O glorious Christ, Savior mine

2
Kevin Walker

Achill, County Mayo, Ireland

Our real status is that we are one with God. We are blended with Him organically and mingled with Him in life. Just remain rooted and grounded in Christ. Amen.


Jesus In Me

Lord, saturate us, permeate us and mingle with us.

The younger saints are blessed because they can be filled with God in their youth. However, in addition to being filled with God, we also need to be saturated with God and allow Him to be expressed through us. One of our hymns says, "Thy Spirit will me saturate, / Every part will God permeate" (Hymns, #501). I hope that the younger saints will be saturated and permeated with God until God can be seen in every part of their being, that is, until God is in their tongue, eyes, shoulders, walk, and words. Then they will be young persons who truly belong to God.

When we compiled the hymnal, we did consider this matter of the "rind" and the "flesh." Since a watermelon must have both rind and flesh, we kept the "rind" hymns. However, we must learn to eat the "flesh," because the essence and nutrients are in the flesh. We must not eat only the rind. The saints seldom call hymns on experiencing Christ as life, such as Hymns, #841 and #501, or hymns on Christ as the all-inclusive Spirit, such as #450 in the Chinese hymnal and Hymns, #612. Some may not even know the tune to these hymns. We do not call these hymns, because we lack a vision of the treasure within these hymns. These hymns are on the riches of Christ who, as the all-inclusive Spirit, is in us to be our supply. Regrettably, the brothers and sisters do not know how to appreciate these hymns. They prefer to sing "rind" hymns.

We belong to Christ, and by our receiving Him daily, He fills us until we are transformed into the fullness of Christ. Then we corporately become the church, which is the Body of Christ and the fullness of Christ for His expression. The expression of the fullness is not the result of cultivating our character. It is the result of our enjoying and receiving Christ. As we daily receive and enjoy Christ, our whole being is filled, saturated, with His spiritual elements. These elements are His essence; they are what He is, His attributes, and His virtues. This is expressed in Hymns, #501: "Thy Spirit will me saturate, / Every part will God permeate." When every part of our being is permeated with God, we become the fullness of God and of Christ.

The problem is, by what life will we live? By the first life or the second life? By the natural life or the divine life? By our self or by Christ? I say again that I have not found anyone, even one who is very much in the church life, who lives Christ day by day and hour after hour and does not live himself. Hymns #841, 499, and 501 (Hymns) speak of living Christ and not ourselves. We need to check to see if our life matches the standard expressed in these hymns. We need to realize that we were created to be like God, even to be one with God. Furthermore, we have been saved into God to be regenerated by Him that we may be His children and may be members of Christ to constitute the Body of Christ. However, we need to ask ourselves whether we live God or not. We do have a marvelous provision. God has provided us with a body and with a spirit, which are very sufficient for us to live as a man to worship God, to receive God, and to contain God that we may live God and express Him.

Even after being saved by God, we may not live Him. We may be gentlemen, men who are right, but we may not be able to say, "It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me" (Gal 2:20a). We may not be able to apply this holy word to ourselves. We need to realize the organic union between us and God. We need to behave ourselves, to walk, to live, to do everything, in this organic union. It should not be I but Christ; it should not be I by myself, but I with God, united, mingled, and blended to be one person, a God-man.

The first stanza of Hymns, #501 says, "O glorious Christ, Savior mine,/Thou art truly radiance divine;/God infinite, in eternity,/Yet man in time, finite to be." This God infinite in eternity came to be a man finite in time. Where is He being a finite man? He is in us as a finite man. Have we experienced these two lines? The Lord, who is the embodiment of the great God, was the infinite God in eternity, yet today He came into us, human beings who are so small, to be a finite man. Praise the Lord that for us to live is He who is the infinite God, the God in eternity. Although we are finite men in time, He is living within us today. We should learn to apply the truth in this way. Otherwise, even though we have a very good Bible and hymnal, we cannot apply them to us.

The chorus of this hymn says, "Oh! Christ, expression of God, the Great,/Inexhaustible, rich, and sweet!/God mingled with humanity/Lives in me my all to be." We need to learn to apply these words to our daily life.

Stanza 2 says, "The fulness of God dwells in Thee;/Thou dost manifest God's glory;/In flesh Thou hast redemption wrought;/As Spirit, oneness with me sought." These lines are really good, but we should not simply remain in the appreciation of them. We need to ask ourselves whether this is the life we live. God's glory was manifested in Him, but is He manifested in us today? Furthermore, is the Spirit one with me today? Husbands, when you talk to your wife, is Christ one with you? Perhaps in experience you can only say, "In flesh Thou hast redemption wrought," but you cannot say, "As Spirit, oneness with me sought." Hence, although we sing this hymn, we do not have its reality.

Stanza 3 says, "All things of the Father are Thine;/All Thou art in Spirit is mine;/The Spirit makes Thee real to me,/That Thou experienced might be." This is an excellent stanza. All that the Father has, was received by the Son, and all that the Son is, was given to the Spirit. This Spirit comes into our spirit to become our reality so that the all-inclusive Christ may be our experience. Have these words become our experience? Do we have this reality in our living? If we check our condition, we have to say that we are short of such experience.

In a previous chapter we saw that the degradation of the church is due to our not enjoying the Christ who is in our spirit. Second Timothy 4:22 says, "The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you." To overcome today's degraded Christianity, we need to enjoy Christ in our spirit as our portion to be the abounding grace to us. Brothers, we need to bow our heads and confess that we are short of this. Among us, we have the light in the books and the hymns, but we have neglected the practical experience in our living.

Although we may sing a hymn of high quality, the husbands and wives still quarrel. We do not allow the Spirit to make the Lord real to us that the Lord may be experienced by us. Our experience is not "the Spirit makes Thee real to me." Rather, we make our temper and our disposition real to us. When we sing such a hymn, we should sing it with tears, saying to the Lord, "Lord, all things of the Father are Thine; all Thou art in Spirit is mine; the Spirit makes Thee real to me, that Thou experienced might be. Forgive me, Lord, I am not like this. I need Your Spirit to make You real to me that You may become my experience." We need to weep while singing. This is what we should have, even daily. Christianity is poor; the light we have is rich. However, we rarely apply these riches to our daily life. As a result, very little of the riches of Christ are manifested in our living. This is why the burden upon me today is very heavy. I am very happy to have such a meeting. A great number of elders and co-workers in the Lord's recovery around the globe are here. I like to grasp this opportunity to speak a word of love. Brothers, awake! We have the messages and the hymns, but we are short of the practical living.

Stanza 4 of this hymn says, "The Spirit of life causes Thee/By Thy Word to transfer to me./Thy Spirit touched, Thy word received,/Thy life in me is thus conceived." In our daily life, do we allow the Spirit to cause the Lord to be realized in us through His living word? Do we, moment by moment, touch the Spirit and receive the Lord's word that we may receive the Lord as our supply?

If we compare the poetic words in this hymn with our living, we will find that there is quite a discrepancy. We have such a hymn, but we have very little of the reality of what it speaks. How poor our living is when we compare it with the unsearchable riches of Christ. Paul said that he announced to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel (Eph. 3:8). If we desire to announce to people the unsearchable riches of Christ, we need to experience Him richly in our living. The riches of Christ are unsearchable, but how much reality do we have in us? Therefore, this is a warning; this is something we need to beware of.

The way to be transformed is first by fellowshipping with the Lord without any barrier, that is, with an unveiled face beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glorious image of the Lord (3:18a). Stanza 5 of Hymns, #501 reads, "In spirit while gazing on Thee, / As a glass reflecting Thy glory, / Like to Thyself transformed I'll be, / That Thou might be expressed thru me." We must be this way every day. There is a distinct difference between one who reads the Word for ten minutes and prays for five minutes in the morning and one who neither reads the Word nor prays. Every morning we must have fellowship with the Lord in this way, even if we are very busy. Moreover, during the day we also must find time to draw near to Him, to be face to face with Him. Then we will be like a mirror beholding Him and reflecting His glory. Thus, the Lord will transfuse into us the elements of what He is and what He has done. By the power of His life and with His life elements we shall gradually be metabolically transformed to have His life shape. What is most important is that through the renewing of our mind we shall gradually be transformed into His image.

The way to worship in the New Testament is for all of us to use our spirit. Before we attend a meeting, we are a worshipper of God already. Every morning we have a revival, and every day, in our daily living, we are constantly renewed and overcoming and are in constant touch and fellowship with the Lord. In addition, our lives are filled with hymns. Hymns, #501 and #1068 or a more simple one such as #1024 are hymns that I like to sing. They are all very good songs. We can learn to sing them often in our daily lives.

Today among Christians there exists an erroneous traditional saying that Christ is in the Holy Spirit, that is, that the Son is in the Spirit. We must be careful; otherwise, we will make the same mistake. For example, the last two lines of the second stanza of Hymns, #501 says, "In flesh Thou hast redemption wrought; / As Spirit, oneness with me sought." The line cannot be written as: "In flesh Thou hast redemption wrought; / In Spirit, oneness with me sought." We must discern the difference between the two. I do not mean to say that it is definitely wrong to say that "the Son is in the Spirit." Such a statement, however, is certainly not in the Bible. What the Bible says is that "the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit" and that "the Lord is the Spirit." Bible expositors are puzzled about the matter of the Son's being the Spirit. Many of them do not dare to say that Christ is the Spirit. To avoid being troubled or condemned, they have coined the term "the pneumatic Christ." Nevertheless, is not the pneumatic Christ simply the Spirit?

Stanza 3 of Hymns, #501 says, "All things of the Father are Thine; / All Thou art in Spirit is mine; / The Spirit makes Thee real to me, / That Thou experienced might be." This stanza, which is written exactly according to John 16:15, says that all that the Father has is given to and received by the Son; all that the Son has received and all that He has is in the Spirit; the Spirit makes the Son real to us by entering into us; and as a result, this reality may become our experience. This means that if we listen to many messages concerning Christ, the Son, but do not have the Spirit of reality coming into us, none of the messages will be reality. When the Spirit comes into our spirit, this is the coming of the reality of the Son, and the result is that this reality becomes our experience. This may be considered the best explanation of John 16:15.

Hymn 501 can be considered a masterpiece in our hymnal. It extracts the focus of the Bible from the New Testament and describes it fully. Verse one of this hymn says:

O glorious Christ, Savior mine,

Thou art truly radiance divine;

God infinite, in eternity,

Yet man in time, finite to be.

Then verse two says:

The fulness of God dwells in Thee;

Thou dost manifest God's glory;

In flesh Thou hast redemption wrought;

As Spirit, oneness with me sought.

This hymn does not speak of the love of God or of the grace of God. It does not talk about God's mercy or lovingkindess. Rather, it speaks of the fulness of God and the glory of God.

The phrase "As Spirit, oneness with me sought" speaks of the focus of the Bible. This focus is the Triune God, the Creator of the universe, the eternal God, who came one day to the earth to become a finite man. He accomplished redemption in the flesh, and on the cross He terminated sin, the world, darkness, the self, the flesh, and everything of the old creation. Then in resurrection He became the life-giving Spirit. When we believe in Him, He enters into us to have an organic union with us. In this way this life-giving Spirit becomes one with us.

This union is not a union like one hand holding another hand. It is a union comparable to the grafting of a branch into a tree. Romans 11:24 says that we are the wild olive branches that have been grafted into the cultivated olive tree. The cultivated olive tree is Christ, and the wild olive branches are we the sinners. Without passing through the redeeming death of Christ, we and Christ can never be grafted together. It is through the death and resurrection of Christ that He became the life-giving Spirit to enter into us and to have an organic union with us.

Verse three of hymn 501 says:

All things of the Father are Thine;

All Thou art in Spirit is mine;

The Spirit makes Thee real to me,

That Thou experienced might be.

All that the Father has is the Son's, and all that the Son is, is in the Spirit (John 16:13-15). This Spirit is the ultimate expression of the Triune God. The Bible explains in detail how all that belongs to the Father is inherited by the Son, and how all that the Son is, is in the Spirit. Hence the Spirit becomes the reality of the Son, and the Son is the expression of the Father. In this way, the Son is the manifestation of the Father, and the Spirit is the realization of the Son. Today this Spirit has entered into our spirit to become our reality. The result is that our spirit is organically joined to His Spirit, and His story becomes our history.

As descendants of the Chinese race we are spread today throughout the whole world. In the early days our ancestors crossed a vast span of land. When they did this, we also crossed over together with them. Hence their story is our history. In the same way, all that the Lord Jesus has passed through—His incarnation, human living, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension—has become our experience by His being joined to us.

Verse four continues:

The Spirit of life causes Thee

By Thy Word to transfer to me.

Thy Spirit touched, Thy word received,

Thy life in me is thus conceived.

Today this Spirit enters into our spirit to make His history our experience. But that is not all. By the word of the Bible He is making Himself real to us. Whenever we come to read the Lord's Word, we touch this Spirit, and He becomes our supply.

Verse five says:

In spirit while gazing on Thee,

As a glass reflecting Thy glory,

Like to Thyself transformed I'll be,

That Thou might be expressed thru me.

Every time we come to the Lord, it is a matter of the spirit. We must forget about our culture and forget about teachings. We must drop our religion and philosophy, and we must drop our ethics, our morality, and all our customs and habits. Of course, this does not mean that we can indulge ourselves in whatever we desire. It means that we should forget all these things and turn to our spirit. In spirit we should worship and behold the Lord, as a mirror reflecting the Lord's glory.

I was born in northern China, but when I went to Shanghai, I did not reflect the North, and when I came to the West, I did not reflect the East. What I reflected was Christ. On the one hand Christ is in the heavens; on the other hand He is in our spirit. As long as we will turn to our spirit, we can contact Him and enjoy Him, as a mirror reflecting His glory. The result is that we are transformed into His image, and He is expressed through us.

Verse six continues:

In no other way could we be

Sanctified and share Thy vict'ry;

Thus only spiritual we'll be

And touch the life of glory.

Today we have only one way—the way of the spirit. The Triune God, the Creator of the universe, who was incarnated, died on the cross, and rose from the dead, is now the life-giving Spirit. This Spirit is the ultimate expression of the Triune God. He is also the consummation of the Triune God. He has entered into the spirit of us who have believed and is now being mingled with us as one spirit. Now we should walk according to this mingled spirit and live a daily life that is inseparably attached to this spirit.

Unfortunately, many people read the Bible as if they are wearing a pair of colored eyeglasses. They read into the Bible many things of culture, teachings, ethics, morality, religion, philosophy, customs, and traditions. As a result, they do not receive any light from the Bible. Even many seminary students are coming to the Word in this way. They come with their colored eyeglasses. I hope that the Lord will be merciful to us all, so that we may all remove our colored glasses to read the Word of God solely with our God-created spirit.

The last verse of hymn 501 says:

Thy Spirit will me saturate,

Every part will God permeate,

Deliv'ring me from the old man,

With all saints building for His plan.

This mingled spirit is in you saturating and permeating your whole spirit, soul, and body. The result is that your whole being will be filled with the Triune God, so that in every part of your being you will see God. In this way, every part of your being will be saturated with God, and you will be delivered from the natural self and be built together with all the saints to become God's habitation.

Ephesians 2:22 says, "In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit." Only when we are all living in spirit, worshipping in spirit, beholding and reflecting His glory in spirit, and being transformed in spirit will it be possible for God to have a way. And only then will it be possible for us to be built together in spirit to become the dwelling of God.