The Subjective Experience of the Indwelling Christ, by Witness Lee


Some Christians know that Christ’s indwelling is a mystery, but they do not truly understand it. After His resurrection, the Lord Jesus became the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b) to dwell in the spirit of those who believe in Him. This is a clear revelation in the Bible. Second Timothy 4:22 says, “The Lord be with your spirit,” and Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God.” These verses show us that the Spirit is in our spirit and is mingled with our spirit so that the two spirits have become one. Today we, the saved ones, are one spirit with the Lord. The New Testament clearly speaks about this, although it is a mystery.

Through my many years of studying the Word, I can tell you that the most crucial items in the New Testament are the indwelling Christ and Christ’s indwelling. The New Testament not only speaks about a mysterious person, Christ, but it also speaks about one thing concerning this mysterious person, that is, that Christ indwells His believers. Ephesians 3:16, 17, and 19 say that Paul prayed for us that God would grant us, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man. We have an outer man and an inner man. Our inner man is our regenerated spirit. God will grant us, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man, which is our regenerated spirit. The Greek word for power is a very strong word and is equivalent to the English word dynamo, denoting the energizing or motivating power of a generator. God strengthens us into the inner man with power through His Spirit according to the riches of His glory that Christ may make His home in our hearts through faith.

Although Christ is in us and has shined into us, He has not yet made His home in our hearts. What does it mean to make home? It means that after arranging everything properly, He settles down. It is through faith and not by sight that Christ is making His home in our hearts. The result is that we are filled unto all the fullness of God. The fullness of God is the expression of the overflow of God. When Christ makes His home in us, we are filled with God and are full of the glory of God. As a result, we who are earthen vessels, vessels of clay, become vessels of glory. We are filled and saturated with all the riches of God so that we are full of God within and without. Then we will be as stanza 8 of Hymns, #489 says, “And everywhere be Thee [Christ] and God.” Because the Spirit of Christ has saturated and permeated our entire being, everywhere in our being there is Christ, and everywhere there is God. In this way we become vessels of glory.

To explain how Christ indwells us and how He makes His home in our hearts, I like to use a glove as an illustration. The glove is made altogether according to the form of the hand so that the hand may get into the glove. Man may be likened to the glove and Christ to the hand. One day when you are saved by believing in Him, Christ enters into you. We have said that when God created us, He created us according to the image of Christ that we may contain Christ. The glove was made according to the form of the hand with one thumb and four fingers; however, the glove is empty because the hand has not yet entered into it. This was our condition before we believed in Jesus. Even after I had believed in Jesus several years, I still did not know that Jesus had come into me like the hand entering into the glove. At that time I read Romans 9:21 again and again, but I simply could not understand. I did not know what the clay, the vessels of honor, and the vessels of dishonor refer to. It was not until one day when I was enlightened to receive the revelation that I fully understood this verse. I saw clearly how the Triune God—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—was incarnated to become a man, died for me on the cross, and was buried. I also saw how He was resurrected to become the life-giving Spirit and how He has entered into my spirit to be the treasure in me. Furthermore, not only did I understand this matter, but I also found out that this is the central point of the entire New Testament.

(The Subjective Experience of the Indwelling Christ, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)