Life-Study of Colossiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In chapter two Paul says that Christ is the mystery of God and that in Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden. Now that we have received such a Christ, we should walk in Him, having been rooted and being built up in Him. To walk in Christ is to have our living and our being in Him. In 2:9 and 10 Paul goes on to say that in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and that we in Him have been made full. In Christ we have been completed, perfected, supplied, and satisfied. Furthermore, in Christ we were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, we were buried with Him in baptism, and we were also raised together in Him (vv. 11-12). According to verses 14 and 15, the handwriting in ordinances which was against us has been wiped out, and the rulers and authorities have been stripped off. All these things are true in Christ.
All the matters mentioned above are elements of Christ as the rich soil in which we are rooted. The first element of this soil is the fullness of the Godhead. Other elements include circumcision, burial, being raised, the wiping out of the ordinances, and the stripping off of the powers of darkness. Since we have been rooted in Christ, we may now absorb all these rich elements into our being.
In the eyes of God, believers can be likened to plants. For this reason Paul could say, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God made to grow” (1 Cor. 3:6, Gk.). Paul also said that we are God’s farm, God’s plantation (1 Cor. 3:9, Gk.). We have been planted into Christ who is the good land with very rich soil.
Verses 16 through 19 form a distinct section in Colossians 2. The matters in verse 16—eating, drinking, feasts, new moons, and Sabbaths—are all shadows, of which Christ is the reality, the substance. The “things to come” are the things related to Christ. In verses 18 through 19 Paul speaks of not being defrauded of our prize and of holding the Head. We have pointed out that, experientially and practically, to hold the Head is to enjoy Christ as the reality of all positive things. The result of holding the Head in this way is that we become Body-conscious. Whatever we enjoy of Christ is related to Him as the Head. This is why, when we enjoy Christ, we are actually holding the Head. We enjoy Christ as food, drink, Sabbaths, new moons, and feasts. But the Christ we enjoy in all these aspects is the Head who causes us to become conscious of the Body. The One we enjoy is not only Christ to us; He is the Head of the Body. Therefore, the issue, the consequence, of enjoying Christ and holding Him as the Head is Body-consciousness.
To enjoy Christ, holding Him as the Head, is to absorb into us the rich elements of Christ as the soil. Two of these elements are the experience of having died with Christ and of having been raised with Him. In 2:20 Paul indicates that we have “died with Christ from the elements of the world,” and in 3:1 he says that we were “raised together with Christ.” The New Testament clearly says that we have been crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20). When I was a young believer, I tried my best to figure out how this could be true. How could we have died with Christ when He was crucified more than nineteen hundred years ago? Certain books point out that when Christ was crucified, He included us. Brother Nee used Hebrews 7 to illustrate this. According to Hebrews 7:9 and 10, “Levi also, who receives tithes, has been made to pay tithes; for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchisedec met him.” This means that when Abraham offered one-tenth to Melchisedec, Levi, the descendant of Abraham, who was in Abraham’s loins at the time, also offered tithes. If Abraham had died childless, Levi would have died also. This illustration helped me to see how we were included in Christ when He was crucified.
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