The Purpose of this course is: I loved his sincere yet fervent treatment of what it truly means to be a Christian. This book was so good, in fact, that it made me reevaluate how I rate books. I was raised in the church and have loved Jesus since age six. I will definitely be reading more of his books. Because of the vastness of the subject and the importance of its issues, I have not found it easy either to write or translate the book. Had the addresses been intended for a wider audience, or for publication, I should have felt obliged to omit many matters that were mentioned, and to speak in an altogether different strain.
The book is written from the standpoint of a servant looking from the work towards the churches. The book does not touch the principles of the work, or the life of the churches; it is only a review of our missions, as the title suggests. The truths referred to in this book have been gradually learned and practiced during the past years.
Numerous adjustments have been made as greater light has been received, and if we remain humble, and God still shows us mercy, we believe there will be further adjustments in the future. The Lord has graciously given us a number of associates in the work, all of whom have been sent forth on the basis mentioned in this book, and through their labors numerous churches have been established in different parts of China.
Though conditions are vastly different in these many churches, and the believers connected with them differ greatly too—in background, education, social standing, and spiritual experience—yet we have found that if, under the absolute lordship of Jesus, we come to see the heavenly pattern of church formation and government, then the scriptural methods are both practicable and fruitful. While the book itself may seem to deal with the technical side of Christianity, let us emphasize here that we are not aiming at mere technical correctness.
It is spiritual reality we are after. But spirituality is not a matter of theory; it always issues in practice; and it is with spirituality in its practical out-working that this book deals. It is wearisome to me, if not actually repulsive, to talk with those who aim at perfect outward correctness, while they care little for that which is vital and spiritual. Missionary methods, as such, do not interest me at all. In reality we do not agree at all!
We hope this book will not fall into the hands of those who wish to improve their work by improving their methods, without adjusting their relationship to the Lord; but we do hope it will have a message for the humble ones who have learned to live in the power of the Spirit and have no confidence in the flesh. It is death to have a wineskin without wine, but it is loss to have wine without a wineskin. We must have the wineskin after we have the wine.
Paul wrote the Ephesian Epistle, but he could also write the Corinthian Epistle; and Corinthians presents us with Ephesian truths in practical expression. Yes, the writer of Ephesians was also the writer of Corinthians! But why is it that the children of God have never had any serious contentions over Ephesian truths, but always over Corinthian truths? Because the sphere of Ephesians is the heavenlies, and its truths are purely spiritual, so if there is any diversity of opinion concerning them, no one feels it much; but Corinthian teachings are practical and touch the earthly sphere, so if there is the slightest difference of opinion, a reaction is felt at once.
Yes, Corinthians is very practical! And it tests our obedience more than does Ephesians! The danger, with those who know little about life and reality, is to emphasize mere outward correctness; but with those to whom life and reality are a matter of supreme importance, the temptation is to throw away the divine pattern of things, thinking it legal and technical. They feel that they have the greater and can therefore well dispense with the lesser.
As a result, the more spiritual a man is, the freer he feels to do as he thinks fit.
But God has not only revealed the truths that concern our inner life; He has also revealed the truths relating to the outward expression of that life. God prizes the inner reality, but He does not ignore its outward expression.
The Apostle Paul gives us his own definition of the Christian life in Galations . It is "no longer I, but of Christianity. He is, we believe, presenting God's normal for a Christian, which .. The Blood And The Believer's Access. The Blood has. The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. Overview. The Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the believers in Rome. He had never been to Rome and wanted to.
We may think it sufficient for God to instruct us through Romans, Ephesians, and Colossians as to our life in Christ, but He has considered it necessary to instruct us through Acts, Corinthians, and Timothy, how to do His work and how to organize His Church. God has left nothing to human imagination or human will. Man is afraid to use a thoughtless servant, but God does not care to use an over-thoughtful one; all He requires of man is simple obedience.
Man would fain occupy the post, but God has no need of a counselor. The Pharisees cleansed the outside of the platter, but left the inside full of impurity. But God demands both inward and outward purity. To have the outer without the inner is spiritual death, but to have the inner without the outer is only spiritualized life. And spiritualization is not spirituality. No matter how insignificant any divine command may seem, it is an expression of the will of God; therefore, we never dare treat it lightly. We cannot neglect the least of His commands with impunity.
The importance of His requirements may vary, but everything that is of God has eternal purpose and eternal worth. Of course, the mere observance of outward forms of service has no spiritual value whatever. All spiritual truths, whether pertaining to the inner or the outer life, are liable to be legalized. Everything that is of God—whether outward or inward—if in the Spirit is life; if in the letter it is death. So the question is not whether it is outward or inward, but whether it is in the Spirit or in the letter.
It is our desire to accept and proclaim the whole Word of God. We emphasize the necessity of following both the leading of the Spirit and the examples of the Word, because by comparing our ways with the written Word we can discover the source of our leading. God cannot lead a man one way in Acts and another way today. God is the eternal God; He takes no cognizance of time, and His will and ways all bear the stamp of eternity.
This being so, God could never act one way at one time and another way later on. Circumstances may differ and cases may differ, but in principle the will and ways of God are just the same today as they were in the days of the Acts. Is there not a discrepancy here?
It is not that in the beginning it was permissible, and later it became forbidden, and still later became permissible again, as though God were a changeable God. From the beginning right on until today it is just the same. Here is a most important principle. We want to see things as they were when they proceeded in all their purity from the mind of God, not what they have become because of hardness of heart on the part of His people. It is there we find the highest expression of His will. Conditions in the Church today are vastly different from what they were then, but these present conditions could never be our example, or our authoritative guide.
We must return to the beginning. Only what God has set forth as our example in the beginning is the eternal will of God. It is the divine standard and our pattern for all time. A word of explanation may be needed regarding the examples God has given us in His Word. Christianity is not only built upon precepts, but also upon examples. God has revealed His will, not only by giving orders, but by having certain things done in His Church, so that in the ages to come others might simply look at the pattern and know His will. God has not only directed His people by means of abstract principles and objective regulations, but by concrete examples and subjective experience.
God does use precepts to teach His people, but one of His chief methods of instruction is through history. God tells us how others knew and did His will, so that we, by looking at their lives, may not only know His will, but see how to do it too. He worked in their lives, producing in them what He Himself desired, and He bids us look at them, so that we may know what He is after.
Shall we, then, say that because God has not commanded a certain thing we need not do it? If we have seen His dealings with men in days past, if we have seen how He led His people and built up His Church, can we still plead ignorance of His will? Is it necessary for a child to be told explicitly how to do everything? Must each item be separately mentioned of things permissible and not permissible?
Are there not many things he can learn simply by watching his parents or his elder brothers and sisters? We learn more readily by what we see than by what we hear, and the impression upon us is deeper. He knows we learn more easily by example than by precept. Examples have greater value than precepts, because precepts are abstract, while examples are precepts carried into effect. If we try to eliminate examples from Christianity and leave only its precepts, then we have not much left.
Precepts have their place, but examples have no less important a place, though obviously conformity to the divine pattern in outward things is mere formality if there is no correspondence in inner life. In closing, may I stress the fact that this is not a book on missionary methods. Unless the man is right, right methods will be of no use to him or to his work. Carnal methods are suited to carnal men, and spiritual methods to spiritual men. For carnal men to employ spiritual methods will only result in confusion and failure.
This book is intended for those who, having learned something of the cross, know the corruption of human nature, and seek to walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Its object is to help those who acknowledge the lordship of Christ in all things, and are seeking to serve Him in the way of His own appointing, not of their choosing. To put it in other words, it is written for those who are already in the good of Ephesian truths, so that they may know how to express their service along Corinthian lines.
May none of my readers use this book as a basis for external adjustments in their work, without letting the cross deal drastically with their natural life. On the part of the convert, a real Holy Spirit new birth is essential, and a vital relationship with God.
On the part of the worker, besides personal holiness and enduement for service, it is essential that he have an experimental knowledge of the meaning of committal to God and faith in His sovereign providence. In doing so we shall find our salvation. The Blood deals with the sins, but the Cross must deal with the sinner. It has already been experienced by Christ. God has put us all into his Son, and crucified us in him. In the last Adam he has wiped out all that was of the first Adam. There is nothing more precious in the world.
It is that which brings the awareness of his continual presence, and the reason is obvious. The Lord Jesus now has a resurrected body, a spiritual body, a glorious body, and since he is no longer in the flesh, he can now be received by all.
I am only an earthen vessel, but in that earthen vessel I carry a treasure of unspeakable worth, even the Lord of glory. But if we say: It means two things. First, it is not a work; it is a walk. We may assent to, and even enjoy, the teaching, but we shall never truly loathe ourselves. It is in this aspect of his death that we are called to die.
It is here that he makes clear the value of conformity to his death, whereby we lose our own natural life in order that, in the power of his resurrection, we may become life imparters, sharing thereafter with others the new life of God who is in us. This is the secret of ministry, the path of real fruitfulness to God.
In order that he may have that, we come to him with all we have, all we are—yes, even the most cherished things in our spiritual experience—and we make known to him: If interested, you can download free e-books by Watchman Nee at BiblesforAmerica. My name is Tom Smith. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post.
Be prepared to give it an adequate amount of time. So take your time so that you can really enjoy and be deeply impressed with what is the normal Christian life. It sound elementary but I assure you, no other book is better, more advanced but clear enabling, and grows you spiritually then this book. Now after reading the gospel of god, looking back, now the normal christian life is actually working beyond my mind and changing my life.
Tom, you really need to read The Gospel of God by watchman nee and judge nees work by this book! I have read 30 of needs books probably. The Gospel of God 2. From eternity to here Im not a fan of frank, but frank got every bit of into from 3. Frank is a good writer though.
Destroying pop views of marriage by Paul washer from sermonaudio. Other other free sermon sites. The overcoming life by watchman nee 6. The heavenly man by chinese christian brother yum 7 My utmost for his highness,.