The Normal Christian Faith, by Watchman Nee

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But receiving the forgiveness of sins merely recovers us back to the state before Adam’s fall. He was just a man, and his life was merely a human life at the proper level. But God intends to give His only begotten Son to us so that we may receive eternal life. This is the summit of God’s salvation. God is not only recovering what we lost in Adam; He is bestowing what Adam never received. Adam did not eat of the tree of life. Had he not sinned at all, he would still be merely human. He had no relationship with the life of God. But we have inherited something far more excellent in Christ. In addition to a human life, we have a new life, a life from God, which is the very Son of God Himself. This is eternal life.


What is the meaning of eternal life? It simply means a life of eternity. Man’s life is transient; it will not survive in eternity. Only the life of the Son of God can exist there. If I put my own life in eternity, it would shrivel up immediately. It would not last! It would perish as a fish in air or a bird in water. Man’s life can only carry him through a temporary existence on this earth. It will not make it through eternity. Only an eternal life can survive in eternity.

First John 5:11-12 says, "And this is the testimony, that God gave to us eternal life and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life." Here we are told that this life of eternity is in the Son. It is found in no other place. Whoever does not have this life in the Son is merely a human; he can only exist on earth, but not survive in eternity. He does not have that life which qualifies him for eternity.

After the Son of God passed through death and resurrection and became the Holy Spirit, He is no longer limited by time and space. We can now receive Him anytime and anywhere. Hitherto, whoever received the Son of God received God. In the same way, whoever receives the Holy Spirit receives the Son. First Corinthians 15:45b says, "The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit." This enables all those who have received Christ to obtain a new life. Not only are their sins forgiven, but they inherit an eternal life from God as well.

(The Normal Christian Faith, Chapter 12, by Watchman Nee)