Articles by Watchman Nee
( Ni Tuosheng 1903-1972)
Can a believer know that he has eternal life? Can he know that he is already saved? Concerning this matter, I would not say anything and would not ask you to say anything. Let this book the Bible speak to us. Let us now read a few portions of the Scriptures to see if we can know that we have eternal life.
Many Christians have a wrong concept of the Lord Jesus. They think that the Lord set up a good pattern for us while He was on earth and that we should imitate this pattern. It is true that the Bible charges us to imitate the Lord (Rom. 15:5; 1 Cor. 11:1; etc.). But the Bible does not tell us to do this by ourselves. There is something we must see before we can imitate Him. Many people want to imitate the Lord, but they repeatedly fail.
It is possible for a person to be free from sin immediately after he has believed in the Lord. However, this may not be the common experience of all believers. After believing in the Lord, many people fall back into sin instead of being freed from sin. It is true that they are saved. They belong to the Lord and possess eternal life. However, they are still troubled by sin and are unable to serve the Lord as they wish.
It is only through knowing God first as the God of Isaac that we can move on to know Him as the God of Jacob. Unless we know our inheritance as something already secured and settled in Christ and given to us by God, we have no foundation for going on. To be brought under the discipline of the Spirit, without first knowing that assurance of a work of God already done in Christ, would be a terrible thing.
This parable may be divided into seven parts: (1) the ten virgins going forth to meet the bridegroom (v.1); (2) the two different classes of virgins (vv.2-4); (3) their history or process (vv. 5-7); (4) the discovery of a lack (vv. 8-9); (5) the distinction (v.10); (6) the request of the foolish (vv.11-12); and (7) the lesson (v.13)
"And while He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. But some were indignantly remarking to one another, "Why has this perfume been wasted?"For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor." And they were scolding her. But Jesus said, "Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. "For the poor, you always have with you, and whenever you wish, you can do them good; but you do not always have Me."She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. "And truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, that also which this woman has done shall be spoken of in memory of her."