Colossians had the full assurance of understanding concerning the all-inclusive Christ, they could then walk in Him.
We have pointed out that the word walk in 2:6 means to live, act, behave, and have our being. The One in whom we are to walk is the all-inclusive One who is revealed in a profound way in chapter one. As such a One, Christ is the portion of the saints and the mystery of God’s economy. Like the Colossians, we need to be exhorted to walk in the Christ who is everything to us.
As Paul was writing this chapter of Colossians, he was considering the picture of the good land in the Old Testament as a type of the all-inclusive Christ. There is a suggestion of this in 1:12, where Paul says that Christ is the portion of the saints. Then in 2:6 Paul tells us to walk in Christ. This implies that Christ is the land, the territory, the realm, in which we may walk. Furthermore, his reference to being rooted in Christ in 2:7 also indicates that he was thinking of the good land. In order to be rooted in Christ, He must be our land, our soil. All these are indications that the Christ revealed in Colossians is our good land.
Paul had a strong background in the Old Testament. As he was writing such Epistles as Romans, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians, and Hebrews, he must have had the Old Testament Scriptures very much in mind, and he wrote many things according to them. In particular, as Paul was writing the book of Colossians, he had before him the picture of the land of Canaan. He was aware that God’s chosen people in Old Testament times enjoyed the good land as their portion. Furthermore, he realized that the good land was everything to them. It was through the good land that they could worship God and build the temple for God’s testimony and for His unique dwelling place. It was through the good land that God’s purpose could be fulfilled through the children of Israel. Fully realizing what the good land meant to God’s chosen people, Paul composed the Epistle to the Colossians with the portrait of the good land in mind. Therefore, if we would experience the all-inclusive Christ as revealed in this book, we need to realize that such a Christ is typified by the land of Canaan. The Christ who is typified by the good land is the processed Triune God as the life-giving Spirit. I admit that I emphasize this point again and again. This is my commission and burden from the Lord.
If we would walk in Christ as the mystery of God, we must see that, according to Paul’s concept, the Christ in whom we are to walk is the good land. Concerning this matter, we need the full assurance of understanding. Message after message could be given on the subject of Christ as the good land. This matter is inexhaustible.
The first major conference held in the United States in December, 1962, was on the all-inclusive Christ typified by the land of Canaan. Those messages have been published as The All-Inclusive Christ. A very good hymn on the experience of Christ as life was inspired by these messages. The last stanza of this hymn (Hymns, #499) is given below:
Oh, what a prize! Oh, what a gain!
Christ is the goal toward which I press.
Nothing I treasure, nor aught desire,
But Christ of all-inclusiveness.
My hope, my glory, and my crown
Is Christ, the One of peerlessness.
In that conference a number of messages were given on Deuteronomy 8:7-10. Based on these verses, we considered the unsearchable riches of the land: the water, the food, and the minerals. What we shared in those messages was only an introductory word. A great deal remains to be said about the riches of Christ typified by the land of Canaan.
Students of the Word realize that the Bible is not easy to understand. When I was a young Christian, I told the Lord that I did not agree with the way He wrote the Bible. According to my opinion, He should have written it in a systematic way, covering each of the major points systematically and putting all the material together under various major headings and subdivisions. Nevertheless, we must recognize that the Lord’s way is the best. In the Bible the Lord speaks about a particular subject in various places. Take justification as an example. This subject is covered in more than one book. Because our capacity is so limited, the Lord knew that He could reveal only a little at a time concerning spiritual matters such as justification. This is true all the more of the revelation of Christ as our good land.
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