Exercise the spirit (Meetings)

Exercise the spirit!
Human thought reject;
Meet with one another,
Body life respect.
Exercise the spirit!
All the forms forsake;
Share with one another,
Each of Christ partake.
Exercise the spirit!
Natural sense renounce;
Serve with one another,
Christ the Lord announce.
Exercise the spirit!
Soulish life deny;
Helping one another,
On the Lord rely.
Freed within the spirit
From self-righteousness,
From self-condemnation
And self-consciousness.
Freed within the spirit
From self-will and pride,
From self-love and glory,
All to override.
Exercise the spirit,
Victory to claim
By the blood which cleanses
And the mighty Name.
Exercise the spirit
Thus to touch the Lord;
Ever by the spirit
Take Him thru His Word.
It is by the spirit
Christ is testified;
It is by the spirit
Man is satisfied.
Exercise the spirit!
This is what we need!
Exercise the spirit!
May the Lord so lead!

Copyright Living Stream Ministry. Used by permission.

Concerning Human Thought Reject, Natural Sense Renounce, and Soulish Life Deny in Stanzas 1, 3, and 4 in Hymn #628 in Chinese

Human thought reject, natural sense renounce, and soulish life deny in hymn #628 in Chinese (Hymns, #866 in English) refer to rejecting our natural thought, renouncing our natural emotions, and denying our natural soul. These natural things should be rejected and renounced. When we speak of denying our soul, we are not speaking of denying the functions of the soul, such as our mind, emotion, and will. Nevertheless, the natural functions of our soul must be rejected before they can be renewed. It is only by denying the natural functions of the soul that the mind, emotion, and will can be renewed.

Stanza 1 of Hymns, #866 (#629 in the Chinese hymnal) says, "Human thought reject"; stanza 3 says, "Natural sense renounce"; and stanza 4 says, "Soulish life deny." The Chinese version of this hymn says, "Human mind (lit., brain) reject," "The emotions renounce," and "The whole soul forsake." Most people cannot understand how we can reject the human mind, renounce the emotions, and forsake the soul. Matthew 16:24 says, "If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me." Here the Lord speaks of denying our self. In verse 25 the Lord continues, "For whoever wants to save his soul-life (Gk. psuche, meaning "soul") shall lose it; but whoever loses his soul-life for My sake shall find it." These two verses show that to deny our self is to lose our soul-life. Luke 9:23-24 mentions the same matter, indicating that our soul-life is our self. When we say that we need to reject our soul, it means that we should reject our self.

In both the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke, the Lord Jesus speaks of our need to reject our self and forsake our soul-life (that is, our soul). Hence, the expression the whole soul forsake in hymn #629 in the Chinese hymnal has a scriptural basis, and we cannot say that it is wrong. However, this does not mean that our soul is useless. Our soul still has its function, but it must be renewed and transformed in order to become useful (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23; Col. 3:10). When we exercise our regenerated spirit to control our soul, our soul will be renewed and transformed and thereby will become useful. The mind and the emotions are parts of the soul. Since the natural man, which is our soul with its soulish life, needs to be rejected, our natural mind and natural emotions both need to be rejected.

Piano Hymns