The Spirit in the Epistles, by Witness Lee



If we, being enemies, were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more we will be saved in His life, having been reconciled. (Rom. 5:10)

In this verse of the Scriptures two matters are mentioned: the first matter is the death of God’s Son, and the second is His life. This verse tells us that while we were enemies of God, we were reconciled to God through the death of the Lord Jesus, and the problems between us and God were solved. Moreover, since we have been reconciled, we will be saved in the life of the Lord Jesus. Being reconciled to God through the Lord’s death is one thing, and being saved in the Lord’s life is another thing. Here, our being saved refers not only to our being saved by believing in the Lord but even more to our being saved by the Lord step by step, after we believe in Him, from the old creation and the self into His glory. On the negative side, we were saved through the Lord’s death to be reconciled to God, thereby solving the problems between us and God. On the positive side, we are being saved in the Lord’s life from the old creation and the natural being to enter fully into the glory of God.

And not only so, but also boasting in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (v. 11)

In this verse whom refers to the One who is in resurrection. The Greek word for boasting means “to boast” and also “to exult.” This is to say that since we were reconciled to God through the Lord’s death, we now have God as our boast, our exultation, our rejoicing, and our enjoyment in the Lord’s resurrection through His life.

The law of the Spirit of life has freed me in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and of death. (8:2)

That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit. For those who are according to the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but those who are according to the spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace. (vv. 4-6)

But you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Yet if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not of Him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you. (vv. 9-11)

For you have not received a spirit of slavery bringing you into fear again, but you have received a spirit of sonship in which we cry, Abba, Father! The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God. (vv. 15-16)

And not only so, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan in ourselves, eagerly awaiting sonship, the redemption of our body. (v. 23)

Moreover, in like manner the Spirit also joins in to help us in our weakness, for we do not know for what we should pray as is fitting, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. But He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers; and those whom He predestinated, these He also called; and those whom He called, these He also justified; and those whom He justified, these He also glorified. (vv. 26-30)

Concerning His Son, who came out of the seed of David according to the flesh, who was designated the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness out of the resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1:3-4)

I exhort you therefore, brothers, through the compassions of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service. (12:1)

For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (14:17)

Holy here is an emphasized word. In Greek Holy comes after the Spirit, meaning that the Spirit is “the Holy”; hence, the Holy Spirit.


Romans is a book that particularly gives an outline of the Christian life. It speaks clearly concerning three great matters to which every Christian must pay attention. The first great matter concerns our salvation or, we may say, justification. The second great matter is on how we should live in the Spirit after we have been saved. The third matter is on how, by such a living, we may become living members to live the church life, the Body life. It speaks first about our salvation, then about our living in the Spirit, and then about our service and coordination in the Body. Our salvation is for us to live in the Spirit, and by living in the Spirit we become living members coordinating in the Body. Therefore, living in the Spirit is the key to the Body life.

Formerly we were sinners and also enemies of God. We offended Him and had a problem with Him. The Lord Jesus, however, reconciled us to God by dying for us sinners and solving the problems between us and God. Therefore, today when we believe in the Lord, we are justified and have no more problems with God. This is what the Lord’s death has accomplished for us. After we have been saved, we have the life of the Lord Jesus in us. First, this life sets us free from all kinds of bondage, such as the world, the flesh, the law of sin, and the old creation. Second, this life is saving us. With regard to our bondage, we need to be freed; with regard to our fallen condition, we need to be saved. The Lord Jesus is doing the work not only of setting us free to deliver us from all kinds of bondage but also of saving us day by day and moment by moment so that we may come out of our fallen situation. Third, He is doing the work of transformation. Fourth, He is doing the work of sanctification to set us apart and make us holy so that we may be separated from all things and all worldly people. Fifth, eventually He will glorify us to make us as glorious as He is. Dear brothers and sisters, all these items are included in our being saved in the life of the Lord Jesus. Our salvation through the death of the Lord Jesus resolves the problems we had with God in the past. Our being saved in the life of the Lord allows Him to work in us to set us free, to save us, to transform us, to sanctify us, and to glorify us. How does the Lord Jesus carry out all these works in us? It hinges on His being a living Spirit. Hence, the first section of Romans shows us that the Lord Jesus died for us on the cross, and the second section shows us that He is in us living instead of us. Previously Christ died on the cross, but now He is living in us.

The clause in the beginning of Romans 8:10, Christ is in you, is a great word; it is the key to the entire book of Romans. God works to such an extent that Christ is wrought into us, and this Christ who is in us is the Spirit. In Romans this Spirit has four different titles: first, the Spirit of life; second, the Spirit of sonship; third, the Spirit of firstfruits; and fourth, the Spirit of holiness. If you have a clear view of these few points, then you have grasped the key to Romans. Over the years, among the children of God many books were written concerning Romans, but the key to this book was never clearly pointed out. At this time I hope to impress you with this crucial point. The key to this book is “Christ in you,” and this Christ is the Spirit.

Some may ask, “How can Christ be this Spirit?” This is a mystery that is hard to explain thoroughly. Second Corinthians 3:17 says that “the Lord is the Spirit”; then it goes on to refer to “the Spirit of the Lord.” On the one hand, it says that “the Lord is the Spirit”; hence, the Lord and the Spirit are one. On the other hand, it mentions “the Spirit of the Lord”; hence, the Lord and the Spirit are two. However, the two aspects are mentioned together. Furthermore, John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” When it says that the Word was with God, it means that the Word and God are two. Yet it also says that the Word was God, meaning that They are one. Therefore, They are two yet one and one yet two. Although we do not understand this doctrine, we still need to accept this fact. The Christ who dwells in us is the Spirit.

(The Spirit in the Epistles, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)