THE TRINITY AND MAN
Notice these verses in Romans 8: “And those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if any one has not the Spirit of Christ, he is not of Him. And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from among the dead dwells in you, He Who raised Christ Jesus from among the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit Who indwells you.”
The names used for God in these verses deserve our attention. First it says that those in the flesh cannot please God. God is the term used in verse 8. In verse 9, however, it says that the Spirit of God dwells in you and that one must have the Spirit of Christ to be of Him. God is God the Father, and the Spirit of God is God the Spirit. Spirit of Christ is interchangeable with Spirit of God. Verse 10 says that Christ is in you. The Spirit of Christ is therefore Christ Himself. Whether He is called God, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, or Christ, all these terms used here clearly indicate that God’s dispensing of Himself into man is related to His being triune.
In verse 11 the Trinity is referred to again. “Him Who raised Jesus from among the dead” is God, whose Spirit dwells in you. Christ Jesus, who was raised from among the dead, is the Son. “He Who raised Christ” is another reference to God, who will also “give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.”
The Trinity—God, Christ, and the Spirit—is for giving life to you. Firstly He gives life to your spirit (v. 10) and eventually life to your body (v. 11). In the middle is the mind, which, if set on the spirit, is life and peace (v. 6). The spirit is life, the mind is life, and even the body is life. The Triune God dispenses Himself as life into tripartite man.
Can you see the need for the Trinity? God must be Father, Son, and Spirit for the dispensing of Himself into man. He firstly comes into the center, our spirit; then spreads into our mind; and eventually saturates our body, the circumference.
ACCORDING TO SPIRIT
Romans 8:4 tells us, “That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to flesh, but according to spirit.” The spirit here is our regenerated spirit, now indwelt by Christ as the all-inclusive Spirit. Here in our spirit we are one spirit with Him, mingled with Him.
Stop your preoccupation with loving your wife, or submitting to your husband, or being kind and patient. Simplify your Christian life by walking according to spirit. Pray and trust and wait on the Lord. Tell Him, “Lord, I am tired of making up my mind to do things. I want to stop all my doing. I trust in You. I wait on You. I want to live, and move, and have my being according to the spirit.” Do not try to walk according to some verse in the Bible, attempting to obey what it says without walking according to spirit.
The result of walking according to spirit will be that Christ is expressed. You will find it true that to you to live is Christ. Whether your circumstances are peaceful or troublesome, do not be disturbed. Let it suffice that any circumstances are good for you to live Christ and for Him to be magnified in your body.
This is the Christian life according to the universal mystery.
THE CHURCH LIFE
The mystery of Christ is the church. We as members of the church must live according to spirit. This living is not individualistic. The more we live Christ, the more we are aware that we are in the Body. As Colossians 3:11 tells us, in this new man there is no room for the natural man with his national characteristics. What is the church life? It is Christ being all of us and being in all of us. Living by Christ spontaneously issues in the church life.
Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:19 is that “you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.” The result of your being filled will be the fullness of God, that is, the proper and living church life.
The key point is to walk according to spirit. Yet to do this you need a clear view concerning Christ and the church. This vision will come to you only through prayer. Pray-read these verses. Forget about praying for your personal concerns and your anxieties. God will take care of all these other matters. Pray regarding this one matter. Pray-read these verses till you see that Christ is the mystery of God and that the church is the mystery of Christ. Then you will realize that Christ is the all-inclusive One—the infinite, eternal God, the Creator, the incarnated One, the crucified One, the resurrected One who has become the life-giving Spirit, the One in ascension who has entered into your being and is now indwelling your spirit and making you one spirit with Him. All things have been accomplished by Him.
If we have our being according to this one spirit, we shall live out Christ. The church life will be the outcome. There will be the church as the new man, with Christ as the content. Then the church will indeed be the fullness of God.
(Life Messages, Vol. 2 (#42-75), Chapter 14, by Witness Lee)