When we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, some marvelous things happened to us. We were justified by God, forgiven of our sins, and saved from perdition. How we praise God for these wonderful gifts!
But as wonderful as each of these is, something more happened when we received Christ: a union and mingling of God’s divine Spirit with our human spirit. This is a profound fact that we can enjoy today in our daily experience.
The two spirits revealed in the Bible
Three Bible verses put the divine Spirit and the human spirit together, and each for a particular reason.
1. For our being born again—John 3:6
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
This verse mentions two spirits—a capital “S” Spirit and a lowercase “s” spirit. What are these two? Note 2 on this verse in the Recovery Version says this:
“The first Spirit mentioned here is the divine Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God, and the second spirit is the human spirit, the regenerated spirit of man. Regeneration is accomplished in the human spirit by the Holy Spirit of God with God’s life, the uncreated eternal life. Thus, to be regenerated is to have the divine, eternal life (in addition to the human, natural life) as the new source and new element of a new person.”
In putting these two spirits together, this verse speaks of our divine birth. So our experience of the two spirits begins when we believe in Christ and are born again.
2. For witnessing that we are children of God—Romans 8:16
“The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God.”
Here again we see the two spirits together—the capital “S” Spirit is “the Spirit Himself,” the divine Spirit of God, and the lowercase “s” spirit is “our spirit,” our human spirit.
This verse shows us something very sweet and comforting in our experience of the two spirits. At the moment we believe, the Spirit Himself enters into our spirit and witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God.
And we can continue to experience this witnessing throughout our Christian life. We just open our mouth and declare,
“I’ve received the Lord Jesus as my Savior and Lord, and I am born of the Spirit in my spirit! I am a child of God!”
While we’re making such a declaration, something wonderful happens deep inside of us. The Spirit who resides in our spirit witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God. As a result, we have a sweet sensation within that God is our dear Father, and that we are born of Him. This witnessing is an inward proof of our salvation, assuring us that we are truly saved.
3. For worshipping the Spirit in our spirit—John 4:24
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.”
Notice once again the capital “S” Spirit, referring to God, and the lowercase “s” spirit, referring to our human spirit. The Lord’s word here has to do with our worshipping God. We may have our own different ideas about how to worship God, but this verse clearly tells us that true worship involves our spirit.
Note 3 on John 4:24 explains why:
“This word was given to instruct the Samaritan woman regarding her need to exercise her spirit to contact God the Spirit. To contact God the Spirit with the spirit is to drink of the living water, and to drink of the living water is to render real worship to God.”
As believers, our basic need is to enjoy Him and receive Him as our divine supply, our living water. To do this, we need to exercise our spirit to contact God who is Spirit. As we contact Him, we drink of the living water and are refreshed and revived. This is the real worship God desires of us.
The divine Spirit with our human spirit—our mingled spirit
For those who believe in Christ, these two spirits are not separate, but are united and mingled together as one.
In 1 Corinthians 6:17, Paul said,
“But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.”
By this verse we can see that the two spirits are mingled together as “one spirit.” This doesn’t mean a loss of distinction occurs between the two. The Spirit is still the divine Spirit and our human spirit is still our human spirit, but they are united as one. For example, hot tea is a single beverage, but with two distinct ingredients. When we brew tea with water, neither the tea nor the water loses its distinct identity. But brewed together, the two are mingled together as one.
Note 2 in the Recovery Version on “one spirit” says:
“This indicates the mingling of the Lord as the Spirit with our spirit. Our spirit has been regenerated by the Spirit of God (John 3:6), who is now in us (v. 19) and is one with our spirit (Rom. 8:16). This is the realization of the Lord, who became the life-giving Spirit through resurrection (15:45; 2 Cor. 3:17) and who is now with our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22). This mingled spirit is often referred to in Paul’s Epistles, e.g., in Rom. 8:4-6.”
The divine Spirit and our human spirit are made one. This is truly something profound, and yet so experiential!
How can we experience these two spirits, this mingled spirit?
The main way we can exercise our spirit is by prayer. Just as we exercise our feet by walking, we exercise our spirit by praying. As we pray, even in a simple way, we exercise our spirit and contact God.
But at times we may become very complicated when we pray. Or, we’re in a situation where we cannot stop and go off somewhere to pray. So sometimes the simplest way to exercise our spirit is by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus. We can call on Him anytime and anywhere.
In 1 Corinthians 12:3 Paul said,
“No one can say, Jesus is Lord! except in the Holy Spirit.”
So when we call on the Lord’s name, we’re in His Spirit, and we enjoy our union with Him.
To call on the Lord isn’t just to casually say the name of Jesus, without any feeling. It’s to cry out to Him from deep within, to call out to the Lord Jesus audibly. We can even take a moment right now to practice calling on the Lord from the depths of our being:
“Lord Jesus! Lord Jesus! Oh Lord, I need You. Lord, I love You. Oh Lord Jesus, I open to You.”
For more appreciation of these two spirits you may also want to:
- Read the Recovery Version footnotes on the verses found in this post; you can order a free copy here.
- Read chapter 4, “Calling on the Name of the Lord”; and chapter 5, “The Key to Experiencing Christ—the Human Spirit” in Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1; by Witness Lee and Watchman Nee. You can read the book for free here.
- Enjoy singing these hymns: