GENERAL SUBJECT: THE EXPERIENCE OF CHRIST
« WEEK One »
The Intrinsic Significance of the Experience of Christ
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Scripture Reading: Phil. 1:3-6, 19-21a, 27; 2:2, 20-21, 30; 3:1; 4:1, 4
Ⅰ 
The experience of Christ is a mystery:
A 
God is a mystery, Christ is the mystery of God (Col. 2:2), and the church is the mystery of Christ (Eph. 3:4); hence, the church is actually a mystery within a mystery.
B 
Our Christian living is a mystery; for example, although human love is limited, the proper love lived out by a Christian is unlimited; hence, it is a mystery—cf. v. 19a.
C 
To magnify Christ is to express Christ without limitation (Phil. 1:20); it is to show the whole universe that the very Christ by whom we live is unlimited.
D 
Paul's experience of Christ as his unlimited endurance was the magnification of the unlimited Christ; any attribute we have through living Christ by the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ will be unlimited and thus mysterious—vv. 19-21a.
E 
Even our forgiveness of others needs to be a magnification of Christ; our forgiveness is the inexhaustible Christ Himself being magnified in us—Matt. 18:21-22.
F 
In the midst of suffering, we should simply love the Lord and experience Him; then we will magnify Christ, expressing Him as the One who is unlimited; it is a joy to magnify Christ through suffering—2 Cor. 12:7-10.
G 
The experience of Christ is a mystery, and whatever we experience of Christ is unlimited; if we see this vision, it will not only control our life but also strengthen our Christian walk; God's intention is to magnify Christ through us.
H 
The church life is the sum total of our Christian living; we all live Christ, and our Christian living is added together to make the church life; when we come together as the church, we are a complete mystery—1 Tim. 3:15-16.
Ⅰ 
Paul says, “To me, to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21a); this means that we can live to be Christ; the Christ whom we experience and whom we live is a mystery; we should not have any assurance of our experience, for all experiences of Christ are mysterious.
Ⅱ 
Philippians unveils that the experience of Christ is our fellowship unto the furtherance of the gospel until the Lord Jesus comes back—1:3-6:
A 
From the time that we are saved until the time the Lord Jesus comes back, our Christian life should be a gospel-preaching life:
1 
The Christ-experiencing and -enjoying life is a life in the furtherance of the gospel, a gospel-preaching life, not individualistic but corporate; the more fellowship we have in the furtherance of the gospel, the more Christ we experience and enjoy; this kills our self, ambition, preference, and choice.
2 
Whether we speak or remain silent, our life, our living, our being, and our entire person must be a preaching of Christ.
B 
Paul charges us to conduct ourselves “in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ,” which is to “stand firm in one spirit, with one soul striving together along with the faith of the gospel”—v. 27:
1 
To be with one soul and to be like-souled for the gospel work are more difficult than to be in one spirit for the experience of Christ—2:20-21, 30.
2 
To be with one soul requires that, after having been regenerated in our spirit, we go further to be transformed in our soul—2 Cor. 3:18; Rom. 12:2.
3 
If we are not one in our affections, thoughts, and decisions, we are not with one soul; as long as we are not one in soul, we are not in the fellowship unto the furtherance of the gospel, and our conduct is not worthy of the gospel.
4 
When all the members in the church are in one spirit with one soul, this oneness will be convincing, subduing, and attractive, and we will experience Christ and enjoy Him.
Ⅲ 
Strictly speaking, Philippians is a book not only on the experience of Christ but also on the enjoyment of Christ:
A 
Since Philippians is concerned with the experience and enjoyment of Christ, which issue in joy, it is a book filled with joy and rejoicing—1:4, 18, 25; 2:2, 17-18, 28-29; 3:1; 4:1, 4.
B 
The experience of Christ is primarily in our spirit, but the enjoyment of Christ is in our soul; like children who are made to eat without enjoying their food, many times we experience Christ without enjoying Him.
C 
Thus, we can have the experience of Christ without the enjoyment of Christ; the problem here is with our soul—our mind, emotion, and will.
D 
“I am somewhat concerned that you may not have very much enjoyment of Christ” (The Experience of Christ, p. 29); the reason that many lose the enjoyment of Christ is the problem they have in the soul; if you do not have much enjoyment of Christ, it indicates that you are not one in soul, joined in soul (2:2).
E 
Among the Philippians there was dissension in their thinking (4:2), which troubled the apostle; hence, he asked them to think the same thing, even the same one thing, that they might make his joy full (2:2):
1 
According to the context of this book, the one thing must refer to the subjective knowledge and experience of Christ (v. 2; 1:20-21; 2:5; 3:7-9; 4:13); Christ, and Christ alone, should be the centrality and universality of our entire being.
2 
The one thing is the subjective experience of Christ as our enjoyment for the church life, the Body life; this one thing should occupy our mind all the time; if we think the one thing, immediately the enjoyment of Christ will be our portion.
3 
Our thinking should be focused on the excellency of the knowledge and experience of Christ (3:8, 10); focusing on anything else causes us to think differently, thus creating dissensions among us.
4 
To think something other than the one thing is to rebel against God's economy; God's economy is that we think the one thing.
5 
Because of the dissension in their thinking, the Philippian believers had different levels of love (2:2); they did not have the same love toward all the saints for the keeping of oneness; if our love toward the saints has been regulated and dealt with, then we will enjoy Christ as we love the saints.
6 
Being one in soul, joined in soul, is not only for the experience of Christ but even more for the enjoyment of Christ; our experience of Christ should also be an enjoyment of Christ.
7 
To experience Christ with enjoyment, we need to be in one spirit with one soul; in order to enjoy Christ, we need to have a proper soul, a “co-soul” that is one with the souls of other saints.
8 
The most important thing for us to do is to experience Christ as our enjoyment today so that the church may be built up for His glory; this is the way for us to be preserved in the Lord's recovery until He comes back.
 


Morning Nourishment
  Phil. 1:20-21 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 and to die is gain.

  Our Christian living is a mystery. Our Christian love and humility are also mysterious. The humility taught by Confucius was not a mystery. But when we Christians live out humility, this humility is mysterious. Whatever we live out from within us should be mysterious. Regarding our humility, others should say, “We cannot explain the kind of life this person lives. Although he is humble, his humility is different from that of others. His love is also different. It seems that he does not love anyone, but actually he loves others. His love is mysterious. There seems to be no limit to his love.” Although human love is limited, the proper love lived out by a Christian is unlimited. Hence, it is a mystery.

  Often I have heard people say, “I simply cannot tolerate this anymore. This situation has exhausted my patience.” If our patience can be exhausted, this indicates that it is not the patience of Christ. We Christians need to live out a patience that is unlimited. The more the circumstances exhaust our patience, the more patient we are, for our patience is inexhaustible. This is a mystery. It causes others to wonder how we can be so patient. (CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” pp. 321-322)
Today's Reading
  To magnify Christ is to express Christ without limitation. It is to show to the whole universe that the very Christ who is our life and by whom we live is unlimited. According to the human concept, Christ is limited. But when people see us living by Him, they will realize that He is not limited. If the apostle Paul had not been put in prison, no one would have understood how unlimited Christ was. It was through Paul's imprisonment that the Christ by whom Paul lived was expressed as the unlimited One. Because Paul's endurance was Christ Himself, it would have been impossible to exhaust his endurance no matter how long Paul had been kept in prison. Hence, it was inexhaustible and unlimited. Sometimes Christians ask others to pray for them because they are coming to the end of their endurance. Such endurance is not Christian endurance, for it is not endurance magnified. The Christ whom we experience as endurance cannot be exhausted. If we live by Him, He will be magnified; that is, He will show forth His exhaustlessness. Because Paul's endurance was Christ, it was unlimited. Such an unlimited endurance is the magnification of the unlimited Christ. To the universe this is a mystery.

  [In Philippians 1:20] Paul says that Christ would be magnified in his body. Not many Christians know the significance of the word magnify in this verse. Some may say that to be magnified means to be expressed, exalted, glorified, or honored. Yes, it does mean these things, but these words do not touch the significance of the word magnify. For Christ to be magnified in us means that we experience the unlimited Christ. Christ is magnified through His unlimitedness. For example, our love is limited because it is not Christ. The reason there are so many separations and divorces is that human love is limited. Christ is unlimited, but we are limited. If we live by Christ in any matter, that matter will be unlimited. But if we live by ourselves in the same matter, it will be limited. If we love others with our own love, we will discover that eventually our love will be exhausted. The ones we love will place more and more demands upon us to exhaust our love. The love of a husband is exhausted by his wife, the love of parents is exhausted by their children, and the love of the elders is exhausted by the saints. Although we may be exhausted, Christ is never exhausted. The more love we require, the more love He affords to meet our requirements. Therefore, to live by Christ in the matter of loving others is to magnify Christ by His unlimitedness. (CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” pp. 322, 405-406)

  Further Reading: CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” chs. 1, 11 
 


Morning Nourishment
  2 Cor. 12:9 And He has said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather boast in my weaknesses that the power of Christ might tabernacle over me.

  1 Tim. 3:15-16 …The church of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth. And confessedly, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was manifested in the flesh…

  The experience of Christ is a mystery, and whatever we experience of Christ is unlimited. If we see this vision, it will not only control our life but also strengthen our Christian walk. God's intention is to magnify Christ through us. The church life is the sum total of our Christian living. We all live by Christ, and our Christian living is added together to make the church life. Our Christian life is a mystery, and whatever of Christ we live out is also a mystery. We all are mysterious because Christ lives in us. For example, we may speak by Christ, but our speaking by Christ is a mystery. Although it is a mystery, it is nonetheless a fact. What we are experiencing of Christ today is a mystery. Day by day our living is mysterious. Thus, when we come together as the church, we are a complete mystery. The sum total of all these mysteries is the church life. This mystery manifests the One who is unlimited. (CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” pp. 323-324)
Today's Reading
  Like endurance, our faithfulness, patience, and humility must also be unlimited. Any attribute we have through living by Christ will be unlimited and thus mysterious. By this we can see the difference between the human virtues and the virtues that are the magnification of Christ. All human virtues are limited. For example, human tolerance will eventually be exhausted. But the very magnification of Christ lived out of us cannot be exhausted. This mystery subdues the devil, the demons, and all the evil angels. It also convinces everyone. Any proper human being will be convinced by seeing the magnification of Christ. Our Christian patience is a mystery because it is the magnification of Christ. This is not merely Christ manifested; it is Christ manifested as the unlimited One.

  Even our forgiveness of others needs to be a magnification of Christ. In Matthew 18 Peter asked the Lord how many times he should forgive his brother. He asked if he should forgive him even seven times. But the Lord told him that he must forgive seventy times seven. This is inexhaustible forgiveness. Such forgiveness is the magnification of Christ. Our forgiveness is the inexhaustible Christ Himself. Again and again, throughout the years, we forgive others. This unlimited forgiveness is Christ magnified in us.

  Because the Christian virtues should be inexhaustible, often God will not reduce our sufferings. Rather, in order to magnify Christ, often He will increase them. In order to magnify Christ, it is necessary that we suffer. Suppose you pray, “O God, my Father, You are kind and merciful. You know that I cannot endure very much. Please reduce my suffering.” If God answered your prayer and reduced your suffering, Christ would not be magnified. We need the sufferings for the manifestation of Christ. As our sufferings increase, Christ is magnified all the more. However, do not be concerned about what kind of suffering enables us to magnify Christ. Instead of analyzing this matter, we should simply love the Lord and experience Him.

  To magnify Christ means to express Him as the One who is unlimited. He is magnified through the increase of our sufferings. Do not be afraid of suffering, for it is a joy to magnify Christ through suffering. Many Christian teachers realize that the book of Philippians is a book of joy. Over and over again, in this book Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord. When we are in a pleasant environment, it may not mean very much to be joyful. But to rejoice when we are in prison means a great deal. (CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” pp. 322-323)

  Further Reading: CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” ch. 1 
 


Morning Nourishment
  Phil. 1:3-6 I thank my God,…making my petition with joy, for your fellowship unto the furtherance of the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun in you a good work will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.

  [Philippians 1:5 and 6] indicate that the fellowship unto the gospel is a good work, a work initiated by Christ. Christ will complete this work until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians unveils the fact that the experience of Christ is the fellowship unto the gospel until the Lord Jesus comes back. Notice that in verse 5 Paul does not speak of the preaching of the gospel but of the fellowship unto the gospel….From the time we are saved until the time the Lord Jesus comes back, our Christian life should be a gospel-preaching life. We are not here for our education, job, or family, and we are not here to earn money or to gain a reputation or position. We are here to live a gospel-preaching life, a life that preaches Christ. Our living should be our preaching. If someone asks your profession, you should say, “My profession is preaching the gospel.” Thus, our life is primarily a gospel-preaching life. Whether I speak or remain silent, my life, my living, my being, and my entire person are a preaching of Christ. (CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” pp. 329-330)
Today's Reading
  Our gospel-preaching life should not be individualistic; rather, it must be corporate. This is the reason that in the preaching of the gospel we have fellowship….The Greek word rendered “fellowship,” koinonia, means “communication, mutual interchange.” As far as the preaching of the gospel is concerned, today's situation is very poor. Either Christians do not preach the gospel or they preach it individualistically, not corporately…. It seems that the more evangelistic people are, the more individualistic they are. In their preaching of the gospel there is no fellowship. Because there is no fellowship unto the gospel, there is no experience of Christ.

  Even if we clear the past, consecrate ourselves to the Lord, and follow the inner anointing, we still may not necessarily have that much experience of Christ. But if we preach the gospel in a corporate way, we will be full of the experience of Christ…. I am very glad that many among us are zealous for the preaching of the gospel on the campuses. But I wonder if in this preaching of the gospel there is the fellowship unto the gospel. If we simply engage in the preaching of the gospel, we will not have very much experience of Christ. The experience of Christ is not mainly in the preaching; it is in the fellowship. We need to preach the gospel in fellowship. As long as you have fellowship in your preaching of the gospel, you will experience Christ.

  In your schoolwork it is all right to be zealous to be first but not in the preaching of the gospel. Rather, in the preaching of the gospel, you should be willing to be nothing. Those who preach Christ out of envy, strife, and rivalry certainly do not have fellowship unto the gospel. If we do not have fellowship, we cannot have the experience of Christ.

  I am very happy that the young people are zealous to preach the gospel on the campuses. But now I must ask whether or not in their preaching of the gospel they have the experience of Christ. This depends upon whether or not they have the fellowship unto the gospel. It is not a simple matter to have this fellowship. It requires that we put ourselves, our ambition, our reputation, and our position aside. This is a real killing. The fellowship unto the gospel kills the self, the flesh, and the natural man. It also kills our ambition, desire, preference, and choice. This is the reason that the fellowship in the preaching of the gospel causes us to experience Christ. Thus, according to the word of the apostle Paul in Philippians, the first way to experience Christ is in the fellowship unto the gospel. (CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” pp. 330-331)

  Further Reading: CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” ch. 2 
 


Morning Nourishment
  Phil. 1:27 Only, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, that whether coming and seeing you or being absent, I may hear of the things concerning you, that you stand firm in one spirit, with one soul striving together along with the faith of the gospel.

  2:20-21 …I have no one like-souled who will genuinely care for what concerns you; for all seek their own things, not the things of Christ Jesus.

  How can we have one spirit and one soul? This is not possible by our spirit, for our spirit is a spirit of envy. When we see others taking the lead, we are envious. Then we begin to strive in the spirit of rivalry. Although our spirit is like this, the Spirit of Jesus is not. Consider the life of Jesus as presented in the Gospels. His life was a life without envy, strife, or rivalry. To be one in spirit and in soul is possible only in the Spirit of Jesus.

  To be one soul mainly means to be one mind. The reason Christians cannot be one soul is that each desires to be first and that no one is willing to be last…. If we say, “I want to be in the Spirit of Jesus,” we will immediately have the experience of Christ and be one spirit and one soul with others. Then we will strive together for the gospel. The word together in Philippians 1:27 means that we are coordinated and that we are not individualistic but corporate. (CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” p. 333)
Today's Reading
  [Philippians 2:2] speaks of being one in soul. To be one in soul means to be one in our affection, love, thought, and decisions. Such oneness is very practical. If we want to experience Christ, we need to be one in soul. If we are not one in our affections, thoughts, and decisions, we are not one in soul. As long as we are not one in soul, we are not in the fellowship unto the gospel.

  The last part of Philippians 1 and the first part of Philippians 2 are actually one portion and should not be separated. One thought flows from 1:27 through 2:8. In 1:27 Paul says, “Only, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” When I read this verse years ago, I thought that conduct worthy of the gospel was behavior that was perfect before those to whom we preach the gospel. But this is not Paul's meaning here. The remainder of verse 27 says, “That whether coming and seeing you or being absent, I may hear of the things concerning you, that you stand firm in one spirit, with one soul striving together along with the faith of the gospel.” Paul does not speak here of loving our wives, submitting to our husbands, honoring our parents, or behaving in a kind, lovable manner. Rather, he tells us to stand firm in one spirit with one soul. If we are not in one spirit with one soul, then our conduct is not worthy of the gospel. No matter how many of us there may be in a locality or on a campus, in our preaching of the gospel everyone must be fully impressed that we are in one spirit and with one soul. Nothing is more convincing than this. When all the members in the church are in one spirit with one soul, this oneness will be convincing, subduing, and attractive. When we have such a subduing and convincing oneness, we will experience Christ and enjoy Him. We will enjoy Christ by being in one spirit with one soul. By preaching the gospel we express our oneness in spirit and in soul. When we preach the gospel in this way, we have the enjoyment of Christ. The more we preach like this, the more we enjoy Christ. We will be able to say, “We don't care mainly for how many souls are saved or for how many people are brought to the Lord. We are enjoying the Lord.” We will be full of enjoyment, and the preaching of the gospel will be a feast. If we do not sense that we are feasting on Christ as we preach the gospel, something is wrong. We lack the oneness in spirit and in soul. But if we are in one spirit with one soul, the number of people saved through our preaching of the gospel will be secondary. The primary thing is that in the course of our preaching, we will be feasting on Christ and enjoying Him. We will have not only experience but also enjoyment. (CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” pp. 334, 342-343)

  Further Reading: CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” ch. 3
 


Morning Nourishment
  Phil. 2:2 Make my joy full, that you think the same thing, having the same love, joined in soul, thinking the one thing.

  4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

  We can make a distinction between the experience of Christ and the enjoyment of Christ. The experience of Christ is a matter primarily in our spirit, but the enjoyment of Christ is in our soul…. Consider the example of eating food. It is one thing to eat food and another thing to enjoy it. Sometimes parents force their children to eat certain foods. Although the children may eat out of the fear of being disciplined, they do not enjoy the food they are eating. Rather, they suffer as they eat. Sometimes we experience Christ not in the way of enjoyment but in the way of suffering. We may say, “I must take Christ as my life and live by Him. I have to experience Christ.” But this is not the enjoyment of Christ. Like children who eat without enjoying their food, many times we experience Christ without enjoying Him. Instead of enjoying Christ, we suffer. Thus, we can have the experience of Christ without the enjoyment of Christ. The problem here is with our soul. (CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” pp. 338-339)
Today's Reading
  Philippians is a book not only on the experience of Christ but also on the enjoyment of Christ. In Philippians 3:8 Paul says that for the sake of Christ he counted all things as refuse. This is not only a matter of experience but also a matter of enjoyment. The excellency of the knowledge of Christ (v. 8) also indicates enjoyment. Excellency is not mainly for experience but for enjoyment….With the enjoyment of Christ there is a pleasant taste.

  Although the Philippians were good, they had lost their enjoyment of Christ. They may have had a proper spirit, but there was a problem in their soul. They might have been one in spirit, but they were definitely not one in soul. This is the background.

  The reason for writing the Epistle to the Philippians was that, although they were for the Lord and cared for His servant and were very good in their spirit, they had a problem in their soul because they did not think the same thing. In their thinking they had a problem. Hence, Paul wrote this Epistle to advise them and even to beg them to be one in soul.

  Our need today is very similar to that of the Philippians. In chapter 1 Paul said of the Philippians, “I thank my God upon all my remembrance of you, always in my every petition on behalf of you all, making my petition with joy” (vv. 3-4). I feel the same way toward all the dear saints in the Lord's recovery. I can sincerely say that I praise the Lord for all the saints. Nevertheless, I am somewhat concerned that you may not have very much enjoyment of Christ. Perhaps when you first arrived in your locality, you had considerable enjoyment of Him. But as time has gone by, you may have lost this enjoyment. The reason for this is that there is a problem in the soul. Either the sisters are too much in the emotion, or the brothers are too much in the mind. But we all have a problem with our stubborn will. My burden is that this stubborn will would be dealt with. Many of those who have been in the Lord's recovery a long time are like children eating food without enjoying it. When they first came, everything was enjoyable, but many do not have this enjoyment today. The reason many lose the enjoyment of Christ is the problem they have in the soul. The young people may be very active in preaching the gospel on the campuses. They may pray, praise, and shout Hallelujah. But all this may become merely the carrying out of a duty. There may not be much enjoyment of Christ. If you do not have much enjoyment of Christ, it indicates that you are not one in soul. Your thoughts and emotions differ from those of others. The reason Euodias and Syntyche were not one was that they had a problem in the soul. They were not thinking the same thing. (CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” pp. 340-341)

  Further Reading: CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” ch. 4 
 


Morning Nourishment
  Phil. 3:8 But moreover I also count all things to be loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, on account of whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as refuse that I may gain Christ.

  10 To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.

  In Philippians 2 Paul was encouraging the Philippians to think the one thing and to be one in soul. The one thing is not merely the objective Christ but the subjective experience of Christ as our enjoyment for the church life. This one thing should occupy our mind all the time. We should constantly be thinking about how to experience Christ as our rich enjoyment so that we may have the proper church life. The Body life is the issue of the experience and enjoyment of Christ. When we enjoy Christ, the church life spontaneously issues forth. Thus, the church life comes out of our experience of Christ. (CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” p. 356)
Today's Reading
  The church life robs the devilish things from our minds. In the church life we help all the saints to think one thing—the enjoyment of Christ for the church life. We all think of the experience of Christ for the Body life. In doing this, we are obedient.

  Whenever we think other things, we are disobedient and rebellious. To think something other than the one thing is to rebel against God's economy. God's economy is that we think the one thing. Has a certain brother offended you? You should not think about that offense, for God's economy does not allow you to do so. If you think about the offense, you rebel against God. This is a serious matter. Murmuring is also rebellious. God's economy does not allow us to murmur. To do so is to be disobedient.

  We all have our disposition, and we all are accustomed to murmuring, reasoning, and complaining. But if we are enlightened concerning reasoning and murmuring, we will say, “Lord, forgive my rebellion….I want to be obedient, obeying Your economy to think the one thing. Although certain ones have offended me, I do not want to think about the offenses. Instead, I want to think only of the enjoyment and experience of Christ.”

  [In Philippians 2:2] we find not only the matter of the mind but also the matter of the emotion, for love is a matter of emotion. In verse 2 Paul implores the Philippians to have the same love. Thus, they were not only to think the same thing in their mind but to have the same love in their emotion. Many among us today do not have the same love.

  Paul's word about having the same love is a weighty word. It is a strong indication that the Philippians had a love that was on different levels. Our situation today is the same. Yes, we love one another, but our love differs, and the temperature of our love is not the same. When we contact certain ones, we are like ice, but when we contact others, we are like boiling water. For some, our love is too cold; for others, it is too hot. Our love should be moderate toward everyone. It should be neither too hot nor too cold. Sometimes people have told me that they love me. But within I said, “Your love is so cold. The more you love me, the colder I become. But your love for others is boiling hot.”

  To have a love that fluctuates in its temperature is to have a love that issues out of our natural life. Such a love comes from a soul that has not been dealt with. We can never enjoy Christ in this kind of love. If our love toward the saints has been regulated and dealt with, then we will enjoy Christ as we love the saints. Whether or not our love is proper depends on whether or not we enjoy Christ in our loving of others. If you love others without having the enjoyment of Christ in that love, your love is wrong. It is neither moderate nor proper. (CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” pp. 363, 344)

  Further Reading: CWWL, 1978, vol. 1, “The Experience of Christ,” ch. 5 
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