II. THE RENEWING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
A. To Reconstitute Our Being on the Positive Side
The washing is mainly to purge away the old things of our natural life on the negative side, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit is to reconstitute our being on the positive side. Something new, real, and solid of the divine life is being carried into our being to renew our old life.
The renewing of the Holy Spirit is always with the divine life. John 1:13b says that we are begotten of God, and 3:5b says that we are born of the Spirit. To be born of God, to be born of the Spirit, is to have the divine life imparted into our being. The divine life is now the renewing element in our being. The Holy Spirit renews our being with such a solid element, that is, the divine life. The Holy Spirit renews us not only with the divine life but also with the divine nature. Second Peter 1:4 says that we are partakers of the divine nature. The divine life and the divine nature are the elements of the renewing of the Holy Spirit.
We also need to point out that the Holy Spirit renews us by renewing our heart and by renewing our spirit. Ezekiel 36:26 says that God gives us a new heart and puts a new spirit within us. Actually, the new heart and the new spirit are the renewed heart and the renewed spirit. This may be compared to the old heaven and old earth being renewed to be the new heaven and new earth. Our old being is being renewed into a new being. At the time of our rebirth, God gave us a new heart and a new spirit. In other words, He renewed our heart and our spirit by the Spirit.
The heart is a loving organ and the spirit is a receiving organ. We love God with our heart and receive God with our spirit. But both our spirit and our heart were old and were not fulfilling their proper functions. In our new birth, the Spirit of God renewed our heart to love God and renewed our spirit to receive God. This is fully proven by our experience. We can testify that when we were born again, we began to love God and we longed to receive God by contacting Him in our spirit.
(Basic Lessons on Life, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)