Posted by: jiminmontana | May 8, 2012

The NORMAL Christian Life – beyond “AVERAGE”

It’s my intention to read Watchman Nee‘s superlative book “The Normal Christian Life” every year.  (click the link for the pdf download)

When I told my son (age 18) that it is a profound book, he thought that the title did not sound very interesting.  And that is exactly Nee’s point.

God wants it to be NORMATIVE that his saints enjoy and wield the supernatural Life-power of the Resurrection in daily living.

This book is a study in Paul’s letter to the saints in Roman, only some of whom had a Jewish upbringing.  Romans is Paul’s most complete delivery of the Gospel message — unlike letters to the Corinthian church wherein Paul is seeking to resolve their specific troubles as a fledgling, struggling congregation.

Key points in “Normal” are the distinction between how the Blood of Messiah has dealt with the sins (plural) of the Believing saint and how the Cross has dealt with the sinful nature of the saint: his sin (singular).  Fleshed out are the concepts and distinction between Messiah as the “Last Adam” versus the “Second Man”.  Nee’s key point is that it Christian life can and ought to be hallmarked by the EVIDENT reality of the Holy Spirit working His ministry “out of” (Greek, “ek“) and through the life of the individual.  Also, that the distinction between the human SOUL of the believer is quite divisible from the human SPIRIT — that our souls are so often “over-developed” that the spirit is disengaged from harmony with the Spirit of God.  And, just as needful to the Church today, Nee articulates that the Life of Messiah is never complete in the individual, but always in the Corporate union of Believers as the “Body of Christ” here on earth.

Nee had a significant impact on China.  Sadly, some of his closest supporters there took offense to his secular prowess in business affairs — as though he ought ONLY be a minister of the Gospel, somehow operating without funds. The Communist revolution in China which followed was also against all such Capitalists and Nee was thereafter imprisoned until his death.  Without Nee at the helm of the ministry he had organized, his followers did stray into some theological backwaters which, although not heretical, were not helpful or Scripturally-sound.

That being said, the books which remain (being compiled from sermons and his study notes) are a blessing to the Church forever.  Other texts which will bless you deeply are his treatment of Ephesians in “Sit, Walk, Stand” and his caution against “carnal Christianity” in “Love Not the World“.

I have the small book on my bookshelf. I have “Normal” in my Blackberry and plan to never delete it.  Other fine eBooks (including the other Nee books mentioned in this blog) are available HERE.

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