THE CHRISTIAN LIFE BEING FULLY ONE THAT DEPENDS ON GOD’S SPIRIT OF LIFE
This wonderful Spirit of life, as life within us, is our way in everything. First, in our spiritual living, He is our way to live Christ. The way for us Christians to live a spiritual living is to live out Christ by God’s Spirit of life. Furthermore, He is also the way for us to serve in the church life. The way for us to live and to serve in the church depends on God’s Spirit of life. In addition, He is also our way to beget, nourish, teach, and build as priests of the gospel. The main work of God’s priests of the New Testament is to dispense Christ into the sinners, that they may be saved and may become the sacrifices offered to God. This is to beget. After this, there is the need to nourish and teach them, that they may be enlightened and perfected unto a full-grown man, being able to speak for God. This is the prophesying in the Bible, which is for the building up of the Body of Christ.
Concerning prophesying, the Greek word for this has three parts, bearing three meanings. The first is to speak forth, the second is the words, and the third is the person. Hence, it is a person that speaks forth the words. Such a one is not speaking man’s words, but God’s words. He is speaking forth the words of God. However, the center of God’s word is Christ. Hence, to prophesy is to speak Christ, to speak Him forth, and to speak Him into others, that others may receive Christ and the supply of Christ. This kind of prophesying is the building; it builds up the Body of Christ.
These are the four major steps of the work of the New Testament priests of the gospel. First, there is the begetting, which is the regenerating of the sinners. Second, there is the nourishing, which is to supply and to feed others with spiritual life. Third, there is the teaching, which is to teach others with the spiritual things for their perfection. Fourth, there is the building, which is to be the prophesying ones, speaking for the Lord unto the building up of the Body of Christ. For this reason, Paul said in Ephesians 4 that the Head, Christ, gave to the Body the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the shepherds and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ (vv. 11-12). The way to all these is by God’s Spirit of life.
GOD’S SPIRIT OF LIFE BEING OUR WAY IN EVERYTHING
Today, God’s Spirit of life is not the same as it was before; it includes many precious ingredients. It is like lemon tea that I myself like very much. Every time I drink it, I put in some Chinese tea, some lemon juice, some high-grade honey, and a little salt. Including the water, there are altogether five ingredients. At the beginning, it is only a glass of water. But after the tea, lemon, honey, and salt are added, it becomes a very tasty drink. When I am tired and thirsty, a drink of this tea will refresh me; my throat will be cleared, and my nose will no longer bother me. This is marvelous. With God’s Spirit of life, there is the element of God, the element of man, and the human living, the all-inclusive death, the wonderful resurrection, plus the ascension. At the time we were saved, we received this Spirit with all its ingredients into us. We became different inside; we were changed, and we became the Lord’s testimony.
The Lord is not only outside of us as our pattern. He is also inside of us as our life, in order that we can live Him out. This is like the cultivation of fruit trees. A pear tree may originally bear pears that are small and sour. But after we supplement the tree with some elements, the pears become improved; now they are large and sweet. Another example can be seen from medicine. Some pills have both germ-killing ingredients and nutritious ingredients as well. They heal and nourish at the same time. In the same way, with God’s Spirit of life there is not only the killing element of the cross, but the elements of resurrection and ascension also. On the one hand, this Spirit deals with the negative things; on the other hand, it brings in the life supply and the ability to transcend all things. This Spirit is the processed Triune God. Now He is in us as our life, to become our way in everything. In our spiritual living, He is our way to live Christ. He is also our way to serve in the church life, and He is our way to beget, nourish, teach, and build as priests of the gospel.
Hence, as long as we walk according to this Spirit, we can fulfill the requirement of God’s law, and we can be sanctified positionally and dispositionally. Gradually, we will be transformed into the image of Christ. Because the bountiful supply of this Spirit always satisfies all our needs, we are able to magnify Christ and to live out His virtues under any circumstances. This is on the side of our individual life, but there is also the side of the corporate life. In God’s Spirit of life, we have been baptized into one Body and have been made to drink of this same one Spirit. This Spirit enables us to live in the reality of God’s kingdom and to live out righteousness and peace in joy. This Spirit is also filling us to become the church with the full-grown stature as the fullness, the expression of God. In this way, we will have the Spirit of life to be the source of all the gifts and functions in the service of the church; our gifts will be manifested, and we will be able to coordinate together.
(God's Way in Life, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)