THE SPIRIT WITNESSING WITH OUR SPIRIT
Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God.” This verse clearly tells us that there is the Spirit of God and there is our spirit, and these two spirits are one. The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit. The two spirits work together as one. First, this verse tells us that there are two spirits—the Spirit of God and our spirit. Second, this verse tells us that these two spirits work together, and third, it tells us that these two spirits work together for the sonship.
BURNING IN SPIRIT
Romans 12:11 says we need to be “burning in spirit.” We need to be on fire. This means that first we are burned and then we burn others. We need to be on fire in our spirit. We are burned with the burning Spirit (Rev. 4:5), and then we burn others. Oh, to be fervent! To be burning! To be on fire! Then we serve the Lord.
Apollos in Acts 18:24 is an example of this. He was “fervent in spirit” (v. 25). He knew the Bible, yet still he was not so clear about God’s New Testament economy, about God’s way. However, he was burning in spirit.
PAUL—A PERSON IN SPIRIT
In Acts 17:16 Paul was provoked in his spirit by the idols in Athens. Then in Acts 19:21 he purposed in his spirit; he did not make up his mind or make a decision in his will, but he purposed in his spirit. Then in Acts 20:22 he was “bound in the spirit.” He anticipated that he would be bound, captured, and put into prison (v. 23). Before his body was bound, his spirit was bound. By these verses we can realize that Paul was a person living, walking, working, acting, and moving in his spirit.
DEMONSTRATING THE SPIRIT
First Corinthians 2:4 says that when Paul came to Corinth the first time, his speech and proclamation were “not in persuasive words of wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit.” The apostle’s speech and proclamation were not from his mind with words of speculation but from his spirit with the release and exhibition of the Spirit, hence of power. Whatever we do, we have to demonstrate the Spirit, not our wisdom, eloquence, learning, or attainment. We should demonstrate the Spirit through our spirit in a simple way.
THE SPIRIT OF MAN AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD
First Corinthians 2:11 says that only the spirit of man knows the things of man. Many people who are highly educated do not know what they are, who they are, where they are, or where they are going. Only the spirit of man knows the things of man. You have to go to your spirit.
If you have some problem with your husband, you have to go to the spirit. If you have some problem with your wife, go to the spirit! Then you will know! The spirit of man knows! Your spirit knows! If you are not clear about what you have to do with your wife, your husband, your children, or your brothers, go to your spirit. If you do not know how to deal with your brothers in the Lord, go to your spirit. If you do not know what to do with the church problems, with a church matter, go to your spirit. The spirit of man knows because it is the reality of man. Also, the Spirit of God reveals the things of God and the situation, the condition of man, to man in his spirit (vv. 11-12). So if we are going to know the things of man and the things of God, we have to come to our spirit. It is here that we know the things of man, and it is here that we see the things of God. We all have to come to our spirit. Then we are persons in the spirit, spiritual men and not soulish men. The soulish man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God (v. 14). The soulish man is a man governed by his mentality. When we turn to the spirit and when we stay in the spirit, we become spiritual men.
THREE KINDS OF PERSONS
In 1 Corinthians 2:13-16 and 3:1-3 there are three kinds of persons: spiritual, soulish, and fleshy. The soulish person is one who lives according to his mind, emotion, or will. He does not know or care for his spirit. He just lives, works, and walks according to his soul. The fleshy person is one who walks and lives according to the lust of the fallen body, the flesh.
A fleshy person so easily criticizes, condemns, and scorns other people. Another person may be so nice, always careful, full of consideration, and caring for others. Even if I were so poor, so bad, and so ugly, this nice person would not say a bad word about me. Yet this nice person may still be a soulish man because he may not even know that he has a spirit. He may be working on his Ph.D. in sociology and learning how to be humane by exercising his mind. On the other hand, a spiritual man is one who walks not according to the flesh, nor according to anything of the soul, but according to the spirit. Now he is a spiritual man, so he has the spiritual discernment; he can know the spiritual things, and he can even know all the things of man. A spiritual man is a wise man. The more you live in the spirit, the more you have the wise discernment of all things, even the things of God.
(Our Human Spirit, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)