The Normal Christian Faith, by Watchman Nee

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Can we change the human life? Never! Not only are we unable to change it; even God cannot change it. The life of man is like a sin factory that daily manufactures hundreds of products. Therefore, in addition to the work of forgiveness, God had to deal with the source of sin. Since He is not going to change our life, what basic solution did He provide to save us? We have to look at the second aspect of His salvation.

Romans 6:7: "For he who has died is justified from sin." If a man wants to be delivered from sin, the only way is for him to die. He who has died is freed from sin; it is no longer possible for him to sin.

I know a friend who had an insatiable appetite for card games. Day and night he was obsessed by them. When he could not find partners for a game, he felt tormented beyond measure. Even when he did not have cards in his hands, he would feel better just looking at them. His whole life was governed by cards. However, he is dead now. After he died, he no longer loved cards. Even if you stuffed cards into his hands, he would not take them anymore. Death has delivered him from his cards.

Consider another example of a very arrogant person. He boasts of everything about himself. There is no way to remove or suppress his pride. One day he dies. If the whole world gathered around him to eulogize and extol his glorious deeds, what would he do? Would he still be proud of himself?


God’s salvation for man is death! He who is dead is freed from sin. We have to see the verse that precedes the one we just read.

Romans 6:6: "Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be annulled, that we should no longer serve sin as slaves." We have to take a closer look at this passage. The Greek word "annulled" has two meanings: one is unemployed; the other is paralyzed or crippled. The idea of unemployment is stronger in this passage. Hence, we can translate this as "that the body of sin might be unemployed."


There are three important agents in this passage. The first is sin, the second is the old man, and the third is the body. Sin is personified; it is a master. This sin does not refer to individual sins. Rather, it is a powerful lord that binds, entangles, and compels man to commit all of the particular sins. Man becomes the slave to sin, being subject to such a tyrant and carrying out all its dictates.

Under ordinary circumstances, man does not feel too much pressure from this master. But the minute he makes up his mind to overcome it, he will find that no matter how much energy he summons, he can never succeed in overturning its power. The more he tries to control his temper, the more he will lose it. Sin is the master. It forces man to submit.

The old man mentioned in the Bible is our own person. Deep in man there is a love for sin. When temptation comes, man rejoices to hear its call and gladly succumbs to its sway. It is true that sin is a powerful agent, but when it is met by the old man, the result is an instant collaboration.

In such a setting, the two go about searching for an instrument and discover the body. The body is thus employed. They will either tell the eyes to look, the ears to listen, or the hands to move. In this way the body executes the order dictated by sin and seconded by the old man. Sin is the director, the old man submits to its orders, and the body carries them out practically in the form of transgressions. These three are one. They agree with one another. The product of this collaboration is the multitude of sins that we commit.

(The Normal Christian Faith, Chapter 10, by Watchman Nee)