THE REGENERATED SPIRIT
In our regenerated spirit there is now the Spirit of God and the life of God. We have been born of God! Something of God has been conceived into our being. We have not only been united with Him; we are mingled with Him. We have been conceived not only by Him but also with Him.
Our human language fails when we try to describe the relationship in life that we have with God. We have been born of God, not adopted by Him. It is not that we were born on the street and then God took us up and adopted us. Nor has He merely been added to us. When we are born of our earthly father, we have his life; in a sense, he has been conceived into us. With God, the same is true: we have His life, for He has been conceived into us. We have become partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).
This birth has taken place in our spirit. As John 3:6b says, “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” That which is born of the Spirit of God is our human spirit.
As one who was raised in China, I studied the ethical teachings of Confucius. His writings are not concerned with God. They deal only with ethics. The high point of his teachings is his statement that the highest learning is to develop the bright virtue of man. By the bright virtue he means the conscience. The best he could advise was that we should develop our conscience. Before I was saved, to some extent I appreciated Confucius’ teachings. Afterwards, though, I realized I had something far better. Those who follow him can have no higher learning than to develop their conscience. I now had not a teaching but a fact: the Spirit of God was in my conscience, and I possessed the divine life. How much better to have God born into my spirit and to have His life!
Have you ever considered that the Spirit of God and the divine life are in your spirit? Suppose you were given a beautiful diamond on your way here. Would there not be an indication of joy on your face that you possessed such a treasure? How could you conceal your delight? The same delight and joy should show on your face if you truly realize what you have in your spirit. In belief you have God in you, even the Spirit of God and the life of God; but in experience you do not have the adequate realization of them. If you did, you would be beside yourself, shouting hallelujahs and praising the Lord for His life in you. Your spirit has been born of God! God has been born into you!
In the fifty-five years since I got saved, I have been fully preserved by the Lord. I never went through a time of backsliding. What has kept me? It is the excitement that comes from realizing that my spirit has been born of God, that the very living God is in my spirit, and that His Spirit and His life are also there! I realize how wonderful a person I am to have such a One in me! I am really happy to testify about the wonderful One in me. He is worth getting excited about!
Paul said to Timothy, “The Lord be with your spirit” (2 Tim. 4:22). He did not say that the Lord be with Timothy’s mind, that he might have a sober mind, nor that the Lord be with his good heart. No! The Lord be with your spirit!
We have been discussing the matter of the spirit, yet if you check 1 John you will find that the word spirit does not occur even once! Nonetheless, there is a reference to the spirit in 5:4: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.” The word whatsoever is neuter, as it is also in the original.
There is a part within us which has been born of God. Our whole being has not been regenerated; only our spirit has. Our body will be transfigured at His coming. Our soul is now undergoing the process of transformation. It is our spirit which has been born of God. It is our spirit which overcomes the world.
(The Mending Ministry of John, Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)