Chapter 7: The Eternal Purpose.
In this chapter Nee talks about God’s purpose in creation and redemption. He says, “It may be summed up in two phrases, one from each of our two sections of Romans. It is “the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and “the glory of the children of God” (8:21).
And that’s it.
It’s all about glory.
Some of the key quotes for me in this chapter were surrounding the idea of sin, our obsession with sin, and our identity as sons of God.
- “Man’s thought is always of the punishment that will come to him if he sins, but God’s thought is always of the glory man will miss if he sins.”
- “God is not out to reform our life.”
- “He must have a new man; one born anew, born of God.”
- “The question is not whether you are a bad man or a good man, but simply, are you a man?”
- “But when we receive the Son of God, not only do we receive the forgiveness of sins; we receive also the divine life which was represented in the garden by the tree of life.”
- “It is for this reason we can live a life of holiness, for it is not our own life that has been changed, but the life of God that has been imparted to us.”
- “Do you notice that, in consideration of the eternal purpose, the whole question of sin ultimately goes out?”
Isn’t that just trippy? I think it is so true though. We are scared for our lives, but He is just disappointed we didn’t get to see His best when we sin.
In context Nee is saying that God doesn’t want to just change our lives, He wants to change us. And not just change, but completely make us new.
Just by being human we are disqualified from being part of the “divine family of God”. Being good or bad doesn’t even come into the equation.
We only gain entrance to God’s family through His son’s gift of that divine life.
And it is also the only way we can live a life pleasing to Him. Because we have a whole new life in us, not a reformed old life.
Isn’t that interesting? When we think about what God’s overarching plan is, it becomes completely irrelevant how good or bad we are. We are simply asked to live out of the new life gifted to us instead our own efforts at improvement.
Does that make any sense to you?
What does it mean when we keep sinning no matter how hard we try?
What does it mean to live from the new life?
How can we live out of the new life?