THE TRIUNE GOD NOT FOR OUR DOCTRINAL UNDERSTANDING BUT FOR OUR ENJOYMENT
The Triune God—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—is a mystery. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit as the Three in One are not for our doctrinal understanding of theology but for our enjoyment. God has to be the Father, the Son, and the Spirit so that He can work Himself into us. I met in the Brethren Assembly for many years, and the teachers there told me, “When you pray, you should not pray to the Spirit. The most accurate way of prayer is to pray to the Father, in the name of the Son, by the precious blood of the Son, and through the moving of the Spirit.” Therefore, I tried to pray carefully according to their instructions. Sometimes, if I made a mistake due to carelessness, I had to confess my sins and rectify my error. Gradually, I checked my own experience and realized that that was not right. However, the Brethren teachers said that the heavenly Father is in heaven, the Son is sitting beside the heavenly Father, and the Spirit is sent to us. They were not very clear, however, about who the Spirit is. If you read the King James Version of the Bible, you will see that Romans 8:16 uses the pronoun itself to refer to the Spirit, yet itself is a pronoun that refers to a thing. Over three hundred years ago in the translation of the King James Version, the most authoritative English version, the translators considered the Spirit to be a power, a thing, but not a person. In the recent one hundred years when other versions were being translated, the translators changed the pronoun itself to Himself, acknowledging that the Holy Spirit is indeed a person.
God the Father made a plan. God the Son came to be among mankind through incarnation and accomplished the great work of God’s redemption by His death on the cross. After He accomplished redemption, He entered into resurrection. In resurrection, as the last Adam, He became the life-giving Spirit. He had to become the life-giving Spirit in order to enter into us. When the Lord Jesus was on the earth, He was with the disciples for three and a half years, and the disciples enjoyed His presence. However, one day the Lord suddenly told them that He was going away. He also said that it was expedient for them that He go away, because if He did not go away, He could only be in their midst, but He could not enter into them. Therefore, He had to go away that another Comforter might be sent to them. This other Comforter was the Spirit of reality as the transfiguration of the first Comforter. The first One was in the flesh; the other One was the first One transfigured as the Spirit of reality. When the Spirit of reality came, He entered into them to be their life.
Today, God is not only the Father and the Son, but He is also the Spirit. He is not only the Father who planned in eternity. He is also the Son who in the flesh accomplished God’s plan. Now He is the Spirit who brings and applies to us what the Father planned and what the Son accomplished. The Spirit as the consummation of the Triune God is now in us to be our life for our enjoyment.
ENJOYING THE SUBJECTIVE SALVATION OF THE TRIUNE GOD
We need to enjoy the Triune God, and we need the subjective salvation of the Triune God; we do not need religion. We do not need to work out something for ourselves or to reform our behavior; we need to enjoy the Triune God. The Triune God is the consummated Spirit, and He is also Christ, who is God Himself. Now we want to see the way to enjoy the subjective salvation of the Triune God through the verses in the book of Philippians. These verses cover three main points: first concerning the Spirit, second concerning Christ, and third concerning God.
The Bountiful Supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ
Philippians 1:19 says, “For I know that for me this will turn out to salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” The second half of verse 20 goes on to say, “But with all boldness, as always, even now Christ will be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death.” These two verses contain profound meanings. According to the context, we see that the Spirit of Jesus Christ is Christ Himself because the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ enables us to magnify Christ. The bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ is for Christ to be magnified; therefore, the magnified Christ is the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
The bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ is in us, but do we magnify Christ? The secret to the enjoyment of the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ is to magnify Christ. For example, there can be a sumptuous feast before me, but if I refuse to move my hands or open my mouth, then the abundant supply has nothing to do with me. Likewise, God has a rich supply completely prepared for us, and He is inviting us to come to the feast. Are we willing to accept His invitation and come to dine at the feast? The bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ is the riches of the gospel; the entire gospel is incorporated in the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:14). The riches of the gospel are not only in the Bible but also in the Spirit. Today, God works through the Holy Bible and by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is the clear word with black letters printed on white paper; the Holy Spirit is the living reality in our spirit. We have the Holy Bible, and we also have the Holy Spirit. What we preach is the content of the gospel, and the Holy Spirit has a bountiful supply, which is also the content of the gospel. However, it is not enough merely to have the bountiful supply as the content of the gospel; we must still eat. It is by our eating that Christ may be magnified in our body.
The truth in the Bible is different from the teaching of religion. Religion teaches people to do good and encourages them to do it by themselves. But it is not so with the Bible. The truth in the Bible is that the bountiful supply of God is available through the words of the Bible and through the Spirit of Jesus Christ. You are not required to do any work; rather, you just need to receive and enjoy. The bountiful supply of Jesus Christ is here. What matters now is that you enjoy Him and allow Him to be magnified.
(The Subjective Experience of the Indwelling Christ, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)