The Indwelling Nature of the Spirit
So far we have done little more than emphasize the fact that the supreme concern of the Lord is with the spirit of His children, for it is there that the fact and nature of sonship has its beginning, its growth, and its expression. We shall see more about this later, but for the moment it will be as well if we dwell a little longer upon the nature of the spirit. The body, we know has its own threefold components. The soul also is a trinity, i.e., reason, emotion, and volition (will). We have also shown that the spirit is tripartite. Its main departments or faculties being conscience, worship (or communion with that which is Spirit) and intuition.
Let us re-emphasize that while all men have these in a greater or less degree of consciousness this does not set aside the fact that all are "dead" in trespasses and sins apart from the new birth. There is no salvation in the New Testament sense of the word in having a conscience very much alive, or in being keenly attuned to the spiritual; and it is no argument that Divine revelation has been imparted because intuitions have eventually proved true. All this only shows that all men have a spirit which acts independently of the rest of their being. For the spirit in its different faculties to be the instrument of Divine purposes it has, as we have said, to be joined to the Lord, and the uniting factors are:
1. The indwelling life of God as a gift t new birth.
2. The indwelling Spirit of God as the intelligent, executive member of the Godhead.
There are many passages in the scriptures which indicate the difference between the outer "I" of the soul and the inner "I" of the spirit. For instance Paul says "my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful" (1 Corinthians 14:14).
Then in 1 Corinthians 2 the Apostle says that "The psychical (soul) man receiveth not, neither can he know the things of the Spirit of God, but God reveals them to the spiritual (or spirit) ones, and only the spirit ones discern them!
This distinction is very marked in Paul's recounting of the reception of his special revelation. "I will come to revelations of the Lord. I (the outer man) knew a man (the inner man) in Christ above fourteen years ago, whether in the body I (the outer man) cannot tell; or whether out of the body (the inner man) caught up to the third heaven. And I (the outer man) knew such a man, (the inner man) whether in the body or out of the body, I (the outer man) cannot tell: God knoweth. How that he (the inner man) was caught up to Paradise, and heard unspeakable words which it is not lawful for a man (the outer man) to utter. Of such an one (the inner man) I (the outer man) will glory; yet of myself (the outer man) I (the outer man) will not glory."
Here we see, among other things, that, unless the Lord gives the gift of utterance the things revealed to the spirit cannot be expressed by the outer man. In another place the Apostle asked the prayers of the Lord's people that he might have "utterance."
Many other instances might be given, such as "I delight in the law of God after the "inward man," and Romans 7 as a whole, but this is sufficient to lead such as desire to do so to follow this truth through. Here are one or two references: 1 Corinthians 16:17, 18; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Romans 8:16; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 1 Corinthians 7:34; Hebrews 12:22.
(continued with # 5)