The Spirit in the Epistlesby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Through Him we both have access in one Spirit unto the Father. (2:18)
We both have access unto the Father not by being inspired by the Spirit but by being in one Spirit. The Jews and the Gentiles could not be one; there was a solid wall between them. However, the Spirit is in the Jewish brothers, and the same Spirit is also in the Gentile brothers. Thus, in one Spirit they have become one. Hence, this Spirit is the uniting Spirit.
Being diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace. (4:3)
This oneness is in the Spirit, and this Spirit is the oneness. The work He is doing in us is a revealing work and a uniting work. The more we debate about doctrine, the more we are separated; the more we debate, the greater the distance between us. However, if we turn to our spirit, the result will be oneness. The fluorescent lamps in a room are separated outwardly, but they are joined in the electrical current to become one entity. Likewise, in ourselves you are you, and I am I; however, in the Spirit we are one.
In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit. (2:22)
God’s dwelling place, God’s building, is built by the Spirit in our spirit. When we live in this Spirit, we have revelation; when we live in this Spirit, we keep the oneness; and when we live in this Spirit, we are built together.
One Body and one Spirit. (4:4a)
The Spirit is in the Body; hence, there is one Body and there is one Spirit. If we do not live in the Spirit, building becomes a mere doctrine, and so does coordination. Both the building and the coordination are in the Spirit. It is for this reason that we need to learn to live in the Spirit.
That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man. (3:16)
The inner man is our new man, our regenerated spirit, whereas the outer man is our soul. Our self is our soul; the Lord is in our spirit. Our soul is the outer man; our spirit is the inner man. Many saved ones are very strong in their soul but very weak in their spirit. In other words, their outer man is strong, but their inner man is weak. Hence, they do not have much experience of the Lord. For this reason the apostle Paul prayed that God would strengthen our spirit with His Spirit to make our spirit strong. Hence, the Spirit who is in us is the strengthening Spirit.
And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind. (4:23)
At this stage the Spirit is no longer only in our spirit but has spread into our mind to become the spirit of the mind. For building we need transformation, and for transformation we need renewing. Romans 12 also refers to our being transformed by the renewing of the mind. How do we have this transformation by renewing? It is by having the Spirit in our mind. Unless the Spirit spreads to our mind, we cannot be renewed. Therefore, the Spirit must spread. If we frustrate the Spirit, there is no possibility for us to be transformed. God must spread to our mind so that our mind can become the spirit of the mind. It is in the spirit of the mind that we are renewed.
Do not be drunk with wine...but be filled in spirit. (5:18)
When the spirit occupies the mind, the will, and the emotion, this means that the mind, the will, and the emotion are filled with the spirit. Thus, the spirit rules over the entire being and occupies the entire being. The word spirit here does not have a definite article; it denotes neither the Holy Spirit nor our spirit in a definite way. Rather, it refers to the spirit formed of two spirits. We have this spirit in us, but it is still not in our mind, emotion, or will. This spirit is only in our spirit; it has yet to enter into every part of our being. Now we need to let this spirit spread into every part of our being so that our entire being is filled with the spirit. Many people today talk about being filled with the Holy Spirit. Actually, they are referring merely to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. To have the outpouring is an outward matter, whereas to be filled is an inward matter.
When we repented and were saved, the Lord came into us. At that time our mind was turned, our emotion loved the Lord, and our will decided to receive Him. We opened our heart to the Lord, and He came in with rejoicing. However, gradually, our mind, our emotion, and our will become closed to the Lord, and we shut Him up in our spirit. Some do it sooner, while others do it later. Eventually, our spirit becomes a prison. The Lord Jesus has found a prison instead of a dwelling place after He came into us. Do you know the difference between a prison and a dwelling place? You can go in and out freely in a dwelling place but not in a prison. Brothers and sisters, is the Lord Jesus residing in you or being imprisoned in you? Do you give the Lord Jesus freedom? Do not lock Him up any longer. Rather, open your heart again; turn your mind, emotion, and will to Him again. Then He is able to spread outward, and the result of this spreading is that He makes His home in your heart. Then He occupies your entire being, and every part of your being is filled with Him.
It would be wonderful if some of us Christians could be occupied by the Lord within five years. The common situation is that we are constantly struggling with the Lord. In the morning we give our whole being to the Lord, but in the evening we take back half. Then the next morning we take back another quarter, and in the end only a quarter is left. The Lord is frustrated within us, but all He can do is to wait patiently. After two weeks He comes to draw us again. Therefore, we repent and confess our sins again. Our mind is turned to Him, and our emotion wants Him. We do this in the morning, yet at noon we change our mind again. Therefore, the Lord has been struggling with us for many years.
However, brothers and sisters, the Lord will always win. You can never win. If He cannot subdue you in one year, He will wait for five years. If He cannot subdue you in five years, He will wait for ten years. If He cannot subdue you in this age, in the coming age He will subdue you. But if you let Him get through sooner, you will be happy, and He will also be happy. Otherwise, He will suffer, and you also will suffer.
Receive...the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God. (6:17)
The sword of the Spirit is obviously for fighting. Therefore, this Spirit is also the fighting Spirit. When you are occupied by and filled with the Spirit, you are equipped to fight the spiritual battle for the Lord.
Praying at every time in spirit. (v. 18)
This spirit does not refer to the Holy Spirit but to the spirit formed of two spirits. We need to pray in this spirit.
Dear brothers and sisters, these eight items are the work of the Spirit of life in us as the seal and pledge. Through these eight items of work, He coordinates us into the Body and builds us into the church. When we turn to our spirit, we have the light and revelation concerning the church, the revelation concerning the mystery of Christ. We are also one with others. Since we are one, we are built and our spirit is strengthened. When we are strengthened, we are renewed; when we are renewed, we are filled; when we are filled, we are equipped to fight. It is in the fighting spirit that we pray. We pray for the spread of God’s kingdom and for the revelation of the mystery of God. This is the church life and the Body life. The Body life is in this Spirit. This is the Spirit in Ephesians.
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