CHRIST AS THE LAST ADAM BECOMING THE LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT
We have been called into the fellowship of Jesus Christ. Fellowship means participation or enjoyment. Therefore, we have been called into the participation and enjoyment of Christ. Day by day, we fellowship with this Christ, we enjoy this Christ, and we participate in this Christ. Never forget that this Christ is the last Adam who became a life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b). Many have heard much about the Holy Spirit, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but few have heard that Christ today is the life-giving Spirit. This is why we say that we should not trust the teachings in Christianity that miss the basic concept in the Bible.
The Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are facts, but 1 Corinthians 15:45b is also a fact. Christ today is a life-giving Spirit. This is not my word, nor is it merely my teaching; this is 1 Corinthians 15:45b: “The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.” The Christ who was made wisdom to us from God as our righteousness for our past, as our sanctification for our present, and as our redemption for our future is the life-giving Spirit today. If He were not the life-giving Spirit today, He could not be our righteousness or our sanctification. If He were not such a life-giving Spirit who lives within us, how could He be so subjective to us? He would remain who He is, and we would remain who we are. He would have nothing to do with us, and we would not be related to Him. Praise Him, He is the life-giving Spirit! At the time we called on Him, saying, “O Lord Jesus,” whether or not we had the knowledge, He entered into us. Yes, He is in the heavens, but hallelujah, He is also in us! He is not only the Lamb of God, the Redeemer, the Savior, and the Lord; He is also the life-giving Spirit. “And the Lord is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:17). Now the Lord Jesus is the life-giving Spirit, and as the life-giving Spirit He is in us.
Today most Christians appreciate John 3:16, but we need to appreciate 1 Corinthians 15:45 more. Yet, even John 3:16 implies that Christ is the life-giving Spirit. It says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that every one who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.” God has given His Son to us. Where is His Son today? Without having Jesus within us, how could we have eternal life? Eternal life is simply Jesus Himself. We have eternal life because we have Jesus. God has given Him to us, and we have received Him. Now we have Him within us, so we have Jesus Himself as the eternal life. Jesus can be eternal life to us because He is within us as the life-giving Spirit. Because Jesus today is the life-giving Spirit living within us, He is everything to us.
In Indianapolis in 1968, as a brother drove me to a meeting, he said, “Brother Lee, in this country people always tell others to look to the Lord who is in the heavens while we are on earth. However, you always tell people to turn to their spirit. This seems to be a different direction.” He warned me that some people were saying that this is an oriental philosophy. Earlier that same evening I had received an impression from the Lord that I should say something in the meeting about Christ being within us. After we sang and prayed in the meeting, I picked up the Bible and read Romans 8. In my speaking, I pointed out that chapter eight has two key verses concerning where Christ is. Verse 34 says that Christ is in the heavens, while verse 10 says that Christ is in us. I then asked the listeners, “Where is Christ today? In the heavens or in you?” Using the illustration of electricity, I told them that this is an easy question to answer. The same electricity is both in the generator and in the meeting hall. As long as electricity has been installed, whenever we need it, we should not look to the generator; we should simply go to the switch and turn it on. I then asked the listeners, “Is this oriental philosophy? No, it is not. Christ as the heavenly electricity has been installed in our spirit. When we need to apply Him, should we look to the heavens or should we turn to our spirit?” To be sure, we should turn and exercise our spirit to “switch on” by saying, “O Lord Jesus.”
Another wonderful verse is 1 Corinthians 6:17, which says, “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” Now we should exercise our spirit. After electricity has been installed in a building, we simply go and turn on the switch. Likewise, the wonderful and marvelous Christ has been installed in our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22). Therefore, we simply need to turn to our spirit.
This is not merely my teaching; this is the divine revelation in the book of 1 Corinthians. Again I say, Christianity has missed the mark. We may have read many messages on 1 Corinthians, but not one of them told us that Christ today is the life-giving Spirit within us. Not one of them told us that we must exercise our spirit. Yet this is the basic concept of 1 Corinthians.
First Corinthians 16:18 says, “For they refreshed my spirit and yours,” and 2 Corinthians 7:13 says, “His spirit has been refreshed by all of you.” This shows us that our Christian life and walk is in our spirit. This is because Christ is in our spirit.
EXERCISING OUR SPIRIT BY CALLING ON THE LORD
First Corinthians tells us that we all have been called into the fellowship, the participation, of this Christ, who is now the life-giving Spirit. He has been made our righteousness for the past, our sanctification for the present, and our redemption for the future. We are one with Him as the life-giving Spirit in our spirit. Now we must call on Him (1 Cor. 12:3; Rom. 10:12). We should not merely pray to Him or ask Him, but call on Him. Praying and asking may be illustrated by speaking something in a soft and low voice. Calling, however, may be compared to crying, “Please help me!” To speak in this way is not only to ask or to pray; it is to call. If I were to report that a house is on fire, I would not say in a soft tone of voice, “Brother, the house is on fire. Could you come and help us?” This may be compared to praying or asking. To call, however, is like shouting, “Fire! Fire!” There is a big difference. We should try to call in this way.
When a house is on fire, no man tries to be a gentleman, and no woman tries to be a lady. In order to be rescued, they must call desperately. Similarly, when our spouse gives us a hard time, we may pray, “Lord, help me not to lose my temper,” but eventually we may lose it. Rather, we need to be rescued. By calling, “O Lord Jesus,” our temper will be consumed, and immediately we will be rescued.
APPLYING CHRIST BY EXERCISING OUR SPIRIT
In 1 Corinthians 2:14 Paul says, “But a soulish man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he is not able to know them because they are discerned spiritually.” In order to know the things of the Spirit of God, we must not exercise our natural mind or our soul. This is the wrong organ. If we exercise our soul, we will be insulated from Christ as the electricity. Even a small thing, such as a thin piece of paper, can insulate electricity. We must forget about our natural mind and simply turn to our spirit. Paul said that only the spiritual ones can discern the things of the Spirit. Christ is the life-giving Spirit in our spirit, and we are one spirit with Him in our spirit. Whenever we need Him, our only way is to apply Him by exercising our spirit.
(Enjoying the Riches of Christ for the Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christ, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)