Life-Study of 2 Corinthiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In foregoing messages I have pointed out that if we would touch the “meat” in the Bible, we must go beyond the “feathers” and the “skin.” Along with many other things, the Bible has both an outward appearance and an inward reality. For example, a human being has an outward appearance and also an inward reality. If you know a person merely according to his outward appearance, you actually do not know him at all. In order to know a person thoroughly, you need to know him according to his inner being. This requires that you spend much time with that person to know what he is like inwardly.
In 5:16 Paul says, “So that we, from now on, know no one according to flesh.” To know others according to the flesh means to know them merely according to the outward appearance. Paul’s desire was to know others according to the spirit, that is, according to the inner reality.
This was also the way Paul knew Christ: “Even if we have known Christ according to flesh, yet now we know Him so no longer.” This means that Paul knew Christ no longer according to the outward appearance, but according to the inward spirit. This principle applies also in our study of the Bible. If we would know the Bible, we must know not only the outward form of the Word, but also the inward reality.
I was born into Christianity and as a little child learned the song, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” This is a good song; however, the truth contained in it is only a feather truth. It is not even part of the skin in the Word. Many of the sermons given in today’s Christian circles are either in the category of feathers or in the category of skin. Few messages given among Christians take the listeners deeper than the skin and help them touch the genuine meat of the Word.
Prior to World War II, books were still being published that contained some weighty messages dealing with the meat of the Word. But in recent years it has been extremely difficult to find newly published books of this kind. Throughout the years, I have been observing the situation among Christians. I have been especially interested to see what kind of books and articles have been published concerning spiritual matters. According to my observation, since 1945 few books touching the meat of the Bible have been published. If others know of more books, I would appreciate knowing the titles and the authors. In 2 Corinthians 3 Paul speaks of the shining of the glory of the new covenant. This is part of the meat of the Word; it is not feathers or skin.
What is the glory of the new covenant? In answer to this question, some may say that the shining of the glory of the new covenant is the Spirit. Others may reply that it is resurrection, or Christ in resurrection. It is surely true to say that the glory of the new covenant is the Spirit. Second Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.” In this verse the preposition “from” is used twice. The first time is in the phrase “from glory to glory”; the second, in the phrase “from the Lord Spirit.” There is a connection between “from glory to glory” and “from the Lord Spirit.” This connection is made apparent by Paul’s use of the words “even as.” This indicates that the matter of being from glory to glory is a matter that is from the Spirit. This gives us the basis to say that glory is intimately related to the Spirit. In fact, in this verse the glory is equal to the Lord Spirit.
In 3:18 Paul says that we are being transformed into the same image. When we with unveiled face behold and reflect the glory of the Lord, He infuses us with the elements of what He is and what He has done. As a result, we are being transformed metabolically to have His life shape by His life power with His life essence, transfigured, mainly by the renewing of our mind (Rom. 12:2), into His image. Being transformed indicates that we are in the process of transformation. The phrase “from glory to glory” means from one degree of glory to another degree. This points to a continuing process in life in resurrection. Furthermore, the phrase “from the Lord Spirit” indicates that the process is proceeding from the Spirit.
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