Experiencing Christ

Learning the Secret (2)

Phil. 4:11  Not that I speak according to lack, for I have learned, in whatever circumstances I am, to be content.  (12)  I know also how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to hunger, both to abound and to lack.  (13)  I am able to do all things in Him who empowers me. 
(Part 2 of 2)
Although the church, the Body of Christ, is somewhat mysterious, the church definitely is not a secret society. On the contrary, the church is a bright city set on a hill. Furthermore, the church is open to all who are willing to come. But because the church has a mysterious aspect, there is the need of a spiritual initiation in order to learn the principles of the church life.

The basic principles of the church life are altogether different from the basic principles of the world. We may know all the rudimentary principles of the world and yet not know anything of the church life. Thus, when we are saved and come into the church, the Body of Christ, we need to be initiated by learning certain basic principles. The secret of the Body is to take Christ as our life, to live Christ, to pursue Christ, to gain Christ, to magnify Christ, and to express Christ. These are the basic principles of the church, the Body of Christ. As one who had been initiated into the Body, Paul had learned the secret.

Many Christians today have not been initiated into the church life in such a way. Although they have been converted to Christ, baptized, and have joined a denomination, they have not been initiated into the Body of Christ. They have not learned how to take Christ as life, how to live Christ, how to take Christ as their pattern, and how to count all religious, cultural, and philosophical things as refuse in order to gain Christ. In contrast to Paul, they have not learned the secret of experiencing Christ. Paul had been initiated both into the proper Christian life and into the proper church life.

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