The Normal Christian Faith, by Watchman Nee

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God Himself is the only able One. The commandments of Christ can only be fulfilled by Christ Himself. Neither you nor I can do anything. Hence, the answer to our second question is that only the Son of God can fulfill the requirements of God. All of us are unable. God alone is able.

Therefore, whenever a brother in the Lord tells me that he is hopeless, that he falls as soon as he rises, and that the more he tries the more he fails, I rejoice greatly. The more he weeps for his transgressions and failures, the more I laugh inside. I will say, "Today you know that you are a failure. This is something to be congratulated. Although you should have known this earlier, it is not too late to know it now." We cannot obey God’s will. God’s will can only be done by God Himself, and the commandments of Christ can be fulfilled by none other than Christ.


Our gospel is also called the glad tidings. Why is it called the glad tidings? Is it because the Bible contains commandments that have a higher standard than all other religions? If so, then we are preaching grievous tidings. In a physical fitness test, if the requirement is only to jump a foot, everyone can easily pass. But if the requirement is ten feet, then we have a grievous tiding.

What is the glad tiding that God gave us? It is the bestowing of His Son to us. By His resurrection we are resurrected. Now He is living inside of us to be our life, so that we may live Him out and fulfill His demands. This is the glad tiding. The glad tiding is that God is fulfilling His own commandments inside of us! The gospel is not a set of do’s and don’ts. You do not have to crawl around the earth day and night like crabgrass, telling yourself over and over again that you are not supposed to sin. This is not a glad tiding. This is a grievous tiding. The gospel is that God is coming into us to live and obey for us.


Not only do we have to see that we are unable; we have to realize that God is able! (Luke 18:27). The young ruler only saw that he was unable and concluded that God was the same and proceeded to leave sorrowfully. But God is able! Do not think that when you are unable everything is over with you. The inability of man is the beginning of the ability of God. It is the time for God to show forth His power. Not that we are able, but His doing a work for us makes us able.

The meaning of Christ being our life is this: formerly man lived by his own life, but the natural life is ousted by the coming in of the resurrection life of Christ. The "I" who formerly lived is gone, and the life of Christ comes in to take its place. Then it is no longer I who live. When the life within is exchanged, the behavior without cannot remain the same. Because our life is Christ, we can fulfill Christ’s commandments. It is not the power of Christ helping us to conform to His ordinances. Rather, it is the life of Christ substituting ours to live out His commandments. When His life inside is working, we can keep His laws.

(The Normal Christian Faith, Chapter 14, by Watchman Nee)