- The Bible is a very complicated book. Some fundamentalists say that the Bible does not contradict itself. But the more we study the Bible, the more contradictions we find in it. We have to realize that in the whole universe if there is no contradiction, nothing can remain, nothing can exist. All things exist by contradiction.
- Today we are in the "kitchen" of the Christian life. While a meal is being cooked in a kitchen, everything is a mess there. Today our experience is in the kitchen, not on the dining table. In our Christian life, when everything is cooked and put on the dining table, that will be the New Jerusalem.
- The first point is that the Christian life is the life in which the believers of Christ live Christ and magnify Christ
- The second point is that the Christian life is the life in which the Christians live Christ and magnify Him corporately in their locality as a local church to be a local expression of Christ as a part of the universal Body of Christ
- We need to live an individual Christian life for a corporate Christian life. The corporate Christian life is the church life. This refers specifically to the local church. If we do not have a local church life, we cannot experience anything of the universal Body of Christ.1
- The Bible is like a great jigsaw puzzle with many small parts, but all of these parts are scattered. The Bible does not arrange the truths in a certain sequence, putting the parts together to present a full and perfect picture.
- In your study you may have picked up ten parts, but none of these parts are connected to one another. Every part stands by itself. You need to spend time to collect more parts of the puzzle and put them together gradually.
- We should not just hold one part and think that this is everything. We have to be patient and go on to pick up more and more parts until we have a complete view.
IN WHICH THE BELIEVERS OF CHRIST
LIVE CHRIST AND MAGNIFY HIM
- The Christian life is the life in which the believers of Christ live Christ and magnify Him. This is based upon Philippians 1:20-21a, which says, "According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I will be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, even now Christ will be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death. For to me, to live is Christ."
- Paul said that for him to live was Christ. This means that we need to live Christ. If we add a preposition to the phrase to live Christ, this changes the meaning. To live out Christ, to live by Christ, to live through Christ, to live with Christ, and to live in Christ are not quite the same in meaning as to live Christ. According to my knowledge, I never heard anyone use this term—to live Christ. This describes the fact that Paul's life was to live Christ. He lived Christ because Christ lived in him (Gal. 2:20).
- The term to live Christ bears a particular significance. We are here to live Christ. We are not just living by Him, living with Him, living in Him, or living Him out. We are living Christ, and this living of Christ is for us to magnify Him, to make Him larger in others' eyes.
- The Christian life is not merely an ethical life, a good life, or a moral life. The Christian life, of course, should be ethical, moral, and excellent. But strictly speaking, it is not an ethical life. It is something higher than an ethical life. The Christian life is a life that lives Christ. In our living as a Christian, others should not see merely our goodness, our ethics, or our morality. They should see Christ. We Christians should live a life that lives Christ and magnifies Him.
- Christ is the center of the Godhead. The Godhead is the Divine Trinity—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—and Christ is the center of the Divine Trinity. As the center of the Divine Trinity, Christ expresses the Father and is realized as the Spirit (John 14:10-20).
- What is it for Christ to express the Father and be realized as the Spirit? In the four Gospels, we see a wonderful person by the name of Jesus. He spoke the Father's word (John 14:10, 24) and did the Father's work (John 4:34; 17:4). He did whatever the Father did (John 5:19). John 14 shows that the Son is the embodiment and expression of the Father (vv. 7-11) and that the Spirit is the reality and realization of the Son (vv. 17-20). Christ is the Son, and He is the Father (Isa. 9:6; John 14:8-9).
- He is also the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:17; 1 Cor. 15:45b). When He was in His earthly ministry, many knew that He was a Nazarene and the son of Mary. Yet He was also the embodiment of the Triune God. He was the Son who was with the Father (John 8:29; 16:32) and by the Spirit (Luke 1:35; Matt. 1:18, 20; 12:28). He did everything with the Father and by the Spirit. He expressed God the Father, acted by the Spirit, and was eventually realized as the Spirit. In the Gospels, we can see the Father, Son, and Spirit in one person, Jesus. This is the One whom we need to live as our mysterious life.
- This Christ is the life, the unique life, and no other life is the real life (John 14:6a). The Christ who is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit is the life.
- At the end of Matthew, the Lord charged the disciples to go and baptize people into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (28:19). But in the Acts and the Epistles we cannot find this saying again. Acts says that they baptized people into the name of the Lord Jesus (8:16; 19:5), and Romans 6:3 and Galatians 3:27 speak of being baptized into Christ. This shows that Jesus Christ is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. To baptize people into the name of the Lord Jesus and into Christ equals and is to baptize people into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Therefore, Jesus Christ is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.
- A person's full name is actually composed of three names—the first name, the middle name, and the last name. This is following the pattern of the Triune God. One God has three titles—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. As the embodiment of the Triune God, Christ is the life, the unique life. No other life is the real life (1 Tim. 6:19b).