IV. THE BIBLE BEING THE EMBODIMENT OF GOD THE SPIRIT
God is Spirit. The Spirit, however, is very abstract. It is as abstract as the radio waves in the air. It is hard for man to touch Him or to understand Him. But the Bible is the embodiment of this Spirit. The Lord Jesus said in John 6:63 that the words He speaks are spirit. This shows us that God’s word is the embodiment of God’s Spirit. This is like a radio receiver capturing the radio waves in the air; the radio receiver becomes the embodiment of the radio waves. When the radio waves are in the air, we neither hear, touch, nor understand them. As soon as they are captured by the receiver, the radio waves become manifested before us. What was abstract becomes real. We can feel it, hear it, and understand it. Thus, we can say that the radio receiver is the embodiment of the radio waves.
In the same principle, if there were only God the Spirit in the universe and there were no Bible, God to us would be the same as the radio waves; we would not be able to grasp Him or find Him. But thank God that His word is here. This word is the embodiment of Himself. God the Spirit is contained in the word. This is why the Lord Jesus said that His word is spirit. In the same way, we can say the word in the Bible is the Spirit. To put this in a clearer way, we can say that the Bible is the embodiment of the Spirit.
A. The Expression of God the Spirit
First, the Bible is the embodiment of God the Spirit; it is also the expression of God the Spirit. God the Spirit is expressed through the Bible as the embodiment. Since the day you heard the gospel until now, how many times have you been moved by the Holy Spirit apart from God’s word? Probably very little. Almost every time we are moved by the Holy Spirit, it is through God’s word. Never does the Holy Spirit urge us apart from the word. Sometimes, it is through a verse you have read in the Bible. Sometimes, it is through your remembrance of a verse you have read. Sometimes, it is through some words that match the Bible in principle. These are all words. Although you are moved by the Holy Spirit, it is hard to separate the Holy Spirit from the word in these cases. It is hard for you to say whether you are moved by the word or by the Holy Spirit, because at such times the Holy Spirit is in the word. The word is the embodiment and the expression of the Holy Spirit.
Of course, we admit that many times we can have the word without the Spirit. It is like having a radio receiver without the radio waves. Surely, this is vain. We admit that many people read God’s Word in vain. But there are also many times when we just open up the Lord’s Word a little and the Holy Spirit comes. The Holy Spirit is in the word, and the word is the expression of the Holy Spirit.
At any rate, it is hard for us to be moved by the Holy Spirit without God’s word. To put it in another way, seldom are we moved by the word without the moving of the Holy Spirit within. Under normal circumstances, one cannot separate God the Spirit from the Bible, since the Bible is the embodiment and the expression of God the Spirit. Please notice that it is the embodiment of God the Spirit, and not the embodiment of just the Holy Spirit. This means that this Spirit is God, and this God is the Spirit. This God who is Spirit is God the Spirit.
B. The Dwelling Place of God the Spirit
The Bible as the embodiment of God the Spirit is not only His expression, but also His dwelling place. God the Spirit resides in His word. From our experience, we know this is true. Many times, when we read the Bible, we touch God the Spirit. This is because the Bible is the dwelling place of God the Spirit. It is the place where God the Spirit resides.
C. The Means of God the Spirit
There is another point. The Bible is the means of God the Spirit. God is Spirit. Whatever He does to us is through the Bible. Whatever God does toward us and whatever God wants us to do are done through His word. The word is the embodiment of God the Spirit. Hence, it is also the expression, the dwelling place, and the means of God the Spirit. Under normal circumstances, whenever we touch the word in the Bible, we should receive, touch, and feel the moving of God the Spirit and should contact God Himself.
This is the Bible. What is the Bible? The Bible is God’s word, God’s revelation, God’s breathing out, and the embodiment of God the Spirit.
(On Knowing the Bible, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)