LIFE AND RESURRECTION
At this point we need to see the difference between life and resurrection. Life is something that has never passed through death. Resurrection, on the contrary, is not only life, but life that has passed through death. Death cannot retain such a life; rather, this life overcomes death and even swallows it up. This is resurrection. Thus, to some extent at least, the word resurrection implies a process.
THE ALL-INCLUSIVENESS OF THE SPIRIT
Today God is the processed God with divinity, humanity, incarnation, human living, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. This processed God of ours is now the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit. We call Him the all-inclusive Spirit because within Him we have God as well as the redeemed, uplifted, and resurrected humanity. Moreover, within Him there is the incarnation, human living, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. Everything is included in Him. It is possible to make a list of many of the items included in the all-inclusive Spirit: life, light, wisdom, power, holiness, righteousness, humility, kindness, honor, glory. All the divine attributes and all the human virtues are included in this Spirit. Hence, He is all-inclusive.
This has never been more clear than it is today. Only in the church life, in the Lord’s recovery, have you heard anything like this. If you would consult the books in Christian bookstores and libraries, you would be unable to find a sentence telling you that today our God is such an all-inclusive life-giving Spirit.
BORN OF THE SPIRIT
In God’s economy, this processed God, this all-inclusive Spirit, must be born into us, and we must be born of Him. Our first relationship with this Spirit is that of birth. This is not an insignificant matter. This wonderful Spirit has been born into our being, and our being has been born of Him. John 3:6 says, "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit." In this verse we see two kinds of spirit, one indicated by the capital letter S and the other by the small letter s. No doubt the Spirit refers to this wonderful Spirit, and the spirit denotes our inward being. What is born of the Spirit is our spirit. Before we were saved, we were flesh. To be saved means not only to have our sins forgiven, to be redeemed, to be justified, and to be reconciled to God. The meaning of salvation is deeper and more profound than this. Ultimately, to be saved means to be born of this wonderful Spirit. Today, we are no longer flesh—we are spirit.
When some of you hear this, you may say, "Brother Lee, you shouldn’t boast for all of us. Even now, I still feel like I am flesh." In a sense, I agree with you. I like to hear you say this, for to realize that you are still flesh is an indication that you are under God’s mercy. Only one who is under God’s mercy would say that he is flesh. Anyone else would claim to be better than an angel. But in God’s mercy you admit that you are poor. Especially you confess that you are ugly in the eyes of your wife or husband. However, although you realize that you are still flesh, do you not also have another sense within? Do you not sense that you are wonderful, glorious, marvelous, and mysterious? Within this flesh there is something divine; there is at least a small amount of gold. Do you not have at least an ounce of gold within you? Outwardly we may still be flesh, but inwardly we have gold. We need to learn to stand with God’s grace and forget what we are outwardly. We need to say, "Flesh, go away. I don’t care for you or appreciate you. There’s gold in me." If you say this, you will immediately be glorious. The more you speak this way, the more the gold within you will increase. This is not a matter of mushrooming growth; it is a matter of faith. We need to say, "Flesh, go! I like gold! Hallelujah for the gold! I like to live with this gold and by this gold." The more you praise the Lord for the gold within you, the more the gold will gradually increase from one ounce to several ounces.
That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. This is a very important matter. Do you realize that you have been born of the Spirit and that the Spirit has been born into you? This is not a matter of religion, teaching, or any type of practice; it is a matter of birth.
(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)