SANCTIFIED AND PRESERVED
God not only sanctifies us wholly, but also preserves our spirit, soul, and body complete. “Wholly” is quantitative; “complete” is qualitative. In quantity God sanctifies us wholly; in quality God preserves us complete; that is, He keeps our spirit, soul, and body perfect. Through the fall our body has been ruined, our soul has been contaminated, and our spirit has been deadened. In God’s full salvation, our entire being is saved and made complete and perfect. For this, God is preserving our spirit from any deadening element (Heb. 9:14), our soul from remaining natural and old (Matt. 16:24-26), and our body from the ruin of sin (1 Thes. 4:4; Rom. 6:6). Such a preservation by God and His thorough sanctification sustain us to live a holy life unto maturity that we may meet the Lord in His parousia.
EXERCISING OUR SPIRIT TO CONTACT GOD
Our spirit is composed of three parts: the conscience, the fellowship, and the intuition. Our spirit is mainly for us to have fellowship with God. When we have fellowship with God, we contact Him. This contact with God spontaneously gives us a sense of God, a consciousness of God. Intuition denotes the direct sense and consciousness that come from God. Through this intuition we can know whether we are right or wrong. If we are wrong, we shall be condemned by our conscience. But if we are right, we shall be justified by our conscience. Our conscience, therefore, either accuses and condemns or excuses and justifies. The way to preserve our spirit is first to exercise it to have fellowship with God. If we fail to exercise our spirit in this way, we shall leave it in a deadened situation.
Whenever we Christians come together in a church meeting, we need to function. We need to pray, praise, or give a word of testimony. This is to exercise our spirit and not allow it to remain dormant or in a deadened condition. But sorry to say, many saints do not preserve their spirit by exercising it in this way. Instead, they allow their spirit to remain dormant. It seems that they leave their spirit in a tomb.
However, there are some brothers who disturb the meeting by functioning too frequently without any real riches of Christ. Again and again they stand up to speak without having anything to say. I would encourage brothers such as these to be silent for a period of time until they have the assurance that some of the riches of Christ have truly become their portion. If they stand up to release these riches, all the saints will be happy with them because their testimony will be helpful.
Although some saints may function too much without the riches of Christ, the need of most of the saints is to function much more with the exercise of their spirit.
(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Chapter 23, by Witness Lee)