The Experience of Christ as Life for the Building Up of the Church, by Witness Lee


Second Corinthians 4:16 speaks of the outer man and the inner man. The outer man needs to be consumed. This consuming takes place gradually, little by little. I have been under this consuming for many years, and my outer man still has not been thoroughly consumed. If we are going to live and act in our spirit, the outer man needs to be consumed all the time. Then the inner man is being renewed day by day. Our outer man needs to be reduced, not corrected, and our inner man needs to be renewed. Renewal is a matter of life. We need to be metabolically renewed day by day with the fresh supply of the resurrection life.

We are old because we remain in the soul so much. As long as we remain in the soul, we are old. We need to be transferred from the soul to the spirit, and this transfer is the renewing. To be renewed day by day simply means to be transferred all the time from the soul to the spirit. This is not a matter of teaching. Teaching does not work. This is absolutely a matter in life. We should always learn to turn from the outer man to the inner man.


In 2 Corinthians 6 Paul said that he and his co-workers commended themselves as ministers of God "in a holy spirit" (vv. 4, 6). This refers to their regenerated spirit. This means that our spirit must be holy. Thus, in the next chapter Paul said that we have to purify ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit (7:1). Then the spirit will be holy, and we will perfect holiness in the fear of God. We need to purify ourselves so that the holiness of God can saturate our entire being.

We may be right in our reasoning and arguing, but we are not holy in our spirit. We need a holy spirit without any defilement, even without the defilement of arguments. We may be right in our mind, in our soul, in our argument, but filthy in our spirit. The more we talk and argue, the more we are right, but the more we are defiled in our spirit. We may be right in our doing, but not so holy in our spirit. We need a holy spirit, a spirit separated from all things unto God. We need a spirit that does not care for anything except God Himself. Then we get rid of all the defilements, such as arguments and reasonings.

We may have many reasons, but all those reasons are filthy to our spirit. We can be defiled in our spirit not just with outwardly sinful things but with something which is right, but other than God. Anything other than God is a defilement to our spirit. We need to be separated and consecrated to the Lord inwardly. Our spirit must be solely and wholly separated unto God. If our spirit is tied to anything other than God, that becomes a defilement. We need a holy spirit.

(The Experience of Christ as Life for the Building Up of the Church, Chapter 13, by Witness Lee)