Life-Study of Colossiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the second chapter of Colossians we see that Christ is the mystery of God (v. 2), the embodiment of the fullness of the Godhead (v. 9), and the reality of all positive things (vv. 16-17). As the One who is the very embodiment of God, Christ is the reality of all positive things for our enjoyment. When we enjoy Him in this way, we immediately realize that He is the Head of the Body (v. 19). In 3:4 Paul goes on to say that Christ is our life. In the foregoing message we pointed out that we are one with Christ in position, life, living, destiny, and glory.
We need to give particular attention to the matter of life in 3:4. Paul says that Christ is our life. Nothing is more intimately related to us than our life. Actually our life is we ourselves. If we did not have life, we would cease to be. To say that Christ has become our life means that Christ has become us. If Christ does not become us, how can He be our life? Our life cannot be separated from our person. Since Christ is our life, He cannot be separated from us. Because our life is ourself and because Christ is our life, we may say that Christ has become us. However, to say this is neither to deify ourselves nor to teach “evolution into God.”
We should not stop with the doctrinal knowledge that Christ is our life. Christ must be our life in a practical and experiential way. Day by day, we need to experience Christ as our life. Christ should be our life within, and we should have one life and living with Him.
Human words cannot express adequately what it means for Christ to be our life. This is a matter we can understand, but we are short of utterance concerning it. But even though we cannot define it fully, we can experience it. We are not even able to thoroughly define or describe our physical life. We all have life, but we cannot explain what it is. If even our physical life is mysterious, how much more is this true of Christ as our life! God is the Creator of life, the unique source of life. Although we cannot define life or understand it fully, we certainly can experience it and enjoy it. Just as we cannot deny the fact of our physical life, so we cannot deny the fact that Christ is our life. Hallelujah, I have Christ as my life! Because we have another life—Christ as our life—we can live another kind of life. This life is Christ in us as our hope of glory (1:27). Christ is our life today and our hope of glory for the future.
In 3:10 and 11 Paul goes on to speak of the new man. The new man comes out of Christ as the mystery of God for our enjoyment. When we enjoy Christ as the mystery of God, the embodiment of God, and the reality of all positive things, the issue, the result, is first the Body of Christ. Then we have the realization and experience that Christ is our life and that we are living with Him. Eventually, the outcome is a corporate man—the new man.
Recently, brothers from more than fifty churches met together for fellowship. As we were meeting together, I had the sense that we were one new man, not a society or an organization. We admit that we are still quite short of Christ in our experience. But even the amount of Christ we do have enabled us to have a good enjoyment of the new man. We have a similar experience when brothers from different countries meet together. Even though we speak different languages and need translation in order to communicate, we still have the sense that we are one new man. Even with our present experience of Christ, we have some realization of the corporate new man. This new man is the issue of our experience of Christ as the reality of all positive things, the embodiment of God, and the mystery of God. If there are some among us with no experience of Christ and no enjoyment of Christ, they will be a hindrance to our fellowship. But all of us have some enjoyment of Christ. Our languages may be different, but our enjoyment is the same. It is this enjoyment that enables us to understand one another and to experience the one new man. The enjoyment of Christ issues in the new man.
In Colossians 2 and 3 we have Christ as the mystery of God. This Christ becomes our enjoyment, and this enjoyment results first in the Body and then in the new man. The sequence here corresponds to our experience. When we enjoy Christ as the reality of all positive things, we become Body-conscious. This indicates that the enjoyment of Christ issues in the Body of Christ. Then as we go on to experience Christ as our life and have one living, destiny, and glory with Him, the issue is not just the church as the Body of Christ, but the church as the one new man. To repeat, when we experience Christ as the reality of all our daily necessities, the result is the Body life. But when we experience Christ as our life, the issue is the one new man.
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