The Experience of Christ as Life for the Building Up of the Church, by Witness Lee


We need to go on from being anointed to being sealed. The Spirit is also the sealing Spirit. The sealing forms the divine elements into an impression to express God’s image. I am encouraged when I see that God is being formed within many of you (Gal. 4:19). When people contact you, they will have the sense that with you there is the image of God and something of God formed within you.

I can illustrate this by the following story. Once in Shanghai a certain sister came to visit us, and none of us had ever seen her. When we went to the pier to meet her, we were wondering how we would recognize her. As we were watching the persons in the boat, we realized who the sister was. There was a certain kind of image or impression with her, testifying that she must be a child of God.

God has not only anointed us but also sealed us. He has not only imparted His elements into us but has also impressed us with His own image with the form of the living Spirit. This is the deeper experience of the indwelling Spirit. It is not the outward manifestation of the Spirit but the inward impression and sealing of the Spirit.


In 2 Corinthians 1:22 Paul said that God has "given the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge." The pledge is the foretaste. The Spirit is a foretaste, a guarantee, a sample, of the full taste. He is sweet to our spiritual taste. God gives His Spirit to us as a foretaste of what we will inherit of God, affording us a taste beforehand of the full inheritance. When the sisters cook something in the kitchen, they take a foretaste of it. But when they bring it to the table, they take the full taste. Today we are in the kitchen, not at the table. We taste the Spirit as a foretaste, and this is a sample of the full taste of the Spirit to come on a greater scale. We need to enjoy the indwelling Spirit as the foretaste day by day.

This is what we need for the growth in life, for the building up of the Body, and for the real practice of the church life. The more we experience the Spirit in such a hidden, deep, high, rich, and inner way, the more we will be delivered from being divisive. But the more we experience the gifts in an outward way and the more doctrinal teachings we receive, the more puffed up and divisive we will be. This is why division and strife are so prevalent in 1 Corinthians. The Corinthians had knowledge and the gifts, but they were fleshly and divisive, full of strife and envy. A brother who walks under the anointing, who is sealed by the Lord, and who enjoys the foretaste of the Spirit day by day has no possibility of being divisive. The way to build up the Body is not in 1 Corinthians but in 2 Corinthians. The building up of the Body is by the anointing, sealing, and pledging of the Spirit within us.

(The Experience of Christ as Life for the Building Up of the Church, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)