• Christ and Church Life and Building Spirit and Bride

    基督與召會
    生命與建造
    那靈與新婦



    As a lover of Christ and a pursuer of truth, I write down my joys, memories and reflections.

    May God lead us all into the secret of His presence, and build us into the oneness of His body in love.
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Some quotes and beliefs of Kaspar Schwenckfeld

Kaspar Schwenckfeld was a fifteenth-century reformer. Yet his theology and vision, like a flaming fire in the darkness, far surpassed his contemporary peers, such as Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli. For that, he was much prosecuted for most of his life and little remembered even until this day. I really enjoyed reading his works, which shared a surprisingly high similarity with the teachings in the Lord’s recovery, confirming what we have heard from the ministry.

I would say no more, for his own words said better:

On the church as the Body of Christ

The Christian Church is the entire community of the children of God. It is the actual Body of Christ, the Seed of Abraham, the House of the living God, the Temple of the Holy Spirit. It has its life and power through the obedience of faith, it manifests to the world the Name of the Lord, the goodness and the glory of Him who called its members from darkness into His marvelous Light. Wherever such a Church is gathered, there also is Christ, its Head, who governs it, teaches it, guards and defends it, works in it and pours His Life into its members, to each according to the measure of his living faith. This inward invisible Christ belongs to all ages and all times and lands.

We maintain that the Christian Church according to the usage of the Scripture is the congregation or assembly of all or of many who with heart and soul are believers in Christ, whose Head is Christ our Lord, as St. Paul writes to the Ephesians and elsewhere, and who are born of God’s Word alone and are nourished and ruled by God’s Word.

No outward unity or uniformity, either in doctrine or ceremonies, or rules or sacraments, can make a Christian Church; but inner unity of spirit, of heart, soul and conscience in Christ and in the knowledge of Him, a unity in love and faith, does make a Church of Christ,

He believed

  • The true Church could not be identified with a temporal, empirical organization or in the formation of a sectarian denomination
  • The Church is bone of Christ’s bone and flesh of Christ’s flesh, vitalized by His blood, empowered by His real presence, and formed into an organism which reveals and exhibits the divine and heavenly life.
  • Without recognizing that the Church is the universal Body of Christ, and not merely the physical social-political entity made up of those who hold particular doctrines in common against others, one disparages the Glorified Christ.

On being fed and watered by the divine life
On receiving the divine life

If the spirit of man is to be truly nourished, vitally fed and watered, so that it comes into possession of Eternal Life, it must die to its fleshly life and receive into itself a divine and spiritual Life, having its source in the Being of God.

He believed

  • According to 1 Cor. 15:45, Christ passed through a process to become a life-giving Spirit. As the life-giving Spirit, Christ could then come into man and planted a divine seed, which would then begin to grow and start to spread in man’s spirit, overflowing into his soul. This divine, spreading seed would enter into our fallen human nature, conquer our stubborn bent toward sin, and eventually saturate our entire being, ultimately resulting in the transformation of the human body into a divine and heavenly substance. But, in order to spread, that divine seed required nourishing. Through His victorious resurrection, Christ was able to unite Himself inwardly with the believers so that His spiritual, resurrected flesh and blood could be their food. When the believers ate of this spiritual food and drank of this spiritual drink, the divine seed of life within them would receive nourishing, causing this divine life to soak man’s entire being with Christ.

On understanding the scripture with the new life in Christ through revelation

The Scriptures cannot bring to the soul that of which they speak. This must be sought directly from God Himself… In a word, to understand the Scriptures a man must become a new man, a man of God; he must be in Christ who gives forth the scriptures.

The spiritual realities of life cannot be settled by laboriously piling up texts of Scripture, not by subtle theological dialectic, or by learned exegesis of sacred words. If these spiritual realities are to become real and effective to us, it must be through the direct relation of the human spirit with the divine Spirit—the inward spiritual Word of God. He who will see truth must have God for eyes.

He believed

  • The Bible as the Word of God, had its source in God, and therefore was a viable source of spiritual food and drink. Without Christ, the Word was nothing but dead letters (2 Cor. 3:6). The Bible remains a closed book until Christ opens it.

On the Lord’s supper

He believed

  • Lord’s Supper is a visible profession of faith, an outward sign that should not have occupied the foreground of attention. What should have occupied the foreground of attention was the actual experience symbolized by the Lord’s Supper, the inward partaking of the spiritual food and drink, for the spread of the divine life.

On baptism

He believed

  • All important matter was not how or when the water was applied, but the reception of Christ’s real baptism.
  • Baptism is a symbol of the actual experience. When a person was baptized they were declaring to the whole universe that they were leaving their old sinful nature behind, and becoming a new man. Christ’s baptism is an inner baptism, a baptism of spirit and power, by which the inner man is clarified, strengthened, and made pure.

 

There are quite some riches in Schewenckfeld’s work, and I will post more if I find something significant. For more information about Schewenckfeld, read Schwenckfeld, Kaspar by Rit Nosotro

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