Giving Life to the Sinning Brother by Asking the Lord in the Fellowship of Life

Giving Life to the Sinning Brother by Asking the Lord in the Fellowship of LifeThe divine life we have received through regeneration is very real and practical. In the first Epistle of John we see that life was manifested and we have seen and testify and report concerning it (1 John 1:1-3). And this life is a fellowship, a flow, something moving and growing and expanding.

If we sin, if there’s any problem and hindrance to the fellowship of life, we confess our sins and we are brought back into the fellowship (1 John 1:9). In this life there are different levels of maturity: children, young men, and fathers (see 1 John 2:12-16).

This life teaches us everything through the anointing (1 John 2:27). Eventually, this life will be manifested and we will be like Christ because we will see Him even as He is (1 John 3:2).

Toward the end of this Epistle, John speaks more in a practical way concerning being in the fellowship of the divine life and asking something from God according to His will (1 John 5:14-17). If we see a brother sinning a sin not unto death, we can ask and we will give life to him! Wow!

We are regenerated not only to enjoy the divine life and grow in life, but also to minister life! As we grow in life and abide in the fellowship of the divine life, whatever we ask will be in oneness with the Lord, and we will give life to the sinning brother.

“He shall ask and he will give life to him”

If we see that a dear brother or sister that we are related with is sinning (a sin not unto death), we shouldn’t first talk about it, tell him about it, or criticize him. First of all, we need to turn to the Lord and be one with Him in the fellowship of life.

According to 1 John 5:15, based upon the fact that we have the divine life, we abide in the Lord (John 15:7, 16), and we are one with Him in our prayer to God (John 16:23-24), we will have what we ask for!

So if we ask God for our brother / sister, we will minister life to them! We don’t ask according to our mind or good intentions – we don’t ask for the problem to be solved or for the brother to do this or that. We ask in oneness with the Lord, in the organic union with Him, in fellowship with God, and God will minister life to him.

Actually, as we see in 1 John 5:16, if we ask, we will give life to the sinning brother. How can we human beings give life to others? First of all, God is the source of life, Christ gives us life abundantly (John 10:10), and the Spirit gives life (1 Cor. 15:45).

We as believers have the divine life in us, and we grow in life, experience life, and enjoy life. The divine life is so practical – when a close brother is sinning, we can ask God for life and we will give life to the brother! We can be life-imparting people for those who cannot overcome sin.

Believers sin because of the shortage of life. When we are entirely one with God and filled with His life, we can ask and minister life to others for the building up of the Body of Christ. This is a very deep experience, and it is not easy.

We are short both of life and of the experience of ministering life. But we want to be those who abide in the Lord to become the means by which God’s life-giving Spirit can give life to the saints.

Being Channels of Life to Minister Life to Others

Being Channels of Life to Minister Life to OthersThe way to carry out the ministry of life is by being a channel of life to others. Remember: ministry is not a matter of doing (you don’t “do a ministry”) but a matter of living (you “live the ministry”).

What the church needs today is many brothers and sisters who grow in life, enjoy the divine life, are matured in life, and minister life to others. We may be short of life, and we may think we don’t have enough life in us to minister to others, but when we see a brother sinning or a certain difficult situation, we need to specifically ask for life.

Life is needed more than anything else. Prayer for the ministry of life is much deeper and more needed than prayer for healing. And after we ask for life, we can go and give life! As we pray for the sinning brother, repenting and confessing, asking God to grow in you and in him also, the Lord may give you something to minister to the brother.

To minister life is to minister Christ, since Christ is life. The unique problem is death, and the unique solution to death is life. In ourselves and by ourselves we cannot minister life, but when we abide in the Lord, when we are one with the Lord, and when we ask one spirit with the Lord, we can be channels of life through which the life-giving Spirit can minister life to others.

For us to be channels of life ministering life to others we need to abide in the divine life, live by the divine life, walk by the divine life, and have our entire being with all our daily living and activities in the divine life.

If we would be a channel for God’s life to flow out to others, we must be deep in the Lord, and we must know God’s heart by being in His heart. When we know God’s heart, we will know how to pray and minister life to the sinning ones.

Lord, make us channels of life in the church life today. Grow in us. Increase the level of the divine life in us. Lord, only You can cause the growth. May we be those who enjoy life, experience life, grow in life, and minister life. Lord, have mercy on us and grow in us! Give us more life! Keep us in the fellowship of the divine life. Our desire is to abide in You, Lord, that we may ask concerning our brothers and sisters according to Your heart. Gain many channels of life in Your Body today!

References and Further Reading
  • This sharing is inspired from brother Minoru Chen’s speaking in this message and portions in, Life-study of 1 John (msgs. 36-38), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, ITERO spring 2013 “The Experience, Growth, and Ministry of Life for the Body“, week 6 entitled, The Ministry of Life.
  • Buy this morning revival book online via Living Stream Ministry.
  • Hymns on this topic:
    # Channels of life are we, / Allowing God to flow! / Through us and out of us / That others life may know!
    # Is your life a channel of blessing? / Is the love of God flowing through you? / Are you telling the lost of the Savior? / Are you ready His service to do?
    # Cleanse me, oh, cleanse me, my Savior, / Make me a channel today; / Empty me, fill me and use me, / Teach me to trust and obey.
  • Pictures credit: edited instagrams by me here and here.

We Need to Deal with the Spirit by Dealing with the Passage of the Spirit

We Need to Deal with the Spirit by Dealing with the Passage of the SpiritWhen God created man, He intended man to live, act, and have his being in and by his spirit, and the soul and the body would be under the rule of his spirit. Adam had fellowship with God in his spirit every day!

But when man fell by over-exercising his soul and not exercising his spirit, his soul became the self independent from God, his body became the flesh fighting against God, and his spirit was deadened (paralyzed, not functioning at all). This is the condition we are born in – our spirit is inactive, our self is declaring independence from God, and our flesh is totally against God.

But when we are regenerated, God as life comes into our spirit and activates our spirit (John 3:6). We then begin the long process of transformation and recovery of our entire human being, so that our spirit would be the prominent part, the part taking the lead, and the soul and the body would be under the spirit.

But in this process, in our daily life and in the church life, whenever we exercise our spirit to touch the Lord, we enjoy Him, and we do our best to flow Him forth – something interesting happens. Even though our spirit is pure and is mingled with God’s Spirit, what comes out is “flavored” and colored with elements of our soul, our flesh, our self, etc.

So then what comes out is impure, and we may have “a proud spirit”, “a rude spirit”, etc. We need to learn to deal with the passages of the spirit, so that when the spirit flows out others would receive more life and not some self-colored or flesh-flavored spirit.

I recommend the book, The Experience of Life, by Witness Lee, pp. 284-285, to see more on this topic.

We Need to Know the Spirit

We need the Lord to enlighten us so that we may see certain aspects related to our spirit which we didn’t know yet, so that we may know how to deal with our spirit. What is the spirit, the human spirit? The spirit is the innermost part of our being and the loftiest part of our tripartite being.

Also, the spirit is our most genuine part – our genuineness, our real person, is in our spirit. The spirit is the genuineness of man, and you can tell a person by his spirit. What people put on as gestures, clothes, words, attitudes, moods, etc are not the real thing – the genuine part is a man’s spirit!

As 1 Cor. 2:11 says, Who among men knows the things of men except the spirit who is within him? The time when we release our spirit in the most genuine way is when we lose our temper – and that’s the real YOU, be it the ugly you. This is the time you’re genuinely expressed and released.

Today in this modern world and contemporary society, due to our culture, refinement, education, etc, we are not so genuine – most people live in a pretension, putting on a facade. It is crucial for us as Christians to learn to know our spirit, live in our spirit, and release in our spirit in all genuineness (not in an ugly way, though) – we need to allow our spirit to flow forth!

The unbelievers may be proud, but the believers have a spirit of pride. The unbelievers may be angry, but the believers have a spirit of anger. Whenever we release our spirit, it may come out in a wrong way depending on what it “picks up on its way out” in our undealt-with being!

Sometimes you may see a spirit of anxiety (when a believer is anxious), a spirit of jealousy, a rebellious spirit, a coarse spirit, a crooked spirit, a boastful spirit, a dominating spirit, a rude spirit, etc. The kind of spirit we have reveals the kind of man we are.

We Need to Deal with Our Spirit

Dealing with the Passage of the SpiritWhy are we most genuine when we lose our temper? Why is the spirit within us sometimes released and expressed in an improper way?

Because of man’s fall, Satan came in through sin and degenerated our body into flesh and corrupted our soul into the self. Our spirit is not only deadened, paralyzed, and inactive, but it is enveloped and encased within by the self and the flesh.

Our spirit at the time of our regeneration is tightly and securely surrounded by the self and the flesh, and for the spirit to be released throughout our Christian life we need to deny the self and take up the cross and allow it to be applied to us! We need to deal with our spirit by dealing with the passages of our spirit, the passage way of our spirit.

The Lord Jesus told John and James – after they suggested that He would call fire on the un-receiving cities – you don’t know of what spirit you are (Luke 9:54-55).

Our regenerated spirit as the innermost part of our being, is pure and undefiled – but surrounding our spirit are the soul and the body, both of which have been mixed and corrupted with the wicked elements of Satan, and they are filthy and corrupt.

When we release our spirit, when the spirit comes forth, and passes through the soul and the body, it becomes contaminated by the filthiness and corruption of our fallen being. Instead of the spirit being pure – as it is at the origin – it bears certain filthiness, corruption, impurity, impropriety, and other undesirable conditions.

This is why we need to deal with our spirit by dealing with the passageways, the issues, the exit, the channel, the soul and the body, our fallen human being. Our words may not be wrong, but our spirit is wrong, the issue of our spirit is wrong.

When we deal with the flesh it is like shaving; when we deal with the self is like skinning; when we deal with the natural constitution is like “cutting into pieces” our natural being. But when we deal with the spirit, it is like taking out all the blood cells and cleaning them one by one.

Dealing with the spirit is the totality of all the other dealings, since we need to deal with the self, the flesh, the sin, the corrupted being, and anything in our being that the spirit passes through when it comes out.

Dealing with the Passage of the Spirit

We love the Lord, we love His Word, we love to exercise our spirit and touch Him, but sometimes when we release our spirit, there’s a certain unpleasant flavor and taste even though the words may be right.

Our spirit is neutral – neither good nor bad, neither right nor wrong, simply LIFE, mingled with God’s Spirit. When the spirit comes out, it flows out and passes through the different areas of our being, picking up different characteristics and things when it comes out.

Sometimes Christians have a proud spirit, a rough spirit, a competitive spirit, a weak spirit, etc. Because we may be proud, rough, competitive, weak, etc in our soul and in our flesh, our spirit is flavored with this when it comes out.

When we talk to others, our spirit comes out as “our accent”. Just as when we speak English we have a specific accent – British accent, East European accent, American accent, Texan accent, etc – we all have a specific accent in our spirit, and it is recognizable especially if we don’t deal with our spirit.

We do not know of what spirit we are until the Lord exposes us especially in the church life. The church life is the life of the spirit of men – we live in the church life by exercising our spirit and living by our spirit. In the church life, we see all kinds of spirits, depending on the measure of our dealing with the passageways of the spirit. When someone’s spirit flows out, what kind of characteristics does it carry?

The spiritual men know all things, and they discern the spirits of the saints. As we experience the Lord, we can speak something for Him – but what we impart may be life or something else.

Brother Nee spoke much concerning the breaking of the outer man for the release of the spirit, and brother Lee spoke concerning dealing with the spirit for a pure spirit to flow into others.

May the Lord have mercy on us to see that in His light we need to deal with the passageways of our spirit so that our spirit would flow in a pure way and impart life into others!

Lord Jesus, we open to You. We want to come into Your light, Lord, and deal with anything that the light exposes in us. Make us those who see the importance of dealing with our spirit. May other receive life from us when we exercise and release our spirit. Save us from a proud spirit, an anxious spirit, a jealous spirit, a rebellious spirit, a boastful spirit, a rude spirit, a dominating spirit, or any other kind of improper spirit. Lord, keep us in the light, and keep us dealing with our flesh, our self, our natural man, and anything negative in us, so that our spirit would flow forth in a pure way!

References and Further Reading
  • This sharing is inspired from brother James Lee’s speaking in this message and portions in, Experience of Life (p. 284), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, ITERO spring 2013 “The Experience, Growth, and Ministry of Life for the Body“, week 4 entitled, Growing in Life by Dealing with the Spirit.
  • Buy this morning revival book online via Living Stream Ministry.
  • Further reading: Collected Works of Watchman Nee, vol. 62, ch. 41.
  • Hymns on this topic:
    # I long to be unveiled, / In everything made clear, / No more to be deceived / Or to my pride adhere.
    # Release my spirit! This is what I ask, / That self-confined or closed I may not be; / How deep within myself I long have been, / If Thou deliver not, I’ll ne’er be free.
    # Spring up, well, with water; / Dig Thou, Lord, completely; / Dig away all barriers / That Thy stream flow through me.
  • Pictures credit: instagrams by me here and here.