by Watchman Nee
How can we be victorious, righteous, holy?
First we must understand clearly that God has not constituted Christ our example to be copied. He is not giving us His strength to help us imitate Christ.
He has not even planted Christ within us to help us to be Christ-like. Galatians 2:20 is not our standard for record-breaking endeavor. It is not a high aim to be aspired to through long seeking and patient progress. No, it is not God’s aim at all, but God’s method.
When Paul says, “Yet no longer I, but Christ lives in me,” he is showing us how only Christ satisfies God’s heart. This is the life that gives God satisfaction in the believer, and there is no substitute. “Not I, but Christ,” means Christ instead of me. When Paul uses these words, he is not claiming to have attained something his readers have not yet reached to. He is defining the Christian life. The Christian life is the Christ life. Christ in me has become my life, and is living my life instead of me. It is not even that I trust Him as a separate, sufficient act. No, God gives Him to be my life.
Moreover, in the new life there is a law—the law that determines what that life is like in expression. It is not just that a life is present in me, for if this were all, I would then have to hold tightly onto it. No, there is a law of that life (Romans 8:2), and that law looks after itself.
The daily life of the Christian is summed up in the word “receive.” Every challenging thing that God demands of me—long-suffering, meekness, humility, goodness, holiness, joy—is not something I am, or something I do, or some virtue I acquire or attain to. It is Christ in me. Each is the manifestation of Him. Let Him be revealed, naturally and spontaneously, and that is enough.
“He is made unto us …” (1 Cor. 1:30). If He were our Justifier, Sanctifier, Redeemer, we could understand. But it does not say He does these things. It uses abstract nouns: He is these things (1 Cor. 1:30). Christ in us meets every demand of God, and every demand of the circumstances around us.
It is not in us to be humble, nor shall we find it helps to trust in the power of Christ to make us humble. Christ is humble, naturally—that is, by his very nature—and He is made our humility, for Christ is our all. Even faith and trust and obedience, if we regard them as virtues by which we attain, will prove ineffective. It is not that I trust His word, therefore I can be long-suffering. It is that Christ is long-suffering, and, praise God, Christ is in me! Once again, this is Isaac, natural, simple, spontaneous, trusting implicitly and without question, because the Father has made absolutely sufficient provision.