II. THE ESSENTIAL (INWARD) ASPECT
A. Christ in Us
Many Bible verses tell us that Christ is in us (Rom. 8:10; 2 Cor. 13:5; Gal. 2:20; Col. 1:27). He can live in us because He is the Spirit. Therefore other verses say that the Spirit is in us (John 14:17; Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 6:19; Gal. 4:6). When Christ was a man on the earth, He could not live inside anyone. Now, however, Christ is the Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b; 2 Cor. 3:17). He is like the air that is around us; He can easily come into us. As the Spirit, the Lord regenerated us; our spirit is now born of the Spirit (John 3:6). Christ now dwells in our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22).
B. Christ as Our Life
It is by the Spirit that we enjoy Christ as our inward life. He is the Spirit that gives life. In such a Spirit we enjoy Christ by reading His Word (John 6:63; 2 Tim. 3:16), calling on His name (1 Cor. 12:3), and praying (Jude 20). This is the eating, drinking, and breathing of Christ. This causes Christ to be dispensed into us as the Spirit for our living. We need physical food, water, and air to sustain our bodies. In the same way, we need to take in Christ as the Spirit to sustain our spiritual life. He is our living bread, living water, and living air. This is the Spirit of life for our essential being and living.
Although the Lord has entered into us, we cannot say that our entire being is filled with Him. We are still full of our old nature. Instead of expressing the Lord, we express selfishness, pride, rebellion, and many other things. We greatly need the inward sanctifying and transforming work of the Spirit.
The Spirit is the ultimate consummation of the processed Triune God. He is all-inclusive; He contains every item of the process that the Lord went through. He has the Lord’s perfect human living, the killing element of the cross, and the resurrection power. As we enjoy such a Spirit, our being will begin to change. Christ’s living will become ours, the negative things in us will be killed, and our life will be a life in resurrection.
C. The Content of the Church
When we enjoy Christ in this way, He becomes our inward content. He is the content of the church. The church is not a social club or just a group of people who meet together; it is the Body of Christ. To be His Body we must be full of His life. Suppose someone made a plastic model that looked exactly like your body. Would you call it your body? Of course not. In order for it to be your body it must be full of your life. As the Body of Christ, we need to be filled with Christ as our life. So Christ became the Spirit to dispense Himself as life into us.
III. THE ECONOMICAL (OUTWARD) ASPECT
A. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
After His resurrection, Christ appeared to His disciples and instructed them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5). He said, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses...unto the remotest part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). According to His word, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the Body on the day of Pentecost. This baptism of the Holy Spirit was not for life essentially but for power and authority economically. The disciples were already filled with the Spirit for life, but they needed to be "clothed with power from on high" for the work (Luke 24:49). This clothing is the "heavenly uniform" of the economical Spirit.
(Lesson Book, Level 2: The Triune God—The Triune God and the Person and Work of Christ, Chapter 22, by Witness Lee)