TWO KEYS—THE SPIRIT AND THE WORD
We have seen firstly that Christ is our happiness, secondly that He is our rest, thirdly that He is our Lawgiver and Predictor, and fourthly that He is the One who imparts life to us. How rich are all these items! Yet how may we touch such a Christ? What are the keys to open the doors? He has said, "Lo, I am with you all the days until the completion of the age"; but how can we enjoy Him? How can we contact Him? Two things are the keys—the Spirit and the Word.
The most precious verse in John chapter 3 is verse 6: "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Then in John 4, the most precious verse is verse 24: "God is Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." In these two chapters of John, two spirits are mentioned: one with a capital letter ‘S’ and the other with a small letter ‘s.’ We know that the one with the capital letter is the Holy Spirit, and the one with the small letter refers to our human spirit. Christ is so much, and Christ is everything to us; but whatever Christ is, is altogether the Spirit. He is the life-giving Spirit. This wonderful Christ who is today the Spirit is in our spirit, and the two spirits, the divine and the human, have been mingled together as one. "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit." "God is Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship in spirit." But when we pass through chapters 3 and 4 of John and come to chapters 5 and 6, something more is added. Here in chapter 5, we read, "He that heareth my Word" (v. 24), and "The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God" (v. 25). So we not only have the Spirit, but also the Word.
THE WORD IS THE SPIRIT,
AND THE SPIRIT IS THE WORD
In chapter 5 we have not only the living Word, but also the written Word. Jesus said to the Jewish people, "Ye research the scriptures"—the written Word. He said also, "For if ye believed Moses, ye would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (vv. 46-47). Again Jesus referred to the written Word. He told them that if they did not believe the written Word of the Bible, how could they believe the living Word out of His mouth? So today, praise the Lord, we have the written Word. We have the Spirit, and we have the Word. Then, when we come to chapter 6, verse 63, the Lord Jesus makes these two things one. He said, "It is the Spirit that gives life...the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit." Firstly we are told that it is by the Spirit that we touch Christ, and then we see that it also through the Word that we contact Him. Eventually, the Lord Jesus reveals to us that these two are one: the Word is the Spirit, and the Spirit is the Word.
John 6: 63 is a verse which strongly proves that the Word is the Spirit. There is another verse in the Bible, however, which tells us that the Spirit is the Word. Let me give you the literal translation, word for word, from the Greek text of Ephesians 6:17-18. "And take ye the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the Word of God, by means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit..." Here in these two verses of Scripture, three main points are revealed: 1) The Spirit is the Word. Have you ever realized that the Spirit of God is the Word? Not only is the Word the Spirit, but also the Spirit is the Word. 2) By what means may we take this Word? We are told here to take the Word of God "by means of all prayer and petition." This is pray-reading. We must not take the Word of God by merely reading, but by prayer, and by all prayer. There are all kinds of prayer. Sometimes we need to take the Word by praying quietly; at other times we must take the Word by praying aloud; and there are times when we must also take the Word by shouting to the Lord. Sometimes we need to take the Word by short prayers; at other times we must take it by long prayers. Sometimes we need to pray-read individually; at other times we need to pray the Word together with a few others; and sometimes we must pray-read with a large congregation. There are many ways. But the principle is one—we must take the Word of God "by means of all prayer and petition." 3) These verses also tell us how we must pray—"praying at every time in spirit [our human spirit]." We must exercise our spirit, the deepest part of our being, to pray the Word. Do not analyze the Word, do not research the Word; just take it by praying in the spirit. Hallelujah! What are the two keys whereby we may contact Christ? The Holy Spirit and the Holy Word. We have the Holy Spirit in our spirit, and we have the Holy Word, the Bible, in our hands. These should not be two things, but two ends of one thing. The end within us is the Spirit; the end outside of us is the Word. When the Word enters our spirit it becomes the Spirit, and when the Spirit is expressed from our mouth it becomes the Word. You see, the Spirit and the Word, the Word and the Spirit, are two ends of one thing. The inner end is the Spirit, and the outer end is the Word. When the outer end gets into our spirit it becomes the Spirit, and when the inner end proceeds from our mouth, it becomes the Word. These are the two keys for us to contact Christ. Christ today is the Spirit and is in the Word. Forget about religion. Forget about doctrine, teaching, forms, rituals, rules and regulations. Just take care of Christ. Contact Christ as the Spirit and in the Word.
(Christ versus Religion, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)