O how deep and how far-reaching (Alternate Tune)

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Concerning Thou Become Me, and I Become Thee in Stanza 4 of Hymn #130 in Chinese

In His way of redemption God's desire is that His Son would become us and that we would become His sons in Him. The Bible clearly says that the Lord became flesh (John 1:14). We are flesh. The apostle Paul says, "To me, to live is Christ" (Phil. 1:21). When Paul first met the Lord, the Lord asked him, "Why are you persecuting Me?" (Acts 9:4). At that time Saul was persecuting the Lord's disciples (v. 1), but the Lord said that Saul was persecuting Him. This is because the disciples and the Lord were one. In the Lord's eyes they were the same as the Lord Himself. The criticizing ones say that it is correct to speak of God becoming a man but that it is wrong to say that "God becomes me." They further assert, "Although Paul said, 'To me, to live is Christ, ' he would not dare say, 'I am Christ. '" I wish to ask: Is not God becoming a man the same as God becoming me or us? Am I not a man? Are we not men? Does "To me, to live is Christ" not mean that I become Christ? If the disciples whom Saul persecuted had not become the Lord, how could the Lord say to him, "Why are you persecuting Me?"

The criticizers say that a dangerous deduction can be made from the phrase "Thou become me, and I become Thee" in hymn #130 in Chinese. Certainly it is always dangerous to make unreasonable deductions from words taken out of context. When we say, "I become Thee," we are not saying that we are Christ in the sense of His Godhead and sovereign Lordship. The criticizers are interpreting these words without regard to context. If we interpret in this way, then the first stanza of hymn #366 in Chinese (Hymns, #477 in English), which says, "The Cross on Golgotha, / Will never save thy soul," could also be considered as "dangerous." According to their plain meaning, the Cross on Golgotha is the cross of the Lord, and it is wrong to say that the cross cannot save us. However, according to the context, the writer is saying that the Lord's cross must become our subjective experience; otherwise, we will not know the subjective experience of salvation. Furthermore, the first stanza of hymn #26 in Chinese (Hymns, #38 in English) says, "E'en heav'n itself no richer knows / Than Jesus and His blood." If one interprets this line without any regard to its context, this line is also wrong, because God is greater than the blood in heaven. However, we know that the writer's intention was to describe the importance of the Lord's blood. If we interpret words without regard to context simply in order to find fault, we will lose the blessing. We should use our best efforts to understand the poetic meaning of the words in order to gain benefit from them.

After the overcomer conference in Hangchow in the autumn of 1934, the attendants of the conference went to Shanghai for a short stay. One day everyone went to Chao Feng Garden in Shanghai to pray. After praying, a few of us sat down with Brother Nee for fellowship. Someone suddenly asked Brother Nee, "The chorus in hymn #362 in Chinese says, 'Always walk on the narrow way of the cross, / Where my Savior died for me. ' This is not quite correct, because the Lord died on Mount Calvary, not on the narrow way of the cross." Brother Nee looked at him but did not say anything. When I heard the way he asked the question, I thought, "This person is interpreting the words according to their literal meaning but without any regard to context. Dying on Mount Calvary is the same as dying on the narrow way of the cross. Mount Calvary is included in the narrow way of the cross. The way that he strictly interprets the meaning of the words could become a problem in the future." Little did I know that what I felt that day would become a reality!