The Normal Christian Faith, by Watchman Nee

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One time I was at the home of one of my friends. He had a maid who gave him much trouble. Not only was she lazy, but she had the habit of stealing. She possessed every vice that a maid could have. My friend asked for my advice. His intention was for me to preach to her some in the hope that she might change. I told him an extremely simple answer: Give her up and hire another! This is the same way that God deals with us. The human life can never be improved through preaching. God says, "I do not need you anymore." With that He simply kills it. This is God’s salvation.

This is the difference between God’s provision and our concept. We hope to suppress sin in order to tame the wild desires of it. But what result have we obtained? Many unbelievers have changed their conduct at different times. They were sinful and repulsive; now they are mild and gentle. But this is not the salvation of God. The salvation of God does not depend on how many sins you have committed in the past or how much you have improved. It is not a matter of changing from violence to gentleness. God sees sin as something related to our life. He deals with the problem at its root by removing the life. As long as this life continues, sin remains. But the day that this life is put to death, sin ceases.


This death, furthermore, is not the death that some people talk about, where one merely considers everything in the past to be gone for good. The amazing thing is that you can consider as much as you want that your temper is gone and dead, but in actuality it always comes back. You can only have a psychological reckoning. In reality it is still very alive. It follows you everywhere you go. Whenever you turn around it is there. You can never rid yourself of your temper, no matter how hard you try.


How can we die? The answer again goes back to this one fact: God has put us into Christ. God has caused Christ to die, and when we are in Him we died also. We have said that the forgiveness of sin is because we are in Christ. God has put us into Christ. God has caused Christ to die, and since we are in Him, we died also. When God judged Christ, He judged us also. By this judgment our sins are forgiven. We cannot put ourselves to death. The death of Christ, in which God has included us, makes us dead with Him.

Let us read again 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." There is no alternative for our old man but to die. There is no choice left for him to take. However, it is not a simple matter to die. God had to include us in Christ and then crucify Him on the cross. When Christ died on the cross, we were all included. From that moment on, we were no longer ourselves; we no longer existed. We never can or will crucify ourselves. It is our co-crucifixion with Him that took care of the old man. This is the basic solution to the problem of sin.

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