Lesson 7 – Knowing Our Human Spirit
THE CREATION OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT
The creation of man’s spirit was not like the creation of his body. Man’s body was formed from the dust of the earth, having nothing to do with God’s life or with God’s Spirit. It was formed of physical, material dust. But the material for the creation of man’s spirit, the breath of life, is very close to the life of God and to the Spirit of God. This indicates strongly that this organ of the human being is not for material things nor for psychological things. This organ is for the divine life and the divine Spirit.
The human life with the human spirit is very similar to God’s life and God’s Spirit because two lives must be very similar for them to be grafted into one. When man’s body was formed with dust, there was no life in man. When the breath of life was breathed into that form of dust, man became a living soul. Man became something with life, and that life came from God’s breath of life. Job 33:4 says that the breath of the Almighty enlivened man. This is similar to Genesis 2:7. This shows us that man was created by God with a life and a spirit which are very close to the divine life and the divine Spirit. Man is similar to God in this way so that he can be grafted into God in the divine life.
Proverbs 20:27 says, “The spirit of man is the lamp of Jehovah” (ASV). Generally speaking, the word in Hebrew for spirit is ruach, but the Hebrew word for spirit here is neshamah. Neshamah is the same word used in Genesis 2:7 for breath. In Proverbs 20:27 it is translated spirit. By this we can see that the breath of life breathed into man by God at man’s creation was the spirit of man. The spirit of man is something within us that is very close to God’s life and God’s Spirit. This indicates that the spirit of man was created for the purpose of receiving and containing the life of God and the Spirit of God. Eventually, 1 Corinthians 6:17 says, “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” Our spirit can become one spirit with the Lord because it was created with the breath of life, which is very close to God’s life and God’s Spirit.
ITS IMPORTANCE—RANKED WITH THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH
Zechariah 12:1 says that the Lord stretched forth the heavens, laid the foundation of the earth, and formed the spirit of man within him. No one can deny that these three items—the heavens, the earth, and the spirit of man—are crucial in God’s creation to fulfill His purpose. The heavens were created for the earth, the earth was created for man, and man was created for God.
Zechariah does not refer to “man,” but to “the spirit of man.” This is because the spirit of man is the very organ that can take in God to enjoy God’s life and God’s Spirit and be one with God’s Spirit. This is why man’s spirit has become so crucial and important, even to the extent that it is ranked with the heavens and the earth. The philosophy of man does not rank anything of man with the heavens and the earth. But Zechariah ranks man’s spirit with them. This shows how important the human spirit is.
ITS THREE PARTS
A. The Conscience
It is not easy to pick up a verse or verses which directly show that the conscience is a part of the spirit. We have to compare Romans 9:1 with 8:16. Romans 9:1 says that our conscience bears witness with us in the Holy Spirit, whereas 8:16 says that the Holy Spirit witnesses with our spirit. These two verses strongly prove that our conscience is a part of our spirit. In 1 Corinthians 5:3 Paul judged a sinful one in his spirit. To judge is to condemn sin, and that is mostly the function of the conscience. Psalm 51:10 speaks of “a right spirit within me” (KJV). This is a spirit which is right. Knowing right from wrong is related to the conscience, so this verse shows that the conscience is in the spirit. Other verses we can use to show the function of the conscience as a part of the spirit are Psalm 34:18 and Deuteronomy 2:30.
Another part or function of our human spirit is the fellowship. John 4:24 says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit…” This worship is a kind of fellowship, a kind of contact. In Romans 1:9 Paul said that he served God in his spirit and in 7:6 that he served God in newness of spirit. Ephesians 6:18 says to pray at every time in spirit. To pray also is to fellowship with God. In Luke 1:47 Mary said that her spirit exulted, rejoiced, in God. That surely is a kind of fellowship. Romans 8:16 and 1 Corinthians 6:17 show that our spirit is one spirit with the Lord. That oneness is also a kind of fellowship. All of the above verses can be used to prove that in our spirit there is something called fellowship.
The intuition is also a part of man’s spirit. First Corinthians 2:11 says that the spirit of man knows the things of man. It can know what the soul cannot know. Verses 14 and 15 say that a soulish man cannot receive the things of God but that the spiritual man can. The direct sense in our spirit regardless of reason or circumstances is the intuition. The intuition is a direct sense of God and a direct knowledge from God. Mark 2:8, Mark 8:12, and John 11:33 are other verses which show that the intuition is a part of the human spirit. These verses show that in the human spirit, there is a direct sense of discernment to know God and the spiritual things. This direct sense is the intuition.
Thus, we can see that the conscience functions to discern right from wrong, the fellowship functions to contact God, and the intuition functions to know God and to know God’s will, God’s intention.
A. To Contact God
John 4:24 shows that the function of the human spirit is to contact God. In John 4 the worship to the Father, the worship in the dispensing of God, is related to drinking the living water (vv. 10, 14). To contact God the Spirit with our spirit is to drink of the living water, and to drink of the living water is to render real worship to God. To expound John 4:24 we need John 4:14. We need to drink of the living water to worship the Father in spirit and in truthfulness. If we do not drink the living water, we do not drink of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13), we have no experience of God, and God is not dispensed into us.
Without drinking the living water, we cannot have a subjective worship in the divine dispensing. We can have only the Jewish kind of objective worship to an objective God as the Creator. Today our worship is subjective in the dispensing of God. Our worship is our experience of drinking the living water, the Spirit. In order to have the worship in the dispensing of God, we need to drink of the Spirit so that God may dispense Himself into our being. This is the new worship revealed in the New Testament.
B. To Receive God
Ezekiel 36:26 says that God gives us a new heart and a new spirit. The new heart is for loving God and seeking after God, whereas the new spirit is for receiving God. The heart is the loving and seeking organ, and the spirit is the receiving organ. We all have a heart to love certain things. A person may love tea, but if he does not have a stomach, he has no organ to receive the tea. This shows that we need a new heart to love God and a new spirit to receive God.
C. To Contain God
Second Timothy 4:22 says, “The Lord be with your spirit.” Our spirit is the place where God stays within us, so our spirit is a container of God.
We must realize that God is a Spirit. God is invisible in the same way that electricity is invisible. Edison invented the light bulb to express electricity. In like manner, radio waves are invisible, and in those waves there may be some Japanese music or some Italian singing. Within a radio there is a receiver to receive these waves that contain the music and the singing. Man is just like a radio with a receiver to receive the invisible God. One day God “tuned our spirit” to receive Him, the invisible Spirit. Our human spirit is the receiver for us to receive “the heavenly music,” the invisible God. We can exercise our spirit, our inner receiver, to receive the heavenly divine transmission of the wonderful Triune God. When we sing to the Lord, when we pray and call upon the name of the Lord, the “heavenly electricity” gets into us to make us “crazy” with the enjoyment of Christ. We were made as copies of God to contain Him, and we were created with a spirit, which is the receiver for us to receive God the Spirit as the “heavenly radio waves.”