When you received your free copy of the New Testament Recovery Version from BfA, what did you think? You may have eagerly unwrapped it, taken it out of its cover, and opened it up to look through the pages. But did you ever think to yourself, “This Bible looks great, but how do I use it?”
We wrote this post as a quick-and-easy guide to help you get the most out of your Recovery Version. We’ll answer some questions people commonly ask us after they get a New Testament Recovery from us. If you haven’t ordered one yet, we encourage you to read the rest of the post to see why you’d want one.
What is all the writing at the bottom of the pages?
In the New Testament Recovery Version, the Scripture verses appear above a horizontal line. Footnotes for the verses on that page appear below the line. Sometimes a page has a lot of notes, and sometimes just a few. These footnotes help to explain the deeper meaning of the truths contained in the Scriptures. This is why we call the New Testament Recovery Version “a Bible you can understand.”
Take Matthew 1:1, for example:
“The spirit is the deepest part within us, the very innermost part of our whole being. In all our living we must follow this innermost sense within us.”
From Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1 by Witness Lee and Watchman Nee (mass-distribution ed., p. 43). Bibles for America gives this book away for free. You can order your free copy here. You can also download a free PDF version here.
This is companion post (2) to Chapter 3, “The Precious Blood of Christ,” of Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1.
“If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin.”—1 John 1:7
Wasn’t it eye-opening to see how the blood of Christ is the powerful solution to our three problems—toward God, ourselves, and Satan?
Toward God—We know from 1 John 1:9 that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” After we confess, we shouldn’t depend on whether we feel forgiven; we should just believe in the effectiveness of the blood of Jesus before God.
In ourselves—By opening to Christ, confessing our sins, and claiming the cleansing power of His blood, we can be relieved from the stain of guilt and have a rest in our conscience once more. We can stand upon God’s Word: “How much more will the blood of Christ…purify our conscience” (Heb. 9:14).
From Satan—We can counter Satan’s accusations by pointing him to the blood of Christ. Revelation...
This is companion post (1) to Chapter 3, “The Precious Blood of Christ,” of Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”—1 John 1:9
Now we come to chapter 3: “The Precious Blood of Christ.”
Even as believers, we still have our fallen human life, which creates three problems. At times we:
- Feel separated from God,
- Feel guilty in ourselves, and
- Sense accusations from Satan.
If we don’t know how to deal with these problems, we’ll find it difficult to go on in our Christian life. Some of us might be struggling with these very matters right now.
This chapter shows that the precious blood of Christ is a basic element for sustaining our spiritual life. Many who have received Basic Elements of the Christian Life have told us that this particular chapter helped them tremendously.
Key quote from the reading
Page 22: “No amount of prayer, no amount of weeping, no ritual, no penance, no promise to do better, no guilty feeling, no period of waiting—no, nothing but the precious blood of Christ—can remove sins.“
This is companion post (2) to Chapter 4, “Calling on the Name of the Lord,” of Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1.
“But flee youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”—2 Tim. 2:22
Chapter 4 helps us see that calling on the name of the Lord is not a new invention. Rather, it’s a practice that began from the third generation of the human race in Genesis 4, continued throughout the Old Testament, and was practiced by the New Testament believers (2 Tim. 2:22). When we call upon the name of the Lord:
- We are rescued from distress, trouble, sorrow, and pain (Psa. 118:5, 50:15, 116:3-4).
- We participate in His mercy and are filled with the Spirit (Psa. 86:5; Acts 2:17a, 21).
- We enjoy the riches of the Lord (Rom. 10:12).
These are just a few of the many benefits to us, but without actually calling upon the Lord, we don’t get to experience them.
In order to live physically, we need to constantly breathe. Similarly, the more we call on the...
This is companion post (2) to Chapter 5, “The Key to Experiencing Christ—Our Human Spirit,” of Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1.
“He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit”—1 Cor. 6:17
When we believed in the Lord Jesus, we were regenerated, born in our spirit of the Spirit (John 3:6). From that day on, Christ as the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b) dwells in our spirit, and we are one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17). This is like knowing the exact address where your friend lives; you can see him at any time.
We know where Christ is—He’s in our spirit. Moreover, by understanding that our spirit is the proper organ to contact the spiritual realm, we know how to contact Him—with our spirit.
The key to our experiencing Christ who dwells in us is our turning to our spirit by exercising (or using) our spirit, not our soul, to contact Him. We need to use this key to live by the divine life in our spirit instead of by the human life in our soul.
All our lives we’ve been used to exercising, or using, our body and our soul. But...
This is companion post (2) to Chapter 2, “The Assurance, Security, and Joy of Salvation,” of Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1.
“And I give to them eternal life, and they shall by no means perish forever, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.”—John 10:28
“The Assurance, Security, and Joy of Salvation” answers questions concerning our salvation. Point by point, this chapter brings us to God’s Word, which emphatically shows us that we can be fully assured of our salvation and that we can never lose our salvation.
This is truly foundational. We simply cannot go forward in our walk with the Lord if we’re unsure about our salvation. If doubts arise, we can point to 1 John 5:13 and John 10:28 and stand upon God’s sure Word. In fact, it would be worthwhile to memorize these two verses to strengthen our faith.
Although we cannot lose our salvation, we can lose the enjoyment or joy of our salvation when we sin or grieve the Holy Spirit. What should we do if this happens? We should simply confess our sins and believe that God forgives us and cleanses us (1 John 1:9).
This is companion post (1) to Chapter 5, “The Key to Experiencing Christ—Our Human Spirit,” of Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1.
“And the God of peace sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”—1 Thes. 5:23
Have you sometimes struggled with trying to live the Christian life? Have you ever thought, “I know I’m saved, but why does Christ seem so far away from me? How can I experience Him regularly, even every day?” Chapter 5 shows us that unlocking the experience of Christ, who is now our life, requires a special key—our human spirit.
Many think the spirit and soul of a person are the same thing. But the Bible tells us clearly that our spirit and soul are two distinct parts of our being. It tells us that we have three parts—a spirit, a soul, and a body (1 Thes. 5:23)—for contacting three different realms.
- Our body with its five senses of hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and feeling contacts the physical realm.
- Our soul, comprised of our emotion, mind, and will, contacts the psychological realm.
This is companion post (1) to Chapter 2, “The Assurance, Security, and Joy of Salvation,” of Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1.
“I have written these things that you may know that you have eternal life, to you who believe into the name of the Son of God.”—1 John 5:13
We hope everyone benefited from reading Chapter 1, “The Mystery of Human Life.” Chapter 2, “The Assurance, Security, and Joy of Salvation,” addresses some crucial questions:
- Can I be sure I’m really saved?
- Can I lose my salvation?
After you were saved, maybe you doubted that you were really saved. Or, you’ve made mistakes and failed God, so maybe you think you’ve lost your salvation. Being plagued by this kind of doubt and uncertainty is a frustration to our walk with Christ.
In this chapter we’ll see how we can have the assurance of our salvation by three means: God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, and our love for other brothers and sisters in Christ. We’ll also find out what the Bible tells us about how secure our salvation really is.
Key quote from the reading
Page 16: “Our salvation is not based upon our erratic feelings....
This is companion post (1) to Chapter 4, “Calling on the Name of the Lord,” of Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1.
“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all and rich to all who call upon Him; for whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”—Rom. 10:12–13
In Chapter 4, we turn our attention to a healthy Christian practice that can help us contact God and enjoy the riches of His life: calling on the name of the Lord.
What is calling on the name of the Lord, and how do we practice it? This chapter explains to us that calling on the Lord is a kind of praying, but it is not merely praying. According to the original Hebrew and Greek language of the Bible, to call is to do something audible.
This chapter shows us:
- Calling on the name of the Lord was practiced in the Old Testament
- Calling was also practiced by the New Testament believers
- Why we call on the Lord
- How to call on the Lord
- Our need to practice
Key quote from the reading
Page 33: “Today...