Rom 9:1 – I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie, my conscience bearing witness with me in the Holy Spirit.
John 4:24 – God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.
1 Cor 2:11 – For who among men knows the things of man, except the spirit of man which is in him? In the same way, the things of God also no one has known except the Spirit of God.
Prov 2:10 – For wisdom will enter your heart, And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
2 Sam 5:8 – And David said on that day, Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him go up to the watercourse and strike the lame and the blind, who are hated by David’s soul….
Job 7:15 – So that my soul would choose strangulation And death rather than my bones
* Represents part of the heart.
Underline represents leading part of spirit/soul.
THE THREE PARTS OF THE SPIRIT—
CONSCIENCE, FELLOWSHIP, AND INTUITION
The spirit is a complete unit, composed of three parts, or functions: conscience, fellowship, and intuition.
It is easy to understand the conscience. We are all familiar with this. To perceive right from wrong is one function of the conscience. To condemn or to justify is another one of its functions. It is also easy to comprehend the fellowship. The fellowship is our communion with God. Within our spirit such a function makes it possible for us to contact God. In a simple word, fellowship is to touch God. But it is not easy to understand the intuition. Intuition means to have a direct sense or knowledge. There is such a direct sense in our spirit, regardless of reason, circumstances, or background. It is a sense without reason, a sense that is not “reasonable.” It is a direct sense of God and a direct knowledge from God. This function of the spirit is what we call the intuition. Thus, the spirit is known by the functions of the conscience, the fellowship, and the intuition.
But these three parts in the human spirit must be proven from the Scriptures. First of all, the conscience is found in Romans 9:1: “My conscience bearing witness with me in the Holy Spirit.” By comparing Romans 9:1 with Romans 8:16, it is evident that the conscience is located in the human spirit. Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit.” On one hand, the Holy Spirit witnesses with our spirit; on the other hand, our conscience bears witness in the Holy Spirit. This proves that the conscience must be a function of our spirit. In 1 Corinthians 5:3 the apostle Paul says that in his spirit he judged a sinful person. To judge means either to condemn or to justify, which are acts of the conscience. The fact that the apostle judged in his spirit confirms that the condemning or justifying function is in the spirit; hence, the conscience is in the spirit. Psalm 51:10 speaks of “a right spirit within me” (ASV). A right spirit is a spirit that is right. Knowing right from wrong is related to the conscience; thus, this verse also proves that the conscience is in the spirit. Psalm 34:18 refers to those who are “contrite in spirit.” To be contrite means to realize that we are wrong. In other words, it is to accuse and condemn ourselves, which is a function of the conscience. This shows that the conscience is related to the spirit. Deuteronomy 2:30 says that God hardened the spirit of Sihon the king of Heshbon, which means that Sihon’s conscience was hardened. To be hardened in the spirit means to be careless with regard to the conscience. When we cast off the
feeling in our conscience, we become hardened in our spirit. These verses offer the strongest ground for the fact that the function of the conscience is in the human spirit.
Let us go on to find the scriptural ground for saying that the fellowship is a part of the spirit. First of all, John 4:24 tells us that we must worship God in our spirit. Thus, to worship God requires us to worship in our spirit. To worship God is to contact God and fellowship with God. This verse proves that the function of worship, or of fellowship, is in our spirit. In Romans 1:9 the apostle Paul said, “I serve [God] in my spirit.” To serve God also is a kind of fellowship with God. This too proves that the function of fellowship is in our spirit. In Romans 7:6 Paul added that “we serve in newness of spirit.” In other words, our service to the Lord is essentially our fellowship with the Lord in our spirit.
Let us consider Ephesians 6:18. In this verse Paul says that we should pray “at every time in spirit.” There is no article before spirit, nor is the word capitalized. The word spirit here does not refer to the Holy Spirit but to our human spirit. To pray is to fellowship with God. To pray in spirit indicates, then, that fellowship with God is a matter in our spirit. In Luke 1:47 Mary said, “My spirit has exulted in God.” To exult in God means that the human spirit has contacted God. Once again, this verse indicates that fellowship with God is a function of the spirit. In addition, Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit.” This verse is very clear, because it shows that fellowship with God must be both in our spirit and in the Spirit of God. First Corinthians 6:17 says, “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” Real fellowship means that we become one spirit with the Lord. This fellowship is in our spirit. The above verses are sufficient to prove that the function of fellowship is in our human spirit.
Now let us consider the intuition. Although it is difficult to find the scriptural ground for this function, there are some verses. First Corinthians 2:11 reveals that the spirit of man can know what the soul cannot. Our spirit can discern that which the soul cannot discern. This proves that something extra is in our spirit. Our soul can know things by reason and by circumstantial experiences, but the human spirit can discern things without these. This direct sense in the spirit shows that the intuition is in our spirit. Furthermore, Mark 2:8 says that Jesus knew in His spirit, and Mark 8:12 says that He groaned deeply in His spirit. John 11:33 says that Jesus was moved with indignation in His spirit. To know, to groan, and to be indignant in our spirit come from a direct sense of discernment that is not dependent upon reason. This we call the intuition, the third function of our spirit.
For further reading, see The Economy of God, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee.