LNTW, Chapter 4: Crucified Unto Me
Chapter 4 was a slightly shorter chapter in which Watchman Nee has one major topic - the separation of the Christian to God, away from the world. Here are some of the points he made in this chapter:
1. "Separation to God, separation from the world, is the first principle of Christian living." The rest of the chapter seems to amplify and explain this idea.
2. In the Book of Revelation the Apostle John had a divine revelation of two contrasting cities of destination for man: Babylon, the "great city" of immorality and sins (Rev. 18), and Jerusalem, the "holy city" as a bride for her husband (Rev. 21). These two cities are of "irreconcilable extremes"; John saw them by revelation; once we see that Jerusalem, "we shall never be the same."
3. The New Jerusalem had, to John, noticeable tall walls. They are for separation, so as to guard what is holy of God and having His glory, and keep out any aspect of Babylon. Similarly, holiness in us is what is of God, set apart for Christ; the second we let go of that holiness we go to Babylon.
4. We must have walls to keep out Satan (but never to keep away fellow Christians). Eden had no walls, so Satan entered; now in Christ we have our own Eden with walls which exclude Satan.
5. In 1 John 2:16 John identified all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but of the world. Pride from what the world acclaims, even small successes, is of the Satanic system, and must be acknowledged as sinful. Pride always erodes our relationship with God since it is the pride of life and not praise of God.
6. We cannot escape the world by running away in supposed abstinence from worldly things. But deliverance from the world begins with seeing its ultimate death sentence, under judgment from the Lord. Nee used the understandable example of a bank that is going to be closed losing all of its deposits and customers; we should view the world as that bank is viewed.
7. The Cross of Christ has ruined any future man had in the world. In Galatians 6:14, Paul cited two key aspects of the work of the Cross against the world: i) I am crucified unto the world, and ii) the world has been crucified unto me (notice the title of this chapter). Both the world and I are up on the Cross to face Christ's judgment. Nee then states that I cannot escape the world on my own, but by the Cross I have escaped the world.
8. Man wants to escape danger by removing himself from it, but physical separation does not bring spiritual separation, and physical contact with the world does not bring spiritual capture by it.
Spiritual bondage comes from spiritual blindness; when our eyes are opened then we are released from the world's power by seeing its Satanic nature, "at enmity with God."
9. Do not fear or run away from your trade in the world, but rather see that trade as under a death sentence for the world's hostility to God. That will change your life forever, and you can then live in that world "as one who truly loves and fears" God.
10/27/2013 10:36:37 am
In this chapter Nee makes clear a critical element of Christian living - separation of the Christian to God, and from the world. This is certainly not a surprise, as God has always favored separation of His people unto Himself, away from the "nations." Later in this chapter Nee seems to make a distinction between physical separation, which is not recommended, and spiritual separation, which is. The reader is also given a second means of victory over the world; the first was baptism in the last chapter, now the Cross. Nee suggests that since the world has received a death sentence from Jesus Himself, it must be given up, as a bank customer would give up a bank that was due to be shut down. While that is a helpful analogy, "giving up" on a world system which permeates our existence doesn't seem so readily apparent. Touching the world without being captured by it seemed to be the key idea. How does one do that?
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Watchman Nee became a Christian in mainland China in 1920 at the age of seventeen and began writing in the same year. Throughout the nearly thirty years of his ministry, Watchman Nee was clearly manifested as a unique gift from the Lord to His Body for His move in this age. In 1952 he was imprisoned for his faith; he remained in prison until his death in 1972. His words remain an abundant source of spiritual revelation and supply to Christians throughout the world.
Love Not The World
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