The Parts of Man, by Witness Lee


When we received the Lord Jesus as our personal Savior, we believed in Him as the One who died for our sins and thus received forgiveness. Then we were justified and reconciled to God by His death (Rom. 5:10). To be reconciled to God means that all problems between us and God have been solved. Moreover, we who were deadened in spirit have been quickened or made alive in the spirit (Eph. 2:5). By the redeeming blood of Christ, the conscience of our spirit and of our heart has been cleansed (Heb. 9:14; 10:22). All filthiness has been purged away. But something more wonderful has happened: Christ, the Lord Spirit, has entered into our spirit as our life to make our deadened spirit alive! When He entered our spirit, we received another life, the life of God, and were regenerated (John 3:6). Christ, as the all-inclusive, life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45) is now in our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22), not in our soul.

Before we were regenerated, we had only the human life and were only one person or one man. Now we have both the human life and the divine life and are two men. Formerly, we were only one man in the soul, but now we are two men—one in the soul and one in the spirit. The man in the soul possesses the human life and is the soulish man. The soulish man is also the old (Rom. 6:6; Eph. 4:22; Col. 3:9) and outward man (2 Cor. 4:16). However, the other man in our spirit possesses the divine life. This is the spiritual man, the new man (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10), the inward man or inner man (2 Cor. 4:16; Eph. 3:16).

Originally, we only had human life in the soul, and this soulish life was our person, our very being, while our spirit was simply an organ. However, after our regeneration, the situation has been radically changed. Since divine life came into our spirit, our spirit has become another person, another being. It is no longer an organ; it has now become our person, our very being. Our spirit, which now contains the divine life, has become our person, while the soul has become a mere organ, which is to be used by the spirit.

The soul as the person with its life has been crossed out. However, the faculties of the soul, such as those for thinking, loving, and choosing, are still there. The soulish life, the "ego" or the "I," has been crossed out, reducing the soul to only a functioning and useful organ for the spirit. Originally the soul was the person and the life, and the spirit was an organ. But now the spirit has become the person and the life, and the soul must become only an organ. We should no longer live by the soul, but rather by the spirit. The spirit as the person will then use the soul as an organ.

Today, is your soul your life or just an organ? Our soul must be reduced to be only an organ used by our spirit. We must not give our soul any ground or rights to be our life. Our soul may suggest: "I desire to go to the beach!" But we must tell our soul: "Do not say that. In fact, do not say anything! You have no rights; you are only an organ! When I want to do anything, I will use you as an organ. You are no longer the person or the life. As the life, you have been crossed out. My life is now Christ in my spirit."

We must not treat our soul as our life anymore. Our soul is now merely an organ to be used by our spirit. It has absolutely no rights, for it is no longer a life, but an organ. Our soul-life has been put away and crossed out; therefore, we should not henceforth live by it. Since our regenerated spirit has been mingled with Christ as our life, we must live by our spirit, keeping the soul only as an organ to fulfill the purposes of our spirit. When we love, we must love according to our spirit, not according to our soul. Our soul now is just an organ, no more the man. Our real man now is in our spirit.

When we live in our soul, we are living in the self; thus, we are immediately involved with Satan, sin, and the flesh. On the other hand, when we deny our soul, all the negative things are kept from us. We must rid ourselves of the soulish life, self, Satan, sin, and the flesh. Really, it is very simple. When we learn to live, walk, and act in our spirit, we are automatically out of the realm of all these negative things! Positively, we are enjoying Christ as the all-inclusive, life-giving Spirit in our spirit; negatively, we are separated from the old, outward, soulish man and all its involvements.

At the time the Lord regenerated us, He also renewed our heart. Ezekiel 36:26 says, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh." "A new heart" is the old heart renewed. "The stony heart" was the hardened heart. "A heart of flesh" is the softened heart. So, by the Lord’s regeneration, our heart has also been renewed that we may have a new heart with abundant ability to love the Lord. Thus, the purpose of the heart has been fully recovered—to love the Lord that our spirit may contact, receive, and contain Him. Hallelujah! Now we have a new heart that can love the Lord and a new spirit that can contact, receive, and contain Him!

How necessary for the Lord’s children to know these things. We do not need to know so many other things which are not of life, but we must know these things related to the inner life. May we always love the Lord with our heart and live by Him as our life in our spirit!

(The Parts of Man, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)