Our Human Spiritby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
This book is composed of messages given in 1963, 1965, and 1969 in Los Angeles, California. The message included as chapter 8 in this book was given in 1963. This message was published previously in The Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1963, volume 3, as chapter 9 in Basic Principles of the Experience of Life.
This book is composed of messages given in the summers of 1963, 1965, and 1969 in Los Angeles, California. These messages contain a clear presentation of the basic truth concerning our human spirit. This truth has been missed by most Christians, and nearly all who have seen something of it have neglected it. Few realize the strategic importance of our human spirit.
The Bible reveals that man is a tripartite being possessing a spirit, a soul, and a body (1 Thes. 5:23). It makes a clear distinction between these three parts (Luke 1:46-47; Heb. 4:12; Phil. 1:27). Having a body, man possesses world-consciousness and is able to contact the material world. Having a soul, man possesses self-consciousness, which gives him his personality, his self (Matt. 16:26; cf. Luke 9:25), and is able to reason, choose, and respond emotionally. Having a spirit, man possesses God-consciousness and is able to contact, receive, and worship the Triune God (John 4:24; Rom. 8:16; 2 Tim. 4:22). God is Spirit (John 4:24), and when He formed man (Gen. 2:7), He created him with a spirit (Zech. 12:1). If man did not have a spirit, he would be unable to contact God.
It is in our spirit that we were born again (John 3:6); it is in our spirit that we were made alive (Eph. 2:5; Rom. 8:10); it is in our spirit that God dwells (Eph. 2:22; 2 Tim. 4:22; Rom. 8:16); it is in our spirit that we are joined to the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17); and it is in our spirit that we contact and worship God (John 4:24). Now we must walk and have our whole being according to our spirit—serving in our spirit (Rom. 1:9), praying in spirit (Eph. 6:18), being filled in spirit (5:18), seeing God’s revelation in spirit (1:17; 3:5; Rev. 1:10; 4:2; 17:3; 21:10), having fellowship with the brothers and sisters in spirit (Phil. 2:1), and being built together with others into a dwelling place of God in spirit (Eph. 2:22).
The New Testament also reveals three different kinds of life—bios, psuche, and zoe. Bios, the physical life, is in the body; psuche, the human life, is in the soul; and zoe, the divine life, is in the spirit. Before we were regenerated, we had only the physical life and the human life, the soulish life. At the time of our regeneration we received the third life, the divine life, which is God as life. However, most Christians, though they are regenerated in their spirit, continue to live and behave according to their own considerations and reasonings, likes and dislikes, or standard of right and wrong or good and evil. Such Christians are soulish (1 Cor. 2:14), men of the soul who take their human life as the source of their living. Others walk according to their spirit. These Christians are spiritual (v. 15), men of the spirit who take God as the source of their living. We must all learn to walk not according to the life that is in our soul but according to the life that is in our spirit (Mark 8:35-36; John 12:25; Rom. 8:4-6).
Malachi 2:15-16 tells us that we need to take heed to our spirit. In our daily Christian life we must continually exercise our spirit. It is here that we worship God, fellowship with others, and are filled with the Spirit. It is here that we enjoy the freshness, sweetness, enlivening, and supplying of Christ. Also, in the church we must continually exercise our spirit. The proper church life is a matter absolutely in the spirit. When we turn to our spirit, we are one.
We pray that the points presented in this book will become a vision to all who read them and that many would begin to live according to this vision. Today there is a great need that all the Lord’s children become those who walk and live according to their spirit. We also pray that the Lord would grant such a reality in all the local churches.
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