E. IN THE BELIEVERS FOR THE DIVINE DISPENSING
Let us now begin to consider the work of the Spirit in the believers for the divine dispensing. Although the Spirit works on the believers as well as in them, the main part of His work is in the believers, and only a small part is on them. Just as the Holy Spirit worked mainly in Christ and not on Him, so the Spirit works mainly in the believers and not on them. This work of the Spirit in the believers is for the divine dispensing.
1. Enlightening Them That They May Repent
In Luke 15:8-9 the Spirit is likened to a woman finding a lost coin by lighting a lamp, sweeping the house, and seeking the coin carefully. This signifies that the Spirit enlightens sinners within their hearts by God’s word of light to seek them that they may repent unto God.
2. Sanctifying Them That They May Be Separated unto the Lord
First Peter 1:2 indicates that the Spirit sanctifies, separates, repentant sinners unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ, that is, unto the believing in the redemption of Christ that they may become the Lord’s. While the Spirit enlightens sinners, to seek them for God, He is sanctifying, separating, them unto the Lord.
3. Regenerating Them
Followingly, the Spirit works in the believers by regenerating them (John 3:5-6). Regeneration is God’s dispensing of Himself in His life and nature into our being. Therefore, regeneration is the reality of the divine dispensing.
Even our natural, human birth involved a human dispensing. God created Adam, one person. Through generation, Adam’s life has been dispensed into billions of descendants. Generation, therefore, is a matter of dispensing. The entire human race is under such a human dispensing. The principle is the same with regeneration. Just as human generation is a matter of human dispensing, so divine regeneration is a matter of divine dispensing. We were generated in humanity, but God wants to regenerate us in divinity. This regeneration in divinity is a dispensing of divinity into humanity, a dispensing that makes humanity divine.
Regeneration is a matter of God’s dispensing of Himself into our being as our life and nature. As believers, regenerated ones, our nature and life are God Himself, not God in Himself but God in His dispensing. This view of regeneration as the reality of the divine dispensing should encourage us to live and walk in such a way that we remain under God’s dispensing.
In John 3:5 and 6 the Lord Jesus speaks of the Spirit’s work in regenerating the believers: “Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” The Spirit in verse 6 is the divine Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God, and the spirit is the human spirit, the regenerated spirit of man. To be regenerated, to be born anew (vv. 3, 7), is to be born of the Spirit in our spirit. The divine Spirit regenerates the human spirit with the divine life. Regeneration takes place in our spirit, which was made by God for this very purpose. Regeneration is a birth of the Spirit, God’s Spirit, that brings forth spirit, our regenerated spirit. Therefore, regeneration takes place in the human spirit by the Holy Spirit of God with God’s uncreated, eternal life. Once our spirit has been born of the Spirit of God with the life of God, it has the Spirit with the divine life in it and mingled with it. Our spirit becomes thereby a mingled spirit—the regenerated human spirit mingled with the divine Spirit. In this mingled spirit we are “one spirit” with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17).
(Conclusion of the New Testament, The (Msgs. 079-098), Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)