XVI. REVEALING TO US THE DEPTHS OF GOD
While the Father is operating in the believers, sanctifying them and dispensing life to them, He reveals His deep things to them through the Spirit. Concerning God’s wisdom in a mystery, the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, "But as it is written, `Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not come up in man’s heart; things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But to us God has revealed them through the Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God." This shows us that to realize and participate in the deep and hidden things God has ordained and prepared for us requires us not only to believe in Him but also to love Him. To love God means to set our entire being—spirit, soul, and body, with the heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30)—absolutely on Him, that is, to let our entire being be occupied by Him and lost in Him, so that He becomes everything to us and we are one with Him practically in our daily life. In this way we have the closest and most intimate fellowship with God, and we are able to enter into His heart and apprehend all its secrets (Psa. 73:25; 25:14). Thus, we not only realize but also experience, enjoy, and fully participate in the deep and hidden things of God.
The deep and hidden things of God are Christ in many aspects as our eternal portion, foreordained, prepared, and given to us freely by God. Christ, the all-inclusive and all- extensive One, is the center of God’s economy, the portion given by God to us for our enjoyment. This matter is altogether a mystery to us and surpasses our understanding. But the Spirit of God explores the depths of God concerning Christ and shows them to us in our spirit for our realization and participation. When our entire being becomes one with God through loving Him in intimate fellowship, He shows us, in our spirit through His Spirit, all the secrets of Christ as our portion.
XVII. CAUSING US TO GROW IN LIFE
When we experience and enjoy God the Father in the love of the Triune God, He causes us to grow in life. In 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 the apostle Paul said, "I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth. So then neither is he who plants anything nor he who waters, but God who causes the growth." Here, Paul regarded all the believers in Christ as living plants which need growth. Through regeneration the believers have received the eternal life of God, and this life needs to be cultivated and grow in them. This is accomplished through the planting and watering by the ministers of Christ.
Planting, watering, and making to grow are all related to the matter of life. The ministers of Christ can only plant and water. Only God can cause the growth. God is dispensed into us through planting, and God’s element is added into us through watering. Although planting and watering are necessary, the One who causes the growth is God. Growth does not come from man; it comes altogether from God. As far as the growth in life is concerned, all the ministers of Christ, whether planters or waterers, are nothing; but God is everything. After the planting and the watering, we continuously receive the supply of God’s life, and spontaneously God causes us to grow in life.
XVIII. STRENGTHENING US INTO OUR INNER MAN
In Ephesians 3:16-17 the apostle Paul prayed to God the Father for the church, saying, "That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man, that Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith." First, God the Father’s strengthening us into our inner man is according to the riches of His glory. The riches of God’s glory are the expressions of God’s divine attributes and virtues in many aspects and in different degrees. God the Father strengthens us according to these expressions. Next, He strengthens us through His Spirit. From the time of our regeneration, the Father’s Spirit has been in us and with us. The Father strengthens us from within through His indwelling Spirit. Then, He strengthens us with power, the power that raised Christ from among the dead, seated Him at God’s right hand in the heavenlies, subjected all things under His feet, and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church, as spoken of in Ephesians 1:19-22. Now this power is operating in us (3:20), and by this power God is strengthening us for the church. Therefore, it is according to the riches of His glory, through His Spirit, and with power that the Father strengthens us into our inner man.
The inner man is our spirit, which has been regenerated by God’s Spirit (John 3:6), is indwelt by God’s Spirit (Rom. 8:11), and is mingled with God’s Spirit (1 Cor. 6:17). The Father strengthens our whole being into our regenerated spirit that Christ may make His home and settle down in our hearts. As a result, we are filled with Christ unto all the fullness of God. This is a finer work carried out by the Father in us, and it is our deeper experience in the Triune God.
(Truth Lessons, Level 2, Vol. 3, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)