2 – The Ministry of the Spirit and of Righteousness (2)

From chapter two of The Ministers in the Lord’s Recovery – Genuine Ministers of the New Covenant


The Ministry of Righteousness

In 2 Corinthians 3 Paul speaks not only of the ministry of the Spirit but also of “the ministry of righteousness” (v. 9). Whereas the Spirit refers to God living and operating within us to supply us with the riches of life, righteousness refers to the image of God expressed to become our appearance outwardly (cf. Col. 3:10; Eph. 4:24; Rom. 8:4, 29). The Spirit is the realization of the resurrected Christ, who is the righteous One (Acts 3:14). Hence, when the believers are saturated with the Spirit by receiving the ministry of the Spirit, Christ is wrought into them and expressed through them as subjective righteousness in their living (Matt. 5:20). The righteous requirements of the law are spontaneously and unconsciously fulfilled in them (Rom. 8:4), and they become right with God and others, even becoming the very righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).

Such was Brother Lee’s goal and the testimony of his conscience concerning his ministry, as he explicitly stated, “This new covenant ministry is the ministry in the Lord’s recovery. In the recovery we only minister Christ as the life-giving Spirit and as our living righteousness.”9 Many saints in the Lord’s recovery can affirm that by receiving this ministry, they became right with God in many aspects of their daily life, experiencing deliverance from sinful habits and addictions. For example, in the 1960s a number of hippies who came to hear Brother Lee minister the word were dynamically saved and turned from their former manner of life to begin living out the proper humanity of Jesus (Eph. 4:22-24). This drastic change was not effected by outward regulations but by the ministry, which led them to call upon the name of the Lord and pray-read the Word of God (Rom. 10:12-13; 2 Tim. 2:22; Eph. 6:17-18; cf. Jude 20-21). Through these life practices they were supplied with the Spirit to spontaneously live out Christ, the righteous One (1 Cor. 12:3, 13). Similarly, by enjoying the ministry in the recovery, many became right not only with God but with others, including a number of couples who were brought back from the brink of separation or even divorce into pleasant oneness and harmony in the Lord.

The glorious issue of the ministry of the Spirit and of righteousness is the adornment of the bride, the wife of the Lamb, for her participation in the marriage dinner of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-8). The overcoming believers as the bride of Christ will be clothed in fine linen, which is “the righteousnesses of the saints” (v. 8). As the believers partake of the Spirit of life, Christ as their subjective righteousness is constituted into them and lived out of them to become their garment of righteousness (Rom. 8:2, 4). In order to prepare our wedding garment and thereby make ourselves ready for the marriage dinner of the Lamb, we need to remain under the ministry of the Spirit and of righteousness (Phil. 1:19-21). May we receive mercy from the Lord to never depart from the ministry in the Lord’s recovery that we may be overcomers filled with the Spirit and clothed with the wedding garment of righteousness at the marriage dinner of the Lamb.

9 Life-study of 2 Corinthians, pp. 263-264

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