Basic Lessons on Life, by Witness Lee

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Our human life is not the life on which the Bible focuses. Our human life (bios and psuche) is mortal (Luke 8:43b; 21:4b; Matt. 16:25-26). Our human life is not life because it dies and is destined to die. The real life is immortal. Whatever is mortal is not life. Both our physical life (bios) and our soulish life (psuche) are mortal, so the human life is not life. In Luke 8:43b and 21:4b the Greek word for "livelihood" and "living" is bios. Bios refers to the physical life. In Matthew 16:25-26 the Greek word for "soul-life" is psuche.

Life (zoe) is eternal. Eternal means immortal. First John 1:2 says, "And the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and report to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us." Then Psalm 90:2b says, "Indeed from eternity to eternity, You are God." Strictly speaking, all lives that are mortal are not life. The real life is immortal and eternal, and this real life is God Himself because God is from eternity to eternity. God is eternal, so only God Himself is the real life.


The six foregoing points tell us what is not life. Now we need to see what life is. Life is God’s content and God’s flowing out. God’s content is God’s being, so life is God’s inner being (Eph. 4:18a). God’s flowing out is the impartation of Himself as life to us. In Revelation 22:1 we see the river of water of life flowing out from the throne of God. This is God’s flowing out. Life is God’s content, His inner being, and life is God flowing out into us and being imparted into our being.


We need to impress the saints that life is Christ (John 14:6a; Col. 3:4a; 1 John 5:12a). Christ is the embodiment of God, who is life. Colossians 2:9 says that all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ bodily. God as life is embodied in Christ, and Christ is the expression of God. John 1:18 says that no one has ever seen God, but the Only Begotten has declared Him. Then Hebrews 1:3 shows that Christ is the effulgence of God’s glory. This means that Christ is the expression of God, who is life.


Finally, we need to point out that life is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the reality of Christ (John 14:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:45b). The Son is the embodiment of the Father, and the Spirit is the reality of the Son. Romans 8:2a uses the term the Spirit of life, and 2 Corinthians 3:6b says that the Spirit gives life. Thus, the Holy Spirit today is the Spirit of life who gives life to us. We must stress that the Spirit in the New Testament has two aspects. On the one hand, He is the Spirit of power; on the other hand, He is the Spirit of life.

We need to pay attention to the focus of this message: life is the Triune God dispensed into us and living in us. The Father is the source, the Son is the course, and the Spirit is the flow. The Triune God is dispensed into us in His Divine Trinity and is now living within us.

Such a lesson on the definition of life is greatly needed among us. We may use the term life, and yet not know what life is. We have to enter into a full understanding of what life is.

(Basic Lessons on Life, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)