These days we are enjoying many portions in the Bible regarding the fellowship of the divine life, which is the fellowship of the Spirit, the fellowship of the apostles, and the fellowship in spirit. This fellowship has two aspects: the horizontal aspect(between us and the other believers) and the vertical aspect(between us and the Triune God). The vertical fellowship is by the Holy Spirit and it is between us and the Triune God(fellowship with the Father and with the Son, 1 John 1:2), and the horizontal fellowship is by the human spirit and it is among us, the believers. The Triune God has been processed and consummated to become the life-giving Spirit – and it is by this Spirit that we can fellowship with the Triune God. In 2 Cor. 13:14 we see that the love of God is the source, the grace of Christ is the course of the love of God, and the fellowship of the Spirit is the transmission / communion of the love of God expressed in the grace of Christ. This Spirit as the consummation of the Triune God is the fellowship between us and God, and this Spirit is mingled with our spirit! So the real fellowship is in our mingled spirit! Whether we fellowship with the Triune God or with one another, the real divine fellowship of life is in our mingled spirit. This is why we need to continually exercise our spirit to enjoy the Lord and to fellowship with the saints.
As we know from our own experience, there are many obstacles to this wonderful fellowship of life in both its vertical and horizontal aspects. In God’s economy and in this whole universe, there is only one thing that can take care of all these obstacles between us and God and between us and the saints: it is the cross. This is why the Lord Jesus said in Matt. 16:24,
Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.
Without the cross, our fellowship is superficial – the cross of death deepens our fellowship, and the Spirit’s breath as the resurrection uplifts our fellowship. The fellowship frees us from our sinful self through the cross. Without the cross, there is no release, no freedom, and no liberty from the self. It is so easy to try to “fellowship in the self” with the others, even in “our spiritual self” – but when we apply the cross, we are being freed from our self and we can have the real fellowship with the Triune God and with the other believers. Without the Spirit and the cross, there is no real fellowship. Both the vertical fellowship and the horizontal fellowship are being deepened by us experiencing the cross.
Actually, the cross brings Christ to us – just like Paul said in Gal. 2:20, we are crucified with Christ and now it is no longer we who live but Christ lives in us. This is the cross – we are being crossed out and Christ is the One who lives in us. Yes, we need more Christ to be added to us and to grow in us, but without the experience of the cross, we cannot experience Christ. “If no death, no life” equals “if no cross, no Christ” and “if no Christ, no Spirit, and if no Spirit, no fellowship“. This is why we desperately need the cross. The Lord even said “take up HIS OWN cross” – there is a particular portion of the cross for each one of us to cross each one of us out. We need to come to the Lord personally and take up our own cross and follow the Lord. This is the way for us to have real fellowship in spirit with the Lord and with the saints. This is also a real strengthening to our fellowship with the Lord and with the saints – by us taking up our own cross and following the Lord. Whenever we exercise our spirit, even by simply calling on the Lord’s name, the cross is applied to our being and we allow the Lord, little by little, to live in us every day… [enjoyment from The Triune God to be Life to the Tripartite Man, by Witness Lee, as quoted in the Holy Word for the Morning Revival]
Lord, we love You and we love the fellowship of the divine life in us! Keep us enjoying You, Lord, by the exercise of our mingled spirit! We want to be those who take up our own cross and follow You! Save us, Lord, and save the saints from us not taking the cross! Do have Your own way in us, Lord – may the Spirit cross us out that Christ may live in us! Lord, live in us and move in us freely!