OUR HUMAN SPIRIT
Scripture Reading: John 3:6; 4:24; 2 Tim. 4:22; Matt. 28:20
The Scriptures clearly reveal that we have a human spirit and that God created our human spirit for us to contact Him. In John 3:6 the Lord Jesus said, “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” In this verse there are two spirits. It is easy for us to understand that the first Spirit must be God’s Spirit, but what about the second spirit? The second spirit in this verse is our human spirit. Our human spirit is born of God’s Spirit.
Many of us were taught that because we are so sinful, so evil, and so bad, we need to be born again. Suppose that you are not evil or sinful, but that you are so good, even better than the angels. Would you still need to be born again? The angels are good, but they do not have the life of God. We need to be born again. It does not matter whether you are good or bad. You still need the life of God. Even if you were not sinful, you would still need to be regenerated, to be reborn. Before the fall Adam was perfect, pure, and clean; in him there was nothing wrong, nothing short, nothing too much, nothing damaged, nothing ruined, and nothing corrupted. Adam was so perfect, so pure, and so clean. Such a pure, perfect, clean, original man needed to be born again in order to have God’s life. How could Adam have gotten God’s life? By taking the tree of life into him (Gen. 2:9). If the life of the tree of life had gotten into him, he would have been born again! He would have gotten another life, the life of God. To be born again simply means to get another life.
Even though Adam was so perfect, so pure, so clean, and so good, with nothing changed, nothing damaged, nothing corrupted, or nothing ruined, he still needed the life of God. Adam at the beginning just had one life, but if he had received the life of God, he would have had two lives. Another life would have been added into him. This is rebirth. This is regeneration. To be born again, strictly speaking, has nothing to do with our fall. Even if we are genuine, perfect, complete, pure, and clean, we still need God’s life to come into us. When God’s life gets in, we are regenerated.
The Bible tells us that before we were regenerated, we had our human life. This human life is in the soul. In the Bible this is called the soul-life. The New Testament sometimes uses the word soul for this life. This is why in the King James Version of the New Testament, a number of times the word soul has been translated “life” (Matt. 16:25; Luke 9:24). This word for life in the original Greek text is the very word psuche, or soul.
THE PHYSICAL LIFE
We also have another kind of life—the biological life. This is the life of the body, which in the Greek text is known as bios. This is the root of the word biology. Bios is in the body. When a person is dead physically, that does not mean his human life in the soul is dead, but it means his physical life, the bios, is dead. In the soul you have the soulish life; in the body you have the physical life. When a person is dead physically, he is dead bodily. This means that his bios is dead, but his psuche, his soul-life, is still existing.
THE DIVINE LIFE
Before we were saved, we did not have life in our spirit. Our spirit was only an organ. When we received the Lord Jesus, He came into our spirit to be our life. In our spirit we have another life, the divine life. The Greek word which the New Testament uses for this life is zoe. Zoe is in our spirit.
Bios is the physical life in our body. Psuche is the human life in our soul. Zoe, referring to the divine life, is in our spirit. This divine life is simply God Himself. This divine life is simply Christ Himself, God Himself, coming into our spirit to be our life. Now we have three kinds of lives. In our spirit we have zoe, in our soul we have psuche, and in our body we have bios. We have a biological life, a soulish life, and the divine life. This divine life, zoe, is simply the Spirit.
THE BIRTH OF OUR SPIRIT
Our spirit has been born by God coming into our spirit as life. “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6b). Now the divine life is in our spirit. Our spirit was born because God’s life got into it, and this birth has nothing to do with our fall. Even if Adam had never fallen, he still would have needed to be born in this way. He still needed to have God come into him as life. Otherwise, he could not express God. We need to be born again by having the life of God get into us. This life gets into our spirit, and our spirit is born. Now in our spirit there is life, and this life is just God Himself.
(Our Human Spirit, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)