Message 4: Taking Christ as Our Person
In message 3 we saw that the one new man was created and born, as Christ was resurrected as the first born Son of God and became the life giving spirit which regenerated us when we believed in Him. John 20:22 it says: “…He breathed into them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit.” Since then the One New Man which is a corporate man was born. The one new man refers to His person and the Body refers to His life. As the Body the church has His life. As one new man the church has Him as her person. In this message it is about very deep subjective experience of how this one new man can be realized in us.
Firstly, we need to see this one new man is a corporate person, the incorporation of Christ and Church. The person who lives in the Church is Christ with His mind, emotion, and will. In order that the Church lives Christ as her person as reality, all the individual members must live Christ as their person. Therefore we, the individuals, must have a subjective experience of living Christ as our person.
Before we believe in the Lord, we were under the domain of the old man who dominates our soul – the mind, emotion, and will and that is our “person”. Our spirit was a dormant organ within the deepest part of our being. When we believed in the Lord, we identified ourselves with the all-inclusive death of Jesus, our spirit was regenerated as we received the Holy Spirit. He is resurrected in our spirit and mingled with our spirit. He became the person in our spirit. How mysterious is it! He became our inner man and the new man within us. When we submit ourselves to Him, and turn to the spirit, the law of spirit of life prevails, and thus we automatically exhibit Christ and His attributes without any efforts at all. The moment we are out of this realm, we linger in our soul, to reason things in our mind and make our own decisions with our will and act as we like, we still live the “old man”, still under the realm of good and evil, the law of sin of death prevails.
It is very subtle according to our experience. We do have a desire to do God’s will, and check with Him, yet we reason and argue with Him, in the end, we may confuse between our old man’s will or new man’s will. As our life comprises decision making for all the choices facing us, we are always bothered by what we should do. Is the choice we make good or bad? Right or wrong? Does it benefit us or not? Seldom we are considering who is doing that. Is the old man doing it or the new man doing it? This message shows us that we need to shift from the old “person” to the new “person”. This requires to take the cross to terminate the old man. One characteristic of the old man that we can recognize is that the old man reacts instantaneously. When something happens, the old man is the first to react. Our temper busts as we hear any news irritates us. We express strong emotion when we face something extraordinary. We have lived our old person for a long time and simply it is difficult to change. How much we need to take the cross and die to the old man!
Now we are regenerated and a new man is born in our spirit. He is a baby within. We need to let Him grow within us so that He one day will dominate our whole being. To grow simply means to have more of Christ added and worked into us. Formerly, we were people in the soul, but now we must be people in the spirit. Our soul, our former person, has already been “crucified with Christ”. We need to feed on Christ as the heavenly food and drink the milk of the word everyday and be infused with Him. Most importantly we need to pray by calling on His name to switch to the mingle spirit. The more we feed on Him, the more we turn to our spirit, the more the inner man will grow and the more we obey Him. The obedience follows the denial of our soul life. Dear saints, remember the sequence, that is, we enjoy Him and be filled with Him so that we may be full of resurrection life, then we are able to take our cross and die to the old man with no efforts of our own, then we can take Christ as our person and live Him and obey Him.
This is a growing process which is gradual with different levels as Paul says in Rom. 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Him… “ and Ga 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith,” and 2 Cor. 4:16 “Therefore we do not lose heart; but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.” Paul himself is a perfect pattern for us with respect of the growth in life and taking Christ as our person. We need to learn from him, as he said in Ga 4:19 “My children, with whom I travail again in birth until Christ is formed in you”
What does it mean by “Chrisit is formed in you”? Eph. 3:17 says, “That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith” The level of our maturity is reflected in how much Christ has made His home in our hearts. Heart refers to our conscience, mind, emotion, and will. When we are regenerated, Christ is being born in our spirit. As He grows, he spreads through our conscience to our soul: mind, emotion, and will. This process is mystical and life long. The growth or the spread only happens when we exercise and remain in the spirit. If it is not originated from our spirit, right away we fall in the old man. Therefore, moment by moment we need to exercise our spirit and through the conscience our mind can subject to the spirit, meaning Christ is spreading into our mind. As He grows, we submit ourselves to His will, and His will becomes our will until our whole being is completely taken by Him. At this time He makes our hearts His home. This process is not once for all. When we enjoy Him and exercise our spirit by calling on Him, by feeding on His word, He takes home in our heart and we take Him as our person and live Christ. But for the moment we do not enjoy Christ, not turning to our spirit, He does not possess our heart. So, the growth will be realized in different levels. When we are fully matured, Christ will permanently make our hearts His home and He is formed within us. Our soul will be fully saturated with Him and our being is fully transformed and conformed to His image. Eventually even our physical body will be transfigured to be spiritual body. What a mystery! Amen.