The Normal Christian Faith, by Watchman Nee

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Are spiritual matters real or not? You cannot ascertain them by your five senses. God has put us into Christ; we are crucified with Him. All our sins were borne by Him. Today Christ is resurrected and is in the Holy Spirit. But can we substantiate any of these with our five senses? They are useless in this respect. When it comes to these matters, the eyes are blind, the ears deaf, the nose numb, the tongue flat, and all the senses dull. If we merely exercise our five senses, we have to conclude that God does not exist, that there is no Christ, and that neither forgiveness of sins nor redemption of sinners is substantial, that there is no such thing as a new life, and that all spiritual matters are mere fantasies. The fact is that the substance is there, but the substantiating ability is absent.

Suppose a blind man stands up and proclaims, "There is no such thing as color. All the beautiful sights and scenes that people talk about are illusionary. All these descriptions of pictures as lively and vivid are merely abstract nonentities." You will not be surprised at hearing such words. You realize that he lacks the ability of seeing. To him all those things are genuinely nonexistent. His theory is the theory of the blind. Only the blind approve it and justify it.


You may think that this is a joke. But there are those who would criticize others, saying, "Listen to all this talk about spiritual matters, about forgiveness of sins by Christ, resurrection, and the receiving of a new life. They are just a collection of empty words." The fact is that spiritual matters do exist, but these people lack something. They are blind in regard to spiritual matters. What they lack is what they should have but do not have; it is that sense which substantiates all spiritual matters. Without that sense, everything spiritual is darkness to them. This sense is faith. Faith makes everything real and clear spiritually.

The material universe is real. So is the spiritual world. However, you need a special faculty to see and hear the spiritual world. This faculty or sense is the faith that we mentioned. Faith is the substantiation of things hoped for, and the conviction of things not seen. Though they are unseen, they are manifested to us in a tangible way. How can a seemingly abstract spiritual item be substantiated in us? It is by no other way than faith. Do we have this faith? If we do, all these will become real to us.


The five senses substantiate everything in the physical world to us. Faith is the faculty which substantiates everything in the spiritual world to us. It is a sense in addition to our other five senses. The question is whether or not we are exercising it. Mr. Chang is sitting in front of me. He becomes real to me through my eyes. However, I can testify to you that the Christ within me is more real than Mr. Chang. Not only is His indwelling a reality; His redemption, His crucifixion of my old man, and my resurrection with Him are also real. I am more sure of them than of Mr. Chang. Within me there is an organ which enables me to perceive all of these. They are undeniable and certain. Not only I, but countless other Christians also have seen them. They are being made real through the unique organ of faith.

(The Normal Christian Faith, Chapter 13, by Watchman Nee)