Life-Study of Romansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In 8:9 Paul says, “But you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, he is not of Him.” In the foregoing message we pointed out that to be of Christ is a matter of position, but to be in spirit is a matter of condition. The position that we are of Christ is settled once for all; however, the condition of being in spirit may fluctuate. For this reason, we need to consider how to stabilize our condition of being in the spirit.
One way to stabilize this condition is to declare that we are in the spirit. Learn to say, “I am in spirit!” In the past I encouraged you to call, “O Lord Jesus.” Now I am encouraging you to say, “I am in spirit.” Sometimes we can contact the Lord simply by saying “O”; it is not always necessary to say, “O Lord Jesus.” In the same principle, we do not always need to say, “I am in spirit,” for it may be adequate simply to say the word “in.” If you are about to lose your temper, exercise yourself to say “O” or “in.” This will help you to remain in the spirit. According to verse 9, we are in the spirit since the Spirit of God dwells in us. Now we can remain in this condition by declaring the fact that we are in the spirit.
Among Christians today, there are many teachings concerning how to experience the Spirit. I can testify that these teachings may hinder us from experiencing the work of the Spirit. In Romans 8 Paul does not say, “In order to be freed from the law of sin and death, you must fast and pray. The law of sin is terrible, and it is too powerful for you to overcome. That is why I cried out, ‘Wretched man that I am. Who can deliver me?’” Paul did not teach the believers in this way. Neither did he teach that believers must confess all their sins to both God and man before they can experience the Spirit.
To understand the matter of being in the spirit as mentioned in verse 9, it will be helpful to consider how we were saved. When we heard the proclamation of the gospel, we recognized it and acknowledged it. There was no need for us to say, “From now on I must behave myself in a way that pleases God. In the past I have done many sinful things. If I confess my sins and make up my mind to improve my behavior, then I’ll be saved.” This is wrong. This mistaken concept can affect a person’s Christian life for years. After a person hears the proclamation of the gospel, he should simply utter a strong, “Amen!” and say, “Thank You, Lord Jesus.” Anyone who has the heart to accept, to acknowledge, what has been proclaimed to him through the preaching of the gospel will certainly be saved.
Such an acknowledgment of God’s salvation not only helps a person to be saved; it is also a great help to that one’s Christian life in the future. Every aspect of the Christian life requires this kind of acknowledgment. Whenever a person acknowledges God’s salvation, says amen to the gospel, and thanks the Lord Jesus, the Spirit of God enters into him immediately. This is proved by Ephesians 1:13 and 14: “In Whom you also, hearing the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation, in Whom also believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise, Who is the pledge of our inheritance, unto the redemption of the acquired possession to the praise of His glory.” Here we see that when the gospel is preached, proclaimed to us, and we acknowledge it, we are immediately sealed with the Spirit of God. From that time onward, the Spirit enters us and dwells in us. This means that the fact of being indwelt by the Spirit of God begins from the time we acknowledge the gospel. This is true even if a person in a weak way makes this acknowledgment, says amen, and thanks the Lord for the proclamation of His salvation. At that very moment, the Spirit of God comes into him and begins to dwell in him.
If a preacher of the gospel is one with God and according to God, he will go on to explain to a newly saved one that, since he has believed in Christ and received the Spirit, he should remain in the spirit. He may tell the new believer, “Right now you are not only of Christ and of the Spirit, but you are also in the spirit. Just stay in the spirit from now on. Whenever the thought or the desire comes to you to do something that is contrary to the Lord, you should declare, ‘I am in the spirit.’ This will be a great help to you in your Christian life.”
The well-known chorus of a gospel song says, “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.” If we speak the fact that we are in the spirit, our story and song will be that we are in spirit. All day long we may praise the Savior that, because the Spirit of God dwells in us, we are now in the spirit. This will be a very effective inoculation against all the “bugs” sent by the enemy to trouble us in the Christian life.
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