This week as we are enjoying the matter of serving God in our mingled spirit in the gospel of His Son my prayer is, Lord, may You be our witness that we are those who serve God in spirit in the full gospel as revealed in the New Testament! Amen!
As believers in Christ we are priests of the gospel, and it is our responsibility and privilege to first spend time with God to be infused and saturated with Him, and then bring God to man through our preaching of the gospel in spirit.
We need to learn the elements and details of the gospel, experience the full content of the gospel, and exercise our spirit to learn how to minister the gospel.
We serve God in spirit in the gospel of His Son, and this is a learning experience; we need to learn the gospel, learn to experience the gospel, and learn to minister the gospel so that sinners may be saved and become sons of God to constitute the Body of Christ expressed as the local churches.
May the Lord gain us as those who function as priests of the gospel of God according to the divine revelation in the word of God!
We Worship God in Spirit, in Truthfulness, by Drinking Him, and with Christ as the Offerings
Our God is Spirit, and if we would be those who worship Him we need to worship Him in spirit and truthfulness (John 4:24). In John 4 we see a sinful yet religious person having a conversation with Jesus; she is exceedingly sinful, exceedingly religious, and exceedingly hypocritical at the same time.
This woman initiates a conversation on the worship of God; the Lord helps her solve her problem of sin (by helping her to confess her sins), and then He dealt with her religion and religious hypocrisy by dispensing the living water into her (which contains Christ as the divine reality).
We are sinful, we are religious, and we want to worship God; we need to confess our sins and receive the divine dispensing into us, and once this divine reality comes into us it becomes our genuineness and sincerity in worshipping God.
Every human being has a desire to worship God, including the sinful ones; the way to worship God is to forget about going to “a place” and just exercise our spirit!
The place chosen by God for us to worship Him is our mingled spirit (typified by the temple in Jerusalem, see Deut. 12:5, 11, 13-14, 18; John 4:24; Eph. 2:22), and the offerings we should bring to God as we worship Him typify Christ as the reality of all the offerings.
Truthfulness [in John 4:24] denotes the divine reality becoming man’s genuineness and sincerity (which are the opposite of the hypocrisy of the immoral Samaritan worshipper—vv. 16-18) for the true worship of God. The divine reality is Christ (who is the reality—14:6) as the reality of all the offerings of the Old Testament for the worship of God (1:29; 3:14) and as the fountain of the living water, the life-giving Spirit (4:7-15), partaken of and drunk by His believers to be the reality within them, which eventually becomes their genuineness and sincerity in which they worship God with the worship that He seeks. (John 4:24, footnote 5, Recovery Version Bible)
The real worship of God is drinking Him as the living water; we worship God and serve God by drinking Him as the living water. God considers our drinking as our real worship to Him, the true worship that He is seeking.
Our God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son for us sinners to believe into Him and drink of Him as the flowing Triune God in order that we may become the totality of eternal life, the New Jerusalem (John 3:16; 4:14b; cf. Jer. 2:13).
God loves the world because He knows that the redeemed sinners can take Him in as living water, be saturated with Him as the divine reality, and become the totality of the eternal life, the New Jerusalem. God’s love for man and His dispensing of His life into man have the specific goal of the New Jerusalem.
Our preaching of the gospel to others is for them to become constituents of the New Jerusalem. We worship God in spirit and with the Christ we have experienced as the offerings; the place chosen by God for His habitation is our human spirit, and the offerings we can give God for His satisfaction is Christ Himself.
We don’t have to go to a specific physical building to worship God: we simply need to exercise our mingled spirit, the place where God is worshipped.
The degradation of Christianity is to consider a building as a place to go to worship God; the Lord today wants to recover us back to our mingled spirit where we can contact God, worship God, drink God, eat God, and enjoy God. Here, in the mingled spirit, we worship God by enjoying Christ; when we eat and drink Christ, He is dispensed into us as a divine reality, and this is what we worship God with.
By enjoying Christ as the divine reality of the offerings in our spirit, He becomes our genuineness and sincerity (truthfulness) for the true worship of God. To worship God, that is, to serve God, we need to exercise our spirit; then, we need to drink the divine reality to be truthful and worship God, having God wrought into us as our genuineness and sincerity.
Thank You God for loving the world so much that You gave Your only begotten Son for sinners to believe into Him and drink of Him as the flowing Triune God in order for them to become the totality of the eternal life, the New Jerusalem! Amen! Lord, we want to worship You in spirit and truthfulness and with Christ as the reality of all the offerings. We confess our sins and we exercise our spirit to contact You, drink You, enjoy You, and be filled with You! Thank You Lord for our mingled spirit, the place where we can worship God, and for Christ as the reality of all the offerings which we can offer to God!
Serving by the Spirit of God, Boasting in Christ, and having No Confidence in the Flesh
On the one hand we need to confess our sins and exercise our spirit to drink God so that we may worship Him; on the other hand, we ned to realise that we serve God in spirit by the Spirit of God, boasting in Christ Jesus, and having no confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3:3).
Paul had a lot to boast in his flesh about, but he realised that all his background, zeal, training, etc were not the right means to serve God; he therefore testified that circumcision is of the spirit, inward, and serving God is by the Spirit of God and with no confidence in the flesh.
The flesh refers to all that we are and have in our natural being; anything natural – whether it is good or evil – is the flesh (see Phil. 3:4-6).
The flesh includes the evil side, but there’s also the good flesh, the flesh who wants to serve God, please God, be justified before God, and keep God’s law (see Rom. 7); this flesh wants to be involved with the things of God, and it is a bigger problem – because it is subtle.
We need to experience the spiritual circumcision, realising we were crucified with Christ, and we need to enter into the experience of that termination to have no confidence in the flesh.
Even though we have been regenerated, we may continue to live in our fallen nature, boast in what we do in the flesh, and have confidence in our natural qualifications….We need the Lord’s light to shine on us concerning our nature, our deeds, and our confidence in the flesh. If we are enlightened by the Lord, we shall confess that although we have been regenerated to become children of God with the divine life and nature, we still live too much in the flesh. One day, when the light shines on you concerning this, you will want to prostrate yourself before the Lord and confess how unclean your nature is. Then you will condemn everything you do by your fallen nature. You will see that in the eyes of God whatever is done in the fallen nature is evil and worthy of condemnation….The time will come when instead of boasting in the flesh with its qualifications, we shall condemn it. Then we shall boast in Christ alone, realizing that in ourselves we have absolutely no ground for boasting. (Witness Lee, The Conclusion of the New Testament, pp. 1836-1838)
We are no different or better than Paul: even though we may not have as many good things as he had to boast in, we still have confidence in many things such as our learning, training, experience, upbringing, background, time in the church life, etc….if we serve the Lord in those things, we will repeat the mistake of Paul, and our service will be rejected by the Lord.
We need the Lord’s light to shine on us and expose our nature, our deeds, and our confidence in the flesh; we need the Lord’s mercy that He would enlighten us to see how much we still live by the flesh, boasting in our deeds and qualifications.
We may not boast outwardly but inwardly we may feel we are more qualified than others, we have more ability than others….all this needs to be exposed by the Lord and broken. We need to realize how impotent is our flesh in the things of God.
One day, when the Lord’s light shines on us concerning this, we will confess how unclean and impotent our nature is; we will then condemn anything we do by our fallen nature, realizing that in God’s eyes everything we do in our natural man is evil and worthy of condemnation.
May the Lord give us the experiences we need that we may arrive to the point where we will condemn the flesh with its qualifications and boast in Christ alone, realizing that in ourselves we have absolutely NO ground for boasting.
Only when we have been enlightened by God shall we be able to say truly that we have no trust in our ability, capability, natural strength, or intelligence; only then shall we be able to testify that our confidence is wholly in the Lord! When we are enlightened by the Lord to realise this, we shall truly serve God in spirit and by the Spirit.
In our service to the Lord we will gradually be enlightened and convicted that all the things we are proud of are nothing to be proud of, and we will lose the confidence in those things, relying only on the Lord and boasting only in Him. We will then be those who serve God in spirit and by the Spirit of God, having no confidence in the flesh.
Lord Jesus, give us the experiences we need so that we may be those who serve not in our natural man or ability but by the Spirit of God and having no confidence in the flesh. Lord, have mercy on us. We don’t want to serve You by having confidence in our ability, natural qualifications, or intelligence; save us from saving You in our natural man or boasting in the flesh. Oh Lord, how we need Your light to shine on us, expose us, and convict us of how natural we are, how much we trust our flesh, and how much we boast in what we do in the flesh. Lord, enlighten us so that we may condemn the flesh, have no trust in our flesh, but serve and worship God in our spirit and by the Spirit!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message for this week, and The Conclusion of the New Testament, pp. 1834-1838 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Service for the Building up of the Church (2016 Spring ITERO), week 3 / msg. 3, Serving God in our Spirit in the Gospel of His Son.
- All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
- Hymns on this topic:
# The worship which the Father seeks / Is in the spirit’s strength alone; / His Spirit into man’s would come, / That His and man’s may thus be one. (Hymns #611)
# I hardly know myself; / Deceived so much by pride, / I often think I’m right / And am self-satisfied. / Oh, may Thy living light, Lord, / Scatter all my night, Lord, / And everything make bright, Lord, / For this I pray to Thee. (Hymns #426)
# Now I know myself in part, / And confess my helplessness; / All my temperament is odd, / All my life corrupted is. / Subtle self I cannot trust, / Nor to fleshly strength can cling; / All my trust and all my hope / Is in Jesus Christ my King. (Hymns #412)