The Spirit and the Body, by Witness Lee

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At the moment we believed in the Lord Jesus, a certain element came into us. We may call this the life of God with His nature, or the Spirit of life. This element that entered the depths of our being is holy. It came into us as the seed of holiness, the seed of something separate from all things other than God. This is the Spirit of holiness. Holiness is not a type of outward behavior or conduct. Holiness is the state, or condition, of the element that was sown into our being when we believed in the Lord Jesus. This condition of holiness is brought about by the dwelling of God’s Spirit in us. The presence of God the Spirit in us produces the condition of being absolutely separate from everything other than God. As believers, we all have this holiness within us, but it needs to permeate our whole being. We need to be saturated with this state of holiness. According to Romans 1:4, this permeation is called designation. The inward holiness permeates us, and this permeation is our designation. This is what marks us out as sons of God.

In a foregoing message we saw that the indwelling Spirit is the water and the breath. Today such a Spirit is moving and working in us to saturate and permeate us inwardly with the condition of holiness. However, most Christians neglect this work of the indwelling Spirit. It is only when you cease your activity and spend time in the presence of God to fellowship with Him that you begin to realize that there is an inward working, an inward moving, endeavoring to saturate and permeate your being in order to make you separate from all things other than God. The reason few Christians realize this is that they are fully occupied with their works, activities, desires, and hopes. Thus, so many Christians have been carried away from this inward condition of holiness. Nevertheless, we have the Spirit of holiness within. We all have such an inward state and condition within us, and we need to give attention to it.


Now we come to the Spirit of life. Because no one can define life, it is difficult to say what the Spirit of life is. In Romans 8:2 we have the term "the law of the Spirit of life." Without knowing what the Spirit of life is, it is difficult to have a proper understanding of what it means to be members of the Body of Christ.


We have seen that holiness is a state, a condition, within us that is different from all things other than God. The Spirit we have received is called the Spirit of holiness, that is, the Spirit of such a condition. Now what is the Spirit of life? The Bible clearly says that life is Christ (John 14:6). We may also say that life is God. But what does this mean? The only thing I can say is that life is God living in us. When God lives in us, that is life. Holiness is a condition, and life is a living. Thus, life is not merely a state or a condition, but a living. Life is God living in us. We all must learn to say, "Life is God living in me. Oh, God lives in me!" This is life. If God does not live in you, then He cannot be life to you. Only when He lives in you is He life to you.

We have learned to understand Romans 6 in the light of Romans 8, where we have the Spirit of life. In Romans 8 we have the matter of God living in us. In this chapter we do not have doctrines, teachings, regulations, or ways to do things. Here we have the living One. Today the all-inclusive Spirit is not only the Spirit of holiness, the Spirit of a state that is different from all things other than God; this Spirit is now living in us. When you say, "O Lord Jesus," you sense that something is living within you. This indicates that the life-giving Spirit is not only the Spirit of a condition within us, but the Spirit that is a life living within us, the Spirit of the One who lives, moves, and works within us. This is life.

(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)