Ed Croteau Book Review (found on his website ‘fse.life’): Watchman Nee: His 1957 Book “The Normal Christian Life”

Watchman Nee (November 4, 1903 – May 30, 1972) was a leader of the original underground church in China, helping to establish local churches in China independent of foreign missionaries that has resulted in one of largest movements of Christianity the world has ever seen.

In 1922, he initiated church meetings in Fuzhou that sparked the beginning of local churches in China. During his 30 years in ministering the gospel of Jesus Christ, he published many books expounding on biblical truth, as well as establishing churches throughout China and leading many conferences to train Bible students and church workers.

Watchman Nee never attended theological schools or Bible institutes. His wealth of knowledge concerning God’s purpose, Christ, the Spirit, and the church was acquired through studying the Bible. The Lord revealed many truths to him, which he taught to others, through his diligent study of the Word, which he explains in his book ‘How to Study the Bible’.

He also built a collection of over 3,000 of the best Christian books throughout church history, including nearly all the classical Christian writings from the first century forward. His incredible ability to grasp and memorize important scriptural truths and spiritual principles from these books, combined with his deep understanding of God’s Word, made him one of if not the most impactful church leader during China’s Christian explosive growth.

As the Communist Revolution erupted in 1946 (led by the Communist Party of China and its leader, Chairman Mao Zedong), Nee was persecuted and imprisoned for his faith in 1952 at the age of 49, spending the 20 twenty years of his life in prison until his death in 1972.

Throughout the 14 chapters of his book, Watchman provides the following insights into what the “normal” Christian life looks like with their page references. His deep understanding of his own personal knowing and loving Jesus Christ can help all of us in our own personal journeys in our relationship with Jesus.

CHAPTER 1: THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
  1. In all His dealings with us, God works by taking us out of the way and substituting Christ in our place. The Son of God died instead of us for our FORGIVENESS: he lives instead of us for our DELIVERANCE. So, we can speak of 2 substitutions – a Substitute on the Cross who secures our forgiveness and a Substitute within who secures our victory (p. 12).
  2. Our Dual Problem: Sins and Sin – In the first section in Romans (1:1 through 5:11) we find the plural word ‘sins’ given prominence, while in the second section (5:12 through 8:39) the word ‘sins’ hardly occurs once, and the singular word ‘sin’ is used again and again and is the subject mainly dealt with. Why is this? It is because in the first section it is a question of the SINS I have committed before God, which are many and can be enumerated, whereas in the second it is a question of SIN as a principle working in me. No matter how many sins I commit, it is always the one sin-principle that leads to them (p. 12).
  3. I need forgiveness for my sins, but I also need deliverance from the power of sin. The former touches my conscience, the latter my life. I may receive forgiveness for all my sines, but because of my sin I have, even then, no abiding peace of mind (p. 13).
  4. I appreciate the blessed fact of God’s forgiveness, but I want something more than that: I want deliverance. I need forgiveness for what I have done, but I also need deliverance from what I am (p. 14).
  5. The Blood of Christ deals with what we have done, whereas the Cross deals with what we are. The Blood disposes of our sins, while the Cross strikes at the root of our capacity for sin (p. 14-15).
  6. The Blood of Christ is for atonement and has to do first with our standing before God. Our sins are forgiven, not because God overlooks what we have done but because He sees the Blood. The Blood is therefore not primarily for us but for God (p. 17).
  7. The whole trouble with us is that we are trying to feel the Blood’s value and to estimate subjectively what the Blood is for us. We cannot do it – it does not work that way. The Blood is first for God to see. We then must accept God’s valuation of it. In doing so we shall find our salvation (p. 20).
  8. We must believe that the Blood is precious to God because He says it is so (1Peter 1:18-19). If God can accept the Blood as a payment for our sins and as the price of our redemption, then we can rest assured that the debt has been paid (p. 20).
  9. I want to ask myself, ‘am I really seeking the way into the presence of God by the Blood or by something else?’ What do I mean “by the Blood”? I mean simply that I recognize my sins, that I confess that I have need of cleansing and of atonement, and that I come to God based on the finished work of the Lord Jesus (p. 22).
  10. I approach God through the merit of Jesus Christ alone, and never based on my attainment; never, for example, on the ground that I have been extra kind or patient today, or that I have done something for the Lord this morning. I must come by way of the Blood every time (p. 22-23).
  11. What is your basis to approach God? Do you come to Him on the uncertain ground of your feeling, the feeling that you may have achieved something for God today? Or is your approach based on something far more secure, namely, the fact that the Blood has been shed, and that God looks on the Blood and is satisfied? (p. 23).
  12. Whether you have had a good day or a bad day, whether you have consciously sinned or not, your basis of approach is always the same – the Blood of Christ. God’s acceptance of that Blood is the ground upon which you may enter, and there is no other (p. 24).
  13. No conscience could ever be clear apart from the Blood. It is the Blood that gives us boldness (p. 25).
  14. Jesus is not the Advocate for the sinner: Because of what man has done, there is that in him now which, until it is removed, renders God morally unable to defend him (p. 26).
  15. If we have learned to put no confidence in the flesh, we shall not wonder of we sin, for the very nature of our flesh is to sin. Do you understand what I mean? It is because we have not come to appreciate our true nature and to see how helpless we are that we still have some expectation in ourselves, with the result that, when Satan comes along and accuses us, we go down under it (p. 29).
  16. Our faith in the precious Blood and our refusal to be moved from that position can alone silence Satan’s charges and put him to flight (Romans 8:33-34). Oh, what an emancipation it would be if we saw more of the value in God’s eyes of the precious Blood of His dear Son! (p. 30).
CHAPTER 2: THE CROSS OF CHRIST
  1. There is peace with God, but there is no peace with myself. There is in fact civil war in my own heart. This condition is well depicted in Romans 7 where the flesh and the spirit are seen to be in deadly conflict within me (p. 33).
  2. How can we live a normal Christian life? How do we enter upon it? We must, of course, initially have forgiveness of sins, we must have justification, we must have peace with God: these are our indispensable foundation. But with that basis truly established through our first act of faith in Christ, it is yet clear from the above that we must move on to something more (p. 34).
  3. We see that objectively the Blood deals with our SINS. The Lord Jesus has borne them on the Cross for us as our Substitute and has thereby obtained for us as our Substitute, and has thereby obtained for us forgiveness, justification and reconciliation. We must now go a step further in the plan of God to understand how He deals with the SIN PRINCIPLE IN US (p. 31).
  4. The Blood can wash away my sins, but it cannot wash away my “old man”. It needs the Cross to crucify me. The Blood deals with the sins, but the Cross must deal with the sinner (p.34).
  5. The teaching of Romans is not that we are sinners because we commit sins, but that we sin because we are sinners. We are sinners by constitution rather than by action. We do not become sinners by what we have done but because of what Adam has done and has become (p. 35).
  6. One who sins is a sinner, but the fact that he sins is merely the evidence that he is already a sinner; it is not the cause. One who sins is a sinner, but it is equally true that one who does not sin, if he is of Adam’s race, is a sinner too, in need of redemption (p. 35).
  7. The Blood procures our pardon for what we have done; the Cross procures our deliverance from what we are (p. 36).
  8. At the beginning of our Christian life, we are concerned with our doing, not with our being. We are distressed rather by what we have done than by what we are. We think that if only we could rectify certain things, we should be good Christians, and we set out to change our actions (p. 37).
  9. We try to please the Lord but find something within that does not want to please Him. The more we try to rectify matters on the outside the more we realize how deep-seated is the trouble. Then we come to the Lord and say, “Lord, I see it now! Not only what I have done is wrong – I am wrong” (p. 37).
  10. We are sinners, not because of ourselves but because of Adam. It is not because I individually have sinned that I am a sinner, but because I was in Adam when he sinned. Because by birth I come of Adam, therefore I am a part of him. What is more, I can do nothing to alter this. I cannot, by improving my behavior, make myself other than a part of Adam, and so a sinner (p. 38).
  11. We are all involved in Adam’s sin, and by being born “in Adam” we receive from him all that he became because of his sin – that is to say, the Adam-nature which is the nature of a sinner. We derive our existence from him, and because his life became a sinful life, a sinful nature, therefore the nature which we derive from him is also sinful. So, the trouble is in our heredity, not in our behavior. Unless we can change our parentage there is no deliverance for us (p. 39).
  12. The Exact Meaning of “In Christ”: Abraham, as the head of the family of faith, includes the whole family in himself. When he offered to Melchizedek, the whole family offered in Abraham to Melchizedek. They did not offer separately as individuals, but they were in him, and therefore in making his offering he included with himself all his seed (p. 41).
  13. Here is our problem. We were born sinners; how then can we cut off our sinful heredity? Seeing that we were born in Adam, how can we get out of Adam? The Blood cannot take us out of Adam. There is only one way. Since we came in by birth we must go out by death. To do away with our sinfulness we must do away with our life. Bondage to sin came by birth; deliverance from sin comes by death – and it is just this way of escape that God has provided. Death is the secret of emancipation. “We… died to sin”- Romans 6:2 (p. 42).
  14. It is not by trying to kill ourselves, but by recognizing that God has dealt with us in Christ. This is summed up in the apostle’s next statement: “All we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death” – Romans 6:3 (p. 43).
  15. What we could not do for ourselves, God has done for us. He has put us into Christ. God has planned it; and he has not only planned it, but he has also performed it. We are in; therefore, we need not try to get in. It is a divine act, and it is accomplished (p. 43).
  16. What Christ has gone through we have gone through, for to be “in Christ” is to have been identified with Him in both His death and resurrection. When Christ was crucified, we were crucified; and His crucifixion is past, therefore ours cannot be future (p. 45).
  17. The Lord did not die only to shed His blood: He died that we might die. He died as our Representative. In His death he included you and me (p. 45).
  18. Why “In Christ” is so special: It is God’s inclusion of me in Christ that matters. It is something God has done (p. 46).
  19. Two remarkable names or titles are used of the Lord Jesus. He is spoken of there as the “Last Adam” and he is spoken of too as the “Second Man”. Scripture does not refer to Him as the second Adam but as the “Last Adam”; nor does it refer to him as the last Man, but as the “Second Man”. The distinction is to be noted, for it enshrines a truth of great value (p.46).
  20. When the Lord Jesus was crucified on the cross, He was crucified as the “Last Adam”. All that was in the “First Adam” was gathered up and done away with in Him. We were included there. As the “Last Adam” He wiped out the old race; as the “Second Man” He brings in the new race. It is in His resurrection that he stands forth as the “Second Man”, and there too we are included. “For if we have become united with Him by the likeness of His death, we shall be also by the likeness of His resurrection” – Romans 6:5 (p. 47).
  21. We died in Him as the “Last Adam”. We live in Him as the “Second Man”. The Cross is thus the mighty act of God which translates us from Adam to Christ (p. 47).
CHAPTER 3: THE PATH OF PROGRESS – KNOWING
  1. Our old history ends with the Cross; our new history begins with the Resurrection (p. 48).
  2. If we are “In Adam” all that is in Adam necessarily devolves upon us; it becomes ours involuntarily, for we must do nothing to get it (p. 48).
  3. There is no need to make up our minds to lose our temper or to commit some other sin; sin comes to us freely and despite ourselves (p. 49).
  4. In a similar way, if we are “In Christ” all that is in Christ comes to us by free grace, without effort on our part but on the ground of simple faith (p. 49).
  5. The conditions of living the normal Christian life are fourfold: (1) Knowing, (2) Reckoning, (3) Presenting ourselves to God, and (4) Walking in the Spirit (p. 49).
  6. Just as we cannot have justification if we have not seen Him bearing our sins on the Cross, so we cannot have sanctification if we have not seen Him bearing us on the Cross (p. 49).
  7. Not only have our sins been laid on Him but we ourselves have been put into Him (p. 49).
  8. When you saw your sins all taken away on the Cross, what did you do? You did not beseech Him to come and die for you, for you already realized that He had already done so. What is true of your forgiveness is also true of your deliverance. The work is done. There is no need to pray, but only to praise (p. 50).
  9. God has put us all in Christ, so when Christ was crucified, we were crucified also (p. 50).
  10. Your sins were dealt with by His Blood, and you were dealt with by His Cross. It is an accomplished fact (p. 50).
  11. Praise Him for it and live in the sight of it – “They believed His words; they sang His praise” – Psalm 106:12 (p. 50).
  12. When Christ died on the Cross, I died with Him. He not only died in my stead, but He bore me with Him on the Cross, so that when He died, I also died. And if I believe in the death of the Lord Jesus, then I can believe in my own death just as surely as I believe in His (p. 51).
  13. How can you know that you died with Christ? You can know for the one sufficient reason that God has said so. It does not depend on your feelings. If you feel that Christ has died, He has died. If you do not feel that He has died, He has died. If you feel that you have died, you have died; and if you do not feel that you have died, you have nevertheless just as surely died. These are DIVINE FACTS (p. 52).
  14. The Gospel for Christians: That Christ has died is a fact; that the two thieves have died is a fact; and that you have died is a fact also. Let me tell you, YOU HAVE DIED! You are done with! You are ruled out! The self you loathe is on the Cross IN CHRIST. And “He that is dead is freed from sin” – Romans 6:7 (p. 52).
  15. Our eyes must be opened to see the finished work of Calvary. Our crucifixion can never be made effective by will or effort, but only by accepting what the Lord Jesus did on the Cross (p. 52).
  16. The Good News: Sanctification is made possible for you on the same basis as that initial Justification. You are offered Deliverance from Your Sin as no less a gift of God’s grace than was the Forgiveness of Your Sins (p. 53).
  17. Man’s way of deliverance from sin = try to suppress sin by seeking to overcome it.
    God’s way of deliverance from sin = remove the sinner (p. 53).
  18. This is a Fallacy – it is not Christianity: If we as Christians are preoccupied with the power of sin and with our inability to meet it, then we naturally conclude that to gain the victory over sin we must have more power. “If only I were stronger,” we say, “I could overcome my violent outbursts of temper,” and so we plead with the Lord to strengthen us that we may exercise more self-control (p. 53).
  19. God’s means of delivering us from sin is not by making us stronger and stronger, but by making us weaker and weaker (p. 53).
  20. God sets us free from the dominion of sin not by strengthening our old man but by crucifying him; not by helping him to do anything but by removing him from the scene of action (p. 54).
  21. The fact of forgiveness of sins is in the Bible, but for the Written Word of God to become the Living Word from God to you, He had to give you a “spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” – Eph. 1:17 (p. 54).
  22. How you know you are “in Christ”: It is not because someone has told you, and not merely because Romans 6 says so. It is something more than that. You know it because God has revealed it to you by His Spirit. You may feel it; you may not understand it; but you know it, for you have SEEN it. Once you have SEEN yourself in Christ, nothing can shake your assurance of that blessed fact (p. 55).
  23. We need not work to die. We need not wait to die. We are dead. We only need to recognize what the Lord has already done, and to praise Him for it. You do not need to pray to the Lord for anything; you merely need your eyes opened to see that He has done it all (p. 59).
  24. Illustration: Alcohol & the Factory that Produces it = God has done away with the goods and made a clean sweep of the factory that produces the goods. The finished work of Christ really has gone to the root of our problems and dealt with it. He has made full provision for sin’s rule to be utterly broken. “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin” – Romans 6:6 (p. 61).
CHAPTER 4: THE PATH OF PROGRESS – RECKONING
  1. Romans 6:6 is in PAST TENSE: “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him” – The tense of the verb is most precious, for it puts the event right back there in the past. It is final, once-for-all. The thing has been done and cannot be undone. Our old man has been crucified once and for ever, and he can never be un-crucified. This is what we need to know (p. 62-62).
  2. Romans 6:11 is the ORDER of events: “Knowing that our old man was crucified… RECKON ye yourselves to be dead.” That is the order. When we KNOW that our old man has been crucified with Christ, then the next step is to RECKON IT SO (p. 95-96).
  3. God’s Word makes it clear that “knowing” is to precede “reckoning”. Our reckoning must be based on knowledge of divinely revealed fact, for otherwise faith has no foundation on which to rest. When we know, then we reckon spontaneously (p. 63).
  4. Unless we know for a fact that we are dead with Christ, the more we reckon, the more intense will the struggle become, and the issue will be sure defeat (p. 64).
  5. I saw that the question of my death was a matter of the PAST and not of the future, and that I was just as truly DEAD as He was because I was in Him when He died (p. 64).
  6. Galatians 2:20 is Real History: “I have been crucified with Christ…” – “Brother”, I said, “do you know that I have died?” I must admit he looked puzzled. “What do you mean?” he said, so I went on: “Do you not know that Christ has died? Do you not know that I died with Him? Do you not know that my death is no less truly a fact than His?” (p. 65).
  7. What is the secret of reckoning? In one word – REVELATION from God Himself. Most of us can remember the day when we saw clearly that Christ died for us, and we ought to be equally clear as to the time when we saw that we died with Christ (p. 65).
  8. It is not that I reckon myself to be dead, and therefore I will be dead. It is that, because I am dead – because I see now what God has done with me in Christ – therefore I reckon myself to be dead. That is the right kind of reckoning. It is not reckoning toward death but from death (p. 66).
  9. Why does God say we are to reckon ourselves dead? Because we are dead (p. 66).
  10. God tells us to reckon ourselves dead, not that by the process of reckoning we may become dead, but because we are dead. He never told us to reckon what was not a fact (p. 67).
  11. Romans 6:11 “Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus.” – How is this possible? “IN CHRIST JESUS”. Never forget that it is always and only true in Christ. If you look at yourself you will think death is not there, but it is a question of faith not in yourself but in Him. You look to the Lord and know what He has done. “Lord, I believe in thee. I reckon upon the fact in Thee.” Stand there all the day (p. 68).
  12. We are justified by faith in Him (Romans 3:28, 5:1). Righteousness, the forgiveness of our sins, and peace with God are all ours by faith, and without faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ non can possess them (p. 68).
  13. What is Faith vs. Hope? It is my acceptance of God’s fact. It always has its foundations in the past. What relates to the future is hope rather than faith, although faith often has its object or goal in the future (as in Hebrews 11). Perhaps for this reason the word chosen here is “reckon.” It is a word that relates only to the past – to what we look back to as settled, and not forward to yet to be (p. 69).
  14. Mark 11:24 “All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them” – This statement is that, if you believe that you already have received your requests, then you shall have them. To believe that you may get something, or that you can get it, or even that you will get it, is NOT faith in the sense meant here. This is faith – to believe that you have already got it. Only that which relates to the past is faith in this sense. Those who say “God can” or “God may” or “God must” or “God will” do not necessarily believe at all. Faith always says, “God has done it” (p. 69).
  15. When the first fact (sin-bearing, substitutionary death) was revealed to us we believed on Him for our justification. God tells us to reckon upon the second fact (crucifixion) for our deliverance (p. 69).
  16. The normal Christian life is lived progressively, as it is entered initially, by faith in Divine fact: in Christ and His Cross (p. 70).
  17. The two greatest facts in history are these:
    1. Our sins are dealt with by the Blood.
    2. We ourselves are dealt with by the Cross (p. 70).
  18. Six Rules of Reckoning:
    1. Sin has not been eradicated (p. 71);
    2. God has removed the sinner, not the sin (p. 71);
    3. There is a huge difference between the nature of life within us and our history (p. 72);
    4. It is a question of choice of which facts we will count upon and live by (p. 73);
    5. Faith is making of God’s facts real in my experience (p. 73);
    6. We do not need faith to make God’s facts real in themselves; faith “substantiates” them and makes them real in my experience
  19. We are not told that sin as a principle in us is rooted out or removed. No, sin is not eradicated. It is very much there, and given the opportunity, will overpower us and cause us to commit sins again, whether consciously or unconsciously. That is why we shall always need to know the operation of the Precious Blood (p. 71).
  20. God does not remove the sin but the sinner. Our old man was crucified with Him, and because of this the body, which before had been a vehicle of sin, is unemployed (Romans 6:6).
  21. Sin, the old master, is still about, but the slave who served him has been put to death and so is out of reach and his members are unemployed. The gambler’s hand is unemployed, the swearer’s tongue is unemployed… these members are now available to be used instead “as instruments of righteousness unto God” – Romans 6:13 (p. 72).
  22. “Deliverance from Sin” is a more Scriptural idea than “Victory over Sin”: the expressions “freed from sin” (Rom. 6:7) and “dead unto sin” (Rom. 6:11) imply deliverance from a power that is still very present and very real – not from something that no longer exists. Sin is still there, but we are knowing deliverance from its power in increasing measure day by day (p. 72).
  23. 1John 3:9 “Whosoever is begotten of God does not sin… he cannot sin – John is not telling us that sin is no longer in our history and that we shall not again commit sin. He is saying that to sin is not the nature of that which is born of God. The life of Christ has been planted in us by new birth and its nature is not to commit sin (p. 72).
  24. But there is a great difference between the nature and the history of a thing, and there is a great difference between the nature of the life within us and our history. The history is a fact, just as sins in our history are history facts; but the nature is a fact also, and so is the new nature that we have received in Christ (p. 72).
  25. What is “in Christ” cannot sin; what is “in Adam” can sin and will do so whenever Satan is given a chance to exert his power (p. 73).
  26. It is a question of our choice of which facts we will count upon and live by – the TANGIBLE FACTS of daily experience or the MIGHTIER FACT that we are now “in Christ” (p. 73).
  27. Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” – The power of His resurrection is on our side, and the whole might of God is at work in our salvation → but the matter still rests upon our making real in history what is true in divine fact (p. 73).
  28. Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen = The word “substance” in the Greek has in it a sense of an action and not just of some thing. The New Translation of JN Darby is especially good regarding this word: “Faith is the SUBSTANTIATING of things hoped for”. This implies the making of them real in experience (p. 73).
  29. We cannot substantiate divine things with any of our natural senses; but there is one faculty which can substantiate the “things hoped for”, the things of Christ, and that is faith (p. 74).
  30. Faith makes the real things to become real in my experience. Faith “substantiates” to me the things of Christ (p. 74).
  31. Remember we are dealing here not with promises but with facts. The promises of God are revealed to us by His Spirit that we may lay hold of them; but facts are facts, and they remain facts whether we believe them or not (p. 75).
  32. If we do not believe the facts of the Cross they remain as real as ever, but they are valueless to us. It does not need faith to make these things real in themselves, but faith can “substantiate” them and make them real in our experience (p. 75).
  33. As soon as we have accepted our death with Christ as a fact, Satan will do his best to demonstrate convincingly by the evidence of our day-to-day experience that we are not dead at all but very much alive. So, we must choose. Will we believe Satan’s lies or God’s truth? Are we going to be governed by appearances or by what God says? (p. 76-77).
  34. So, whether I feel it or not, I am dead with Christ. How can I be sure? Because Christ has died; and since “one died for all, therefore all died – 2Corin. 5:14 (p. 77).
  35. Satan’s attack is always upon our assurance: Whether my experience proves it or seems to disprove it, the fact remains unchanged. While I stand upon that fact, Satan cannot prevail against me (p. 77).
  36. All temptation is primarily to look within; to take our eyes off the Lord and to take account of appearances. Faith is always meeting a mountain, a mountain of evidence that seems to contradict God’s Word, a mountain of apparent contradiction in the realm of tangible fact – and either faith or the mountain must go. They cannot both stand (p. 78).
  37. If we resort to our senses to discover the truth, we shall find Satan’s lies are often enough true to our experience; but if we refuse to accept as binding anything that contradicts God’s Word and maintain an attitude of faith in Him alone, we shall find instead that Satan’s lies begin to dissolve and that our experience is coming progressively to tally with God’s Word (p. 78-79).
  38. What is Faith? Faith is “substantiating” God’s facts; and faith is always the “substantiating” of eternal fact – of something eternally true (p. 79).
  39. Nowhere does the Bible say we are dead in ourselves. We shall look in vain to find death within; that is just the place where it is not to be found. We are dead not in ourselves but in Christ. We were crucified with Him because we were in Him (p. 79).
  40. John 15:4 “Abide in Me, and I in you” – The Bible reminds us once again that we have never to struggle to get into Christ. We are not told to get there, for we are there. We are told to stay where we have been placed. It was God’s own act to put us in Christ, and we are told to abide in Him (p. 79-80).
  41. The Bible tells us that we were crucified “with Him” (Rom. 6:6), that we were quickened, raised and set by God “in Him” (Eph. 2:5), and that we are complete “in Him” (Col. 2:10). It is not just something that is still to be affected in us. It is something that has already been affected, in association with Him (p. 80).
  42. All the Christian’s spiritual experience is already true in Christ: It has already been experienced by Christ. What God has done in His gracious purpose is to include us in Christ. In dealing with Christ, God has dealt with the Christian. In dealing with the Head, He has dealt with all the members. What we call “our” experience is only our entering into His history and His experience (p. 80).
  43. Even eternal life is not given to us as individuals: the life is in the Son, and “he who has the Son has life”. God has done all in His Son, and He has included us in Him. We are incorporated into Christ (p. 82).
  44. The Way of Deliverance: God’s injunction is that we “abide” in Christ, because it opens the way for God to take a hand in our lives and to work the thing out in us. It makes room for the operation of His superior power – the power of the resurrection (Rom. 6:4,9-10), so that the facts of Christ progressively become the facts of our daily experience (p. 83).
  45. Where before “sin reigned” (Rom. 5:21) we make now the joyful discovery that we are truly “no longer in bondage to sin” (Rom. 6:6) (p. 83).
  46. Romans 6:4,11 = Death of Self, Alive to God: So often we go to the wrong place to find the death of self. It is in Christ. We have only to look within to find we are very much alive to sin; but when we look to the Lord, God sees to it that death works here but that “newness of life” is ours also (p. 83).
  47. We need to dwell on the objective – “abide in Me” – and let God take care of the subjective. And this He has undertaken to do (p. 84).
  48. The Divine Order = “Abide in Me, and I in you”: Faith in the objective facts makes those facts true subjectively. We do not try to produce fruit or concentrate upon the fruit produced. Our business is to look away to Him. As we do so He undertakes to fulfill His Word in us (p. 85).
  49. “Abide in Me”: Look at Christ and see yourself in Him. Abide in Him. Rest in the fact that God has put you in His Son and live in the expectation that He will complete His work in you. It is for Him to make good His glorious promise that “sin shall not have dominion over you” – Romans 6:14 (p. 85).
CHAPTER 5: THE DIVIDE OF THE CROSS
  1. Our fitness for the new kingdom is determined by the creation to which we belong. Do we belong to the old creation or the new? Are we born of the flesh or of the Spirit? Our ultimate suitability for the new realm hinges on the question of origin. The question is not “good or bad?” but “flesh or Spirit?” (p. 87).
  2. God wanted to have us for Himself, but He could not bring us as we were into that which He had purposed; so, He first did away with us by the Cross of Christ, and then by Resurrection provided a new life for us (p. 88).
  3. The greatest negative in the universe is the Cross, for with it God wiped out everything that was not of Himself. The greatest positive in the universe is the Resurrection, for through it God brought into being all He will have in the new sphere. So, the Resurrection stands at the threshold of the new creation (p. 89).
  4. It is a blessed thing to see that the Cross ends all that belongs to the first regime, and that the Resurrection introduces all that pertains to the second (p. 89).
  5. The Cross is God’s declaration that all that is of the old creation must die. Nothing of the first Adam can pass beyond the Cross; it all ends there (p. 89).
  6. God gathered up in the Person of His Son all that was of Adam and crucified Him; so, in Him all that was of Adam was done away (p. 89).
  7. What is Salvation? It relates not to our sins nor to the power of sin, but to the cosmos or world-system. We are involved in Satan’s world-system. To be saved is to make our exit from his world-system into God’s (p. 90).
  8. What is Salvation? Entering into the ark, Noah and those with him stepped by faith out of that old corrupt world into a new one. It was not so much that they were personally not drowned but that they were out of that corrupt system (p. 90).
  9. What is Baptism? By baptism in water, it is baptism “into His death”, ending one creation; but it is also baptism “into Christ Jesus”, having in view a new creation – Romans 6:3. You go down into the water and your world, in figure, goes down with you. You come up in Christ, but your world is drowned (p. 90).
  10. The Cross is not only Christ’s personally – an “individual” Cross. It is an all-inclusive Cross, a “corporate” Cross, a Cross that includes you and me (p. 91).
  11. God has put us all into His Son and crucified us in Him. In the last Adam He has wiped out all that was of the first Adam (p. 91).
  12. Understanding Baptism: Unless our eyes have been opened by God to see that we have died in Christ and been buried with Him, we have no right to be baptized. The reason we step down into the water is that we have recognized that in God’s sight we have already died. It is to that that we testify (p. 92).
  13. God has consigned me to death and the grave; by my request for baptism, I give public assent to that fact (p. 92).
  14. Understanding Baptism: God has already crucified me, but I must consent to be consigned to the tomb. My baptism confirms God’s sentence, passed upon me in the Cross of His Son. It affirms that I am cut off from the old world and belong now to the new (p. 93).
  15. Understanding Baptism: The real meaning behind baptism is that in the Cross we were “baptized” into the historic death of Christ, so that His death became ours. Our death and His became then so closely identified that it is impossible to divide between them (p. 94).
  16. Understanding Baptism: Our public testimony in baptism today is our admission that the death of Christ 2,000 years ago was a mighty all-inclusive death, mighty enough and all-inclusive enough to carry away in it and end everything in us that is not of God (p. 95).
  17. Understanding Resurrection: With the Resurrection something new is introduced. I am “baptized into His death”, but I do not enter in quite the same way into His resurrection – His Resurrection enters into me, imparting to me a new life (p. 95).
  18. In the death of the Lord the emphasis is solely upon “I in Christ”. With the Resurrection, while the same thing is true, there is now a new emphasis upon “Christ in me” (p. 95).
CHAPTER 6: THE PATH OF PROGRESS: PRESENTING OURSELVES TO GOD
  1. Romans 6:13 – This defines for us the point at which Consecration begins. The “presenting” spoken of is the outcome of my knowing my old man to be crucified. Knowing, reckoning, presenting to God: that is the divine order (p. 100).
  2. In Resurrection He is the source of my life – indeed He is my life; so, I cannot but present everything to Him, for all is His, not mine (p. 101).
  3. Presenting myself to God means that henceforth I consider my whole life as belonging to Him. God requires of me that I now regard all my members, all my faculties, as belonging wholly to Him (p. 101).
  4. What is Holiness? We become holy by being separated unto God. “Holiness’ in the Hebrew sense meant something set apart, and all true holiness is holiness “to the Lord” (Exodus 28:36). I gave myself over wholly to Christ: that is holiness (p. 103).
  5. There must be a day in my life when I pass out of my own hands into his, and from that day forward I belong to Him and no longer to myself (p. 103).
  6. To what are we to be consecrated? Not to Christian work, but to the will of God, to be and to do whatever He requires (p. 103).
  7. If you are a Christian, then God has marked out a pathway for you – a “course” as Paul calls it (2Timothy 4:7). The path of every Christian has been clearly marked out by God, and it is of supreme importance that each one should know and walk in the God-appointed course (p. 104).
  8. We have one life to live down here and we are free to do as we please with it, but if we seek our own pleasure our life will never glorify God (p. 104).
  9. We cannot expect the Lord to live out His life in us if we do not give Him our lives in which to live (p. 105).
  10. I must first have the sense of God’s possession of me before I can have the sense of His presence with me. When once His ownership is established, then I dare do nothing in my own interests, for I am His exclusive property (p. 106).
  11. How did I become the slave of the Lord? On His part He bought me, and on my part, I presented myself to Him. By right of redemption, I am God’s property, but if I would be His slave, I must willingly give myself to Him, for He will never compel me to do so (p. 106).
  12. When the Galilean boy brought his bread to the Lord, what did the Lord do with it? He broke it. God will always break what is offered to Him (p. 106).
  13. God breaks what He takes, but after breaking it He blesses and uses it to meet the needs of others (p. 107).
  14. My giving of myself to the Lord must be an initial fundamental act. Then, day by day, I must go on giving to Him, not finding fault with His use of me, but accepting with praise even what the flesh finds hard. That way lies true enrichment (p. 107).
  15. I do not consecrate myself to be a missionary or a preacher; I consecrate myself to God to do His will where I am, be it in school, office or kitchen or wherever He may, in wisdom, send me (p. 107).
CHAPTER 7: THE ETERNAL PURPOSE
  1. God’s purpose for man was glory, but sin thwarted that purpose by causing man to miss God’s glory (p. 109).
  2. The result of sin is that we forfeit God’s glory. The result of redemption is that we are qualified again for glory. God’s purpose in redemption is glory, glory, glory (p. 109).
  3. Romans 8:29-30 – What was God’s objective? It was that His Son Jesus Christ might be the firstborn among many brethren, all of whom should be conformed to Hs image (p. 110).
  4. God was not satisfied that Christ should remain the only begotten Son; He wanted also to make Him His first begotten (p. 110).
  5. It is not a question of what the Son suffers, but of what the Father loses. He is the sufferer; He is the loser. A sheep is lost; whose is the loss? The Shepherd’s. A coin is lost: whose is the loss? The Father’s. That is the lesson of Luke chapter 15 (p. 111).
  6. In Romans 8:29 we read of “many brethren”; in Hebrews 2:10 of “many sons”. From the point of view of the Lord Jesus they are “brethren”; from the point of view of God the Father they are “sons” (p. 112).
  7. John 12:24 – In the whole universe God put His one grain of wheat into the ground and it died, and in resurrection the only begotten grain became the first begotten grain, and from the one grain there have sprung many grains (p. 112).
  8. Romans 8:15,16 – It was by way of the Incarnation and the Cross that the Lord Jesus made it possible for us to be children of God. Therein was the Father-heart of God satisfied, for in the Son’s obedience unto death the Father has secured His many sons (p. 113).
  9. Hitherto in the Gospel of John the Lord had spoken often of “the Father” or of “my Father”. Now, in Resurrection, He adds, “…and your Father.” It is the oldest Son, the first begotten speaking. By His death and Resurrection many brethren have been brought into God’s family, and so, in the same verse He uses this very name for them, calling them “my brethren” (p. 113).
  10. Adam chose a self-life rather than a divine life; so, God had to gather up all that was in Christ and crucified Him as the last Adam, and this all that is of Adam has passed away (p. 117).
  11. John 6:57 – Now that He is in the Spirit, every one of us can receive Him, and it is by partaking of His resurrection life that we are constituted children of God (p. 117).
  12. The life which He possesses in heaven is the life which He has imparted to us here on the earth. That is the precious ‘gift of God’ (Romans 6:23).
CHAPTER 8: THE HOLY SPIRIT
  1. Acts 2:33 – Upon what basis, was the Spirit first given to the Lord Jesus to be poured out upon His people? It was upon the fact of His exaltation to heaven. This passage makes it quite clear that the Holy Spirit was poured out because Jesus was exalted. The outpouring of the Spirit has no relation to your merits or mine, but only to the merits of the Lord Jesus (p. 125).
  2. Because the Lord Jesus died on the Cross, I have received forgiveness of sins; because the Lord Jesus rose from the dead, I have received new life; because the Lord Jesus has been exalted to the right hand of the Father, I have received the outpoured Spirit (p. 125).
  3. All is because of Him; nothing is because of me. Remission of sins is not based on human merit, but on the Lord’s crucifixion; regeneration is not based on human merit, but on the Lord’s Resurrection; and the enduement with the holy Spirit is not based on human merit, but on the Lord’s exaltation. The Holy Spirit has not been poured out on you or me to prove how great we are, but to prove the greatness of the Son of God (p. 126).
  4. The Holy Spirit was poured out on earth to prove what had taken place in heaven – the exaltation of Jesus of Nazareth to the right hand of God. The purpose of Pentecost is to prove the Lordship of Jesus Christ (p. 126).
  5. We must never rest content with objective facts alone. We need subjective experience also; but that experience will only come as we rest upon divine facts. God’s facts are the basis of our experience (p. 128).
  6. Jesus is not going to be made Lord, He is Lord. Therefore, I am not going to receive the Spirit; I have received the Spirit. It is all a question of the faith which comes by revelation (p. 131).
  7. To many Christians the Holy Spirit is quite unreal. They regard Him as a mere influence – an influence for good, no doubt, but just an influence for all that (p. 140-141).
  8. The trouble with the Corinthian Christians was not that they lacked the indwelling Spirit but that they lacked the knowledge of His presence (p. 141).
  9. Has it really come home to you that wherever you go you carry with you the Holy Spirit of God? You do not just carry your Bible with you, or even much good teaching about God, but God Himself (p. 143).
  10. The difference between victorious Christians and defeated ones is not that some have the Spirit while others do not, but that some know His indwelling and others do not, and that consequently some recognize the divine ownership of their lives while others are still their own masters (p. 144).
  11. Revelation is the first step to holiness; and Consecration is the second (p. 144-145).
  12. There must be a day when, without reservation, we surrender everything to Him – ourselves, our families, our possessions, our business and our time. All we are and have becomes His, to be held henceforth entirely at His disposal. From that day we are no longer our own masters, but only stewards (p. 145).
  13. Not until the Lordship of Christ in our hearts is a settled thing can the Spirit really operate effectively in us. He cannot direct our lives until all control of them is committed to Him. If we do not give Him absolute authority there, He can be present, but He cannot be powerful. The power of the Spirit is stayed (p. 145).
  14. Are you living for the Lord or for yourself? Is there anything God is asking of you that you are withholding from Him? Is there any point of contention between you and Him? Not until every controversy is settled and the Holy Spirit is given His full place can He reproduce the life of Christ in any believer (p. 145).
  15. Not until we take the place of a servant can He take His place as Lord (p. 148).
  16. God is not calling us to devote ourselves to His cause; He is asking us to yield ourselves unconditionally to His will (p. 149).
  17. A forgiven sinner is quite different from an ordinary sinner, and a consecrated Christian is quite different from an ordinary Christian (p. 150).
  18. If we yield wholly to Him and claim the power of His indwelling Spirit, we need wait for no special feelings or supernatural manifestations but can simply look up and praise Him that something has already happened (p. 150).
CHAPTER 9: THE MEANING & VALUE OF ROMANS 7
  1. Christians should see that the old creation has been ruled out by the Cross of Christ, and an entirely new creation brought in by His Resurrection (p. 152).
  2. Romans 6 deals with freedom from sin. Romans 7 deals with freedom from the Law (p. 152).
  3. In Romans 6 Paul has told us how we could be delivered from sin, and we concluded that this was all that was required. Romans 7 now teaches that deliverance from sin is not enough, but that we also need to know deliverance from the Law (p. 152).
  4. Romans 7 has a new lesson to teach us. It is found in the discovery that I am “in the flesh” (Romans 7:5); and that “in me, that is, in my flesh, nothing good dwells” – Romans 7:18. This goes beyond the question of sin, for it relates also to the matter of pleasing God. We are dealing here not with sin in its forms but with man in his carnal state (p. 153).
  5. Many a Christian is truly saved and yet bound by sin. It is not that he is necessarily living under the power of sin all the time, but that there are certain sins hampering him continually so that he commits them over and over again (p. 153).
  6. One day he hears the full message of the Gospel, that the Lord Jesus not only died to cleanse away our sins, but that when He died, He included us sinners in His death; so that not only were our sins dealt with, but we ourselves were dealt with also (p. 153).
  7. Two things follow in the revelation that I have been crucified with Christ:
    1. I reckon that I have died and risen with my Lord.
    2. I recognize God’s claim upon me, and that I have no more right over myself, so I present myself to God as alive from the dead.

    This is the commencement of a beautiful Christian life, full of praise to the Lord.

  8. Grace means that God does something for me; Law means I do something for God (p. 155).
  9. The trouble with Romans 7 is that man in the flesh tried to do something for God. As soon as you try to please God in the way, you place yourself under Law, and the experience of Romans 7 begins to be yours (p. 156).
  10. There is nothing wrong with the Law, but there is something decidedly wrong with me. The demands of the Law are righteous, but the person upon whom the demands are made is unrighteous. The trouble is not that the Law’s demands are unjust, but that I am unable to meet them (p. 156).
  11. Romans 7:14 – “sold under sin”: Sin has dominion over me. As long as you leave me alone, I seem to be a rather fine type of man. It is when you ask me to do something that my sinfulness comes to light (p. 156-157).
  12. The demands of the Law were all right, but the man was all wrong. He was as clumsy a man when he was sitting still as when he was working, but it was your demands that made manifest the clumsiness which, whether he was active or inactive, was all the time in his make-up (p. 157).
  13. God knows who I am; He knows that from head to toe I am full of sin; He knows that I am weakness incarnate; I can do nothing. The trouble is that I do not now it. I admit that all men are sinners, and that therefore I am a sinner; but I imagine that I am not such a hopeless sinner as some. While we say so, we do not wholly believe it. God must do something to convince us of this fact. Had it not been for the Law, we should never have known how weak we are (p. 158).
  14. God never gave is the Law to keep. He gave is the Law to break! He well knew that we could not keep it. We are so bad that he asks no favor and makes no demands. Never has any man succeeded in making himself acceptable to God by means of the Law (p. 158).
  15. Nowhere in the New Testament are men of faith told that they are to keep the Law; but it does say that the Law was given so that there should be transgression – Romans 5:20 (p. 159).
  16. The Law was not given in the expectation that we would keep it. It was given in the full knowledge that we would break it; and when we have broken it so completely as to be convinced of our utter need, then the Law has served its purpose. It has been our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that in us He may Himself fulfill it – Galatians 3:24 (p. 159).
  17. Romans 6 shows us the way of deliverance from sin in the picture of a master and his slave. Romans 7 shows us the way of deliverance from the Law in the picture of two husbands and a wife (p. 159).
  18. Romans 7: the first husband is the Law the second husband is Christ and you are the woman. The Law requires much but offers no help in carrying out its requirements. Christ makes demands, but He Himself fulfills in us the very demand He makes (p. 161).
  19. The Law is going to continue for eternity. If the Law will never pass away, then how can I ever be united to Christ? How can I marry a second husband if my first husband resolutely refuses to die? (p. 161).
  20. There is only one way out. If my first husband, the Law, will not die, then I can die. And if I die the marriage relationship is dissolved. And that is exactly God’s way of deliverance from the Law (p. 161).
  21. God’s righteous demands remain forever; if I live, I must meet those demands; but if I die the Law has lost its claim upon me. It cannot follow me beyond the grave (p. 162).
  22. The Law could ask me to do 101 things when I was alive, but when I am dead the Law calls on me in vain (p. 162).
  23. Romans 7:4 – When Christ died His body was broken, and since God placed me in Him (1Corin. 1:30), I have been broken also. When He was crucified, I was crucified with Him. IN the sight of God, His death included mine. On the hill of Calvary, it was forever done (p. 162).
  24. The all-inclusive death of Jesus Christ has forever freed us from the Law (p. 163).
  25. Death has dissolved the old marriage relationship so that the woman, driven to despair by the constant demands of her former husband, who never lifted a little finger to help her carry them out, is now set free to marry the Other Man, who with every demand He makes becomes in her the power for its fulfillment (p. 163).
  26. The life of the risen Lord wither, the wife, empowers her for all the claims God’s holiness makes upon her. The Law of God is not annulled; it is perfectly fulfilled, for the risen Lord Jesus now lives out His life in her, and His life is always well-pleasing to the Father (p. 164).
  27. What is the most obvious thing that happens when a woman marries? She changes her name. She no longer bears her own name but that of her husband; and she shares not His name only but His possessions also. Everything that belongs to Him belongs now equally to her. Suddenly, she is amazingly enriched. And so, it is when we are joined to Christ (p. 164).
  28. Matthew 5:17 – The demands of the Law are being met, for it is Christ who now fulfills them; it is Christ who works in me what is well-pleasing to God (p. 165).
  29. The day I was delivered from the Law was a day of heaven on earth. After being a Christian for years I was still trying my best to please God, but the more I tried the more I failed. I regarded God as the greatest Demander in the universe, but I found myself impotent to fulfill the least of His demands (p. 166).
  30. Suddenly one day, as I read Romans 7, light dawned, and I saw that I had not only been delivered from sin but from the Law as well. In my amazement, I jumped up and said, “Lord, are you really making no demands on me? Then I need do nothing more for You!” (p. 166).
  31. God’s requirements have not altered, but we are not the ones to meet them. He is the Lawgiver on the Throne, and He is the Lawkeeper in my heart. He who gave the law, Himself keeps it. He makes the demands, but He also meets them (p. 166-167).
  32. God wants to demonstrate to us that we can do nothing at all, and until that is fully recognized our despair and disillusion will never cease (p. 167).
  33. Total Weakness: the trouble with us is that we are weak enough not to do the will of God, but we are not weak enough to keep out of things altogether. We are still not weak enough. When we are reduced to total weakness and are persuaded that we can do nothing whatever, then God will do everything (p. 167).
  34. God has declared the flesh to be fit only for death. If we truly believe that, then we shall confirm God’s verdict by abandoning all fleshly efforts to please Him (p. 168).
  35. Romans 6 deals with the body of sin; the whole question before us is sin. Romans 7 deals with the body of this death; the whole question before us is death (p. 169).
  36. What is the difference between the body of sin and the body of death? I have a body of sin – a body which is actively engaged in sin. But when it comes to the Law of God, I have a body of death. My activity regarding sin makes my body a body of sin; my failure regarding God’s will makes my body a body of death (p. 169-170).
  37. Romans 7:24 – Death means utter weakness – it makes we are so weak that we cannot become any weaker. That I have a body of death in relation to God’s will means that I am so utterly weak when it comes to serving God that I am reduced to the point of dire helplessness (p. 170-171).
  38. Have you despaired of yourself, or do you hope that if you read and pray more you will be a better Christian? Our trust must be in Christ alone. We no longer put forth self-effort; all our expectation is now in Another (p. 171).
  39. In the matter of forgiveness, we look to Christ on the Cross; in the matter of deliverance from sin and of doing the will of God we look to Christ in our hearts. For the one we depend on what He has done; for the other we depend on what He will do in us; but in both cases, our dependence is on Him alone. From start to finish, He is the One who does it all (p. 172).
  40. We know we can receive forgiveness only by entire reliance on the Lord. Yet we believe we can obtain deliverance by doing something ourselves. We fear that if we do nothing, nothing will happen (p. 172-173).
  41. John 19:30 – After salvation the old habit of “doing” reasserts itself and we begin our old self-efforts again. Then God’s Word comes afresh to us: “It is finished” (p. 173).
CHAPTER 10: THE PATH OF PROGRESS: WALKING IN THE SPIRIT
  1. Romans 5:12-6:23 = “In Adam” and “In Christ” – these two are “objective” and set forth our POSITION (first, as we were by nature; second, as we now are by faith in the redemptive work of Christ (p. 174-175).
  2. Romans 7:1-8:39 = “In the Flesh” and “In the Spirit” – these two are “subjective” and relate to our WALK as a matter of practical experience (p. 175).
  3. The Bible makes it clear that the first two (“In Adam” and “In Christ”) give us only part of the picture, while the second two (“In the Flesh” and “In the Spirit”) are required to complete it (p. 175).
  4. Romans 8:9 – We think it enough to be “in Christ”, but we learn now that we must also walk “in the Spirit” (p. 175).
  5. Ephesians 1:3 – It is a historic fact that in Christ my old man was crucified; and it is a present fact that I am blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ”; but if I do not live in the Spirit, my life will be a contradiction of the fact that I am in Christ. That is because what is true of “me in Him” is not being expressed in me (p. 176).
  6. I must hold onto the truth more than just objectively; what is true objectively must be made true subjectively, and that only happens as I live in the Spirit (p. 176).
  7. Exodus 14:13 = Living in the Spirit – means that I trust the Holy Spirit to do in me what I cannot do myself. It is not a case of trying but of trusting; not of struggling but of resting in Him. This is what it means to “stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you” (p. 176-177).
  8. Satan’s temptations are not designed primarily to make us do something particularly sinful, but merely to cause us to act in our energy; and as soon as we step out of our hiding place to do something, he has gained the victory over us. But if we do not move, if we do not come out of the cover of Christ into the realm of the flesh, then he cannot get us (p. 178).
  9. Galatians 5:17 – The fight with the flesh is not ours but the Holy Spirit’s, and it is He, not we, who meets and deals with it (p. 179).
  10. Galatians 5:16 – If we live in the Spirit, if we walk by faith in the risen Christ, we can truly “stand aside” while the Spirit gains new victories over the flesh everyday (p. 179).
  11. Our victory lies in hiding in Christ, and in counting in simple trust upon His Holy Spirit within us to overcome our fleshly lusts with His own new desires (p. 179).
  12. The Cross has been given to procure salvation for us; the Spirit has been given to produce salvation in us (p. 179).
  13. Christ risen and ascended is the basis of our salvation; Christ in our hearts by the Spirit is its power (p. 179-180).
  14. Regeneration = the life of Christ is planted in us by the Holy Spirit at our new birth;
    Reproduction = the new life grows and becomes manifest progressively in us, until the very likeness of Christ begs to be reproduced in our lives (p. 180).

  15. God has only one gift to meet all our needs: His Son Jesus Christ. God will not give us humility or patience or holiness or love as separate gifts of His grace. He is not a retailer dispensing grace to us in packets (p. 181).
  16. As I look to Him to live out His life in me, He will be humble and patient and loving and everything else in Need – in my stead (p. 182).
  17. Romans 6:23 – The life of God is not given to us as a separate item; the life of God is given to us in the Son; our relationship to the Son is our relationship to the life (p. 182).
  18. God has always one sufficient answer – His Son Jesus Christ – He is the answer to every human need. And we can only know Christ in this way by an increasing awareness of our need (p. 183).
  19. The Key = Letting Him live His life in me as I go forth in His name (p. 183).
  20. Romans 8:6 – with peace in my heart I have no time to feel condemned (p. 184).
  21. There is not only sin in me but a law of sin; there is not only death in me but a law of death (p. 184).
  22. Romans 7:23 – The “law of sin and death” cripples our will to do good. We naturally sin according to the “law of sin” in our members. We will to be different, but that law in us is relentless, and no human can resist it (p.187).
  23. How can I be set free from the law of sin and death? How can I be delivered from the constant repetition of weakness and failure? I need deliverance from sin, and still more do I need deliverance from death, but most of all I need deliverance from the law of sin and death (p. 187).
  24. Ephesians 1:19,20 – the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ = God delivers us from one law by introducing another law. The “law of sin and death” is there all the time, but God has put another law into operation = the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ, and this Law is strong enough to deliver us from the law of sin and death (p. 188).
  25. Law of Life in Christ = The Resurrection Life that has met death in all its forms and triumphed over it (p. 188).
  26. 1Peter 1:5 – The Lord Jesus dwells I our hearts I the Person of His Holy Spirit… and if we commit ourselves to Him, if we let him have a clear way, we shall find His new life superseding the old law. We shall learn what it is to be kept, not by our own insufficient strength, but by the “power of God” (p. 189).
  27. If we must exert so much effort in our Christian living, it simply says that we are not really like that at all (p. 189).
  28. If we will let go of our own wills and trust Him, we shall not fall to the ground and break, but we shall fall into a different law, the Law of the Spirit of Life, for God has given us not only life but a Law of Life (p. 191).
  29. If we will let ourselves live in the new law, we shall be less conscious of the old. It is still there, but it is no longer governing, and we are no longer in its grip (p. 192).
  30. God’s Grace to Us: He has given us the New Law of the Spirit, and for us to “fly” is no longer a question of our will but of His life (p. 193).
  31. If, believing the Lord’s Word, we yield ourselves to that New Law, it will tell us when we should stop talking – or not start – and it will empower us to do so. It is this spontaneous life that is the Christian life (p. 194-195).
  32. STEP 1 = God sent His Son in the flesh, who died for sin and in doing so “condemned sin in the flesh”. God struck at the very root of our problem by removing the fundamental ground of our weakness (p. 196).
  33. STEP 2 = God provided His indwelling Spirit to take care of the inward side of this thing – and He can do so as we “walk after the Spirit” (p. 196).
  34. What does it mean to “walk in the Spirit”? First, it is not a work – it is a walk (p. 196).
  35. Romans 8:14 – STEP 3 = I must be subject to the Holy Spirit. The initiative of my life must be with Him. Only as I yield myself to obey Him shall I find the “Law of the Spirit of Life” in full operation and the “ordinance of the law” (all that I have been trying to do to please God) being fulfilled – no longer by me but IN ME (p. 197).
  36. What the Father has devised concerning us the Son has accomplished for us, and now the Spirit communicates it to us (p. 197).
  37. We seek to make clear to the new believer that when he has asked the Lord to forgive his sins and to come into his life, his heart has become the residence of a living Person (p. 198).
  38. The Holy Spirit is now within the new believer, to open to him the Bible that he might find Christ there – to direct his prayer, to govern his life, and to reproduce in him the character of His Lord (p. 198).
  39. Do we know Christ as a Living Person… and do we know Hi as Boss (many of us know that Christ is our life; we believe that the Spirit of God is resident in us; but this fact has little effect upon our behavior) (p. 200).
CHAPTER 11: ONE BODY IN CHRIST
  1. Revelation always precedes faith and experience. Through His Word God opens our eyes to the truth of some fact concerning His Son, and then only, as in faith we accept that fact for ourselves, does it become actual as experience in our lives (p. 203).
  2. PHASE 1: Our Justification and New Birth =
    1. Begins with a revelation of the Lord Jesus in His atoning work for our sins on the Cross
    2. Next is the crisis of repentance and faith, whereby we are “made nigh” to God (Ephesians 2:13)
    3. Then is a walk of maintained fellowship with Him, through the Blood (Hebrews 10:19,22)
  3. PHASE 2: Our Deliverance from Sin =
    1. Knowing = the Holy Spirit’s work of revelation (Romans 6:6)
    2. Reckoning = the Crisis of Faith (Romans 6:11)
    3. Presenting = the continuing process of consecration (Romans 6:13)
  4. PHASE 3: The Gift of the Holy Spirit =
    1. The Spirit outpoured
    2. The Spirit indwelling
  5. Certainty = Revelation always precedes Sight = There will always be first a revelation (opening of our eyes) to some new aspect of Christ and His finished work, and then faith will open a gate into a pathway (p. 205).
  6. Four Elements of God’s Redemptive Work (p. 207):
    1. Remedial Work (undoing the work of Satan; recovering what Adam lost in the Fall)
      1. Blood of Christ = deal with sins and guilt
      2. Cross of Christ = deal with sin, the flesh and the natural man
    2. Positive Work (securing of God’s purpose; bringing us into, and bringing into us, something Adam never had)
      1. Life of Christ = made available to indwell, recreate and empower mankind
      2. Working of Death = in the natural man, that the indwelling Life may be progressively manifest
  7. The achievement of the Lord Jesus in His death and resurrection comprises both a work which provided for the redemption of man and a work which made possible the realization of God’s purpose (p. 207).
  8. In Ephesians 5 we have the only chapter in the Bible which explains the passage in Genesis 2 (p. 209).
  9. Ephesians 5:25-27 – For generations it has been instilled in us to think of ourselves as sinners needing redemption, and of the Church as so many “saved sinners”, which was our beginning, but it is not what God has in view at His end; God speaks rather of a “glorious church”, not having spot or wrinkle, but “holy without blemish” (p. 209).
  10. The Church = In God’s eyes the Church is a divine creation in His Son. The eternal purpose is something in the mind of God from eternity concerning His Son, and it has as its objective that the Son should have a Body to express His life. Viewed from the heart of God, the Church is something which is beyond sin and has never been touched by sin (p. 209-210).
  11. In Genesis 3, Adam was put to sleep for the express purpose that something might be taken out of him to be formed into someone else. His sleep was not for Eve’s sin but for her existence. It foreshadows an aspect of the death of the Lord Jesus that is not primarily for atonement, but for the creation of the Church, the Bride (p. 211).
  12. We should not think of redemption as everything, as though man was created to be redeemed (p. 212).
  13. The Fall is a tragic dip downward, and the atonement a blessed recovery whereby we were restored; but when it is accomplished there yet remains a work to be done to bring us into possession of that which Adam never possessed… and to give God what His heart most desires (p. 212).
  14. In Genesis 3, Adam was not slain, but only put to sleep to awake again. Adam slept, and Eve was created out of Adam. That is God’s method with the Church: God’s “second Man” has awakened from His “sleep” and His Church is created “in Him” and “of Him”, to draw her life “from Him” and to display that Resurrected Life (p. 213).
  15. Romans 8:28-30 – God has a Son, His only begotten, and He seeks that the Son should have brethren. From the position of only begotten He will become the first begotten, and instead of the Son alone. God will have many sons (p. 213).
  16. One grain of wheat has died, and many grains will spring up. The first grain was once the only grain; now it has become the first of many. The Lord Jesus has laid down His life, and that life emerged in many lives (p. 213).
  17. The outcome of the Cross is shown to be a single person – a Bride for the Son. Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it (p. 214).
  18. Summarizing Chapters in Romans:
    1. Romans 5 = our sins are forgiven
    2. Romans 6 = we are dead with Christ
    3. Romans 7 = we are by nature utterly helpless
    4. Romans 8 = we rely on the indwelling Spirit
    5. Romans 12 = we are one body in Christ
  19. The vessel through which the Lord Jesus can reveal Himself in this generation is not the individual but the Body (p. 216).
  20. Alone in isolation man can never fulfill God’s purpose. It requires a complete Body to attain the stature of Christ and to display His glory (p. 216).
  21. The Body is not an illusion but a fact. The Bible does not say that the Church is like a body, but that it is the body in Christ, and members of one another (p. 217).
  22. In Christ I have died to that old life of independence which I inherited from Adam, and that in Resurrection I have become not just an individual believer in Christ but a member of His body. There is a vast difference between the two (p. 219).
  23. God knew all about sin and redemption; yet in His great purpose for the Church set forth in Genesis 2 there is no view of sin (p. 219-220).
  24. Sin, self-reliance and individualism were Satan’s master strokes at the heart of God’s purpose in man, and in the Cross God has undone them (p. 221).
  25. Romans 8:37 – we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (p. 221).
CHAPTER 12: THE CROSS & THE SOUL LIFE
  1. God has made full provision for our provision in the Cross of Christ, but He has not stopped there (p. 222).
  2. “Bearing Our Cross” = bringing of our natural man progressively into his right place of subjection to the Holy Spirit (p. 223).
  3. TREE OF LIFE = Adam was created neutral. God’s goal in man was “sonship”: the expression of His life in human sons. The divine life was represented in the Garden by the Tree of Life, bearing a fruit that could be accepted, received, taken in. If Adam, created neutral, were voluntarily to turn that way and, choosing dependence on God, were to receive of the Tree of Life (representing God’s own life), God would then have that life in union with men; God would have secured His spiritual sons (p. 225).
  4. TREE OF KNOWLEDGE = But if instead Adam turned to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (in complicity with Satan), he would as a result be “free”, in the sense of being able to develop himself on his own lines apart from God (p. 225).
  5. God has set Himself to reverse something. There is something in man today which is not just the fact of having and exercising a soul, but which constitutes a LIVING BY THE SOUL (p. 226).
  6. God is seeking the fully developed life of His Son in us to manifest Himself, and to that end He is bringing us back, as to our soul, to Adam’s starting point (p. 227).
  7. I will not take any action without relying on God; I will find no sufficiency in myself; I will not take any step just because I have the power to do so. You lose that power to act when you come to know the Lord (p. 228).
  8. Anything we can do without prayer and without an utter dependence upon God must come from the spring of natural life that is tainted with the flesh (p. 232).
  9. Inward knowledge will never be reached along the barren path of self-awareness. We are never told in the Bible to examine our inward condition. That way leads only to uncertainty, vacillation and despair (p. 236).
  10. Psalm 36:9 – “In Your light we see light” – the first light is that light which belongs to God but is shed upon us; the second is the knowledge imparted by that light. It is only when there is light coming from God that we see (p. 237).
  11. My true knowledge of self comes not from my searching myself but from God searching me (p. 238).
  12. Light comes in and we see; the light of God brings us to see the light concerning ourselves, and it is an abiding principle that every knowledge of self comes to us in that way (p. 239-240).
  13. Psalm 43:3 – God is light, and we cannot live in His light and be without understanding (p. 241).
  14. TREE OF LIFE = When God secures for His glory that race of men who will be the instrument of His purpose in the universe, they will be a people whose life – whose very breath – is dependent upon Him. He will be the “Tree of Life” to them (p. 242).
  15. We can never know the hatefulness of sin nor the tendency we have toward our self-nature until there is an inward revelation of the Lord Himself through His Word. Such a breaking in of divine light does for us what doctrine alone can never do (p. 242-243).
  16. When we see ourselves in the light of God, all our self-confidence is gone (p. 243).
CHAPTER 13: THE PATH OF PROGRESS: BEARING THE CROSS
  1. You will find in Matthew 3 that, before His public ministry ever began, our Lord submitted Himself to baptism. He was baptized not because He had any sin, or anything which needed cleansing. No, we know the meaning of baptism: it is a figure death and resurrection (p. 245).
  2. Being a perfect Man our Lord had a soul, and of course a body, just as you and I have a soul and a body, and it was thus possible for Him to act FROM the soul – that is, from Himself (p. 246).
  3. The whole object of Satan was to get the Lord to act for Himself – that is, from the soul – and, by the stand He took, Jesus absolutely repudiated such action. In Adam, man had acted from himself apart from God. That was the whole tragedy of the garden. Now in a similar situation the Son of Man takes another ground. Later He defines it as His basic life principle: “The Son can do nothing out from Himself” (John 5:19). His total denial of the supremacy of the soul-life was to govern all His ministry (p. 247).
  4. What is the “power of the Holy Spirit”? It is nothing less than the virtue of the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the Vessel in whom all the values of the death, resurrection and exaltation of the Lord are deposited, that they may be brought to us. He is the One who “contains” those values and mediates them to men. That is why the Spirit could not be given until Jesus had been glorified (p. 247).
  5. In Romans 7 you find a man of God trying to please God by using his own carnal power, and the Cross must bring him to the place where he says, “I cannot do it. I cannot satisfy God with my powers; I can only trust the Holy Spirit to do that in me” (p. 249).
  6. The Cross has borne me; now I must bear it; and this bearing of the Cross is an inward thing. It is this that we mean when we speak of “the subjective working of the Cross”. And it is a continuous process, a step by step following after Him (p. 251).
  7. The soul is still there with its natural endowments, but the Cross is brought to bear upon it and to bring those natural endowments into death – to put the mark of His death upon them – and thereafter, as God may please, to give them back to us in glorious resurrection (p. 251).
  8. The mark of death is upon the soul all the time, to bring it to the place where it is always subordinate to the Spirit and never independently asserting itself (p. 252).
  9. The soul is the seat of affections, and what a great part of our decision and actions is influenced by these (p. 252).
  10. The secret danger lies in that subtle working of the affections to turn us away from the pathway of God; and the key to the matter is the soul. The Cross must touch that. I must “lose” my soul in the sense in which the Lord meant those words, and which we are seeking here to explain (p. 253).
  11. Some of us know well what it means to lose our soul. We can no longer lightly fulfill its desire; we cannot just give in to it and gratify it; that is the “loss” of the soul (p. 253).
  12. We are going through a painful process to discourage what the soul is asking for… We are held up because of some secret love somewhere, some profoundly innocent natural affection diverting our course. Human affection plays a great part in our lives, and the Cross must come in there and do its purifying work (p. 253).
  13. The whole question at issue is again that of the soul, and here it is particularly of the soul’s desire for self-preservation. Some of us know well that, to go on with God, we have many a time to go against the voice of the soul – our own or other people’s – and to let the Cross come in to silence that appeal for self-preservation (p. 254).
  14. The question at issue is always, where is my heart? The Cross must work in us a true detachment in spirit from anything and anyone outside of the Lord Himself (p. 258).
  15. John 12:25 “He that loves his life (“soul”) loses it; and he that hates his life (“soul”) in this world shall keep it unto life eternal”. Here we have the inward working of the Cross – the losing of the soul – linked with and likened to that aspect of the death of the Lord Jesus Himself which we have already seen depicted in the grain of the wheat, namely, His death with a view to increase. The end in view is fruitfulness. There is a grain of wheat with life in it, but “it abides alone”. It has the power to impart its life to others; but to do so it must go down into death (p. 258).
  16. The reason why there is so little sign of life where life is present is that the soul in us is enveloping and confining that life (as the husk envelopes the grain of wheat) so that it cannot find outlet. We are living in the soul; we are working and serving in our own natural strength; we are not drawing from God (p. 259).
  17. It is the soul that stands in the way of the springing up of life. Lose it – for that way lies fullness (p. 259).
  18. Death and resurrection must remain an abiding principle of our lives for the losing of the soul and the uprising of the Spirit of life (p. 260).
  19. God must bring us to a point – I cannot tell you how it will be, but He will do it – where, through a deep and dark experience, our natural power is touched and fundamentally weakened, so that we no longer dare trust ourselves (p. 261).
  20. You are not pliable in the Lord’s hands. He has therefore to weaken that strength of preference, of like and dislike, in you, until you do a thing because He wants it and not because you like it… you now do it because it is God’s will, regardless of whether or not it gives you conscious joy (p. 262).
  21. You will fear to move out on the impulse of your soul, for you know what a bad time you will have in your own heart before the Lord if you do (p. 263).
  22. We are no longer living in our soul; we are no longer drawing from it and living by it; we use it. When the body becomes our life, we live like beasts. When the soul becomes our life, we live as fugitives and rebels from God – gifted, cultured, educated, no doubt, but alienated from the life of God (p. 264).
  23. When we come to live our life in the Spirit and by the Spirit, though we still use our soul faculties just as we do our physical faculties, they are now the servants of the Spirit. When we have reached that point, God can really use us (p. 264).
CHAPTER 14: THE GOAL OF THE GOSPEL
  1. He intends that the preaching of the gospel should issue something along the very lines of the action of Mary: that people should come to Him and waste themselves on Him. That is the result that He is seeking (p. 324).
  2. In the world’s estimation the service of the Lord, and our giving ourselves to Him for such service, is sheer waste (p. 270).
  3. But if the Lord is worthy, then how can it be a waste? He is worthy to be so served. He is worthy for me to be His prisoner. He is worthy for me just to live for Him. He is worthy! What the world says about this does not matter (p. 271).
  4. When once our eyes have been opened to the real worth of our Lord Jesus, nothing is too good for Him (p. 272).
  5. The service of the Lord is not to be measured by tangible results. The Lord’s first concern is with our position at His feet and our anointing of His head (p. 274).
  6. The Gospel is not to satisfy sinners. The Gospel is preached in the first place so that the Lord may be satisfied. Our satisfaction comes unfailingly when we satisfy Him first… but He will never be satisfied without our “wasting” ourselves upon Him (p. 275).
  7. Real usefulness in the hand of God is measured in terms of “waste”. The more you think you can do, and the more you employ your gifts up to the very limit in order to do it, the more you find that you are applying the principle of the world and not of the Lord (p. 276).
  8. Our work for the Lord springs out of our ministering to Him. The first thing must be the Lord Himself, not His work (p. 276).
  9. True satisfaction is brought to the heart of God when we are really “wasting” ourselves upon Him. It may seem as though we are giving too much and getting nothing – and that is the secret of pleasing God (p. 277).
  10. I trust that we shall all break and pour out everything for Him. But TODAY – what are we doing today? (p. 278).
  11. The Lord must open our eyes to His worth (p. 279).
  12. What the Lord looks for in us is a life laid at His feet, and that in view of His death and burial and of a future day (p. 280).
  13. What the Lord desires comes from the heart, from the very depth of our being; and we come to the Lord with that, and we break it and pour it out and say, “Lord, here it is. It is all yours, because you are worthy” (p. 281).
  14. Whenever you meet someone who has really suffered – who, instead of trying to break free in order to be “used”, has been willing to be imprisoned by Him and has learned to find satisfaction in the Lord and nowhere else – immediately your spiritual senses detect a sweet savor of Christ. Something has been crushed, something has been broken in that life (p. 281).
  15. Once you reach that point, you may not seem to be much used in an outward way, but God will begin to use you to create a hunger in others. People will scent Christ in you. The most unlikely people will detect that (p. 282).
  16. We are speaking here is what we are; not of what we do or what we say or what we sing or what we preach(p. 282).
  17. The Gospel: God does not set us here first to preach or to do work for Him. The first thing for which He sets us here is to create in others a hunger for Himself. That is, after all, what prepares the soil for the preaching (p. 282).
  18. Our impact upon others turns upon one thing: the working of the Cross in us regarding the pleasure of the heart of God. It demands that I seek His pleasure, that I seek to satisfy Him only, and I do not mind how much it costs me to do so (p. 283-284).
  19. The Gospel: It has as its one object the producing in us sinners of a condition that will satisfy the heart of our God. For God to have that, we must come to Him with all we have, all we are, and make known to Him that we are willing to let go all we have for Him (p. 284).