What Shall This Man Do?

by Watchman Nee, 1978
What Shall This Man Do?
  1. God’s Skilled Craftsmen
    • “Casting a Net into the Sea” — Peter, the fisherman, was given the task of fishing for men, evangelism, getting things started.
    • “They Were Tentmakers” — Paul, the tentmaker, saw the mystery of the Church, laid the foundation, and built the spiritual house of God.
    • “Mending Their Nets” — John, also a fisherman, was busy mending his nets when the Lord called him to service. His primary role in the guidance of the churches was one of the recovery of God’s original plan.
  2. Peter — and the Way
    • The Father Intervenes — to show Peter that the Law and Prophets, men and books, are not the final authorities. Rather, the way of the Kingdom is that the “beloved Son” speaks to me personally and directly, and I hear Him.
    • The Son Intervenes — to show Peter that God’s will of freedom for His sons will be fulfilled, but that God’s will of love for others sometimes is required of us first.
    • The Spirit Intervenes — to show Peter’s authority to proclaim the Kingdom open to all men.
  3. Catching Men
    Here we see how those who do not wish to repent, those who feel they cannot believe, and even those who do not believe in God can be saved.
    • The Sinner’s Friend — Jesus is the friend of sinners. All may come to Him and be saved just as they are. He will help all sinners come to Himself.
    • First Contact with the Lord — The first condition of salvation is not knowledge, but meeting Christ.
    • An Honest Heart Towards God — The only requirement for anyone to have. They do not need to change at all. They only must be honest with God about their feelings or beliefs towards Him.
    • The Helper Near at Hand — The Holy Spirit has been poured out upon all mankind and is waiting for their hearts to be opened unto Him.
  4. Paul — and the Life
    • The Treasure in Earthen Vessels — Holiness is not to cease to be human. The flesh must be dealt with by the Cross, but our humanity is never destoyed. God wants that earthen vessel, not covered or camouflaged, but controlled by the treasure.
    • Power in Weakness — Christ’s Life, paradoxically residing in our weak and imperfect humanity, repeatedly exhibiting the triumphant power of God.
    • Faith in the Presence of Doubt — When we are strongest in the Lord, we are often most conscious of inability.
    • Joy Amid Pain — Though the circumstances bring us pain, doing the will of God gives us inexpressible joy.
    • Anger Without Sin — We can be angry and yet have love in our hearts. We must rebuke with intent to redeem.
  5. God’s Sure Foundation
    • The Cross and the Body — The negative and positive aspects of the Cross. Crucifixion of the flesh and the incorporation of the Body of the New Man.
    • Upon This Rock — There is one foundation for the Church. It can only be built on the established work of Christ.
    • Heavenly Wisdom — The Church must see the vision of God’s purpose. This can only happen when God Himself reveals it to us.
    • The Preciousness of Light — The secret of spiritual vision is a readiness for the cost of it, which means a humble openness of spirit to the searching light of God.
  6. A Glorious Church We are the living stones which comprise God’s building. What have we chosen to build with?
    • Material for Building — The materials which we use to build God’s building on His foundation must be of eternal quality. Natural talents and abilities cannot accomplish this, only God’s grace can impart them to us.
    • Eternal in the Heavens — The Church was ordained before the foundation of the world to perform the works of God in the ages to come.
    • One New Man — Christ is all and in all. We are Christians and all our other distinctions are no longer relevant.
    • From the Beginning — Eve as a picture of the perfect Church. As Eve was taken from Adam’s body to become his bride, so the Church as Christ’s Body is being prepared to be the Bride of Christ.
  7. Building in Love
    In the earthly expression of the Church, certain actions are characteristic of members in Christ’s Body. Here are the ways that the members function towards one another.
    • Taking Responsibility — You must function as you are and not as you prefer to be.
    • Accepting Limitation — Do not try to do everything and be everything yourself.
    • Esteeming Others — The Lord has a place for, and can use, even the feeblest of His members.
    • Keeping the Unity — The Life in the Body produces a consciousness of being in the Body, leading to a natural, heartfelt unity.
    • “Love One Another” — The unity of the Life in us produces a love for one another that cannot be forced. God’s Spirit witnesses to us that we have the Life, and teaches us His ways.
  8. Ministering Life
    • Taking Responsibility — The Spirit gives gifts, God gives men. To His servants God gives the gift of prophecy; to the Church He gives prophets.
    • Gifts and Life — Gifts are the means by which we give of Christ to the Body; ministry is what we give of Christ to the Body. To trust in gifts is folly, unless they minister Life from the Giver of Life.
    • The Attack on the Church by Death — To bring the flesh into God’s work is to invite attack from the gates of Hades. Satan’s goal is to prevent the Church from spreading Life.
    • Ministering Life to the Body — One man’s ministry is another man’s Life. Let the Cross operate in the normal course of your walk with the Lord, and Life must manifest itself in others.
    • Words that are Spirit and Life — Words that come from study are just words, but the words that express an experienced working of the Cross minister Life.
  9. Gathered in the Name
    The corporate nature of the Church in the areas of guidance, discipline, and prayer.
    • “Concluding that God had Called Us” — The Spirit guides the path of the Church just as He guides the paths of each individual member.
    • “Restore Such a One” — The discipline of a member should be done with the attitude of seeking to gain your brother. Whether individually or through the Body, discipline should be a concern of the heart.
    • The Limitations of God — God will not act alone. He awaits our prayers. “True prayer begins at the heart of God, is made known to the hearts of men, is prayed back to God again, and God answers.”
    • Spoiling the Strong Man’s Goods — Satan has usurped the dominion over God’s creation. It is the task of the Church to lay claim to the spiritual territory occupied by evil powers.
    • The Fullness of Him — It is of utmost importance that we see ourselves as bound up together in Him. No longer individuals but members of His Body.
  10. John — and the Truth
    • His Servant John — The books of John take us back to the source to recover that which has been lost. Jesus is presented as grace and truth, light and love, and the King of all.
    • He That is True — What God has made me to be in Christ is the real thing. I only need the light of God shed on it to see it in my life.
    • Christ and Time — You advance spiritually by finding out what you really are, not by trying to become what you hope to be.
    • Citizens of Heaven — Heaven is not a place that the Church will reach at some future date. The Church is there, and never was anywhere else.
    • Golden Lampstands — The eternal Church in Heaven is perfect before God. Our failings and imperfections are not a part of that Church. The Spirit convicts us and shows us the Truth to bring us to conformity with Christ, but neither Christ nor the Church is ever altered. Only we are.
  11. He That Overcometh
    Overcomers are normal Christians who, having seen God’s design, have set themselves by God’s grace to stand by it.
    • You Young Men — God has a definite estimate of how each of us counts for Him. What is our spiritual value before God?
    • The Accuser of the Brethren — The precious Blood of Christ is our defense; the word of our testimony is our weapon of attack.
    • “And What Shall This Man Do?” — Each of us must ask this question of God regarding His will for us. Qualifications for a missionary:
      • The Assurance of Salvation — always the starting point.
      • Christ Our Life — the reality of Him in us.
      • Entire Dependence on the Lord — trusting in God alone, and not “hedging our bets.”
      • A Specific Ministry — a special Spirit-wrought knowledge of God that is distinctive to each person.
      • The Attitude of a Learner — the humility to receive God’s blessing through even the less experienced.
      • A History of the Acts of God — memories of times when God revealed His hand in our lives in significant ways.
    • The Calling of God — God never does a thing suddenly; he has always prepared long, long before. When a need arises, God is ready to meet it.
    • The Spirit of Truth — By the Spirit’s revelation we commence the course; by His discipline we complete it.
Also by Watchman Nee:
Full of Grace and Truth
The Spirit of the Gospel
The Salvation of the Soul
Not I, But Christ
The Glory of His Life
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