CHRIST BECOMING THE ALL-INCLUSIVE SPIRIT
The Bible explicitly says that the Lord Jesus, the God-man, has become the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b) to dwell in our spirit. Now He is the Spirit, the all-inclusive Spirit. Because the Lord Jesus is God, the Spirit has the element of God, and because He is also a man, the Spirit also has the element of man. He was on earth for thirty-three and a half years and lived the life of an ordinary man. Therefore, the Spirit also has the element of the experiences of human life. He died on the cross and shed His blood for us to redeem us from our sins and terminate our old creation, flesh, lusts, natural being, and self, and then He also resurrected and ascended for us. Therefore, in the Spirit there are the elements of the effectiveness of His death, the power of His resurrection, and the glorification in His ascension. When we live together with Him, that is, when we live and move by the Spirit, unconsciously this Spirit annihilates, one by one, our flesh, natural man, disposition, and self, while at the same time He supplies us all our needs. This Spirit is like a tablet of medicine that contains various ingredients, including some that kill germs and others that supply nutrients. If a person would take this tablet regularly, it will kill the germs which should not be in the body, while at the same time it will supply the various nutrients that the human body lacks and thus cause the body to become stronger.
The Lord Jesus has already become the all-inclusive Spirit to dwell in our spirit. Hence, as long as we live by this spirit, our peculiarities, natural man, self, selfishness, and pride will be unknowingly annihilated and destroyed. This is not the work of self-cultivation but the result produced out of our growth in life through the daily transformation and renewing work carried out in us by the living Christ as the all-inclusive Spirit living in our spirit.
BEING ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT AND LIVING CHRIST
The Bible tells us that the purpose of God in creating man is for man to contain Him and to express Him by living Him out. Hence, God does not want us to live by ourselves; rather, He wants us to live by Him. However, we have been accustomed to living by ourselves since our birth. Therefore, after we have been saved, although we have Christ as life within, we are still accustomed to living by ourselves. Formerly we lied and did evil things. Now after we have believed in the Lord, we know that we should be careful not to lie and do evil things, but our not lying or doing evil things by ourselves is still by ourselves and not by the Christ who lives in us.
When listening to the word, many Christians exercise their eyes and ears instead of their spirit, and their mind is full of criticism. Because they are so active in their soul, Christ is securely imprisoned in them and is unable to come out. When do people live by Christ? For some it is when they face great trouble and become completely helpless; for some it is when they are extremely sick and have nothing to rely on; and for some it is when they lose their job and cannot make a living anymore. Many of us have to wait until such a situation arises before we turn to our spirit and cry, “O Lord, have mercy on me.” However, living Christ in this kind of way is not normal. We are Christ-men, not religious men. We should not wait until we pray in the meetings to live Christ, nor should we wait until we have a big problem before we call on the Lord and live Christ. To do that is too religious. We need to live together with Christ in our daily living, in whatever we do and in whatever place we may be. If we can live a spiritual life in this way every day, we will be those who live Christ. This is the thing that pleases Him most.
Christ-men not only have the God-created conscience, but all the more they have the Lord of life within them as life. Therefore, we should not be like the Chinese philosophers who practiced self-cultivation to develop the highest virtue. Rather, we need to let Christ live Himself out through us. To develop the highest virtue is like lighting the kerosene lamp as men did in the old days; however, since you are a man in the modern days who has electric lights installed in your house, you do not need the kerosene lamps anymore. We all have the Spirit within and we have all had the spiritual “electric lights” installed within us; hence, we no longer need to light the kerosene lamps. We only need to turn on the switch within to live by the Spirit. Furthermore, we should never turn it off after it has been turned on. In this way we will then be able to shine forth day and night and live Christ joyfully. In our daily living, in whatever circumstance, whether through life or through death, even as always Christ will be magnified in our body (Phil. 1:20). This is not to develop the highest virtue but to let Christ be lived out and magnified as always.
Philippians 1:21a says, “For to me, to live is Christ.” For us to live is not morality or immorality but Christ. It is not a question of being moral or immoral, nor a question of having the highest virtue or not having the highest virtue, but a question of living Christ. How can it be that for us “to live is Christ”? It is by living and walking according to the Spirit within us. If the Spirit within us says, “No,” we also say, “No”; if the Spirit within us says, “Yes,” we then say, “Amen.” This is what it means by “to live is Christ.”
First Corinthians 6:17 says, “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” Today we have already become one spirit with the Lord. Hence, in our dealings with our children, relatives, intimate friends, brothers and sisters, parents, neighbors, colleagues, or classmates, we need to walk according to the mingled spirit within us. We have already become one spirit with the Lord. Hence, wherever we may be, the Spirit will always be in us as our life. We need to live together with Christ in this Spirit to express Him. This is our spiritual living. Only in this way can we have peace and joy and the growth in life as well. This is to experience Christ as life.
(The Subjective Experience of the Indwelling Christ, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)