III. THE REGENERATED SPIRIT OF THE BELIEVERS HAS:
A. The Life of God as the Second Life,
the New Life, of the Believers
In the believers’ regenerated spirit there is the life of God as the second life of the believers, that is, the new life of the believers (John 3:36a). The initial life of the believers is the created life from Adam. The second life of the believers is the uncreated life that they received from God. This uncreated life becomes the new life of the believers, which is another life received by the believers apart from the created life. As soon as we believe in the Lord, God Himself enters into us to be our life. Hence, we have two lives. When I was saved at the age of twenty, I was striving in my studying. But one afternoon I heard and believed in the gospel and received the Lord. When I came out of that meeting, my whole being was changed. As I was walking on the street, I lifted my head to look at heaven and prayed to God, saying, "God, from now on, even if the whole world is given to me, I don’t want it anymore. I only want You." I believe that everyone who is saved and regenerated has a similar experience. Yet this does not mean that we ourselves have changed; it means that another life has come into us to change us. This other life is God, and it is also Christ. Thus, regeneration is to be born of God that we may have the life of God to become a God-man.
The man that was created by God had God’s image but did not have God or the life of God within him. Hence, in the old creation man only looks like God and is like a photograph of God. Suppose you see a photograph of me. If you point at this photograph and say that it is me, I will say that it is not me, because the photograph does not have my life. If you say that the photograph is not me, I will say that it is me, because the photograph is my image. A person has no way to enter into his own photograph to cause that photograph to have his life and become him. However, after passing through the processes, God can enter into the man who has His image to be his life so that he can be the same kind as God in life and nature but not in His Godhead.
B. Christ as the Embodiment of the Triune God, the Father, Son, and Spirit, Living
in the Believers to Be the Person
of the Believers as the New Creation
In the regenerated spirit of the believers there is also Christ, who is the embodiment of the Triune God—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—living within the believers to be the person of the believers as the new creation (Gal. 2:20a). Therefore, we who have been regenerated have not only a new life but also a new person. This new life is God, and this new person is Christ, who is the embodiment of God.
IV. THE REGENERATED SPIRIT OF THE BELIEVERS BECOMES THE DWELLING PLACE OF THE PROCESSED AND CONSUMMATED TRIUNE GOD IN THE BELIEVERS
The regenerated spirit of the believers becomes the dwelling place of the processed and consummated Triune God in the believers (Eph. 2:22). There are many things involved here. We build houses for us to dwell in. Likewise, if God wants to make our regenerated spirit His dwelling place, there is the need for a process of building.
The regenerated spirit of the believers becomes not only the dwelling place of God but also the inner man of the believers (Eph. 3:16b), in which Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God dwells (2 Tim. 4:22) to spread and make His home in the hearts of the believers (Eph. 3:17a). Christ must spread from the regenerated spirit of the believers to the hearts of the believers. Originally, my office in my home was quite small, but recently I enlarged it. As soon as we are saved, the Lord comes in and stays in our spirit. However, He is restricted to our spirit and is suffering there, desiring to spread out from our spirit. Hence, He wants to spread from our spirit, which is the base, to our heart. This kind of spreading enables Him to make home and build up His dwelling place in us.
John 14:23 says, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him." This is the processed and consummated Triune God making His home in the believers. This making home is the building. On the one hand, it is the building of the house of God that He may dwell in us; on the other hand, it is the building of our house that we may dwell in Him. This twofold dwelling place is the mutual dwelling place of God and man. If God does not dwell in man, God will not be able to become man; if man does not dwell in God, neither will man be able to become God. For God to become man, He must gain man as His home; for man to become God, he needs to obtain God as his home. This mutual dwelling place is a joining of God and man with each other. However, if both parties are not of the same kind, they cannot become a mutual dwelling place and stay with each other. If you are not God but are only man, how can you dwell with God? If God is not man but is only God, how can He dwell with you? Hence, the preparation of the dwelling place in John 14 is God becoming man and man becoming God that God and man, man and God, can be joined and mingled together to become a mutual dwelling place.
This preparation of the dwelling place requires much building work. On God’s side, in order to dwell with man, He Himself had to pass through incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection. On man’s side, in order to dwell with God, man likewise has to pass through regeneration, sanctification, renewing, and transformation. All these are the work of building the dwelling place of God and man so that ultimately God and man can become a mutual dwelling place.
(The Issue of the Union of the Consummated Spirit of the Triune God and the Regenerated Spirit of the Believers, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)