Reflections on The Normal Christian Life: Ch#1
by Erika (daylilyoverflow)
I’m rereading this book with some wonderful ladies that I know. Two weeks ago we discussed chapter 1 and I have so many things that I want to remember. So I hope you don’t mind if I share them here throughout the year.
These are my reflections on Chapter #1.
The “normal” Christian life is not about us. It’s not about what we can do or can’t do. It’s not even about our ability to be normal or not.
It’s about Christ. And what He does for us and how that is completely normal and completely the same across the board for all Christians. If you have accepted God’s forgiveness for your sin, by His grace, you are living the normal Christian life.
It is that simple.
And it’s not “normal” in that “I’ not perfect, just forgiven” sense.
It is normal in that this is the way Christians should normally live.
Do you still sin? Yes.
Is that the normal Christian life? Yes and No. It is human to sin and that is our normal, but the only One who ever lived a normal Christian life and ever will is Jesus.
“I live no longer, but Christ lives on me.”
The Normal Christian Life is how Jesus lived, and God, instead of seeing our sin, sees Jesus’ perfect life.
“In all His dealings with us He works by taking us out of the way and substituting Christ in our place.”
When God looks at us He sees Jesus.
That is just such an incredible thing to me.
Sometimes we say we want the world to see Jesus when they look at us, but really God sees Jesus when He looks at us.
He doesn’t see our sins. He sees us. Covered in Jesus’ perfect life. He sees our faces, our personalitys, and the “it’s just me” that he loves to pieces.
And He loves us.
He looks at us and loves us because Jesus lived and died the perfect life to make us whole and complete. And Normal.
I don’t feel like I can say that well enough.
The normal Christian life is a covered life.
Covered in Christ, our sin and sin nature become part of our old life without Christ, because He “died instead of us for our forgiveness; [and] He lives instead of us for our deliverance.”
He lives instead of us.
We don’t have to.
Everything we do to try to be better is futile and pointless.
We can only learn to accept and take hold of God’s grace and Jesus’ life as it is present in and over our lives.
Nee distinguishes between our sins and sin. Sins are what we do and can be listed. Sin is our nature. It is just how we are. Nee also breaks the work of Christ into two parts that deal with our sin nature. The Blood deals with our sins and the Cross deals with our sin nature.
The rest of this chapter dealt with how Jesus’ blood is enough to take care of our sins.
It has three purposes:
The Blood is primarily for God. “The blood is for atonement and has to do first with our standing before God.”
Why is it for God? And why is that important?
Because “God is satisfied.”
This just boggled my mind. God is completely satisfied with Jesus’s sacrifice and it’s ability to cover my sin.
“God is the One who demands that the Blood be presented, in order to satisfy his own righteousness, and it is he who says: “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” The Blood of Christ wholly satisfies God.”
It’s not up to us to decide if the blood was good enough to cover our sins. It is up to God.
Which brings us to the second purpose of thr blood. It’s for us.
“As unbelievers we may have been wholly untroubled by our conscience until the Word of God began to arouse us. [...] But later, when we believed, our awakened conscience may have become acutely sensitive, and this can constitute a real problem to us. The sense of sin and guilt can become so great, so terrible, as almost to cripple is, by causing us to lose sight of the true effectiveness of the blood.”
It is what allows us to stop focusing on thr sins that we commit. It gives us freedom from guilt and shame and releases us to live a life that is whole and completely for God. Our consciences can be clear so we can live the life we were meant to live.
“We may be weak, but looking at our weakness will never make us strong.”
Then why are we still so focused on what we do wrong? Well, it’s really the Accuser at work. He wants us to question our salvation and to question our worth. Because when we doubt he has a chance to gain a foothold in our lives.
“What then is our attitude to Satan? This is important, for he accuses us not only before God but in our own conscience also. “You have sinned, and you keep on sinning. You are weak, and God can have nothing more to do with you.” This is his argument. And our temptation is to look within and in self-defense to try to find in oursleves, in our feelings or our behavior, some ground for believing that Satan is wrong.”
But really it is not our work to prove that Satan is wrong. We only must believe and have faith that what God says is right.
1. The blood is enough for God. God is satisfied.
2. The blood clears our conscience. We are given knew life.
3. The blood answers the accusations of Satan. “We have not recognized that it is God alone that can answer the accuser, and that in the precious Blood he has already done so.”
The next chapter is called The Cross.
And just in case you are curious this book (The Normal Christian Life by watchman Nee) is a study on the book of Romans. So much of what you read here, can also be seen as you read through Romans.
Have you read this book yet? It’s epic.