OUR HUMAN SPIRIT
Scripture Reading: Gen. 2:7; Zech. 12:1; Job 12:10; Num. 16:22; 27:16; Rev. 22:6; Prov. 20:27; Rom. 1:9; Luke 1:46-47; Acts 17:16; 1 Cor. 5:3-4; 16:18; 2 Cor. 2:13; 7:13; 12:18; 7:1; 1 Thes. 5:23; Heb. 4:12; Phil. 1:27; 2 Tim. 4:22; 1 Cor. 6:17; Rom. 8:4
In this book we will cover one very important thing—our human spirit. First, we need to see that the spiritual life, the divine life, the eternal life, the uncreated life, is just God Himself in Christ as the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45). The divine life is the divine Spirit, the life-giving Spirit, who has come into us as our very life. If He did not come into us, He could not be our life. Anything outside of you can never be your life. For anything to be your life, that very thing must be able to get inside of you.
This spiritual life, which is God Himself, has come into us, but into what part of us? For instance, you take in food, but you do not take it into the eyes. You do not take food into the ears. You take food into the mouth, and through the mouth the food gets into your stomach. The stomach is the proper place for you to store and contain food. In like manner, God as life has come into us—into our spirit. But our human spirit, so strategic to the divine life, has been missed by most Christians.
THE INNER LIFE IN OUR SPIRIT
When I was a young Christian, I listened to a good number of Christian teachers. I never heard one word from them saying that we have a human spirit. This matter is so prevailingly mentioned in the Scriptures, yet most Christians have missed it and are still missing it.
The Lord desires to recover the inner life with the church life. The inner life is basic for the church life. If we are not so adequate, so prevailing, in the inner life, it is hard for us to have a proper church life, because the church life is a composition of the inner life in all of us. We have to know the inner life, yet the inner life is a matter absolutely in our spirit.
When we go to school, we study by using the proper organ—our mind. But we come to the church to contact God, to worship God, by using another organ—our spirit. This is not the Holy Spirit. Whenever you mention the word spirit to most Christians, they immediately consider the Holy Spirit. They seldom consider that we have a human spirit. But we do have a human spirit! Besides God’s Holy Spirit, there is our human spirit.
We come to the church to serve God, to contact God, to deal with God by using our spirit. When you go to the playground to have some physical exercise, you have to use your physical body. When you go to school to study, you have to use your mind. But when you come to the church to contact God, you have to use your human spirit.
THE BREATH OF LIFE
Genesis 2:7 shows us clearly how God created man. God created man with two kinds of materials. One was the dust of the ground. The other was the breath of life out of Himself. God used the dust of the ground as material to form a human body. Then God breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. Two kinds of materials, the dust to form a body and the breath of life getting into this body, resulted in a living soul, a living man. What was formed with the dust was the body, and man as a living soul is the soul. Then the breath of life, after getting into the body, is the human spirit.
I want to impress you as deeply as possible with this phrase the breath of life. Proverbs 20:27 says that the spirit of man is the lamp of Jehovah. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word used most of the time for spirit is ruach. This word in Hebrew means “spirit,” “breath,” “air,” or “wind.” But the word for spirit here in Proverbs 20:27 is not the Hebrew word ruach, but neshamah—the same word used in Genesis 2:7 for “breath.” In the Old Testament there is at least one verse proving that the breath of life mentioned in Genesis 2:7 is the very spirit of man. The Moffat translation, in Proverbs 20:27, renders the word spirit as “conscience.” It says that the conscience of man is the lamp of the Lord because the conscience is the main part of the human spirit (cf. Rom. 9:1; 8:16).
THE HEAVENS, THE EARTH, AND THE SPIRIT OF MAN
Zechariah 12:1 tells us that in God’s creation there are three main items. First, God stretched forth the heavens. Second, God laid the foundation of the earth. Third, God formed the spirit of man. In God’s creation there are these three main things. With the heavens there are a lot of things, with the earth there are a lot of items, and with man there are many parts, but Zechariah 12:1 just mentions the heavens, the earth, and the spirit of man.
(Our Human Spirit, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)