GROWING BY EXERCISING OUR SPIRIT
The divine life is God, and God is a Spirit. If He were like a piece of gold and not a Spirit, how could He get into us? He must be a Spirit to get into us. Furthermore, God can get into man only because man has something that has come out of God, the breath of God, which became man’s spirit. To grow in the growth of life is altogether a matter of the divine Spirit and the human spirit. We, who have the breath of God as our spirit, must grow by this spirit. In order to grow in life we should not merely exercise our mind. We all need bodily exercise, but this does not help us to grow in life either. To grow in God as life we must exercise our spirit. When we exercise our spirit, we make the way for God to grow.
The unbelievers do not have God growing in them because they do not know how to exercise their spirit. For this reason we have to go to them to tell them that they need God. They need to speak something out of the depths of their being, their spirit. If they do this, they will exercise their spirit, and when they exercise their spirit, God will have a way to enter into them. The real salvation is the grafting of an uncultivated, wild branch into Christ as the cultivated tree.
We all have to learn to preach the gospel in this way rather than in the old way. The old way is to say, “Dear friend, you are a sinner. Today you are living a poor life, always sinning and fighting with others. You don’t have happiness, and, moreover, you will go to hell. Therefore, you have to repent. Jesus died for you, and you can be forgiven. Then you will have a happy life, and you will go to a happy place, heaven.” This is not the deeper gospel. This is the shallow gospel. When the Lord raised up new light among us, the new way, and brought us into it, a certain number of arguments were aroused. Some said that to preach the gospel was not something new; they had done it before and were still doing it. However, in what way are we preaching the gospel? It may be in the shallow way. Many Christians do not know how to preach the gospel in a deeper way. The deeper gospel is something new, yet something ancient. It is in the Bible but not in man’s natural understanding. Therefore, I have the burden to conduct a training. I would like to train the saints to know things, not in a superficial way but in a deep way. When we preach the gospel in this deeper way, we do not touch the “flesh and bone” of man; we touch the spirit of man. Go to preach such a gospel and touch the spirit of man. When man touches his own spirit, God has a way to enter into him. Then this man is grafted into Christ; he is saved.
We must remember the principle of our growth in the divine life. To grow in life is to grow with the growth of life. It is to increase with the increase of God who is life.
(The Experience and Growth in Life, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)