Life-Study of Markby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the foregoing message we pointed out an important difference between the Epistle of James and the Gospel of Mark. In James we see something of a life that is not fully according to and for God’s New Testament economy. In Mark we see a life that is fully according to and for God’s New Testament economy. In fact, the life presented in the Gospel of Mark is the reality, substance, and pattern of God’s New Testament economy.
Perhaps you are wondering what our reason is for saying that in the Gospel of Mark we see a life that is the substance of God’s New Testament economy. We say this because the life the Lord Jesus lived was the expression of God. According to the Gospel of Mark, there is no indication that the Lord Jesus was living merely in a way to keep the law, that He did certain things simply because they were required by the law. Furthermore, the Gospel of Mark does not indicate that the Lord Jesus only lived a good life. How, then, did the Lord live? The Lord Jesus lived God, and He expressed God. Whatever He did was God’s doing from within Him and through Him. This means that all that the Lord Jesus did was not merely the keeping of the law or the doing of good in an ethical sense. The Lord Jesus was a Person who lived God and expressed Him in all that He said and did.
I can assure you that there has never been another life like that of the Lord Jesus. The biographies of other people may indicate that they were good or that they tried to keep the law of God. But the Lord Jesus is the only One who lived God and expressed Him in a full way. Of course, the Lord never broke the law, and He never did anything wrong. Nevertheless, the crucial matter regarding His life was not that He kept the law or that He did good. The crucial point is that He lived God and expressed Him. The Lord’s living was not in the kingdom of law-keeping or of doing good. He lived altogether in another kingdom, the kingdom of God.
Do you live in the kingdom of God? We may say that we live in the kingdom of God, but we may live in another realm in a practical way day by day. Instead of living in the kingdom of God, we may live in the kingdoms of law, ethics, or morality. Throughout the centuries, many saints have lived in these kingdoms and not in the kingdom of God.
Especially since the time of John Wesley, there has been much talk among Christians concerning holiness. Some regard holiness as a matter of so-called sinless perfection. Others think that holiness is related to regulations concerning such matters as the style of dress. Regulations such as these are not in the kingdom of God. They belong to another kingdom, perhaps the kingdom of good.
Those who live in the kingdom of God have God as their life, and they live Him. God lives in them, through them, and out of them. As a result, they live a life that expresses nothing other than God Himself. God is the real holiness, morality, and ethics. Therefore, to have God as life and to live Him is to live in a way that is higher than human morality or ethics.
Only the kind of life that lives God and expresses Him produces the Body of Christ. Any other way of living always damages the Body. Throughout its history the church has been divided not mainly by evil things, but primarily by good things that are not God Himself. If all Christians would care only for God Himself and for having Him as life and living Him, there would not be any divisions among believers.
The reason there would be no divisions if we all cared only for God Himself is that God is one. In Ephesians 4:4-6 Paul speaks of the one Body, the one Spirit, the one Lord, and the one God and Father. If we see the oneness in Ephesians 4, we shall know how to keep the oneness of the Body of Christ, a oneness that is actually the Triune God Himself. If we all have God as our holiness, righteousness, and everything to us, there will not be any divisions among us. However, if we have something other than God, there will be divisions. Anything that we have other than God Himself is a factor of division.
It is God’s intention in His recovery to bring us back to His New Testament economy. The pattern for God’s New Testament economy is found in the life of the Lord Jesus, as presented in the Gospel of Mark. Not even the writings of Paul present us a complete pattern, because at least once Paul himself was distracted from the New Testament economy of God. Hence, not even Paul is a complete pattern of God’s economy.
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