FELLOWSHIP OF SPIRIT
In Philippians 2:1 there is the “fellowship of spirit.” Our fellowship in the local church among the brothers and sisters is something of the spirit. When you are not in the spirit, it is rather hard for anyone to fellowship with you. If I am outside of my spirit and you come to fellowship with me, it is just like coming to talk to a cow. You cannot fellowship. To fellowship one with another we all need to be in the spirit. When we are in the spirit, it is marvelous. In 1968 many saints went to the Far East. Sometimes they were frustrated with the different language, but sometimes when those brothers from the Far East came to them, even without understanding one another’s language, there was a certain kind of flow within them and between them. This is the fellowship of spirit. Christian fellowship is a matter in our Christian spirit.
A SPIRIT OF POWER, OF LOVE, AND OF A SOBER MIND
Second Timothy 1:7 says, “God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power and of love and of sobermindedness.” Our spirit is the center of our being. Then we have our soul, with three parts, surrounding our spirit: our mind, emotion, and will. God has given us a spirit of power. Power is a matter in the will. He has also given us a spirit of love, a matter in the emotion, and a spirit of sobermindedness. Three aspects are mentioned about the spirit because the spirit is surrounded with the soul in three aspects. God has given us such a spirit—so powerful in our will, so loving in our emotion, and so sober in our mind.
THE LORD WITH YOUR SPIRIT
We should never forget 2 Timothy 4:22: “The Lord be with your spirit.” If the Lord Jesus is here in our spirit, what should we do? We have to remain in our spirit all the time. We can join the Lord because He is right in our spirit. Praise the Lord! Now we can localize the Lord Jesus. Where is the Lord? Hallelujah, He is in my spirit! The Lord Jesus is in our spirit!
THE GOD, THE LORD, AND THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRIT
Hebrews 12:9 says that God is “the Father of spirits.” In the margin of the American Standard Version, it says “our spirits.” God is the Father of our spirit. Our body was not born of Him, but our spirit was born of Him. Our spirit was born of God (John 3:6). This is why Galatians 4:6 and Romans 8:15 reveal that if we are going to call Him “Abba, Father,” we have to do this in spirit because He is the Father of our spirit. Revelation 22:6 says the Lord is “the God of the spirits of the prophets,” and Numbers 16:22 and 27:16 say the Lord is “the God of the spirits of all flesh.” All these verses tell us that God is the God, the Lord, and the Father of our spirit. So we have to know our spirit, and we have to know how to exercise our spirit, how to use our spirit. Otherwise, we just could not contact God.
SEEING IN SPIRIT
Revelation 1:10; 4:2; 17:3; and 21:10 use the term in spirit. John the apostle, on the island of Patmos, said four times that he saw something “in spirit.” In spirit John saw the seven golden lampstands. In other words, in spirit he saw the local churches (1:10). In spirit he saw God’s throne (4:2) with all His divine judgment on the world. Also, in spirit he saw Babylon the Great (17:3). Finally, in spirit he saw the holy city, Jerusalem (21:10). The book of Revelation is composed of these four visions. If we are going to see these four visions, we have to be in spirit.
If you are in spirit, you will see the real situation. You will see what a local church is, what a Babylonian thing is, what the destination, the doom, of this world is, and what the New Jerusalem, the Body of Christ, is. If you are going to be clear about all these things, you need to be in spirit. In spirit you will see the local churches. In spirit you will see the doom, the destination, of today’s world. In spirit you will see that Babylon is fallen (17:3, 5; 18:2). Finally, in spirit you will see that the local church is just an expression of the New Jerusalem. If you are in a local church, you are in an expression of the New Jerusalem. We all need to be in spirit.
THE DIVIDING OF SOUL AND SPIRIT
First Thessalonians 5:23 shows that the soul and spirit are not the same but are two separate items. Hebrews 4:12 reveals that the spirit and soul can be divided just like the marrow can be divided from the joints. The joints are the bones, and within the bones is the marrow. The marrow is hidden within the bones just like the spirit is hidden within the soul. The spirit is so hidden in the soul that it needs to be divided from the soul by the living and operative word of God, which is “sharper than any two-edged sword” (v. 12). Sometimes it is really hard to separate the spirit from the soul, so the living word is needed.
The soul and the spirit can be divided because they are two items, two entities, two kinds of substances. Regardless of how hidden the marrow is within the bone, still they are two things. Regardless of how hidden our spirit is within our soul, still they are two things, two organs, two items. We have to learn how to divide our soul from our spirit.
EXULTING IN OUR SPIRIT
In Luke 1:46-47 Mary says, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has exulted in God my Savior.” First, our spirit exults in the Lord; then our soul can magnify Him. The tenses of the verbs in these two verses show the order: our soul magnifies (present tense), and our spirit has exulted (perfect tense).
IN ONE SPIRIT, WITH ONE SOUL
Philippians 1:27 says to “stand firm in one spirit, with one soul striving together along with the faith of the gospel.” To be in one spirit is one thing. To be with one soul is another thing. First, we need to be in one spirit. Then we all need to be with one soul. To stand together for the church life we need to be in one spirit, but if some brothers went to preach the gospel together without being one soul, they would have a lot of trouble. So many young brothers on the campus are really one in the spirit, standing firm for the church life. But when they go to preach the gospel, sometimes they have a different soul. We need to be not only in one spirit but also with one soul. “In one spirit” is for the standing, and “with one soul” is for the acting, the working, the striving together.
ONE SPIRIT WITH THE LORD
Praise the Lord for 1 Corinthians 6:17: “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” The Lord is within our spirit, so we are one spirit with the Lord. “The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit” (15:45). “The Lord is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:17). “The Lord be with your spirit” (2 Tim. 4:22). “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit” (1 Cor. 6:17). I like these four verses, and I could never forget them. The Lord is the life-giving Spirit, and we have such a wonderful spirit. Today we are just one spirit with the Lord because these two spirits are mingled together as one spirit.
(Our Human Spirit, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)