The Normal Christian Life: Ch#6

Our gathering has been going well. I have especially enjoyed it since I don’t go to any other bible study. It is just nice to get together and talk about things that matter every couple weeks. And just visiting is lovely too. :)

At this point we started reading a chapter of the Bible in addition to our chapter of Watchman Nee just to get a fuller grasp on the passages covered and to ground ourselves in what we know to be true when considering the words of others. So for this week we read chapter 6 of Romans and Chapter 6 of Nee. I appreciated the extra depth and I think it enabled us to have a more fruitful discussion.

Chapter 6: The Path of Progress: Presenting Ourselves to God

This chapter dealt primarily with consecration and focused on Romans 6:13

“Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” Romans 6:13

Three points that resonated with me:

1. We are consecrating the new man, not the old.

“Many have taken this word “present” to imply consecration without looking carefully into its content. Of course that is what it does mean, but not in thr sense which we so often understand it. It is not the consecration of our “old man” with his instincts and resources, his natural wisdom, strength and other gifts, to the Lord for him to use. […] but only of that which has passed through death to resurrection.”
– Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life [emphasis mine]

2. That we are not our own is challenging. Though in the slightest sense we are. Since we are free to do what we will, but in order to glorify God we must give ourselves and our resources to Him completely, thus: we are not our own.

– “God requires of me that I now regard all my members, all my faculties, as belonging wholly to him.”

– “How many of us dare to use our time or money or talents as we would, because we realize they are the Lord’s, not ours? How many of us have such a strong sense that we belong to Another that we dare not squander a shilling of our money or an hour of our time, or any of our mental or physical powers?”

– “We have only one life to live down here and we are free to do as we please with it, but if we seek our own pleasure our life will never glorify God.”

– “We cannot expect the Lord to live out his life in us if we do not give him our lives in which to live.”

– “May we always be possessed by the consciousness that we are not our own.”

3. And conversely that we are not our own is consoling.

– “If we give ourselves unreservedly to God, many adjustments may have to be made: in family, or business, or church relationships, or in the matter of our personal views. God will not let anything of ourselves remain. His finger will touch, point by point, everything that is not of him and will say: “This must go.” Are you willing? It is foolish to resist God, and always wise to submit to him.”

– “It is always an easy matter to get out of His will, but it is a blessed thing just to hand ourselves over to Him and let Him have His way with us.”

– “How good it is to have the consciousness that we belong to The Lord and are not our own.”


Related Verses:

Philippians 1:6 – “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

1 Thessalonions 5:24 – “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”

Hebrews 12:1-2 – “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

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Quotes I feel like ought to be read daily as a daily surrendeing practice. A reminder of sorts.

“Then, day by day, I must go on giving to him, not finding fault with his use of me, but accepting with praise even what the flesh finds hard. That way lies true enrichment.”

“I do not consecrate myself to be a missionary or a preacher; I consecrate to God to do his will where I am, be it in school, office or kitchen or wherever he may, in his wisdom, send me.”
– Watchman Nee

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Had you thought much about consecration before this? I had not. :)
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Find the previous chapters here! We are slowly but surely finding our way through this little book. There are eight more chapters. Does this sort of chapter recap post continue to interest people?

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