The Normal Christian Life (Ch#4)

Chapter 4: The Path of Progress: Reckoning

Brief Summary:
The discussion in this chapter is based on parts of two verses from Romans.
Romans 6: “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him.”
Romans 6:11″Even so reckon yourselves to be dead unto sin.”
Nee argues that in order to know that we are dead to sin we must first know that we have died in Christ. Before we can count ourselves as dead we must know we have died. We as Christians can get caught up in how very much alive to sin we feel and wonder what it means to be dead to sun even though we still sin daily. That doesn’t change the fact that we are dead.

This quote sums it up:

“But whereas we know that, in dealing with sins committed, God’s method is direct, to blot them out of remembrance by means of the Blood; when we come to the principle of sin and the matter of deliverance from its power, we find instead that God deals with this indirectly. He does not remove the sun, but the sinner. Our old man was crucified with him, and because of this the body, which before had been a vehicle of sin, is unemployed (Romans 6:6). Sin, the old master, is still about, but the slave who served him has been put to death and so is out of reach and his members unemployed.”

Good Points and Quotes:
Faith is based on the past.

  • “What is faith? Faith is my acceptance of God’s fact. It always has its foundations in the past.”
  • “This is faith — to believe that you have already got it. Only that which relates to the past is faith in this sense. Those who say “God can” or “God may” or “God must” or “God will” do not necessarily believe at all. Faith always says “God has done it.”
  • “The power of the ressurection is on our side, and the whole might of God is at work in our salvation (Romans 1:16), but the matter still rests upon our making real in history what is true ini divine fact.”

  • The Christian life is a gradual process.

  • “The normal Christian life is lived progressively, as it is entered initially, by faith in divine fact: in Christ and His Cross.”
  • “Sin is still there, but we are knowing deliverance from its power in increasing measure day by day.”
  • Philippians 3:12 “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”

  • We must accept that we have died with Christ and therefore died to sin. Even though we do not feel like we have died to sin.

  • “What is to be our attitude when, after we have seen and believed these facts, we discover the old desires rising up again? Worse still, what if we fall once more into known sin? What if we lose our temper, or worse? Is the whole position set forth above proved thereby to be false?
    Now remember, once of the Devil’s main objects is always to make us doubt divine facts.”
  • “No, sin is not eradicated. It is very much there, and given the opportunity, will overpower us and cause us to commit sins again, whether consciously or unconciously. That is why we shall always need to know the operation of the precious Blood.”
  • “As soon as we have accepted our death with Christ as a fact, Satan will do his best to demonstrate convincingly by the evidence of our day-to-day experience that we are not dead at all but very much alive. So we must choose. Will we believe Satan’s lie or God’s truth? Are we going to be governed by appearances or by what God says?

  • Often we hear the definition of faith as it is written in Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Watchman Nee points out that J.N. Darby says ” Faith is the substantiating of things hoped for.” And Nee says: “That is much better. It implies the making of them real in experience.” And that goes along with Nee’s point about faith being based in the past. We can know by that we are dead to sin because it is in the past, but the process of living as if we are dead to sin happens gradually by faith. The substantiating of divine fact.

  • “”We walk by faith, not by appearance” (2 Cor 5:7). You probably know the illustration of Faith, Fact and Experience walking along the top of a wall. Fact walked steadily on, turning neither to the right nor left and never looking behind. Faith followed, and as all went well so long as he kept his eyes focused upon Fact; but as soon as he became concerned about Experiencr and turned to see how he was getting on, he lost balance and tumbled off the wall, and poor old Experience fell down after him.

    All temptation is primarily to look within; to take our eyes off the Lord and to take account of appearances.”

  • We cannot discover truth based on our senses:

  • “If we resort to our senses to discover the truth, we shall find Satan’s lies are often enough true to our experience.”
  • —–
    All quotes were taken from The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee.

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