Holding to Truth

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15 Favorite Quotes from The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee

Normal Christian Life - Cover ArtAre you looking for some solid spiritual food?…a book that will introduce you to the deeper experiences of the Christian life?

Then I’d like to recommend one of my favorite books—The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee.  But for you to appreciate it’s depth, you’ll need a little foretaste.

So in this post I’ve collected fifteen of my favorite quotes to whet your appetite so that you’ll be impressed with the benefit of reading and re-reading this book.

Opening Word

“What is the normal Christian life? We do well at the outset to ponder this question. The object of these studies is to show that it is something very different from the life of the average Christian….The apostle Paul gives us his own definition of the Christian life in Galatians 2:20…He is, we believe, presenting God’s normal for a Christian, which can be summarized in the words: I live no longer, but Christ lives his life in me. (pp. 1-2)

Chapter 1 – The Blood of Christ

“ In the Scriptures the Blood of Christ is shown to operate effectually in these three ways, Godward, manward, and Satanward. (p. 7) The Blood is first for God to see. We then have to accept God’s valuation of it. In doing so we shall find our salvation. (p. 10)

Chapter 2 – The Cross of Christ

“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. 26)

Chapter 3 – The Path of Progress: Knowing

“One thing is certain, that any true experience of value in the sight of God must have been reached by way of a new discovery of the meaning of the Person and work of the Lord Jesus.” (p. 49)

Chapter 4 – The Path of Progress: Reckoning

“All the spiritual experience of the Christian is already true in Christ. It has already been experienced by Christ. What we call “our” experience is only our entering into his history and his experience.” (p. 74)

Chapter 5 – The Divide of the Cross

“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. 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. 87)

Chapter 6 – The Path of Progress: Presenting Ourselves to God

“How good it is to have the consciousness that we belong to the Lord and are not our own. There is nothing more precious in the world. It is that which brings the awareness of his continual presence, and the reason is obvious. I must first have the sense of God’s possession of me before I can have the sense of his presence with me.” (p. 102)

Chapter 7 – The Eternal Purpose

“The last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45). The Lord Jesus now has a resurrected body, a spiritual body, a glorious body, and since he is no longer in the flesh, he can now be received by all. “He that eateth me, he also shall live because of me,” said Jesus (John 6:57). (p. 115)

Chapter 8 – The Holy Spirit

“Oh, my friends, I would fain repeat it to you a hundred times—The Spirit of God within me is a Person! I am only an earthen vessel, but in that earthen vessel I carry a treasure of unspeakable worth, even the Lord of glory.” (p. 141)

Chapter 9 – The Meaning and Value of Romans Seven

“The sooner we too give up trying the better, for if we monopolize the task, there is left no room for the Holy Spirit. But if we say: “I’ll not do it; I’ll trust thee to do it for me,” then we shall find that a Power stronger than ourselves is carrying us through.”  (pp. 166-167)

Chapter 10 – The Path of Progress: Walking in the Spirit

“What does it mean to walk after the Spirit? It means two things. First, it is not a work; it is a walk. Praise God, the burdensome and fruitless effort I involved myself in when I sought “in the flesh” to please God gives place to a quiet and restful dependence on “his working, which worketh in me mightily (Colossians 1:29).”  (pp. 200-201)

Chapter 11 – One Body in Christ

“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.”  (p. 214)

Chapter 12 – The Cross and the Soul Life

“God must teach us what is meant, by putting his finger on something which he sees and saying: “This is natural; this has its source in the old creation, and did not originate with me; this cannot abide.” Until he does so, we may agree in principle, but we can never really see it. We may assent to, and even enjoy, the teaching, but we shall never truly loathe ourselves.” (p. 240)

Chapter 13 – The Path of Progress: Bearing the Cross

“The Son died, and came forth as the first of “many Sons.” He let go his life that we might receive it. It is in this aspect of his death that we are called to die. It is here that he makes clear the value of conformity to his death, whereby we lose our own natural life in order that, in the power of his resurrection, we may become life imparters, sharing thereafter with others the new life of God who is in us. This is the secret of ministry, the path of real fruitfulness to God.” (pp. 266-267)

Chapter 14 – The Goal of the Gospel

“The Gospel has as its one object the producing in us sinners of a condition that will satisfy the heart of our God. In order that he may have that, we come to him with all we have, all we are—yes, even the most cherished things in our spiritual experience—and we make known to him: “Lord, I am willing to let go all of this for you: not just for your work, not for your children, not for anything else at all, but altogether and only for yourself!” (p. 293)

I believe Watchman Nee’s own words speak out the essence of this book. So I hope that you’ll take the time to considerately and prayerfully read over The Normal Christian Life. After preparing this post, I realize that I’ve only tasted and need to digest these words by much prayer—point by point,  in order to enter into the real experience. I hope that after reading this post, you’ll be led to do the same.

If interested, you can download free e-books by Watchman Nee at BiblesforAmerica.org.

Also…if you’ve enjoyed this post or gotten some benefit by reading the The Normal Christian Life, please share what you’ve enjoyed in a comment.


About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

21 Replies

  1. lorri halllorrihall@gmail.com

    I just started reading the normal christain life today

    1. Tom Smith

      Great! Be prepared to give it an adequate amount of time. If you get touched with something as you’re reading, briefly pause, consider and pray over the point that touched you. You won’t get through the book as quickly, but you’ll definitely get more out of it. So take your time so that you can really enjoy and be deeply impressed with what is the normal Christian life.

    2. tom

      If it makes sense but does not enable you to live the life it’s admitting we should have in Christ then I would suggest his best book, The Gospel of God by watchman nee (2 vols). It sound elementary but I assure you, no other book is better, more advanced (but clear) enabling, and grows you spiritually then this book.

      Now after reading the gospel of god, looking back, now the normal christian life is actually working beyond my mind and changing my life.

  2. Tom, thanks for gleaning these quotes!

    1. Tom Smith

      I just hope that these quotes would stir up an appetite to read the Normal Christian Life and that it will put within the Lord’s people a seeking for Christian life according to the standard revealed in God’s Word. I’m really anticipating the BfA book launch of these two classics together, The Normal Christian Life and The Economy of God. Let’s pray that these words would reach the hungry souls and bring them to the full knowledge of the truth.

      1. tom

        Tom, you really need to read The Gospel of God by watchman nee and judge nees work by this book! I have read 30 of needs books probably. Lastly I ran into this one, which is by far the most completing and enabling of my spiritual walk with Jesus than anything I’ve encountered.

        My list of must haves for the Christian.

        1. The Gospel of God
        2. From eternity to here (Im not a fan of frank, but frank got every bit of into from 3. NEE, and other spiritual “giants” from the past). Frank is a good writer though.
        4. Destroying pop views of marriage by Paul washer from sermonaudio.com for free. Other other free sermon sites.
        5. The overcoming life by watchman nee
        6. The heavenly man by chinese christian brother yum
        7 My utmost for his highness,

        1. Tom Smith

          Thanks for sharing your enjoyment of the Gospel of God by Watchman Nee. I’ll definitely have to give it some serious consideration.

  3. Hendrick

    “Baptism is faith in action” ~ Normal Christian Life

  4. Talia

    So pleased to find your site. I really need encouragement to get into the Lord’s word and i’ve always wanted to read Watchman Nee’s publications. Please pray for me. I will look for this book.

    thank you.

    1. Tom Smith

      As believers in Christ, our real need is the divine life. Watchman Nee and his closest co-worker Witness Lee had profound insight into the the experience of the divine life for the building up of the Body of Christ, the church. I would strongly encourage your prayerful reading of the Normal Christian Life. It will feed your inner man and enlighten your heart to know God’s eternal purpose. Then you may also want to look at some of the other titles that I have referenced in my posts on Holding to Truth in Love. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  5. Ruby Gen Duroy

    I’m reading this book and i really loved it.
    I can some up everything I’ve learned in Galatians 2:20
    It’s no longer I but It’s Christ living inside me..,
    it’s very hard to live this kind of life it takes an every surrender but really it’s so amazing to know this fact that I am not my own.
    It’s my prayer that may Christ will continue to increase in this life and that I will continue to decrease.
    Still meditating and reading this book. ^_^

    1. Tom Smith

      Ruby, Glad you’re enjoying the Normal Christian Life. I’m also impressed that the Christian life is not me trying to be a Christian Instead, it is “Christ living in me.” It’s very good to consecrate ourselves to the Lord each day, not first to work for the Lord, but to allow Him to work in us. I have enjoyed Phil 2:13, “For it is God who operates in you both the willing and the working for His good pleasure.” We just need to keep contacting Him by calling on the name of Jesus, praying to fellowship with Him and praying and musing on His Word. It’s our cooperation to keep the “switch on” so Christ can live in us and God can operate in us to work out His will in us.

  6. Hi all…blessed Easter from Australia,
    Returned to Watchman Nee after a pause of almost 40 years,
    The Holy Spirit led me back to study Nee’s writings, to prepare me for a deeper meaningful walk instead of work, with my beloved Saviour, Jesus Christ.
    Love &blessings

    1. Tom Smith

      Eric, glad the Holy Spirit led you back to study Watchman Nee’s writings. To help you in your study you may want to explore this online library of Nee’s writings by Living Stream Ministry. This library contains the complete Collected Works of Watchman Nee except for a few titles where other publishers hold the copyright. If you’d also like to have the hard copy to write in here is a great site where you can order his books. If you’d like to read more about Nee online, you might want to check out WatchmanNee.org.

      Feel free to continue the conversation by sharing what you enjoy from your reading.

  7. Jon

    I’ve read it twice. It is the best study guide to the book of Romans I have read. A deeper understanding of who we are in Christ. If you question your purpose and having trouble getting answer, this book will bring out the inner man that God intended. Recommend the “Spiritual Man” next.

    1. Tom Smith

      Jon, thanks for your comment on the post. Glad you enjoyed the Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. It is really enlightening to see from this book that the normal Christian life is actually Christ Himself living His life again in us, His believers. It is not our trying to be good Christians. We simply need to learn to cooperate with this living One in us so that He can fulfill His purpose in us and through us. Even our living in union with Christ, walking according to the Spirit (Romans 8) is for the objective that Christ, the Son may have a Body to express His life (Romans 12). May we see the vision and enter into the reality!

  8. Philip

    Its a book I’ve read almost 5 times. I’m blessed tremendously. Watchman Nee has left a legacy behind for all who desire to truly follow God: the normal Christian life.
    bless you sir

    1. Tom Smith

      Watchman Nee’s writings shed much light on the Scriptures and open up the deeper meaning of the Christian life. Thanks for the confirming comment.

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