Thou art the Son beloved

4
Kitty Joubert

Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

With Thee in God we're hidden. Thou art in us our LIFE. Thy peace in us presiding. We rest from all our strife. You are our ALL in ALL. You are our all-inclusive Savior. Thyself we ll ever call.


Joanna Smathers

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States

This is our song for week two in the HWMR of the Crystallization of Genesis, one.

"By Thee all was created, All for Thyself to own." Make this our reality, Lord.


Richard Cushing

Brooklyn Center, MN, United States

Thank you for your wonderful site! I just wanted you to know I think there is a bad chord in the third or fourth phrase of this particular hymn's recording.


Jovan Heron

London, England

At the Lord's table all focus is on Christ, His person and His work. Praise the Lord! Believe me, there is no better focus than this. It's such satisfaction to look away from everything unto Jesus. This hymn surely helps us to enter in such a proper appreciation. Amen.

The thought of being saturated with the Word and the Spirit to speak with the divine element is altogether foreign to traditional Christian theology, which often remains within us even after we choose to leave it. After I completely forsook traditional theology in 1960, I wrote many hymns concerning the exercise of the spirit, Christ, the Spirit, life, and the Body of Christ. One of these, Hymns, #189, was composed with all the major points in the book of Colossians. These hymns belong to a different category than those written according to the thought of traditional Christianity.

Hymns, #189 and #499 were composed not according to traditional, natural thought and logic but according to the divine revelation in the Bible. Hymns such as these are good for speaking. There are many different ways to speak the hymns. If the saints in a meeting practice to speak a hymn such as #189 or #499 for an hour or more, their speaking will equal a full message in content and will be better than one person giving a message.

In the overcomer conference in Shanghai in 1934, Brother Nee translated this phrase as "the Firstborn of all creation" and distributed printed copies to those who attended the meeting. Moreover, Brother Nee gave a definite word based on this clear and correct translation, saying, "In creation the Son is the Firstborn of all creation (Col. 1:15), and the beginning of the creation of God (Rev. 3:14). According to His eternal plan and before the foundation of the world, God ordained that the Son become flesh and accomplish redemption (1 Pet. 1:20). In God's plan the Son was the first in creation. Therefore, He is the Head of all creation" (Issue No. 34 of The Present Testimony, published March/April 1934; see The Collected Works of Watchman Nee, vol. 11, p. 734). "Among all God's creation / Thou art the firstborn One" in the first stanza of hymn #163 in Chinese (Hymns, #189 in English) and "As First of all the creatures" in the third stanza of hymn #158 in Chinese (Hymns, #202 in English) were both written according to Brother Nee's teaching three decades ago, which is according to the clear revelation of the Bible. Since the Bible clearly says that our Lord is the "Firstborn of all creation," we quoted this verse in the hymns we wrote. How can it be wrong? Is it possible that a quoted verse is not according to the truth? Man's explanation can be wrong, but the Scriptures can never be wrong.

In Colossians Paul shows that the Lord is everything (1:18-19; 3:11). He is not only God but also man; He is not only the Creator but also a creature (1:15-16). Through His incarnation He became the last Adam, a creature (1 Cor. 15:45). He became a man, a created one (John 1:14; Heb. 2:14a). If He were merely the Creator but not a creature, we would not be able to say that He is everything. However, since He is the Creator and a creature, He is everything.

Whether or not we can thoroughly comprehend this matter, we need to accept the facts in the original text of the Bible. The Firstborn of all creation and the Firstborn from the dead mentioned in Colossians (1:15, 18) represent the two creations—the old creation and the new creation, respectively. Christ is the Firstborn in the old creation, and He is also the Firstborn in the new creation. Thus, He is all-inclusive; He is everything.

...but Paul was different. In Colossians, a book of only four chapters, he exalted Christ as the preeminent One in the old and new creations (1:15-18) and as the embodiment of the Triune God (2:9). Hymns, #189 is a marvelous song on the Christ unveiled in Colossians.

What a Christ we have within us! The Christ who indwells us has all the aspects covered in this message. He is the portion of the saints, the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, the firstborn from among the dead, the One in whom God's fullness dwells, the mystery of God's economy, the mystery of God, the reality of all positive things, and the constituent of the new man. Although all these aspects of Christ are revealed in the book of Colossians, we did not see most of them because they are not according to our natural concept. What corresponds to our concept is Paul's teaching about wives submitting to their husbands, and husbands loving their wives. Even without reading the Scriptures, we have concepts about these matters. Instead of taking Paul's word in Colossians for granted, we should dig into this book in order to discover for ourselves all these aspects of Christ. Then we need to praise the Lord and worship Him according to these aspects. We should say, "Lord, I worship You that You are the portion of the saints. I praise You that You are the image of the invisible God." How good to worship the Lord in this way!

If we know Christ in all these aspects, the praise we offer at the Lord's table meeting will be uplifted. I have been attending the meeting for the Lord's table for more than forty-seven years, and in all these meetings I have listened to the saints praising the Lord. Most of the praises have been on an elementary level. For example, in meeting after meeting the saints may praise the Lord for the blood. This certainly is not wrong. But if we remain on this level, our praise will be shallow. We need to remember the Lord and to praise Him according to the revelation contained in the book of Colossians. We need to use expressions such as those in this stanza from hymn #189 in the hymnal:

Thou art the Son beloved,

The image of our God;

Thou art the saints' dear portion,

Imparted through Thy blood.

Among all God's creation

Thou art the firstborn One;

By thee all was created,

All for thyself to own.

At the Lord's table we need to remember the Lord as the portion of the saints, as the image of God, as the mystery of God's economy, and as the reality of all positive things. May the Lord enrich our praise!