III. THIS IS A FINE WORK CARRIED OUT
BY THE TRANSFORMATION OF
THE SANCTIFYING SPIRIT IN THE BELIEVERS
Second Corinthians 4:16-17 says, "Therefore we do not lose heart; but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For our momentary lightness of affliction works out for us, more and more surpassingly, an eternal weight of glory." The word decaying means "being consumed." Our outer man is being consumed, but our inner man is being renewed. God washes and renews our new man by consuming our old man. The more we are consumed, the more we should be renewed.
Regretfully, I have seen a number of saints being consumed without being renewed. I saw some brothers in business make mistakes and lose much money. They suffered very much, but with them there was no growth in life. Actually, every loss should, on the one hand, consume our old man, and on the other hand, help to renew our inner man. We should be washed through our sufferings. To be washed is to be renewed, and to be renewed is to be transformed.
If we suffer because of our roommate, this should consume our outward being so that our inner man can be renewed. You may be a proud person, so God may match you with an unsatisfactory roommate. Every day this roommate becomes an instrument to consume you. God matched you with such a person for your renewing. God also matches a brother with a certain wife to consume him so that his inner man can be renewed. If a brother is being renewed, regardless of how his wife behaves, he will not complain. This is the real growth in life.
A. A Daily Process
Romans 12:2b says that we need to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. This is a daily process, not a once-for-all matter. Our marriage life is part of this process for us to be transformed. Not one husband on this earth is perfect, and not one wife is completely satisfactory. In human terms we need to be adjusted. In spiritual terms we need to be renewed. With a renewed person, there is no complaining, because he believes in God’s sovereignty. Things may be wrong, but the Lord will still bless us. As long as we have God’s blessing, everything will turn out for our good, that is, for our transformation and eventual conformation (Rom. 8:28-29). We all have to learn the lesson to have ourselves daily and hourly processed by being consumed and renewed.
B. A Metabolic Transformation
Our being renewed issues in a metabolic transformation. In metabolism some new element replaces and discharges the old element. Our renewing is always a transformation. After a period of time, others should be able to see some renewing in us. This means that there is a new situation in us, in our living and in our behavior. We need to be renewed in all the details of our daily life.
(The Spirit with Our Spirit, Chapter 13, by Witness Lee)