Sunday, February 05, 2006

Reckon yourselves dead to sin

Watchman Nee, (Ch. 4, The Normal Christian Life): In ref. Rom 6:11: Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin.”

"For years after my conversion I had been taught to reckon. I reckoned from 1920 until 1927. The more I reckoned that I was dead to sin, the more alive I clearly was. I simply could not believe myself dead, and I could not produce the death. Whenever I sought help from others I was told to read Romans 6:11, and the more I read Romans 6:11 and tried to reckon, the further away death was: I could not get at it. I fully appreciated the teaching that I must reckon, but I could not make out why nothing resulted from it.

I have to confess that for months I was troubled. I said to the Lord, “If this is not clear, if I cannot be brought to see this which is so very fundamental, I will cease to do anything. I will not preach any more; I will not go out to serve thee any more; I want first of all to get thoroughly clear here.” For months I was seeking, and at times I fasted, but nothing came through.

"I remember one morning – that morning was a real morning and one I can never forget – I was upstairs sitting at my desk reading the Word and praying, and I said, “Lord, open my eyes!” And then in a flash I saw it. I saw my oneness with Christ. I saw that I was in him, and that when he died I died. I saw that the question of my death was a matter of the past and not of the future, and that I was just as truly dead as he was because I was in him when he died. The whole thing had dawned upon me. I was carried away with such joy at this great discovery that I jumped from my chair and cried. “Praise the Lord, I am dead!”

I ran downstairs and met one of the brothers helping in the kitchen and laid hold of him. “Brother,” I said, “do you know that I have died?” I must admit he looked puzzled. “What do you mean?” he said, so I went on: “Do you not know that Christ has died? Do you not know that I died with him? Do you not know that my death is no less truly a fact than his?”

Oh it was so real to me! I longed to go through the streets of Shanghai shouting the news of my discovery. From that day to this I have never for one moment doubted the finality of that word: “I have been crucified with Christ.”

"I do not mean to say that we need not work that out. Yes, there is an outworking of the death which we are going to see presently, but this, first of all, is its basis. I have been crucified: in Christ it has been done.