Life-Study of 2 Corinthiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the foregoing messages we have pointed out that Paul is a pattern of living Christ for the church. In 2 Corinthians this pattern is revealed in a number of aspects. We have already covered four of these aspects. First, a person who lives Christ for the church does not trust in himself, but trusts in God who raises the dead. Paul refers to this aspect in 1:9: “But we ourselves had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not have confidence in ourselves, but in God, Who raises the dead.” Related to this aspect are the matters of conducting ourselves not in fleshly wisdom, but in the grace of God and of being one with the unchanging Christ of the faithful God. In 1:12 Paul says, “For our boasting is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in singleness and sincerity of God, not in fleshly wisdom, but in the grace of God, we conducted ourselves in the world, and more abundantly toward you.” In 1:18 Paul declares that God is faithful; in verse 19, that in Christ is yes; and in verse 20, that “whatever promises of God there are, in Him is the Yes.” Therefore, we speak of the unchanging Christ of the faithful God.
The second aspect involves being attached, anointed, sealed, captured, subdued, and led to scatter the incense of Christ. Paul speaks concerning these matters in 1:21 and 22 and 2:14-16.
In 3:3-6 Paul comes to the third aspect of the pattern of living Christ for the church. This aspect is that we are competent of Christ as the spiritual alphabet to write living letters with the life-giving Spirit of the living God. The fourth aspect of this pattern is that of shining the glory of the new covenant (3:7-11), and the fifth aspect, which we shall consider in this message and in the message following, is that of being transformed into the image of the Lord from glory to glory as from the Lord Spirit by beholding and reflecting His glory with unveiled face.
I appreciate all these aspects of Paul as a pattern of living Christ for the church. Paul and the other apostles lived a life in which they had no confidence in themselves. Rather, their confidence was altogether in the God of resurrection. They did not conduct themselves in fleshly wisdom, but in the grace of God. They were also one with the unchanging Christ of the faithful God; that is, they were one with the Christ who is the Yes. Furthermore, they were attached to God’s anointed One, and they were anointed by God and sealed. As those attached to the anointed One, they were also captured, subdued, and led by God to celebrate Christ’s victory. As captives marching in Christ’s triumphal procession, they scattered the incense of Christ wherever they went. Actually the apostles’ journey of ministry was not an ordinary journey; it was a triumphal procession celebrating Christ’s victory in the universe.
Paul and his co-workers were also competent of Christ as the heavenly alphabet to write living letters of Christ, with Christ, and for Christ. The “ink” used in writing these letters was the life-giving Spirit of the living God. The apostles inscribed Christ into the saints and in this way wrote living letters with the Spirit as the ink. As a result, the saints became living letters of Christ for others to read.
Furthermore, Paul and his co-workers were shining forth the glorified, resurrected Christ. In their lives the blossoming Christ, the Christ in resurrection, could be seen. They were shining forth the Christ who is the life-giving Spirit. With them there was such a shining, such a glory.
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