Life-Study of 1, 2, & 3 John, Judeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
We have pointed out that through regeneration we have passed out of the source, essence, element, and sphere of death into the source, essence, element, and sphere of life. Please notice the sequence: source, essence, element, and sphere. The essence follows the source, the element follows the essence, and the sphere follows the element. First we have the source. Then out of the source comes the essence. The essence forms an element, and eventually this element becomes a sphere. Therefore, regarding life, we first have the source of life. Out of this source of life comes the essence of life. The essence forms the element of life, and this element of life then becomes the sphere of life.
We may use a fountain to illustrate the difference between the source of life, the essence of life, the element of life, and the sphere of life. Water flows out of a fountain and becomes a river. The fountain is the source. We may say that H2O is the essence of what comes out of the fountain. This essence then takes the form of water, and the flowing water becomes a river. Here we have the fountain as the source, the H2O as the essence, the water as the element, and the river as the sphere. Therefore, in the sphere of the river we have the water as the element, and the essence of this element is H2O. The source of it all is the fountain.
As children of God, we have received the divine life from God. God is the source, the fountain, of the divine life. The essence of the divine life is the very being of God. Hence, God’s being, His essence, is the essence of the spiritual water we have received as the divine life. This life also is an element by which and in which we can live. When we live in the element of the divine life, the divine life becomes the sphere of our living. Now we are living in the sphere of the divine life, possessing the element of the divine life, and enjoying the essence of the divine life. Furthermore, as we enjoy the essence of the divine life, we are organically joined to God as the source of this life. This is the reason we say that with the divine life we have the source, the essence, the element, and the sphere.
The principle is the same with death. Before we were saved and regenerated, we were in the source, essence, element, and sphere of death. We were living in the sphere of death, possessing the element of death, and suffering the essence of death. Moreover, we were joined to Satan, the source of death. Therefore, before regeneration, we were experiencing and suffering the source, essence, element, and sphere of death.
Before we were saved, we experienced the four aspects of death. Now that we have been saved, we experience the four aspects of life. Although we have had all these aspects in our experience, we have been short of the knowledge to analyze them and the terms to describe them.
In 3:16 John says, “In this we have known love, that that One laid down His life on our behalf, and we ought to lay down our lives on behalf of the brothers.” Literally, the Greek words for “life” and “lives” in this verse are “soul” and “souls.” Hence, this verse says that Christ laid down His soul life, His psuche life, for us, not His divine life, His zoe life. For Christ to lay down His soul for us means that He laid down His human life on our behalf. Now we ought to lay down our lives on behalf of the brothers. This means that, if necessary, we should die for them. We have within us such a loving life that longs to die for others and is able to die for them. The divine life within us, the zoe, longs to love others and even die for them if necessary. We are able to do this because we have the divine life.
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