Watchman Nee Quotes:  25 Inspirational Sayings

Watchman Nee was a great Christian teacher and a pioneering Church leader.  His work was done in China during the first half of the 20th century.  His ministry work spanned a period of over 30 years and he published many books relating to the the Bible.  His most notable books were “The Normal Christian Life” and “The Normal Christian Church Life.”  Nee traveled throughout China making an impact every where he went through holding conferences and bible studies for students and fellow workers.  The meetings he initiated at Fuzhou in 1922 are what many consider to be the beginning of the local churches.  Sadly when the Communist Revolution took hold Watchman was severely persecuted for his beliefs and work, he spent the last 20 years of his life in prison.  Here is a collection of 25 powerful Watchman Nee quotes from one of the great Christian minds of his generation.


25.  “The sight of any trouble strikes terror into the heart of those who do not have faith, but those who trust Him say, ‘Here comes my food.!”

24. “We think of the Christian life as a ‘changed life’ but it is not that.  What God offers us is  an ‘exchanged life,’ a ‘substituted life,’ and Christ is our substitute within.” (The Normal Christian Life)

23. “A little carelessness brings in defeat.”

22. “A forgiven sinner is quite different from an ordinary sinner, and a consecrated Christian is quite different from an ordinary Christian.”

21. “We must have a spirit of power towards the enemy, a spirit of love towards men, and a spirit of self-control towards ourselves.”

20. “And it is through conflict that God induces the believer to seek and to grasp total triumph in Christ.”

19. “The particular sin of omission which gives ground to the evil spirits is the believer’s passivity.”

18. “Fellowship means among other things that we are ready to receive of Christ from others.  Other believers minister Christ to me, and I am ready to receive.”

17. “God’s requirements have not altered, but we are not the ones to meet them.  Praise God, he is the lawgiver on the throne, and he is the Lawkeeper in my heart.  He who gave the Law, himself keeps it.” (The Normal Christian Life)

16. “People who are lazy, careless, doubtful-minded or arrogant need not expect God to reveal His secret or covenant to them.”

15. “The cares of this life emerge as very small items in deed along our daily path.”

14.”The greatest negative in the universe is the Cross, for with it God wiped out everything that was not of Himself:  the greatest positive in the universe is the resurrection, for through it God brought into being all.”

13. “Victory is the normal experience of a Christian; defeat should be the abnormal experience.”

"The Truth" (2 Timothy 1:9) Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.

12. “The child of God should not be overanxious to make new gains, what he essentially requites is to keep what he already has, for not losing is itself a gain.  The way to retain what he possesses is to engage it.”

11. “Let us recognize this one thing:  burden is the secret of prayer.  If a person does not feel within him burden to pray for a particular matter he can hardly succeed in prayer.  In a prayer meeting some brothers and sisters may mention a great many subjects for prayer.  But if you are not touched inwardly, you cannot pray.”

10. “To enjoy sensuous pleasures daily is no evidence of spirituality.  On the contrary, those who go on with God and disregard their own feelings are the truly spiritual ones.”

9. “Grace means that God does something for me; law means that I do something for God.  God has certain holy and righteous demands which he places upon me:  that is law.  Now if law means that God requires something of me for the fulfillment, then deliverance from law means he no longer requires that from me, but himself provides it.” (The Normal Christian Life)

8.  “Let the Christian mark this well that once he has perceived the will of God in his spirit’s intuition his whole being needs to be employed actively in executing God’s will.  He should not be passive.”

7. “We have spoken of trying and trusting, and the difference between the two.  Believe me, it is the difference between heaven and hell.”

6. “An unpeaceful mind cannot operate normally.  Hence the Apostle teaches us to “have no anxiety about anything.”  Deliver all anxious thoughts to God as soon as they arise.  Let the peace of God maintain your heart and mind.”

5. “A Christian ought to realize what the weights laid on his spirit are.  If he encounters it in the morning and does not deal with it at once, he experiences defeat the whole day long.”

4. “Natural strength is what we receive from the hand of God as Creator.  Spiritual strength is what we receive from God in grace.”

3. “The breaking of the alabaster box and the anointing of the Lord filled the house with the odor, with the sweetest odor. Everyone could smell it. Whenever you meet someone who has really suffered; been limited, gone through things for the Lord, willing to be imprisoned by the Lord, just being satisfied with Him and nothing else, immediately you scent the fragrance. There is a savor of the Lord. Something has been crushed, something has been broken, and there is a resulting odor of sweetness.”

2. “It does not matter what your personal deficiency, or whether it be a hundred and one different things, God has always one sufficient answer, His Son Jesus Christ, and he is the answer to every need.” (The Normal Christian Life)

1. “Outside of Christ, I am only a sinner, but in Christ, I am saved. Outside of Christ, I am empty; in Christ, I am full. Outside of Christ, I am weak; in Christ, I am strong. Outside of Christ, I cannot; in Christ, I am more than able. Outside of Christ, I have been defeated; in Christ, I am already victorious. How meaningful are the words, “in Christ."


As you can see in reading through his quotes, Watchman was a man strongly convicted by the Holy Spirit and had a passion for teaching.  I believe he had a real way of connecting with people that made it easy to learn from him.  Although no longer with us, he has certainly built a huge legacy of great Christian teachings.  Please share with us at F&E in the comment section what your favorite Watchman Nee quote is.  God bless, Jesus is King!

Resources- The Holy Bible, English Standard Version“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”,, photo credit: quinn.anya via photopin cc