In Chapter 6 Watchman Nee makes a compelling case for the Christian life and purpose of God to be in the 'kosmos', not living in avoidance of it. Here are what seem to be some of Nee's points:
1. Jesus not only claimed Himself to be "the light of the world" (John 8:12) but He also told His disciples, as a statement of fact, that they, too, were "the light of the world" (Matt 5:14). Such divine light is "foreign" to the world and is in stark contrast to the world's darkness. Our light is to "shine before men . . . to glorify God" (Matt 5:16). If we remove ourselves from the world, then the world is deprived of light and God receives no such glory.
2. The Christian is guided by Paul's Kingdom of God internal features - righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17) - and not by worldly standards. Jesus said that in the world is "tribulation" but in Him there is peace (John 16:33), peace He freely gave to us (John 14:27). Nee then states that if our life is that of those of the world, then the world impacts on us, while if we have the life of the Spirit, we remain unmoved by the world's "tribulation." Jesus had that peace through all He went through, and Christian martyrs through history have tolerated atrocities calmly by His peace. God's peace in Jesus Christ guards our hearts and minds.
3. Therefore there is no need for Christians to withdraw from the world. We overcome the world by having those otherworldly gifts from the Kingdom, and showing those features to the people of the world, who are missing and in need of that love, peace and joy.
4. The Church then is a "colony of heaven" which intrudes into Satan's territory. Its light from above shows the 'kosmos' for what it is: God-hostile and dark. The Church also is to proclaim the gospel that if people turn to that divine light, God, through Jesus Christ, will set those of the world free from the world's bondage. Such a Church is a "thorn in the side" of Satan, so why should it try to leave the world?
5. The Christian's role, then, is to be in the world, a shining light, preaching the Gospel (Mark 16:15). That is our privilege and duty, and we are protected by God's peace.
6. Our "secular employment" arena then becomes our mission field in the world; we are to claim everything there for God and Christ. Satan hates that, and often tries to frighten us out of the world or entice us into it, to live by its standards. If he does either, that is his victory; but if we stay in the world, living by our otherworldly standards, then that is Satan's defeat and the glorifying of God.
7. The Bible never says that man overcomes sin, so we continue to need God's deliverance for us from sin. But the world has been overcome, just as light shown into darkness overcomes that darkness. Therefore we can touch the world and overcome it from above.
8. Faith in Christ is the victory that overcomes the world (1 John 5:5). Being born again into Jesus Christ allows us to live in the same world Jesus did, apart from the world as He did, a lamp for light to those around us. "Because as He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17); we as His Church glorify God by radiating His light into the world, which is where that is meant to be done.
11/10/2013 12:22:02 am
As we pass the halfway point of Love Not The World, Watchman Nee's chapters seem to be getting more into practical Christian living. In this chapter we see that Christians are to be in the world as light to that world's darkness and as bringers of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Nee did not fully quote John 8:12, but Jesus finished that verse by telling us how we carry light to the world: "He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life." It is HIS light we carry, not our own!
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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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