GOD HAVING GIVEN US
THE PLEDGE OF THE SPIRIT IN OUR HEARTS
Second Corinthians 1:22 says that God has given us the pledge of the Spirit in our hearts. According to 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, God has anointed us and firmly attaches us unto Christ. He has also sealed us. Based upon this, God manifests the fragrance of Christ through us for others’ salvation (2:14-15). The saving power is the fragrance of Christ going out from us. This fragrance is actually the living Spirit. The fragrance that goes out from us may be compared to the steam that goes out from a vaporizer. A vaporizer converts water into steam so that others can breathe it in. When they breathe the air, they receive the water as well. This is similar to the fragrance that goes out from our Christian being to save others. When they breathe in this fragrance, they receive Christ. When we go out to visit people for the preaching of the gospel, they should be able to breathe in the fragrance of Christ.
We have been ministered with Christ to be letters written on with the Spirit as ink (2 Cor. 3:3). We are living letters. A letter conveys a revelation of a certain thing or a certain person. As the living letters of Christ, we convey the beautiful and wonderful person of Christ. We are His living letters conveying Him to people. We have been inscribed or written on with the element of the living Spirit of God as the ink.
In chapters two through four of 2 Corinthians, Paul uses five very significant and expressive metaphors as illustrations of what the believers should be. The first metaphor is that we are captives in a triumphant procession for the celebration of Christ’s victory (2:14a). We were captives under Satan’s hand, but Christ has rescued us and made us His captives. We are captives in His triumphant procession to celebrate His all-inclusive victory. Then we are incense-bearers to scatter the fragrance of Christ (vv. 14b-16). Chapter three shows that we are letters written with the Spirit of God to convey Christ to others (vv. 1-3) and mirrors beholding and reflecting the glory of Christ in order to be transformed into His glorious image (v. 18). On the one hand, we are the letters conveying Christ. On the other hand, we are mirrors reflecting Christ in our transformation by the Lord Spirit. Finally, we are the earthen vessels that contain the Triune God in Christ as the excellent treasure (4:7). The above five metaphors are used to describe, to illustrate, or to portray the real experience and enjoyment we have in the processed Triune God embodied in Christ and consummated as the Spirit. Today this wonderful Spirit is indwelling our spirit. Whenever we are in our spirit, we are with this wonderful Triune God. We are with the consummated Spirit, with the embodied Christ, and with the processed Triune God. We are experiencing Him and enjoying Him as captives, as incense-bearers, as letters, as mirrors, and as vessels.
Furthermore, we are being transformed into the image of Christ by the Lord Spirit (2 Cor. 3:17-18). As we experience the Triune God, we are being transformed into the image of Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God by the consummated Spirit as the Lord. When I was a young Christian, I heard messages on God’s chastening and disciplining, but I did not hear anything concerning transformation. Eventually the Lord brought me out of that old field into a new field. My understanding of the Bible changed. We need a new view to see the processed Triune God embodied in Christ and consummated as the Spirit. Everything that we have been talking about in these chapters is covered by the phrase—the processed Triune God embodied in Christ and consummated as the Spirit.
(Living In and With the Divine Trinity, Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)