DAILY DISCIPLINE #195
By Colleen Donahue
There was a brother named Watchman Nee, who served God faithfully in China. All throughout his life – even during 20 years of prison --- he preached and taught what Christ had done for us. It is fortunate for us today that his followers compiled their notes into books so that God’s word through Brother Nee could live on. It is to this dear brother that this study is dedicated. In the book published as “Sit, Walk, Stand”, Watchman Nee lays out our Christian experience in three important words found in the book of Ephesians. I have used this important work as the foundation for this Bible study.
SIT, WALK, STAND -- Our Life With Christ in Three Words - Part 1
- Christianity does not begin with walking but with sitting down. We can start by sitting because Christianity begins not with a big “DO” but with a big “DONE”. Jesus, in being the final and sufficient sacrifice for our sins, had completed the work of atonement for all time. What happened to Jesus after that?
Ephesians 1:19-20 / Hebrews 1:3
- If we start with walking, that implies effort on our part to still attain something. But how does God say we “are saved”?
- It’s all because of God’s grace that we are put right with God. Nothing is our own doing; it’s all only what Jesus has DONE. So, the Christian life – start to finish—is based upon our utter dependence upon the Lord Jesus.
“Sitting” is an attitude of rest and we’ll only advance in the Christian life as we learn to sit down and abide in Christ. When we sit down physically, we give the whole load of our body to the chair allowing our muscles and nerves to relax at once. When we sit down spiritually, we rest the load of our entire life upon Jesus. We let Him bear the responsibility for it while we cease to carry it ourself. And that is real relief.
- God has done everything in Christ and we simply step by faith into the enjoyment of that fact.
- God has actually done a double work. First, by his mighty power He has “seated” (made Him to sit) Jesus at his right hand.
Then, by grace, he seats you and I.
- So, the work is not initially ours at all, but rather God giving us our place of rest. Our Christian life begins with the discovery of what God has provided.
- But every new spiritual experience after that begins with a fresh realization of what God has already done. And so, we move forward with many new “sitting downs”. New discoveries in the Christian life always come because of revelation of something more that God has done for us. And so, we receive more of His life, not by walking, but by sitting and just resting in the Lord.
- Just as there is no need to wait for the initial experience of salvation, so there is no need to wait for the Spirit’s outpouring. It all starts with Jesus and the fact that God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.
When the Holy Spirit shows us Christ and we believe in Him, then at once without anything further on our part, we begin a life in union with Him.
- If salvation and fullness of the Holy Spirit are all received by faith alone, then what about the very practical matter of being sanctified or delivered from sin’s reign over us? The answer to this is again in sitting down --- not doing something but resting in something done for us. As you read these verses make a list of the verbs and notice the tense that Paul uses.
Romans 6:2-6 / Ephesians 2:5
- Does your list look like this?
We died, were baptized, were buried, have been united, was crucified, made us alive.
All these are in the past tense and are listed as historic facts.
Because God put me (my old nature) into Christ over 2,000 years ago, Christ’s experience has become my own. It’s not something I desire in the future or even the present. I already have it. We can receive our position in Christ as something already done even without understanding it all with our mind.
1 Corinthians 1:30
- We were crucified with Christ and that is when our union with Jesus began.
- Whatever happened to Christ, happened to us because we were in Him. Romans 6:6 says, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with (or rendered powerless), that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”
Notice, this is not an exhortation to get up and do something. This is history – our history in Christ – and that is what our deliverance from sin is based on. When the fact dawns on us that our old self was rendered inoperative at the cross and that we longer have to sin, then what will we be able to confidently declare?
And this is the secret to being delivered from sin. It’s not that we do anything, but that we rest in what Jesus had done. Do you have some sin that you seem not to be able to overcome? God is waiting for you to stop trying and to count on what He has already done for you in His Son. When we cease our struggling then God can begin to work. He waits patiently for us to exhaust our store of strength before He can deliver us.
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