Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
We have pointed out in previous messages that, according to the experience of life, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are three parts of one complete person and that we should not consider them as three separate individuals. If we know the life in the book of Genesis, we shall see that, in the eyes of God, these three persons are one complete unit in the experience of life.
In this message we come to the second aspect of the experience of the calledthe experience of Isaac (21:128:9; 35:28-29). It is not easy for Christians to understand the experience of Isaac. It is quite easy, on the contrary, to understand the three main aspects of Abraham's experience: being called by God, living by faith in God, and living in fellowship with God. But what shall we say about Isaac? As we read the record of his life in chapters twenty-one through twenty-eight, what do we see of the experience of life? We do not see that he was called, lived by faith in God, or lived in fellowship with God. According to Genesis, we see how Isaac was born, was married, and begat two sons. But it is difficult to say what experience of life we find in the record of Isaac.
In the record of Isaac's life the experience of grace is implied. What Isaac experienced was the inheriting of God's grace. The grace of God was not as fully revealed in the Old Testament as it is in the New Testament, because grace actually came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17). After Christ came, there is a full and thorough revelation of grace, and in the New Testament the word grace is used again and again. The New Testament even closes with the mention of grace: "The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen" (Rev. 22:21). The Bible begins in the Old Testament with the word, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," and it ends in the New Testament with the word, "The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints." Although the record in Genesis concerning Isaac does not have the term grace, nevertheless such a thing is implied there. This is the reason that it is quite difficult for many to understand the Bible. In the Bible, there may be a certain thing but not the term to describe it. Although Isaac's experience is recorded in Genesis, it is difficult to designate the experience he had as the experience of grace.
According to the New Testament revelation, as far as the experience of life is concerned, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob should not be considered as three separate individuals, but as aspects of one complete person's experience of life. Abraham represents the aspect of being called, of living by faith in God, and of living in fellowship with God. Isaac represents the aspect of inheriting grace and enjoying the inheritance of grace. Jacob represents the aspect of being chosen, being dealt with by the Lord, and being transformed into a prince of God. In the experience of life, there is the aspect of enjoyment, the enjoyment of grace. Most of us have heard messages saying that the Christian life should be a suffering life, a life of bearing the cross and groaning in prayer. Have you not heard messages telling you that today is not the time of enjoyment but the time of suffering and of bearing the cross, and that our enjoyment will begin at the time of the Lord's coming back? I do not say that this is wrong, but I do say that it is only one aspect of the Christian life. There is another aspectthe aspect of enjoyment.
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