Note: These are the notes I wrote down as I read through this book. Sometimes the notes are a word-for-word transcription from the book. Other times it’s my paraphrase of what was written. These notes are not intended to fully explain what Watchman Nee wrote. If something is confusing or requires more clarity, you can reference this book for more information.
The Way of Deliverance
Romans 6 lays the foundation for the Christian’s deliverance from sin. The power of sin. This deliverance is for any believer at any stage.
Many don’t experience this victory because they have heard an incomplete gospel. Or they’re unwilling to wholly accept and yield to it.
Romans 6 is about “it’s already yours.” This already belongs to you.
The three elements in Romans 6:6 are: 1) sin; 2) the old man; and 3) the body.
All three are vastly different and play a unique role in sinning.
Sin here is not the many acts of sin. But the root cause of sin. Not the what but the why.
Formerly, we were slaves of sin. Sin was our master. Sin has great power to enslave us.
Sin constantly emits great power to draw our old man—sin’s old man—into obedience to its power so that we might commit sins.
The old man represents the sum total of everything we inherit from Adam.
We can recognize the old man by learning what the new man is, for the old man is everything that the new man is not.
Our new man embraces everything that flows newly from the Lord at our regeneration.
We sin because the old man loves sin and is under its power.
“The body of sin” refers to our body. This corporeal part of man has become the puppet in all our sinning.
The “body of sin” is subject to the power of sin, fully laden with the lusts and desires of sin.
Sin is the power pulling us to commit sins.
The old man is all that we inherit from Adam that is not regenerated at new birth. Namely, our unregenerated body and our unrenewed soul.
The body of sin is the corporeal element we inherit from Adam.
Sin works in the old man (which is the unregenerated body and the unrenewed soul).
The process of sinning always involves: 1) sin; 2) the body of sin; and 3) the old man.
In sinning, we have: 1) the compulsion of sin’s power; 2) the inclination of the old man; and 3) the inherent sin in our body.
The Lord Jesus took, not just our sins, but also our entire being to the cross.
“Our old man has been crucified with Him.”
“Crucified” is the aorist tense, a once-and-forever crucifixion with Him.
The Holy Spirit must reveal to us that we have been crucified with Christ, for faith comes by revelation.
Pray until God gives us revelation that we would “know this.”
With the crucifixion of the old man and its replacement by the new man, sin may still stir, but it fails to find the old man still driving the body to sin.
The body’s occupation was formerly that of sinning, but this body of sin is now unemployed because the old man has been set aside.
The Two Essentials
How do we, practically, experience this accomplished fact?
1. Reckon yourselves dead to sin and alive to God (Romans 6:11).
In other words, believe that it’s true. Have faith.
This reckoning is believing God according to His Word.
When God says our old man was crucified, we reckon ourselves dead. When He says we are alive, we reckon ourselves as resurrected.
Many fail in this area because they desire to feel, to see, and to experience the crucifixion and resurrection before believing God’s Word.
Once we realize that God has already done it in Christ, and we simply believe His words by reckoning that what He has done is true, the Holy Spirit can then make it real in our experience.
2. Yield yourselves to God as alive from the dead and our body as instruments of righteousness (Romans 6:13).
Reckoning is futile if we will not relinquish.
Sin shall return to its dominion if we will not relinquish.
Even when we cease to reckon and exercise faith, we are still positionally in Christ. But we are not living by Him. Therefore, we can’t experience what is factually true of us in Christ.
The reason we experience defeat now is due to: 1) not knowing; 2) not believing; or 3) not obeying.
Learn to believe daily that we are in Christ and whatever is true of Him is true of us.
Also, by the power of God, we must consecrate our bodies to Him fully.