Life out of death—dear Master, is it spoken
|Life out of death—dear Master, is it spoken
Of the life here, or in the better land?
Nay, wherefore wait? The vessel marred and broken
Shall now be moulded by the Potter’s hand.
|Life out of death—oh, wondrous resurrection!
Seed sown in conscious weakness, raised in power;
Thy life lived out in days of toil and friction,
“Not I, but Christ” in me from hour to hour.
|Life out of death—a pilgrim path and lonely,
Trodden by those who glory in the Cross.
They live in fellowship with “Jesus only,”
And for His sake count earthly gain but loss.
|Life out of death—blest mission to be ever
Bearing the living water brimming o’er.
With life abundant from the clear, pure river,
Telling that thirsty souls need thirst no more.
The first stanza is a question. Is this life out of death something of today, or does one have to wait for the future? Based on what the writer learned and experienced, he answered: "Nay, wherefore wait? The vessel.../Shall now be moulded by the Potter's hand." This is a reference to the words of Jeremiah 18:4. The vessel was marred already. But the potter used the same clay to make another one. This is life out of death; this is resurrection. The emphasis is "here"; it is not the future or tomorrow.
Stanza two tells us how wonderful this resurrection is. "Seed sown in conscious weakness, raised in power." This is according to 1 Corinthians 15:43 which says, "It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power." The power of resurrection will be manifested in the body. On that day the body will be transfigured. But even today this resurrection life will be the strength of our body. "Thy life lived out in days of toil and friction." Many toils and sufferings are beyond what we can bear. If we tried to bear them, we would fail within a minute. Yet His life has sustained us. Indeed, "'Not I, but Christ' in me from hour to hour."
Stanza three includes the phrase "a pilgrim path and lonely." Following this, it says, "Trodden by those who glory in the Cross./They live in fellowship with 'Jesus only.'" This is due to the fact that such a one has known the power of the Lord's resurrection. The resurrection mentioned in Philippians 3 is mentioned here.
Stanza four brings in John 7. On the last day of the feast, our Lord stood up and cried with a loud voice, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water" (vv. 37-38). This refers to the Spirit, whom those who believed into Him were about to receive. The power of the Holy Spirit is the power of resurrection. Those who have experienced the Lord's resurrection should also supply others with the Lord's resurrection. This resurrection life, this abundant life, will tell thirsty souls that they need thirst no more. What a blessed commission!
If we read this hymn a few more times, it will help us to understand what this life that comes out of death is, and what resurrection is.
Hayward, CA, United States
See Collected Works of Watchman Nee Set 1 Volume 19 pages 599-600 for explanation of this song. It means so much more now!
Anaheim, CA, United States
This comforted me today after a death in my family. The living water is in Him! Our whole life should be given to bearing this living water to thirsty souls!
White Rock, B.C., Canada
First comes dying to everything else but Christ, then enjoying the triumphant resurection life; in resurection. What a wonderful hymn - Life out of Death! A vessel marred and broken becomes a vessel unto honor, sanctified, useful to the Master. May it be "'Not I, but Christ' in me from hour to hour."