THE SPIRIT AND LIFE
The Lord Jesus said that the words He speaks are spirit and life (John 6:63). Can we imagine that the Bible as the Word of God is the Spirit? It is not simply words in black and white; it is something higher, deeper, fuller, and richer—that is the Spirit and life. And the Bible tells us that the Spirit is God Himself (John 4:24), and that life is Christ (John 14:6). I do not say that the Bible is God Himself, but, according to the Lord Jesus, the word in the Bible is the Spirit, and the Spirit is God Himself, the Lord who is life to us. When we come to contact the Word, if we are right in our position and open in our heart and spirit, we will surely contact God Himself and receive life.
When we come to the divine Word, nearly our whole being is involved. We must come with a heart which seeks after God, with a clear, sober mind, and with an open spirit. If we open our spirit to God and to His Word, we can touch God Himself behind the printed page. It is not just a matter of reading with our eyes, understanding with our mind, or seeking with our heart; it is also a matter of touching God in our spirit. If we exercise our whole being in this way, we not only receive a revelation, but some divine element revealed and conveyed by His Word will be transmitted into our spirit. So, Ephesians 6:17-18 says that we have to "receive...the word of God, by means of all prayer and petition..." We should take the word of the Bible not only by reading and studying, but also "by means of all prayer." We should read and study the Bible prayerfully; that is, we must exercise our spirit to contact the Lord by prayer with the reading of the divine Word.
THE MAIN REVELATION IN THE BIBLE
In the Bible mainly life is revealed. Life is the focus of the whole Bible. But what is life, or who is life? The answer is in the word of the Lord Jesus. He says, "I am life," and "I am come that you may have life." The Bible is a revelation of Christ as life. Whenever we come to the Bible, we must realize that we are coming to contact Christ as our life.
The whole Bible is a book of life, and this life is nothing less than the divine and living Person of Christ Jesus Himself, Who is our portion. When we come to the Bible, we must come to contact Him. We should not repeat the pitiful history of the Jewish people who researched the Scriptures because they thought there was life in them, yet would not come to the Lord Jesus (John 5:39-40). We should not contact the Bible without contacting the Lord. Whenever we open the Bible we have to say, "Lord Jesus, You have to be here. This is not merely a book, this is Your revelation. I don’t like to read this book without contacting You. I don’t like to hear something from this book without hearing You. I don’t like to read this book without seeing You. I like to see Your face. I like to see what You are from the printed page. O Lord Jesus, enlighten Your Word and anoint every line that I may touch You." We need such a spirit to contact this living Word.
After man was created, he was put in front of two trees in the garden of Eden: one was the tree of life and the other was the tree of knowledge. If man had eaten the tree of life he would have received the divine life of God that was indicated by the tree of life. But man was tempted and took the tree of knowledge that denoted the source other than God, that is Satan. The issue of that was death. The principle is the same in our contact with the Bible. We may take the Bible as a book of life by contacting it with our spirit, by praying to the Lord that we may receive Him as life through His Word, or we may make the Bible a book of knowledge by contacting it merely with our mind, seeking knowledge in letters. This brings us death, not life. Second Corinthians 3:6 warns us that "the letter [that is, the scripture in letters] kills, but the Spirit gives life." We shouldn’t make the Bible merely a book of letters to kill us. We have to take the Bible by contacting the Lord Spirit that it may be the Spirit and life to us.
(Life-Study of Genesis, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)