Preaching the Gospel in the Way of Lifeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Ephesians 2:11 and 12 say, “Therefore remember that once you, the Gentiles in the flesh, those who are called uncircumcision by that which is called circumcision in the flesh made by hands, that you were at that time apart from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” I would like to impress you with these three short phrases: apart from Christ, having no hope, and without God. When a man is apart from Christ, he has no hope. Do you have Christ? Is Christ within you? Those who are apart from Christ, who have no hope, and who are without God are pitiful.
Still, we humans are the most wonderful creatures on this earth. We have a mind to think, emotions to love, and a heart to desire things. Moreover, we have something even deeper than the heart, that is, our inmost part, the human spirit, to seek something better, higher, and more important. That something is the very God. Many times when I was alone, I considered a little about man and said, “How wonderful he is! He can do many things. He can study. He can invent. He can even get a doctoral degree.” However, I would ask you, what is the real meaning of human life? What is the real meaning of the life of such wonderful persons that you are? Why are you existing on this earth? Is it only for clothing, eating, and sleeping? In past generations, in century after century, many thoughtful people, philosophers, and wise and learned men did their best to find the answer. We can find many books in the libraries written by these wise men, telling us this and that. However, none of those answers is satisfactory, because they all neglect the source of man.
What is the source of man? God the Creator is the source. Man was created by God. In order to know the purpose of something, we need to go to the manufacturer, the maker, and ask him why he made it. If we did not know what a soft-drink bottle is, we might consider it to be strange yet meaningful. We would ask for what purpose it was made. Someone might say, “I do not know. Maybe it is to hit people with, or maybe it is for children to play with.” I would respond, “Sir, you had better go to the maker and ask him for what purpose he manufactured this strange thing. To be sure, he will tell you that he purposely made it as a vessel to contain something.”
Romans 9 tells us that we human beings are vessels made by God. God is the Potter, and we are the clay, and out of clay God made us as vessels. We know that a vessel is a container to contain something. A bottle is a vessel, and a cup is also a vessel, a container. Even a light bulb is a vessel to contain electricity. If the purpose of a light bulb was not to contain electricity, it would indeed be a strange thing. It looks like a ball, but it is not good to play with. What would be the use of it? It would be useless, just a waste. Today, however, we know that a light bulb is not only useful but important. It contains electricity, expresses the light of electricity, and brings all of us into the light.
We too were made by God as vessels, containers, but what were we made to contain? This is a real problem. A soft-drink bottle is a vessel to contain soft drink, a cup is a container for juice at breakfast time, and a light bulb is a container to contain electricity. As containers made by God, are we made to contain and absorb knowledge? No, because we know that knowledge does not satisfy. The more knowledge you gain, the more emptiness you sense. Then what were we made to contain, receive, and absorb? It is hard for many people to say.
Friends, there is no need for me to argue with you, and there is no need for me to prove to you that in this universe, even today so close to you, so near to you, is God Himself. Today He is Christ; He is the Savior, the Lord Jesus. He is the very God. He is like the air, and He is like radio waves. He is everywhere, omnipresent, and He is waiting for you. You were made purposely as a vessel to contain Him.
I can illustrate this in the following way. Look at ourselves. We have ears, eyes, a nose, and a mouth. Within we have a mind and a stomach. With our mouth we take in water and food, and then we store the water and food in our stomach. With our ears we receive music, voices, and songs. With our eyes we apprehend the colorful scenery, and with our nose we take in sweet odors. Suppose that you are thirsty, but there is no water. What shall you do? You can do nothing but die. Suppose that you are hungry within, but there is no food supply on the whole earth. What can you do? Again, you can do nothing but die. Do you realize that today you have a spiritual thirst and a spiritual hunger within you? This thirst and this hunger can never be quenched or satisfied by anything other than God Himself in Christ.
Regardless of how much wealth you gain, what kind of degree you obtain, and what kind of position or rank you attain, if you do not have Christ within, there is a real thirst and a real hunger within you. Praise the Lord, He created us in such a way! He created a spirit within us so that we may contact Him and receive Him. You have such an organ. In a little radio there is a receiver; it is a receiving “organ.” Why did someone make this receiver? It was made purposely to receive radio waves. Why is there a part—very deep within your being—that is always thirsty and hungry? Why is it that the richer you get, the more hunger you have within? It is because there is a receiving organ within you created purposely by God. That is the human spirit. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit, in the human spirit. You have a spirit within you. Day by day that is your problem. If you did not have a spirit, you would not have this deeper thirst and hunger. It is because God created a spirit within you as a receiving organ that you are always hungry and thirsty for something deeper and something higher. That something deeper and higher is God Himself in Christ.
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