The crucial point in God’s building is transformation. In Christianity very little is known about transformation. Even if you listen to the outstanding preachers and consult the libraries and bookstores, you will find very little being said about transformation. What is transformation? Transformation means that the Lord Jesus, the seed of life, with all His rich element, is being added into you. His essence is the all-inclusive Spirit. This Spirit is the very essence and element of the Lord Jesus. After you were saved, He began to impart His element into you. Day by day, as you open yourself and give Him opportunity, He will impart His element into you. Doctrines are not the element. Only Christ Himself, the all-inclusive, life-giving Spirit is the element. Such a Christ as the all-inclusive Spirit is imparting Himself into your spirit, and from your spirit into your whole being. He will spread into your heart, mind, emotion, and will. This element of Christ is truly a transforming element. Once this element comes into you, something happens. For example, after mothers feed their children, the food is digested and assimilated by the children. The element of the food enters the children’s blood, and then it penetrates their cells and organic tissues, causing them to grow.
Growth is always accompanied by metabolism. Metabolism does not mean an outward change, but an inward change which results from a new element being added into your being. This new element discharges the old things and produces something new. Suppose a young man has a very pale face. If I wish to change him outwardly, I can apply pink powder to change his color. This is the way morticians change people. They make cosmetic alterations in an attempt to beautify a dead body. However, regardless of how beautiful it may be, it is still dead. Such outward beautification and alteration is not transformation. Don’t try to alter a person’s countenance by coloring his face with powder. Rather, feed him with milk, steak, apples, and other good food. After a few weeks you will see some genuine transformation. In Ephesians 3:8 Paul said that he preached the unsearchable riches of Christ. This means that he fed people with the riches of Christ. In 1 Corinthians Paul says, "I have fed you" (3:2). He went on further to say that Christ is our spiritual food and spiritual drink (10:3-4).
In 2 Corinthians 3:6 Paul said that the letter kills. The letter refers to the black and white letters of the Bible. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. We must have the Spirit. Who is the Spirit? "The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit" (1 Cor. 15:45b, Gk.). "Now the Lord is that Spirit" (2 Cor. 3:17). The pure Word says the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. "Now the Lord is that Spirit." What shall we do? We simply need to open ourselves continually and say to the Lord, "O Lord Jesus! Come in, Lord Jesus! Fill me up, Lord Jesus!" Open yourself and let Christ fill you. If you are faithful to receive Him in a constant and thorough way, He will spread into your inner being. By the proper digestion and assimilation, you will be saturated by all the nourishing elements of Christ.
These elements not only nourish, but also kill. Just as in good food there is the killing power to kill germs, likewise, in the element of Christ there is the killing power. The killing power of the cross is in the all-inclusive Spirit of Jesus Christ. The more you take Him into you and allow Him to penetrate you, the more all the negative, corrupting things—the flesh, the leaven, and the worldly things—will be killed. In addition, you will receive nourishment, and you will grow and be transformed. By this transformation you will be built together. Knowledge and gifts cannot transform you and build you together. Only the Spirit of life can perform this work.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)