Monday, February 20, 2012
Watchman Nee was born in China in 1903, was converted to Christianity at the age of eighteen, spent the last twenty years of his life in a Communist prison cell being persecuted for his faith, and authored many books wherein his theology is yet quite worthy, in my opinion, for study. A friend came to me Sunday evening at church with a question about a thought brought forth by the preacher in something he was reading. As best as this old man can recall a day later, Tony was questioning the idea, not of “flesh” being both good and bad, but of a need for us to crucify it regardless. For a few moments there, before the service started, we talked but came to no real conclusion in the matter. Last night and again this morning, then, I’ve been re-visiting the one volume I own of Nee’s writing and find myself trying to recall what it was about his words that caused me to “move on” so long ago. In a second perusal of these first few chapters, he has my mind chewing on a good meal, his reasoning that Jesus “died instead of us for our forgiveness”, but “lives instead of us for our deliverance” closely resembling my own view of the Gospel! Indeed, when he rephrases that in terms of Christ being “a substitute on the Cross who secures our forgiveness and a substitute within who secures our victory”, he has me here, a few decades down the road, wanting to shout unto him “Amen!” When he states that “the Blood deals with what we have done, whereas the Cross deals with what we are” and he separates “sin” into the two aspects of “what I have done” and “what I yet am”, speaking of how “the former touches my conscience, but the latter, my life”, he paints, for me, this walk as I have found it to be. So, while I didn’t have an answer for Tony last night, it occurs to me now that what we were a bit perplexed about could merely be a perspective wherein we fail to recognize that no matter how “saintly” we think ourselves to have become in this, in spite of whatever we accomplish in our ministry, our outreach, our interaction with others, it all still falls short of “holiness”, our vanity always in need of being nailed to the tree.
Posted by Jim at 6:38 PM