THE RENEWING OF OUR MIND
Ephesians 1 tells us that our lamp has been enlightened and is now shining. Ephesians 3 tells us we need an extra portion of the all-inclusive Spirit to fill up our soul, our heart, and every part of our inward being. Ephesians 4:23 says, "And are renewed in the spirit of your mind." This means that the Spirit comes into our mind and becomes the spirit of our mind. We need the Spirit to become the spirit of our mind. This spirit in our mind is the renewing Spirit. This Spirit transforms us by pervading, saturating, and possessing our mind.
To be regenerated is to have our spirit enlightened, quickened, and made alive. After being regenerated in our spirit, we need to be transformed in our soul. Regeneration is God coming into our spirit; transformation is God saturating our soul. Our spirit is the center of our being, and surrounding our spirit is our soul. God’s economy is to work Himself into us. God first comes into our spirit and fills our spirit. Then He spreads Himself from our spirit into our soul, saturating our soul, possessing it, and fully making His home in it. It is in this way that we will be completely possessed, occupied, saturated, and mingled with God. This is regeneration plus transformation.
Never forget that regeneration is accomplished in our spirit and that transformation is accomplished in our soul. It is not sufficient just to be regenerated. That is only the beginning of the spiritual experience within us. Regeneration, the start of our spiritual life, means that God has come into our spirit to enlighten us, quicken us, and make us alive. After regeneration, we need to cooperate with the Lord, allowing Him to take a further step to spread Himself from our spirit into our soul, saturating our mind, emotion, and will. We may express this experience in several ways: it is to prepare the extra portion of the Triune God in our vessels; it is to have the transformation accomplished in our soul; it is to have our whole being mingled with the Triune God; and it is to become matured in the life of Christ.
From the book of Matthew we have seen that Christ as the seed has been sown into our spirit and that He will grow within us. Matthew 13 reveals that to have Christ grow in us means to have Him spread from our spirit into our heart, into all the inward parts of our being. This spreading of the seed is not only the growth, but also the maturity. The seed that has been sown into our spirit will grow, spreading into our inward parts until it saturates our whole being and possesses all of our inward parts. When this is accomplished, we will be mature.
God’s economy is to work Himself into us. He forgives our sins, justifies us, and saves us, but these items are not His goal. His goal is to work Himself into us. Forgiveness, justification, and salvation are all for His goal of working Himself into us.
This work is carried out in three steps. The first step is the regeneration of our spirit, the second is the transformation of our soul, and the third is the transfiguration of our body. We do not need to pay anything for regeneration. It is free. Likewise, we will not have to pay for the transfiguration of our body in the future. That also will be free. But by God’s wisdom, we must pay something for the transformation of our soul. God will take these three steps to thoroughly mingle Himself with our whole spirit, soul, and body. Because we have three parts, God needs three steps to saturate us. Therefore, we have the regeneration of the spirit, the transformation of the soul, and the transfiguration of the body.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 18, by Witness Lee)