This message is part 2 of the series “A Life Full of the Divine Attributes” by Titus Chu.
What is eternal life? It is first of all uncreated; and as such it is self-existing and ever-existing; unlimited; full of attributes; and indestructible.
“Eternal” Means Much More Than “Everlasting”
Being eternal is one of God’s qualities; He is the Self-Existing and Ever-Existing One. Some translators use the term “everlasting life,” but this does not capture the meaning, for everlasting merely refers to time without end. In actuality, with God there is nothing called time. Eternity has to do with the quality and nature of this life. This life is eternal because it is the life of the self-existing and ever-existing God; it is eternal because it is unlimited and indestructible.
The Attributes of Eternal Life
A Divine Attribute: Oneness
Now what are the attributes of this life? We may be familiar with the commonly mentioned attributes of love, light, holiness, and righteousness. I would also bring to your attention that oneness is also a divine attribute. When you consider the oneness of the Triune God, you must acknowledge how wonderful a thing such oneness is. On this earth, there is no such thing. Among mankind, wives argue with their husbands, husbands fight with their wives, parents bother their children, children rebel against their parents, students are at variance with their teachers; teachers are at variance with their principals, and on and on. On every possible issue there is argument, for everything on this earth is under the divisive influence of Satan. Even in the church life you see this influence. Divisions come from Satan. He was the first one to break the oneness, and he makes it his job to perpetuate this.
With Oneness is Harmony, Purity and Singleness
Harmony owes itself to this divine attribute of oneness. Wherever God is, harmony is, for He is a God of oneness. In this universe that He created there are all kind of things but they all work together as one. Everything created exists for this oneness. For instance, when an animal becomes extinct, it is a loss to the harmony of the oneness of nature. Nothing is superfluous; everything God makes He makes according to this attribute of oneness.
With God’s oneness there is something called purity and with this purity there is something called singleness. Singleness and purity are related to God’s attribute of oneness. We do not possess this attribute by birth, so we are always competing and fighting with one another. This is how man survives apart from the oneness of God. (There is a Chinese proverb that says that if you are not selfish, the heavens are going to kill you and the earth is going to terminate you.) Since there is no culture on earth according to the divine attributes, no human culture experiences harmony. How harmonious, how pure, and how single is the Triune God! How pure they are toward one another, and how one they are in carrying out their economy! You have to say “Lord, I am so thankful I have a God who is love, light, righteousness, holiness, and who is also in oneness, so pure, and so single and harmonious. Marvelous!”
A Divine Attribute: Transcendent Power
When you touch this Person who is the eternal life, you also touch transcending power. When I touch Christ I touch love, light, holiness, righteousness, oneness, purity, singleness, harmoniousness, and I also touch power because these are all in this one person, these are all attributes of this one person.
What kind of power does God possess? Resurrection power! Ascending power! Enthroning power! The power that overcomes all limitations! This power is another of His attributes. You cannot touch Him without touching His power, for power is one of His attributes.
To Possess Eternal Life is to Possess Its Attributes
Brothers, to talk about eternal life is simple, but you cannot say eternal life is really yours until you have experienced these attributes. I can say I feel so good and sweet when I call on the name of the Lord in the morning. However, did you touch love? Did you touch light? Did you touch something holy? Did you touch His righteousness? Did you touch the oneness? What did you touch? Was it just a feeling of well-being? A person who gets a job feels good. They enjoy relief, and take their wife out for dinner. And what new father does not experience joy at the birth of his child? But are there any divine attributes involved? We should not despise the sweet sensations we experience while in the Lord’s presence, but these sensations are not the substance. We must partake of the Lord’s divine attributes. Did love come in, or light, or holiness? Did oneness come in, or purity, or singleness? Did harmony come in, or power? If you have received of these attributes you will feel strengthened, enlightened, in love, in harmony with God and man and with your situation. Then you know that you have really touched God.
God Arranges All Things So That We Might Possess His Attributes
Sometimes we are in difficult circumstances, but after we spend time in the Lord’s presence, we are able to embrace our circumstances, realizing God created them for us! In His creative activity, God is continually causing things to happen around us so that we could enter into harmony with others. If we live apart from the divine attributes, however, we will simply be frustrated. Every human being lives a life confronting frustrations. How many, however, can embrace them with joy as being from the One who is arranging all things for them?
When I first came to this country I had only $20 in my pocket, but I had a scholarship so I was not worried. But when I left that theological school, I had only $100 with which to begin at another school and with which to live. I made a vow to the Lord that the Lord answered that I would not be a waiter, although that was all I knew how to do. I drank water from the drinking fountain and ate one hotdog a day for a period of time. That was all I could afford. But I couldn’t tell you the joy I had in my spirit. When we are in the Lord’s presence, there is nothing called hunger or limitation. Through such experiences I really came to know the Lord’s miraculous provision.
From my own experience I have the full confidence that He will take care of you who desire to serve Him in this way. I tell you, I felt the Lord was so close to me during those times because I had nothing else I could lay hold of. I could have been told at any time to leave the United States. I had a real experience of harmony with God at that time. I was in school and very sick, and had to undergo an operation. Afterwards I needed nutrition, so I prayed, “Lord I need nutrition, You provide for me.” All of the sudden, for one month’s time, pork was sold just about for free, right after I prayed. Then after my health was restored, I prayed, “Thank you Lord for your rich provision” and the price went up again. You have the feeling that you are so harmonious with God and everything God is creating for your sake. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have human feelings. Sometimes you can be extremely upset or extremely joyful but there is something in that divine life that causes you to be so harmonious with God and with God’s provision.
Maturity in the Divine Life is a Result of Being Constituted with the Divine Attributes
To touch the Lord, to enjoy the Lord, is to partake of all these attributes. Maturity comes about as a result of being constituted with these attributes. Don’t value seniority, for seniority only produces frustrations among us. No matter how richly the attributes have been constituted into you, if you are not in spirit they cannot operate. For this you need to always learn to be in spirit.
To Partake of the Divine Attributes, We Must Enjoy the Spirit, for God is Spirit
God is Spirit (John 4:24), so you have to be in spirit to enjoy His divine attributes. The Bible also tells us that He is love (1 John 1:5) and light (1 John 4:16). (Love is related to grace, and life is related to reality.) Apart from the Spirit, love, and light, the attributes cannot be yours. Therefore you have to be a person in spirit. Then all these attributes— the oneness, the purity, the singleness, the harmoniousness, the power—can become your experience and your constitution.
Struggling To Lay Hold on the Eternal Life so that We Might Possess the Divine Attributes
Paul said we were saved unto eternal life, and that we should lay hold of it. In our daily life, our fight is to lay hold of the eternal life. Then what will be our future? To know what that this eternal life is really like.
Paul tells us we have received this eternal life at our salvation, that we should fight to lay hold of this eternal life today, and that our reward in the future will be the eternal life. So when you use the term life, you must realize that are not talking about something abstract, theological, doctrinal, or a mere term. We cannot be merely use life as a topic for us to talk about, eternal life must become the substance that you gain by partaking of all these attributes in spirit. Your growth is a growth in these attributes. Have you grown? It all depends upon whether you have become further constituted with these attributes. Are you healthy? Your health is determined by how operational these attributes are in your experience. To be healthy in your Christian life is to be a person in love and in light and in holiness, a person in righteousness and harmony. It is the presence of these attributes that reveals how healthy a brother is, not how good he feels. What determines whether you really have God are the presence of His attributes. These attributes help us gauge where we are with the Lord.
Love and Light: Two Crucial Attributes of God for Our Experience
What is the most crucial attributes of God for us to experience? Love and light. God is love (1 John 4:8) and God is light (1 John 1:5). When you are in spirit these are the two first things you experience. Following this, we should realize that God is righteous. God is a righteous God. The Bible, however, does not say that God is righteousness, so the stress is greater upon His being love and light. Righteousness is actually an issue of enjoying God as light, and our partaking of the divine attribute of God’s holiness comes about as we enjoy God’s being love.
The First Attribute of God We Experience in Spirit: Love
We all need to tell the Lord, “Lord, as I live on this earth, I must experience all of your divine, heavenly attributes.” Then God will reveal to you that you’ve got to be in spirit, for apart from the Spirit these attributes will never be yours. These attributes are not for you to study, but for you to experience in spirit!
The Love of God: Not Merely Emotion or Sensation, But the Very Things that Drives God
Then, as you are one who is in spirit, the first thing you experience is God as love. To many, love is a word associated with human emotion. Actually, love is the very force that drives God to accomplish His economy. Love actually is a force of action. God loves us, so He was compelled to go through a process. Today He is the processed Triune God because He loves us. He passed through everything to accomplish redemption and to become such a Spirit for us to experience because He loves us. This divine attribute is far above and beyond mere emotion. You may thank the Lord for His love, but His realization is, “My love is a powerful force that drove Me to become a man. It caused Me to live on this earth and pass through all your experiences. It is the reason I allowed Myself to be tested by everything and yet without sin. Because of love I was even willing to die so that you could be redeemed. It also caused me to enter into resurrection. It is this love that caused Me to go through all these processes so that I could become the Life-giving Spirit.” The Life-giving Spirit is a Spirit of love.
It is Love that Drives God in His Economy
In a very real sense, the reason why our God is triune is because He loves us. Our understanding of God’s love is deficient, and our experience of love as a divine attribute is deficient. God loved us and died for us. This is true. But did you realize that the reason that God is triune, the reason that He created the heavens and the earth, the reason He became a man and lived on this earth for thirty-three and a half years, and died on the cross, and resurrected, and ascended and is enthroned and why He abides in you and why He arranges all things in your environment is that He is love. What a love of God for us. Because of this love, all things work together for good so that we can gain Christ.
Such a marvelous attribute is now in my spirit for me to enjoy, partake of, share, and experience. This is too marvelous for words. It is because of this love that He handpicked us out of the multitude, predestinated us, and called us unto His glory. In love He has arranged that you would become a person who would fully magnify and display Christ. We were marked out, and our lives have been designed with such a glorious purpose due to His great love. That’s why in Ephesians 2, Paul says, “But God, being rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in offenses…” When we were dead and helpless He came and accomplished everything on our behalf, and now we are sitting in the heavenlies. God’s Person, His economy, His leading and His accomplishments all bear the influence of this love.
A Song of God’s Love
I wrote a song years ago that goes something like this:
It is Your love that meets us When we are fallen in sin, This love attracts us that we may get the new life; How marvelous! It is your love that gives us a new life, Then your love changes my stony heart, When I was so cold and hard to You And it was your love that gives me a new heart So that I will not depart from you” It is Your love daily that supports us So that we are able to Continue going on. It is Your love that hourly supplies us So that we can Give up the earthly dreams. It is Your love that becomes The strength of our going on. It is Your love that causes You Yourself to become the Spirit And abide in my spirit. It is Your love that Operates in my heart So that I am able to labor with You In Your economy. It is Your love that works on me, That always causes me to remain Under Your shaping. It is Your love that measures Every situation to me That I may be broken to release Your life. How marvelous! It is through Your love That You are able to grow in my heart. Thus how can I become settled in the church, Seeing how You expend Your love? How can I passively enjoy The household life in the church, As one who has witnessed The reality of Your love? It is Your love that causes me to be transformed, That this earthen vessel may magnify Your glory. It is Your love that gives me the hope As I am waiting That I may be transformed to Your likeness. How marvelous! It is Your love that changes me, Causing me to become the attraction That draws You back. Even Your coming back is related to My enjoyment of Your love. Lord, I do not know what to say When I consider the treasure Of all the steps of Your love. Lord, would You pour out Your love within me That all my life I would Be lost in Your love.
The Love of God Poured Out in Our Hearts Through the Holy Spirit
This song seeks to express an appreciation for a love that is far beyond mere emotion. This is the love that draws us to the Lord, and this is the love that has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). When you really touch the Lord in your spirit, you should touch something besides a comforting feeling. Too many among us are still in this sphere. You should not only touch the Lord and sense His sweetness; you should also become possessed of the divine love to the point that you can no longer live to ourselves, but rather to Him who died and has been raised (2 Cor. 5:15).
When We Enjoy the Love of God Poured Out in Our Hearts, We Become His Pursuers
We pray that the Lord would draw us so we could run after Him (Song of Songs 1:4), but who has seen Him? Paul made it clear that the Lord’s last appearance was to him alone. Christ has never appeared to us, yet every one of us tells the Lord, “Lord I love you.” Why do you love Him? Because love was poured out into our hearts and we were attracted by it. When we say “Lord draw me,” it means “Lord, I’d like to be attracted by You by enjoying Your love poured out in my spirit, for when Your love is poured out in my heart and spirit, I am attracted by You.” We pursue the Lord because of this love. When this divine attribute was enjoyed by us in our spirit, we become pursuers of Christ.
When I was first saved, I became a person filled with love. At that time we didn’t have the teaching about our spirit yet so we didn’t know what that was. Our fellowship on life was mostly based on the books of the mystics, such as Andrew Murray and Madame Guyon. Though I didn’t know the truth regarding the Lord’s love being experienced in my spirit, I had the fact. When I sang a song or prayed, my tears would come down; I just loved to be in His presence and spend time with Him, and even to cry out and call His name, even though we had not yet heard of calling on the Lord’s name. I liked to say, “Lord Jesus, I love You.” I became a Jesus lover, one who pursued the Lord.
Not Training, Teaching, or Method Can Replace Christ Pouring His Love Out in Our Hearts
Christ Himself must be experienced by you. No training, teaching or method can replace the experience of Christ. All the truth you know and all the things you learn won’t work until one day you yourself experience Christ pouring out this love into your heart. It is this love that draws us, causing us to pursue Him, and even becomes our living, our life. When we are motivated by such love, there is nothing called paying a price, for you are willing to labor. Just as when a wife prepares meals day after day for her family, it has nothing to do with feeling. There is feeling, but the feeling is secondary. Even when the wife does not feel well she would still try to do something to provide a meal for her family. This is love.
We Must Be Constituted with God’s Love to Serve the Church
If you ask me why I serve the Lord, I would have to say it is because I love Him. Is it because I am supported and compelled by a feeling? No. Even many times before a meeting I don’t feel a thing. But I do have the Lord’s presence. Whether or not I have any feeling, this is my life. If you are able to perform all the spiritual labor and all the Bible study without this love being involved, wouldn’t you be proud? Would you be able to labor in full harmony with others in the church life? If your growth is the growth in love (Eph. 4:16), then something of love will be constituted into your being. If this is the case, you become a real spiritual man.
God does everything He does because He is a God of love. We also should go through what we go through in the church because we enjoy such a love (cf. Eph. 5:25-29). Love draws us, causes us to pursue, and constrains us to live a certain way and to grow and be constituted with the same divine constitution. When I have the divine constitution of the divine life I have the constitution of the divine love. May we tell the Lord, “Lord, in my life I’d like to be a person who abides in love. There is nothing I desire more than this. Lord I’m thankful that in your divine attributes the first and foremost is that You are a God of love.”
This message is part 2 of the series “A Life Full of the Divine Attributes” by Titus Chu.