The Normal Christian Faith, by Watchman Nee

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I write a great deal, yet my handwriting is not very good. The reason is probably due to my failure in early years to learn the art properly. When I was young, my father hired an old tutor to teach me to write. During the time that he was with me, I always went against him; I never sat down properly to learn. As a result he was quite upset with me. One time he said, "Look at your brothers and sisters. They are all writing beautifully. You are the only one who does not write well. Here, let me hold your hand and write with you." His broad hand grabbed hold of mine and started to move across the pages. I was trying to be stubborn and uncooperative. When he stopped I purposely tried to slide a bit further, and when he tried to write a straight line, my hand twisted around left and right. He never managed to get good handwriting out of me.

One day he made a poignant statement which I will never forget. He said, "I wish I could crawl into you to write for you. I do not see how else you can write well."

God’s way of salvation is to get into us. This is the effective and ultimate solution. It is not an outward teaching. It is not His holding of our hands to move them back and forth. It is not a set of do’s and don’ts. When He put off His flesh, He entered into the Spirit and can now get inside of us to be our life and live out of us. What that old tutor could never do is now being realized by God in Spirit.


How is Christ in the Holy Spirit? We have to look into a passage in the Gospel of John in detail. John 14:16 says, "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may be with you forever."

The Comforter here is understood to be the Holy Spirit. The original word is parakletos. It is formed by two roots. The first part para means beside. The second part kletos carries the idea of help and succoring. Hence, this word means helping you at your side. Comforter gives the sense of one being near to you, helping you, watching over you, and sustaining you. Here the Lord is praying the Father to send a Comforter to help and sustain you.


Verse 17 says, "Even the Spirit of reality, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him; but you know Him, because He abides with you and shall be in you." This Comforter is the Spirit of reality. All spiritual realities are in the Holy Spirit. When we have the Holy Spirit, we have reality. Hence, the Comforter is also the Spirit of reality.

The Spirit of reality is only related to the believers. It has nothing to do with the world. Why does the world not receive Him? First, it is because they do not see Him. When people in the world do not see something, they naturally will not receive it. Second, they do not know Him. Something unknown is usually hard to be accepted also. The Lord, however, says, "But you know Him." Christians know the Holy Spirit because "He abides with you."

Even today, the Holy Spirit is constantly with the believers. This is a fact. But notice the phrase after this: "And shall be in you." "Shall be" points to a future time. The Lord was saying, "This Holy Spirit is presently with you. But a day will come when He will get inside of you." Let us read on to see more concerning this point.

Verse 18 says, "I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you." What is an orphan? It is a child left without the care of a father. A son has all of his living, food, books, etc., provided for by the father. The father prepares everything and does everything for him. A fatherless child, on the other hand, must prepare everything by himself. The Lord is saying that He will not leave us as orphans to manage all of our spiritual affairs alone. Instead, He will come to be our Father, to care for and look after us.

(The Normal Christian Faith, Chapter 11, by Watchman Nee)