III. THE SPIRIT AS THE NEW PERSON
[Often we Christians are not very clear about the little revelation we have received. For example, we often say that we live by the spirit. But if the spirit is still an organ and not a man with life in it, how can we live by this organ? When we say that we live by our spirit, we need to see that this means our spirit now has become a being with life in it. Our spirit has life in it, and this life is Christ. This is why Galatians 2:20 says, "No more I, but Christ lives in me." This verse does not say, "Not my life, but the life of Christ lives in me." This verse does not refer to a life, but to a person. The "I" used to be the person, but now Christ, a new person, lives in me. I used to be the person in my soul, but now Christ is the new person in my spirit.
Now that Christ is in our spirit, we still have two organs: the body and the soul. Formerly the two organs were the body and the spirit; now the second organ is no longer the spirit, but the soul. Our soul used to be our personality, and our spirit was an organ. But now our spirit is our personality, and our soul has become an organ. This is the reason we can live and walk by our spirit. In our spirit we have not merely an organ; we have the life which is Christ Himself. Christ as the life in our spirit makes our spirit a new being with a new personality. This new being is called the inner man. This inner man needs to be strengthened, empowered. Oh, we all must see this! This is crucial! I was a Christian for more than forty years before I saw this matter. Only during the past ten years have I seen that our human spirit used to be an organ, but that now it is a man. One day the Lord pointed this out to me and said, "Look, now your personality is not in the soul, but in the spirit. The personality in your soul has been crucified, put to death." When we say our soul has been crucified and that we must deny it, we do not mean that the functions of the organ of the soul have been crucified or must be denied. The functions of the soul are still present, for today the soul is an organ. It is the being, the personality, in the soul that has been crucified and dealt with. Therefore, now there is a new being, a new personality, in our spirit. This new personality is Christ Himself. Because the divine life is in our spirit, our spirit has become the new man, the inner man. How wonderful this is! We can live and walk by this new man. If this one matter is made clear to you, you will be changed.]
The spirit and the soul are two different things, the spirit being something within the soul. At creation man was a soul with two organs: his body and spirit. After the fall, man’s body became the flesh, his soul became the self, and his spirit was deadened. In salvation the Lord entered our spirit and enlivened it. Our soul used to be our personality, and our spirit was an organ. But now our spirit is our personality and our soul has become an organ. This new personality in our spirit is Christ Himself as the divine life.
- What is the most important passage showing us the difference between the spirit and the soul?
- Explain how we can see the three parts of man in Genesis 2:7.
- Explain the teachings of trichotomy and dichotomy. Which does the Bible teach?
- Describe the parts of man at creation, after the fall, and in salvation.
- Briefly explain what we mean when we say the regenerated spirit is the new person?
Quoted Portions from (Lee/LSM) Publications
- The Mending Ministry of John, p. 85.
- The Knowledge of Life, p. 71.
- Our Human Spirit, pp. 50-51.
- The Mending Ministry of John, p. 84.
- Our Human Spirit, p. 52.
- The Completing Ministry of Paul, p. 67.
- The Parts of Man, pp. 38-43.
- The Spirit and the Body, pp. 95-96.
(Lesson Book, Level 3: Two Spirits—Two Spirits - the Divine Spirit and the Human Spirit, Chapter 14, by Witness Lee)