Recently, I read a classic among believers by the Chinese Christian Watchman Nee. He has a good book and a better title: The Normal Christian Life.
Nee attempts to help us understand the basics of the Christian faith and what it means to be “in Christ.”
What is the normal Christian life?
Jesus called both His disciples and the crowds to commit to the “normal Christian life.”
He said: “If anyone wants to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me and the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:34-35).
For Jesus (the only one qualified to define the normal Christian life), the Christian life is made up of two very important steps. Actually, this might be called a process or a journey.
First, the normal Christian life consists of a life-changing commitment. Denying self is a once for all commitment to reject self (pride, self-centeredness, the person controlled by the desires of the flesh) and to submit to Christ.
Jesus called us to a radical commitment. In another instance, He said that those who enter the kingdom of God must be born again. Paul said that to be “in Christ” is to be a new creation. Obviously, the Scripture identifies our faith as a radical transformation of Character and desire.
Jesus doesn’t call us to be reformed; He calls us to be reborn.
Second, the normal Christian life consists of a daily submission to God and His ways. By taking up the cross, we daily identify with Jesus and His demands for His followers. This daily identification comes when we readily submit to exchange what we can do with what He can do in us.
By making the condemned person carry his cross (actually the horizontal cross piece), Rome was showing who had the authority. When we take up our cross, we are showing our daily submission to Christ, our authority.
Christ calls us to transformation.
May we live the “normal Christian life.”
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