The Experience of Christby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
My burden in this chapter is not to share about the mystery; it is to have fellowship with you concerning the experience of the Christ who is the mystery of God. Christ is the center of all mysteries. Nevertheless, such a Christ can be experienced by us. In Philippians 1:19-26, for example, we see some mysteries. The first of these mysteries is found in verse 19: “I know that for me this will turn out to salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” This Spirit is a mystery. Why does Paul here speak of the Spirit of Jesus Christ? Why does he not call this Spirit the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit? No doubt, the Spirit here refers to the Holy Spirit. This is the only time in the entire Bible that the Spirit is called the Spirit of Jesus Christ. In Acts 16:7 we have the Spirit of Jesus, and in Romans 8:9, the Spirit of Christ. But in this verse we do not have merely the Spirit of Jesus or the Spirit of Christ but the Spirit of Jesus Christ. This is a mystery, for we cannot adequately understand it.
A second mystery is found in Philippians 1:20: “According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I will be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, even now Christ will be magnified in my body, whether through life or though death.” We see here that no matter what was to happen to him, Paul’s desire was that Christ would be magnified in his body. What does it mean for Christ to be magnified? Does it mean that Christ is made greater? Christ is already great. Does He then need to be enlarged? In Ephesians we are told that Christ fills all in all (1:23). How great He is! Many years ago some astronomers said that two hundred forty million solar systems form a galaxy and that forty billion galaxies form the unique center of the universe. Nevertheless, the Bible says that Christ fills all in all. Although Christ is so great, He still needs to be magnified.
In Philippians 1:21 Paul says, “To me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” In verse 23 Paul says that his desire was to depart to be with Christ. In one verse Paul says that for him to live is Christ, but in another verse he says that he wanted to depart and be with Christ. At that time was Christ present with Paul, or was He absent from Paul? Christ surely was present with Paul. Why then did Paul still expect to be with Him? This is a mystery. The experience of Christ is altogether a mystery.
The more mysterious we are, the better. However, this mystery must be our living, not a performance. Our Christian living is a mystery. Our Christian love and humility are also mysterious. The humility taught by Confucius was not a mystery. But when we Christians live out humility, this humility is mysterious. Whatever we live out from within us should be mysterious. Regarding our humility, others should say, “We cannot explain the kind of life this person lives. Although he is humble, his humility is different from that of others. His love is also different. It seems that he does not love anyone, but actually he loves others. His love is mysterious. There seems to be no limit to his love.” Although human love is limited, the proper love lived out by a Christian is unlimited. Hence, it is a mystery.
Often I have heard people say, “I simply cannot tolerate this anymore. This situation has exhausted my patience.” If our patience can be exhausted, this indicates that it is not the patience of Christ. We Christians need to live out a patience that is unlimited. The more the circumstances exhaust our patience, the more patient we are, for our patience is inexhaustible. This is a mystery. It causes others to wonder how we can be so patient.
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