Life-Study of 1 & 2 Thessalonians, by Witness Lee

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In Romans 12:2 Paul speaks of the renewing of the mind. As the body represents our outward being, so the mind represents our inward being. According to Romans 12:1, our body needs to be presented to God as a sacrifice, and our mind needs to be renewed. To be renewed is to be saturated with God. This is sanctification. To be renewed actually is to be sanctified, and to be sanctified is to be transformed. Our mind needs to be renewed, sanctified, transformed.


In Ephesians 3:17 Paul says, “That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, having been rooted and grounded in love.” Love is a matter of the emotion. According to this verse, Christ makes His home in our hearts, and we ourselves become rooted and grounded in His love. This indicates that our emotion is touched by His love and that we grow in this love. To have our emotion filled with the love of Christ surely is an aspect of sanctification. Furthermore, when we are rooted and grounded in love, we can “know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ” (Eph. 3:19). This is also related to the sanctification of our heart, in particular of the emotion. To have our emotion filled with the love of Christ is to be saturated with Christ. No doubt, this is the sanctification of our emotion.


Mark 12:30 says, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” Here we have the heart, the soul, and the mind, with the soul mentioned in between the heart and the mind. The three parts of the soul—the mind, the emotion, and the will—are also parts of the heart. But why in Mark 12:30 is there no mention of the emotion or the will? The reason is that the emotion and the will are included in the soul. But why, then, is the mind mentioned? The mind is mentioned because it is the leading part of both the heart and the soul. Therefore, we need to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind.

Mark 12:30 also tells us to love the Lord with all our strength. The word “strength” here refers to our physical body. Therefore, we need to love the Lord with all our physical strength and with all our heart, soul, and mind. This indicates that our entire being, our inner being and our outer being, should be occupied with the Lord our God and saturated with Him. This is to be sanctified, made holy.


I am burdened to point out that, as Christians, believers in Christ, we must be living. To be a living believer involves both our spirit and our heart. Doctrinally, we may say that we can become living by exercising our spirit. But in practice often it seems that the exercise of our spirit does not work. Many of us can testify that we have exercised our spirit, but still this did not always work to make us living. The reason the exercise of the spirit may not work is that the heart does not act. This means that there is something wrong in the heart. Perhaps the mind is not renewed, sanctified, transformed; it may not be saturated with the Lord and occupied by Him. Instead, it may be filled with worldly things. We may exercise our spirit and say, “Praise the Lord!” However, this exercise may not work to make us living. The exercise of the spirit works only when our heart is active.

If our heart is dormant or asleep, exercising our spirit to call on the name of the Lord will not be effective. This exercise cannot work if our acting agent, our heart, is dormant. This is the reason we need to deal thoroughly with our heart. This dealing must include our mind, emotion, and will. Our mind must be the mind of Christ, our emotion must be saturated with the love of Christ, and our will must be one with His will. If this is the condition of our heart, our heart will be active and functioning. Then if we call on the Lord when our heart is active, this calling will be very effective.

We all need to look to the Lord to have mercy on us. We need to pray, “Lord, have mercy on me. I want to have my mind renewed. I want to have my emotion filled with Your love. I want to have a will that is truly one with Your will.” If we have such a heart, then the heart as our acting agent will be established blameless in holiness, blameless in the state of being made holy.

(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Chapter 22, by Witness Lee)