Living a Simple Life of Faith in God — Not I but Christ — for God’s Building in Life
The Bible clearly says that Christ died for us and bore God’s judgement for us, and by believing into Him we are saved, having the eternal redemption applied to us to be brought back to God and receive His divine life.
However, as believers in Christ we need to realize that in our flesh we are good for nothing except death and burial; our baptism is a sign that our daily life should be with the realisation that we are crucified with Christ, and we should remain in His death so that He may live in us (Gal. 2:20).
We need to be like the Lord Jesus and the Apostle Paul who both lived a life one with God, and they considered themselves under God’s judgement, realizing that in their flesh nothing good dwells — therefore they had to experience the cross of Christ so that His resurrection life may be manifested.
The reason there are so many divisions and problems in the church is because there’s no actual bearing of the cross, denying of the self, and proper following the Lord. However, when we speak of realizing that we are good for nothing except death and burial we need to see that this means that we should converse with the Lord in everything.
We should love the Lord to the uttermost and seek to experience Him as the “man of bronze”, the man who was under God’s judgement to express God in everything, and then He will become our love — He will be our extraordinary love; He will be our forbearance — He will be a boundless forbearance toward all men, He will be our faithfulness — He will be an unparalleled faithfulness, He will be our absolute humility, our utmost purity, our supreme holiness and righteousness, and our brightness and uprightness.
We need to daily keep our traffic with God: we need to be “stuck in traffic” with God, conversing with Him about everything, opening to Him concerning all things, and at the same time receiving His fresh dispensing, being filled with all His riches. When we enjoy Him in such a way, even if our circumstances are unbearable, they become bearable because of Christ as the Man of bronze in our being who is our enjoyment and experience.
Lord Jesus, we praise You, we open to You, and we want to follow You by denying the self, taking up our cross, and losing our soul life. We make our requests, worries, and situations known to You, for it matters to You concerning us. Lord, keep us in the divine-human traffic of prayer, opening, praising, and receiving the divine dispensing. We want to receive You and be constituted with You so that we may live You for God’s testimony, to build up the church as the temple of God!
Living a Simple Life of Faith in God — Not I but Christ — for God’s Building in Life
There were two pillars of bronze in the temple, and on their capitals there were some nets of checker work (like a trellis) with wreaths of chain work, with lilies and pomegranates and other things (see 1 Kings 7:18–20). Such a design was surely made by God, since no human architect would design such things in a temple.
These nets of checker work and wreaths of chain work signify the complicated and intermixed situation in which we, as the pillars in God’s building, live and bear responsibility (see 2 Cor. 1:12; 4:7–8).
The two bronze capitals covered the tops of the pillars. The total height of each capital was five cubits (1 Kings 7:16; 2 Chron. 3:15), divided between the base (three cubits — 2 Kings 25:17) and the two bowls on top of each capital (2 Chron. 4:12). The number three here signifies the process of resurrection; the number two, a testimony (Deut. 17:6); the number five, the bearing of responsibility (see footnote 1 on Matt. 25:2); and the number ten (the combined height of the two capitals), fullness in bearing responsibility. The bowls were the glory, beauty, decoration, and crown of the capitals. They were covered with nets of checker work (like a trellis) and wreaths of chain work (1 Kings 7:17). These signify the complicated and intermixed situation in which those who are pillars in God’s building (Gal. 2:9; Rev. 3:12) live and bear responsibility. Lilies were on the nets (1 Kings 7:19), and two rows of one hundred pomegranates were on the wreaths (v. 18; 2 Kings 25:17; 2 Chron. 3:16; 4:13). Lilies signify a life of faith in God (S. S. 2:1–2; Matt. 6:28, 30; Gal. 2:20), and pomegranates, having many seeds, signify the expression of the riches of the divine life. A life of faith that expresses the riches of the divine life is the issue of the experience of Christ’s crucifixion in and through the complicated and intermixed situation (cf. 2 Cor. 4:7–18). (1 Kings 7:16, footnote 1, Recovery Version)
Every day we find ourselves in some kind of complicated situation, but in such situations we need to live a life by faith in God so that we may grow in life and love by faith. In the midst of such situations God is gaining a testimony: as we contact the Lord, enjoy Him, and live a life of trusting in Him, we are becoming pillars with a wonderful design for God’s testimony, even in intermixed and complicated situations.
The lilies on top of the capitals signify a life of faith in God, a life of living by what God is to us and not by what we are and can do.
First, we need to condemn ourselves, realizing that we’re fallen, incapable and unqualified to serve God and do anything for God; then, we must live by faith in God, not by what we are or what we can do.
Lilies are beautiful but not because of what they do but because of what God does: they don’t worry, spin thread, or do anything to beautify themselves but simply trust in God (see Matt. 6:28, 30). We need to look to the Lord and trust in Him: only He can bear the responsibility in our intermixed and complicated situations.
In ourselves we cannot do it, we cannot live, and we cannot bear it, but we turn to the Lord, we trust in Him, and we live by faith in Him, so that it is “no longer I but Christ” (Gal. 2:20). Even though we may live among thorns in lowly places, we should live a pure and trusting life among filthy and unbelieving people (see Song of Songs 2:1–2).
Our situation may be complicated, intermixed, and we may seemingly have no way out; our first reaction would be to ask the Lord to remove these complications, but what He wants is to gain the testimony of Jesus even in such intermixed and complicated situations by our living a life of trusting in God.
In ourselves we can’t do it; in our flesh nothing good dwells, our self is against God and His economy, and our natural man is versus Christ — we need to realize that it is not us who should live but Christ should live in us a life for God’s testimony. In God’s eyes we are a lily of the valley, even a lily among thorns, those who testify, It is not I but Christ, and the life which I now live, I live by the faith of Jesus Christ”.
God may never take away the complications, problems, troubles, and difficult situations we’re in, because He wants to gain a pure testimony of Jesus in us through our living a life by faith in Him. Living by faith in Christ in a simple and pure way even in the midst of complicated situations is for the building of God, God’s temple — it is for God to gain a testimony on earth.
The pomegranates on the wreaths of the capitals signify the fulness, the abundance and beauty, and the expression of the riches of Christ as life. Whatever situation we are in, we are assured that it will turn out to salvation through the petition of the saints and through the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:19–21).
When we live a life of trusting in God and not in ourselves, we are filled with the riches of Christ, we become His fulness, and His riches are testified through us (Eph. 1:22–23; 3:19).
Through the crossing out of the network and the restriction of the chain work, we can live a pure, simple life of trusting in God to express the riches of the divine life of Christ for God’s building in life. What upholds the temple is these pillars with the capitals on top; what supports God’s house, God’s building, is the simple life of faith in God to display the rich abundance of the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Through we may be crossed out by the situations and matters around us, and though we may be restricted by the intermixed and complicated situations we’re in, we can live a pure and simple life of trusting in God to express the riches of Christ’s life for God’s building.
Lord Jesus, we want to live a simple life by faith in You even in the midst of our intermixed and complicated situations. Gain Your testimony in us as we live a pure and trusting life among filthy and unbelieving people. Oh Lord, in ourselves we are nothing and we can do nothing, but we trust in You and we live by the faith of Jesus Christ! Lord, no more I but Christ! No more us who live but Christ who lives in us, and the life we now live in the flesh we live in faith — the faith of the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself up for us! Lord, we want to have a pure and simple life of faith, trusting in God to express the riches of the divine life of Christ for God’s building in life!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, bro. Dick Taylor’s sharing in the message for this week, and Life-study of Genesis, msg. 84 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Church as the Temple of God — The Goal of God’s Eternal Economy (2015 Thanksgiving Conference), week 3 / msg. 3, The Intrinsic Significance of the Materials of the Temple (2).
- All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Oh, what a life! Oh, what a peace! / The Christ who’s all within me lives. / With Him I have been crucified; / This glorious fact to me He gives. / Now it’s no longer I that live, / But Christ the Lord within me lives. (Hymns #499)
# Now a lily of the valley, / Standing out among the thorns, / In the Lord alone I’m trusting, / Of my self-strength I’ve been shorn. (Hymns #1155)
# Live Thyself, Lord Jesus, through me, / For my very life art Thou; / Thee I take to all my problems / As the full solution now. / Live Thyself, Lord Jesus, through me, / In all things Thy will be done; / I but a transparent vessel / To make visible the Son. (Hymns #403)
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Originally published on A God-man in Christ