God’s own Word must not be taken

God’s own Word must not be taken
  Just as knowledge but as life,
Not alone God’s thought conveying,
  But Himself to us as life;
Not alone God’s mind revealing,
  But His Christ as life within,
Not alone the teaching giving,
  But experience of Him.
It is only knowledge to us
  If we in the letter read,
But when reading in the spirit
  It is truly life indeed.
All the knowledge in the letter
  Only brings us into death,
But the Word in spirit taken
  Gives to us the quickening breath.
If we miss the Lord in Scripture,
  It is just as knowledge vain;
But when Christ we touch within it,
  Then His life we may obtain.
When we read, the Lord not touching,
  ’Tis but mental stimulus;
But when Christ we touch by reading,
  It becometh life in us.
All the knowledge of the Scriptures
  Into life must be transformed,
All the mental understanding
  In the spirit must be formed;
All the Scriptural understanding
  Must become the life received,
All the knowledge of the letters
  In the spirit be conceived.
Just to touch the Word for knowledge
  Is to take the very way
By which Eve was lured by Satan
  And by knowledge led astray;
But as life to take the Scripture
  Is the tree of life to eat;
Thus the Word we must be taking
  In the spirit as our meat.

Copyright Living Stream Ministry. Used by permission.


White Rock, BC, Canada

In John 6:63, Jesus tells us that "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life." Hence, "God’s own Word must not be taken just as knowledge but as life" (cf. stanza 1). If we read God's Word (the Bible) just for knowledge, we need to remember "....for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (2 Cor. 3:6b), and we are like Eve, taking of the tree of knowledge. Lord, my our eyes be opened to see that we need to come to Your Word in spirit and reality, to take (eat) of the tree of life!

Concerning Female Ancestor in Stanza 5 of Hymn #591 in Chinese

The first four lines of stanza 5 in hymn #591 in Chinese say, "To touch the Bible in order to gain knowledge / Is to imitate what Eve did; / It was through knowledge that Satan / Lured our female ancestor to sin." The term female ancestor refers to Eve. Although the Bible does not say that we are Eve's descendants, as a matter of fact, we are her descendants. What is the point of criticizing us for speaking of Eve as our "female ancestor" according to this fact?

Piano Hymns