The Human Spirit: The Residence of the Holy Spirit

When we believed in Jesus Christ, a number of marvelous things happened to us. Among them, we were born again, and Christ came to live in us. We may be familiar with verses in the Bible telling us Christ lives in us. But where exactly does He live within us, and why is it important for us to know?

Say you have a friend you correspond with by email, but you’ve never met each other in person. All you know is that he lives somewhere in California. You may want to meet your friend face to face, but how would you go about finding him?

Then one day, your friend emails you and gives you his address, inviting you to come for a visit. You’re so happy, because now you know exactly where to go to meet him.

In the same way, it’s not enough just to know vaguely that Christ lives in us; how much better it is to know His “address,” the actual place where He dwells, so we can contact Him. If we know where Christ lives in us, we’ll be able to fellowship with Him and enjoy being with Him all the time.

Today, we’ll look at some excerpts from a wonderful book called The Economy of God by Witness Lee that show us how the residence of God is our human spirit. For us believers, God isn’t a faraway, objective God; He resides in us to be our life forever. He lives within our deepest part—our spirit—and longs for us to know Him inwardly, subjectively, and experientially. Knowing this is crucial for us to live the Christian life.

The human spirit and the Holy Spirit

In the first part of chapter 3 titled “The Residence of the Divine Spirit,” Lee points out three verses in the Bible revealing to us both the human spirit and the Holy Spirit:

“In John 3:6 we read, ‘That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ This verse speaks of two distinct spirits—one is capitalized, and the other is not. The first occurrence of the word refers to the Holy Spirit of God, and the second, to the human spirit of man. That which is born of the Holy Spirit is the human spirit. Another verse showing these two spirits is John 4:24: ‘God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit.’ Again, the first Spirit is capitalized, and the second is not. We must worship God, who is the Spirit, in our human spirit. Romans 8:16 further confirms the existence of two spirits: ‘The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God.’ The pronoun our definitely designates the human spirit and removes any ground to doubt the reality of both the divine Spirit and the human spirit.”

The first step in finding out where God dwells in us is seeing that we have a human spirit.

The residence of the divine Spirit

In the same chapter, Lee explains why it’s crucial to see the human spirit in the Bible:

“Why do we point this out? It is because Christians have very little knowledge about man’s spirit. Much attention is given to the Holy Spirit, but the human spirit, the residence and dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, is almost entirely neglected. Suppose someone wants to visit me. He must first find where I live. If he cannot locate my home, he will have to forfeit his visit. Although there is much talk about the Holy Spirit, yet we do not know where He dwells.”

If we want to contact God, we must know where He dwells within us. Thank the Lord, His Word is specific and clear. Second Timothy 4:22 tells us, “The Lord be with your spirit.” The dwelling place of the Lord today is our human spirit.

When we believed in the Lord, He came to live in our spirit. Now, because we know His address, we can turn to our spirit at any time to contact Him; we know exactly where to go.

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The mingled spirit

To be a believer is a wonderful thing because the Holy Spirit now dwells in our spirit. In 1 Corinthians 6:17, we have this profound word: “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.”

Does spirit here refer to the Holy Spirit or to the human spirit? Later in chapter 3, Lee explains:

“Bible translators have found it very difficult to decide whether spirit in some passages refers to the Holy Spirit or the human spirit. The reason for this difficulty is that in the believer the Holy Spirit and the human spirit are mingled together as one spirit. ‘He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit’ (1 Cor. 6:17). We are one spirit with the Lord, which clearly indicates that our spirit is mingled with the Holy Spirit. Such a mingled spirit makes it difficult for anyone to say whether this is the Holy Spirit or the human spirit. The two are mingled as one. We may say that it is the Holy Spirit, and yet we can also say that it is the human spirit of the saints. Sometimes we make a beverage by mingling two kinds of juices—pineapple and grapefruit. After it is mixed, it is difficult to tell what kind of juice it is. Is it pineapple, or is it grapefruit? We would have to call it pineapple-grapefruit. In the New Testament it is wonderful to see that the two spirits, the Holy Spirit mingled with our spirit, are one spirit.”

What an amazing fact! When we were regenerated, the Lord as the Spirit came to indwell our human spirit. It’s impossible to separate the two.

Now we can contact the Lord in our spirit at any time and in any place. We thank the Lord for revealing to us where He lives today. May we all exercise our spirit daily to contact the Lord to enjoy and experience Him.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these helpful excerpts from The Economy of God. If you’d like to read more, click here to download the entire book as a free PDF.