COOPERATING WITH THE OPERATING SPIRIT
AND ACCEPTING THE ENVIRONMENT
IN OUR SPIRIT, SOUL, AND BODY
We should cooperate with the operating Spirit and accept the environment in our spirit, soul, and body. In every part of our being, we must be willing to cooperate with the indwelling Spirit and to accept the outward environment. Then we are acting under the killing of Christ. This killing is carried out by the indwelling Spirit with the environment as the killing weapon.
In order to cooperate with the operating Spirit and accept the outward environment, we need to recognize that we have been crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20a). We also need to crucify our flesh with its passions and its lusts (Gal. 5:24). In one sense, we cannot crucify ourselves. But in another sense, we can crucify our flesh with its passions and lusts because we have the new man. The new man crucifies the flesh. This is why we need to exercise our spirit, the new man, to crucify our flesh, our outer man.
We also need to put to death, by the Spirit, the practices of our body (Rom. 8:13b). To put to death means to kill. We need to kill the practices of our body. Whatever our body of sin does, needs to be killed. To gossip on the telephone is a practice of the body which needs to be killed.
We need to bear the cross, that is, to remain in the crucifixion of Christ (Matt. 16:24). We should not depart from the crucifixion. We have to stay in the crucifixion, to bear the cross. We also need to stay in our spirit and to live by and walk according to the spirit—the mingled spirit (Rom. 8:6b; Gal. 5:16, 25; Rom. 8:4b).
Such an experience of the death of Christ brings in His resurrection—if there is no death, there is no life. In 1 Corinthians 15:36 Paul said, "What you sow is not made alive unless it dies." The Lord’s word in John 12:24 reveals this principle. The grain of wheat needs to die. Otherwise, it cannot be multiplied. Romans 8:13 also implies this principle. This verse says that if by the Spirit we put to death the practices of our body, we will live. This is the resurrection brought in by our experience of Christ’s death. Second Corinthians 4:10-11 shows that the killing of the cross results in the manifestation of the resurrection life. This daily killing is for the release of the divine life in resurrection.
We should not forget that if there is no death, there is no life. The death of Christ is in the compound Spirit. The Spirit is the application of the death of Christ and its effectiveness. What is the Christian life? The Christian life is a life which is all the time under the killing by the compound Spirit. If there is no killing, there is no life. In everything we do, we need to be killed. In our shopping, in the way that we cut our hair, and in our home we need to be killed in our natural man.
In the church life, we cannot avoid being killed. Every saint in the church is a "knife" to kill our outer man. The longer we stay in the church, the more we experience the killing, the working of death, the working of the cross. We need to remain under the killing, the working of death, the working of the cross, that we may live in resurrection. This is glorious. Even this is our happiness, our joy. We need to experience the Lord’s killing, His putting to death, every day. Then we will daily have the victory and joy in Christ’s resurrection.
(The Christian Life, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)