I. THE UNION AND MINGLING OF
THE SPIRIT OF GOD WITH THE SPIRIT OF MAN PRODUCES A BUILDING OF THE LIVING AND
WALKING TOGETHER OF GOD WITH MAN
The union and mingling of the Spirit of God with the spirit of man produces a building of the living and walking together of God with man. Romans 8:16 says, "The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit..." The witnessing here is done by two parties acting together: the Spirit with our spirit. Hence, the verb witnesses implies a living and walking together. This verse appears to be simple and easy to understand, but it speaks of two spirits, that is, the Spirit and our spirit, and of the living and walking together of these two spirits. The co-living and co-walking of these two spirits in the believers is the means for the building up of the Body of Christ.
The Christian life is a grafted life, not an exchanged life. Some in Christianity take the phrase it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ in Galatians 2:20 as the basis for describing the Christian life as an exchanged life. But Paul’s word says, "It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith in the Son of God," that is, by union and mingling with Him. If we pay attention only to no longer I, but Christ, it may appear that this speaks of an exchange. Yet in actuality, no longer I does not mean that there is no more "I," because the verse goes on to say that it is Christ who lives in "me." Moreover, "I" still live in the flesh. Hence, this is not an exchanged life but a grafted life. When two trees are grafted together, it does not mean that one tree takes the place of the other tree, and the other does not live any longer. Rather, it means that the lives of these two trees have been grafted to become one life. The respective elements of the two trees still remain; however, the two trees have become one tree and bring forth fruit that is a mingled fruit.
In Galatians 2:20, the "I" in it is no longer I is the old "I" in Adam. The "me" in it is Christ who lives in me is the new "me" produced through death and resurrection in Christ. Moreover, Paul says, "And the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith in the Son of God," that is, by union and mingling with Him. Previously, he said that " `Christ’ lives in me," but here he speaks of "the life which `I’ now live." Hence, it is not one person living but two persons living together. This is not an exchanged life but a grafted life. It is two lives becoming one life, two livings becoming one living, two results becoming one result. This is what A. B. Simpson wrote in one of his hymns, which speaks of being crucified with Christ and risen with Christ (Hymns, #482). We not only die with Christ but also live with Christ. It is not that Christ lives and I do not live in order that my life may be exchanged for His, but that I and Christ live together, as in grafting. Stanza three of this hymn says, "A poor tree with better grafted,/Richer, sweeter life doth gain." In nature the good branch is always grafted into the poor tree, but the biblical way is contrary to this. Romans chapter eleven says that the wild olive tree (the poor tree) is grafted into the cultivated olive tree (the better tree) (vv. 17, 24). Likewise we, the poor branches, are grafted into Christ to become the branches of Christ as the true vine (Rom. 6:5; John 15:5), to live with Him and enjoy all His riches.
Today we, the God-men, are those who have both the human nature and the divine nature. We have within us two lives and two natures. These two lives and two natures are living together. This thought is expressed in a new hymn, which says, "No longer I alone that live,/But God together lives with me." The building up of the Body of Christ is the issue of this kind of co-living. The building up of the Body of Christ is not a work but a co-living. It is not something that is worked out but something that is lived out. When two trees are grafted together, they both grow and live together to eventually bring forth fruit. This fruit is not produced by building or making but by growing. Hence, the building of the Body of Christ is something that comes out of growth. The building up of the Body of Christ is the growth itself.
(The Issue of the Union of the Consummated Spirit of the Triune God and the Regenerated Spirit of the Believers, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)