Grace For Grace

by Watchman Nee, 1983
Grace For Grace
  1. Parables of the New and the Old (Luke 5:27-39, Matthew 9:9-17)
    • Reason for the Parables -- To show that law and grace cannot be mixed together.
    • Using an Undressed Cloth to Mend an Old Garment -- Using cloth that is not preshrunk to mend a torn garment will result in a worse tear. Using good deeds to mend an unrighteous lifestyle will not produce righteousness.
    • Using a New Garment to Mend an Old Garment -- It would be foolish to ruin a new garment by taking a piece from it to mend an old torn garment. Why not just wear the new? It is foolishness to use the finished work of Christ to augment our own efforts to do good works.
    • The New Wine -- As the garment represents the righteousness of Christ, justification, objective, outward, being in Christ allowing us to walk before God, the wine represents the Life of Christ, regeneration, subjective, inward, Christ in us allowing us to walk victoriously among men.
    • The New Wine-skins and the Old Wine-skins -- Putting new wine into old wine-skins would cause the wine-skins to burst. Receiving the new Life of Christ and then trying to obey His commandments by our own natural tendencies to do good cannot reach maturity. When His laws are written in our hearts, we obey them without effort.
    • The Old Wine -- If we are drunk with old wine, our minds are dull and we do not desire new wine. But it is the vibrancy of the new wine, its power of expansion that is its greatest feature.
  2. Gleanings from the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)
    • One -- When a sinner comes to see his need for forgiveness, he tries to imagine how it is to be accomplished. The sinner's concept is 'I give you work, you give me wages.' He tries to come as an employee, rather than as a son.
    • Two -- God lavishes His riches on His children. His wealth never runs out.
    • Three -- When God saves a sinner, He celebrates and rejoices.
    • Four -- The elder son wanted the father to give him joy. The father's desire was that the son come in and rejoice with him. God never gives anything to anyone just for that one to enjoy: He always wants men to enjoy together with Him.
    • Five -- When the father kissed him, the son knew he was forgiven. He sat at the table and gave joy to his father. Worship comes out of joy in the Lord.
    • Six -- God has given us many gifts. What a painful loss it is for Him if we run off and waste them! But how great is His joy when we at last return and that which He has lost is found.
  3. The Better Blood (Genesis 4:8-11, Hebrews 12:24, 1 John 5:6,8)
    • One -- Cain killed Abel because he was jealous. The Jews killed Jesus because they were jealous.
      (Matthew 27:18)
    • Two -- The blood of Abel cried out for justice. The blood of Jesus cries out for God to forgive according to grace.
    • Three -- Jesus' blood bears witness for God saying that God loves us; at the same time, it bears witness for us, declaring that we are saved.
  4. Sin and the Body (Romans 6:6, 11-14)
    • One -- The body is the dwelling place of sin. To overcome sin, one must overcome the body. On the cross, Jesus did just this.
    • Two -- It's true. Believe it.
    • Three -- Turn your will from desiring sin.
    • Four -- Present your body and its members, the dwelling place of sin and sin's instruments, to God, and, believing that they are dead with Christ, allow Him to animate them with His Life.
    • Five -- Our will must yield to God. The result: sin shall not have dominion over you.
  5. The Meaning of Baptism (Acts 22:16, Romans 6:3-4)
    • What Baptism means -- People wash in water to get clean; they throw things into the water to get rid of them.
    • Wash Away Sins -- The water itself does not wash away sins, it is a testimony to that which does: the blood of Jesus.
    • The Two Sides of Sin -- One side of sin is toward God, the other is toward us. We lose peace because we long for a relationship with God and because we are frustrated by our own constant failings.
    • The Two Sides of Deliverance -- Christ saves us from the penalty for sin and He delivers us from the power of sin in us. His blood cleanses our conscience, not our heart. The cross deals with the sin in our heart. Old man was crucified with Him, our body of sin unemployed. Sin's willing servant is now dead, so it has no more power over us.
    • Buried -- When someone dies, they are buried. Thus baptism is a testimony that we believe indeed that in Christ died and were buried with Him.
    • Final Words
  6. Confess Sin (Leviticus 6:1-5, Psalm 32:1-7, Proverbs 28:13, Matthew 5:23-26, Matthew 3:7-8, Luke 3:10-14)
    • The Necessity of Confessing Sin -- We confess to God when God is offended and confess to men when man is offended. Our spiritual walk is related to our sensitivity to sin. Do we avoid sin for selfish reasons (embarrassment, punishment) or because of its offensiveness to God?
    • The Scope of Confessing Sin -- The scope of the confession is governed by the scope of the sin. Confession ought not be any wider or narrower than those who have been offended by the sin.
    • The Consequence of Confessing Sin -- Without confession, there is a loss of sensitivity toward sin, and a loss of joy. Confession brings peace, joy, and often results in a soul-winning witness to others.
    • Restitution -- Restore that which was unjustly taken.
  7. Communion with God and Enlightenment (Exodus 25:10-22)
    • The Mercy Seat and the Cherubim -- God's desire has always been to dwell among us. In the Old Testament, He communed through the Ark of His Covenant, giving enlightenment to those to whom He spoke.
    • Communion -- The basis of communion is God's glory. When we sin, we fall short of the glory of God. Through the blood of atonement, God extends grace that we might be restored to a knowledge of His glory, and a communion with Him.
    • Enlightenment -- Touching the glory of God is the foundation of elightenment. His guidance in our lives is according to His glory. If we would know His direction for us, we should seek His glory.
  8. Love God (Matthew 22:37-38)
    • One -- Love for God will cause us to forsake the world. When we see that which is more excellent, that which is of lesser value loses our interest.
    • Two -- God's love within us makes it possible to love the brethren.
    • Three -- Whoever loves God keeps His commandments. Love for God causes us to want to obey Him. God will manifest Himself to those who love Him and will abide in them. If we keep His commandments, we will abide in His love.
    • Four -- To them that love God all things work together for good. God works in our hearts to see that good in all things.
    • Five -- For those who believe in Him, God has prepared eternal Life. For those who love Him, He has prepared future blessings which cannot be imagined -- only revealed by the Spirit.
    • Six -- The crown of life is promised to those that love God.
    • Seven -- It is impossible to love the Lord and be uninterested in people's souls.
    • Eight -- If we love Him, we rejoice that the Lord Jesus returned to the Father. We greatly desire to see those whom we love receive glory.
    • Nine -- During worship, we ought to sense the loveliness as well as the majesty of God.
  9. Mary Magdalene (John 20:1-18)
    • One -- The first step is to believe in the Lord's work, the second is to draw near to His person. When we first meet Him, we become believers. Then we become His 'sweethearts.'
    • Two -- Peter and John saw that Jesus' body was gone and they went home. Mary stayed and wept as though there was no home to go to without Jesus.
    • Three -- Mary's heart was like the heart of a widow. Without Jesus, nothing could satisfy her, not Peter, not John, not even the angels.
    • Four -- Mary's heart was hungering and thirsting after Him. Jesus sought her out. To have a heart that will stir up the Lord is most precious.
    • Five -- Mary, not recognizing Jesus, said 'tell me where thou hast laid Him.' She did not name Him, to her there was only one 'Him.'
    • Six -- Where there is love, there is no problem.
    • Seven -- When Mary heard Jesus' voice, she knew instantly that it was not the gardener but the Teacher. Do we recognize the voice of our Lord?
    • Eight -- Mary wanted to touch Him, to grab Him, to hold onto Him. But He had yet to ascend to His Father, and so could not allow her to keep Him for herself.
    • Nine -- May God create such a desire in us so that we may desire after the Son of God and love Him with singleness of heart.
Also by Watchman Nee:
The Life That Wins
The Glory of His Life
The Prayer Ministry of the Church
Aids to "Revelation"
Love One Another
Other Items on Related Topics:
The Normal Christian Life
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Can You Hear Me?
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The Testimony of God
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The Authority of the Believer
John A. MacMillan
Let Us Pray
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