THE FURTHERANCE OF THE GOSPEL BEING THE FACTOR FOR LIVING CHRIST
The experience of Christ unveiled in the book of Philippians includes several items. In chapter one Christ is our life and living. To take Christ as our life within and our living without is to live Christ (v. 21a). This chapter also reveals that the reason we live Christ, taking Christ as our life and our living, is for the furtherance of the gospel (vv. 5, 12). The experience of Christ as our life and living comes out of the furtherance of the gospel. The more we have fellowship in the gospel, in coordination with the apostle, the more we live Christ. The factor for living Christ is the furtherance of the gospel which is carried out in a corporate way.
Some have separated the preaching of the gospel from the experience of Christ. This is a mistaken concept. Our experience of Christ, our living of Christ, must have the factor of the furtherance of the gospel. Without such a factor, our words about living Christ are vain. Paul and the Philippians lived Christ, taking Christ as their life within and their living without, because they all were in the corporate fellowship of the gospel. The apostle was burdened for the furtherance of the gospel, and the Philippians were in coordination with him. Paul and the Philippians were happy in the furtherance of the gospel, and they all enjoyed Christ as their life within and their living without. Philippians 1 reveals not only the factor but also the result. The factor is the furtherance of the gospel with the apostle, and the result is the enjoyment of Christ, the experience of Christ, as both our life within and our living without. When you go out in the gospel, you enjoy Christ not in a doctrinal way but in a very experiential way.
Some have said that we should not have too much activity but that we should learn to enjoy Christ by attending the meetings, doing our best to uplift the meetings so that others may enjoy Christ. But without the factor of the furtherance of the gospel, we cannot enjoy Christ that much. Some have also said that we should come back to the enjoyment of Christ, implying that the preaching of the gospel is not the enjoyment of Christ. Our enjoyment of Christ must have a factor, and it must also have an issue. The furtherance of the gospel is the factor of our enjoyment of Christ. Furthermore, the more we enjoy Christ, the more we participate in the furtherance of the gospel. Thus, the furtherance of the gospel is also the issue of our enjoyment of Christ.
The enjoyment of Christ will cause you to visit people in their homes with the gospel. The enjoyment of Christ will never make you sleepy; rather, it will stir you up. When we enjoy Christ to the uttermost, we are beside ourselves. The more we enjoy Christ, the more active we will be. When we enjoy Christ, we can never be silent or quiet. (Experience and Growth in Life, Chapter 11)