Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

Discovering the Indwelling Christ as the Spirit by Calling on Him

“The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit”  Rom. 8:16

In my last post I took a break from my focus on the Word to testify of three proofs from the Scriptures that have helped me to have the assurance of my salvation. The most decisive proof in my own experience was the witnessing of the Spirit with my spirit that I am a child of God.

Such an expression, “the Spirit with our spirit” (Rom. 8:16), implies a lot and deserves much development. To realize such a truth in our experience requires a two-fold revelation: 1) that our Lord today is the life-giving, indwelling Spirit and 2) that we are trichotomous—three-part—beings composed of a spirit, a soul and body (1 Thes. 5:23). Regarding the unveiling of these truths, I am eternally indebted to the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee.

In this post we’ll go on to consider how Christ came as the life-giving Spirit to indwell us and how we can discover and enjoy His indwelling by calling on His name.

The Lord Jesus in Resurrection Becoming a Life-giving Spirit

The revelation that Christ today is now the life-giving Spirit was probably the most life-changing discovery of my Christian life. Having grown up in a Bible-believing Christian family, I loved the gospel very much and believed that the wonderful Jesus revealed in the gospels was surely my Redeemer and Savior. Yet, such a wonderful One was mainly objective to me in the divine truth, being the Jesus of the gospels, my offering on Calvary, and the resurrected and ascended Lord in the heavens.

“The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit” 1 Cor. 15:45b

However, one day I was enlightened from God’s word to see how Christ in resurrection became a life-giving Spirit. Of course, He first had to become flesh to die for our redemption (John 1:14, 29; Rom. 8:3).  As a genuine man in the flesh, called the last Adam, He took the entire race of Adam, to the cross and crucified him there. Then in His resurrection, He became a life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45).  Such an all-extensive Christ could now, on the one hand, be physically at the right hand of God in the heavens (Rom. 8:34) as our heavenly High Priest, ever living to intercede for us (Heb. 8:1) and simultaneously be the indwelling Christ, as the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9) living inside of us, his believers (Rom. 8:10).

Christ’s resurrection took on such new meaning to me, as I came to subjectively realize that resurrection was not just a wonderful event of history but the process through which Christ became “pneumatic.” [Pneuma in Greek means spirit, breath or wind.] My Christ today is simultaneously “physical,” being the resurrected and ascended Lord and Christ enthroned in heaven,  and “pneumatic,” being the life-giving, indwelling Spirit living in me, and the ever-present One on whose name I can call and touch moment by moment.

“Receive the Holy Spirit” John 20:22b

How wonderful that on the evening of the day of His resurrection, our Lord could, on the one hand, come physically into that closed room where His disciples were gathered (John 20:19-20) and, on the other hand, breathe His very essence into them and say, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (v. 22).

“The Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified” John 7:39

This breathed-out Spirit was the very Spirit that the Lord Jesus had promised on that great day of the feast in John 7:37-39. He became the rivers of living water, the Spirit who, in Christ’s earthly ministry, had been “not yet” because Jesus had not yet been glorified in His resurrection (Luke 24:26). For although the Spirit had existed eternally in the Godhead (Heb. 9:14) as the Third of the Divine Trinity, He was “not yet” as the Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:7), the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9), and the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:19), that is,  the Holy Spirit compounded with all the elements of our Lord’s wonderful Person and the processes  through which He had passed.

“Were all given to drink one Spirit” 1 Cor. 12:13

Praise the Lord! Through Christ’s completed processes of death and resurrection, we can now drink of Him as the rivers of living water. As such, Paul could say that we were all given to drink one Spirit. My Christ today is not only my Redeemer, Savior and Lord. He is the available, life-giving Spirit as my ever-present drink. But how can we drink this living water, the Spirit in Christ’s resurrection?

“The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name” John 14:26

Before Jesus went to the cross, He comforted His troubled disciples with the promise that His absence would be the Holy Spirit’s presence, or rather, His presence in another form (for He spoke of both the Spirit in you (John 14:17) and I in you (v. 20). This wonder Spirit now comes into us, in the Son’s name, Jesus (John 14:26). Hence, when we call on the name of the Son, “Lord Jesus,” we get the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3).

“No one can say, Jesus is Lord! except in the Holy Spirit” 1 Cor. 12:3

Coming back to my experience—it was when I began to call on the name of the Lord Jesus from deep within, that is, with my spirit, that I discovered by my experience that He is now the life-giving Spirit as the living water for me to drink (John 7:37). Now He is no more just the historical Jesus of the four gospels. He is the wonderful Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, compounded with all the reality of Christ’s wonderful Person and work, dwelling in my spirit, to be one spirit with me for eternity (1 Cor. 6:17).

“He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit” 1 Cor. 6:17

I encourage you to make the same discovery that I made by calling on the name of Lord Jesus so that you also may enjoy how subjectively rich He is to you whenever you call on His name. “Lord Jesus, I love you! Lord, You are so rich and sweet!”

“The same Lord is Lord of all and rich to all who call upon Him” Rom. 10:12

If you’ve enjoyed drinking the Spirit by calling on the name of the Lord, please share your experience in a comment.

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

15 Replies

  1. Brian Adamo

    Tom, I just came across this site. It is terrific in its simplicity and experience. I sent the link to 2 students I am caring for!!


    1. Tom Smith

      Brian, I’m glad you found some posts that are helpful. It would great if some students could be encouraged to experience and enjoy Christ more by what they read on Holding to Truth. When we hear what is rendering help, it encourages us to write more on that line. Thanks for the encouraging comment. Tom

  2. Edward Benjamin

    If I stumbled and fell into sin today, can I stil expect
    Christ to still be in me?

    1. Tom Smith

      Christ’s life relationship through our divine birth is unchanging (John 1:12-13; 3:6; 10:28-29). Once we are born of God, we cannot be “unborn.” However, our fellowship with the Lord is conditional. If we offend God by our sin, and disobedience we may lose our fellowship with Him and have the feeling that we have lost His presence. This unpleasant feeling is His way to lead us to repent and confess our sin so that our fellowship may be restored (1 John 1:9, 7). I would encourage you to read a booklet entitled “The Precious Blood of Christ” by Witness Lee. You can read it for free at ministrybooks.org or download a pdf of it here. (It is included as chapter 3 of Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1

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