We create Christ-centered Bible teaching and resources to help you grow spiritually and live an authentic Christian life. Everything we do is for the preeminence, majesty, and glory of Jesus Christ.

In short, we want Jesus to have first place in your life, your thoughts, your words, and your everything … a life that is truly built around and upon Jesus Christ and His Word.

Have you ever said any of the following?

  • There must be more to Christianity than what I am experiencing.
  • I want to grow in my faith and deepen my intimacy with Jesus Christ.
  • I want to love and understand the Bible more.
  • How does the Christian life actually and practically work?
  • What is God’s ultimate purpose and plan for my life?
  • I want to know how to pray, study the Bible, share the Gospel, live in holiness, overcome sin, walk in truth, live dependent on Jesus, be fearless and immovable in Christ, and have a vibrant spiritual life.

If so, you’re in the right place.

Modern Christianity

Looking at the “Christian” church of today, I am deeply saddened by its current state of affairs: the lack of victory within believers’ lives, the diminishment of the authority of and trust in God’s Word, the plague of worldliness in the church (and believers’ lives), Biblical illiteracy, the lack of evangelism, a spiritual stupor, a fear of man, and an acceptance of sin.

We have become much like the group Paul warned Timothy about in 2 Timothy 3:

But know this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, without gentleness, without love for good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Keep away from such men as these.

2 Timothy 3:1-5

Our Great Need Today

The great need of the Church today is to return to our “first love,” Jesus Christ (see Revelation 2:4)—a return not in words alone but in heart, mind, soul, and strength.

  • A return to historic Christianity—a Christianity that actually works.
  • A return to a life focused and dependent upon Jesus Christ, filled with His Spirit, so we are enabled to live victorious and godly lives.
  • A return of total surrender and givenness to the will of God, desiring to be spilled and spent for His renown and glory. We must decrease and get out of the way so that He can increase and be seen.

Simply put, our great need in these days is Jesus Christ. He is the foundation (the Cornerstone, see Ephesians 2:20) upon which our lives are to be built. He is the “North Star” we fix our compass to. He is to be the centrality of our lives, the One around Whom everything else is placed.

For Jesus “is the head of the body, the church; Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place [preeminent] in everything” (Colossians 1:18). For as Paul later said in Colossians 3:4, Jesus is our life. He isn’t just to be a part of our lives; He is to be central, preeminent, in the first place, the essence of life itself. For He Himself is life (John 14:6).

Thus, the purpose of Deeper Christian is to edify, equip, and encourage you to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16) as you pursue Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Christian life. Through resources, tools, and studies, I want to help you study God’s Word, know Jesus intimately, and discover how you can build your life around Jesus Christ.

Who Am I?

My name is Nathan Johnson (NRJohnson). I have an overwhelming passion for Jesus. I am a writer, teacher, and communicator who has a burden to help other Christians grow spiritually and put Jesus first in their lives—and then, as a result, allow His life to spill forth to radically change the world around them.

I’m like a travel guide who points and encourages Christians into the endless depths of Jesus Christ and His Word.

For more nearly two decades, I have taught thousands of Christians to study God’s Word, grow in greater intimacy with Jesus, and love our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. And I’d love to help you do that too.

Read my full bio.

Are You Ready to Dive In?

I typically post several times a week, which includes:

  • Articles to equip you to grow spiritually and live an authentic Christian life
  • Podcasts to help you study God’s Word and know Jesus intimately 
  • Bible Studies that encourage you to see Jesus on every page of Scripture, discover God’s eternal purpose, and understand how to practically live out God’s Word
  • Classic Christian Quotes to stir your heart and spur you down the Narrow Way of the Cross

I also send the “Deeper Digest” each Saturday, which contains all the above-mentioned content in one convenient email. Sign up so you don’t miss anything!

Not Sure Where To Start?

I’ve created a “quick start guide” to Deeper Christian and the countless “bunny trails” you can explore to dive deep into the available resources and teaching.

What is the Deeper Christian Life?

Simply, the “Deeper Christian Life” is a return to authentic, biblical Christianity.

We’ve drifted in the modern church to presume that passive living (i.e., attending church each week), merely adding Jesus to our lives, or praying a formulaic prayer to “get out of hell” is the totality of Christian living.

Yet Christianity is SO MUCH MORE.

God didn’t merely save us to get us into heaven (as amazing as that is!) … Jesus came to the earth, died upon the cross, so that He could redeem and save us … so that we can be a vessel through which the Holy Spirit can come and demonstrate the life of God in and through us.

The great Puritan theologian William Law in his classic book The Power of the Spirit said that the purpose of the cross wasn’t merely for forgiveness but for Pentecost (i.e., the infilling of the Holy Spirit).

In Genesis 1:26, we discover that we were created to be “image bearers” of the Living God to our world—we were made as vessels to showcase to the world who our God is. Forfeited in sin, Christ redeemed us from sin so that, as Paul declares, we can once again become tabernacles of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 3:16 and 6:19–20).

John summarizes this incredible reality by writing, “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9). Or as Paul says, “Christ, who is our life …” (Colossians 3:4).

Jesus doesn’t merely give us life; He is the life itself (see John 10:10 and 14:6).

As Ian Thomas often preached,

“there’s only one person that has ever been capable of living the Christian life since Adam fell … Jesus Christ. So that now He, risen from the dead, might come and perpetuate the life that He lived then, in us now. So the Christian life, of course, is the life that Jesus Christ lived then, lived now, by Him, in us. There is no other. In other words, God to a man is as imperative as oil is to a lamp. … In other words, spiritual new birth is designed to let God be God in a man’s human experience so that everybody in that mam’s presence recognizes that God is in residence and God is in business. … The Lord Jesus died upon the cross, not just to get you out of hell and into heaven, He died upon the cross to get God out of heaven into you … so that if any man be in Christ, he is actually, literally a new creation.” 1

The Christian life isn’t mimicking holiness, godliness, or Christlikeness; rather, Christianity is about allowing the God of the universe to indwell our lives through His Spirit, completely transform us (see 2 Corinthians 5:17), and then we live by His life.

This was Paul’s great message to the church:

  • Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
  • Colossians 1:26–27 – … the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
  • Philippians 2:13 – … for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
  • Romans 11:36 – For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
  • See also: 2 Corinthians 9:8; Ephesians 2:10;

Or as John wrote, “And the witness is this, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:11).

Peter declared, “… seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the full knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust” (2 Peter 1:3-4).

As Peter wrote, we don’t become God, but we are filled with His life and power so that we have everything we need for life and godliness, sharing in His divine nature through His precious promises. What an amazing reality!

Redefining Success

The world defines success in terms of money, popularity, and productivity; and sadly, this mentality has crept into the Church. But Scripture redefines success to be a life of faithfulness and fruitfulness.

We are told not to love the things of this world (1 John 2:15) but to love God with all that we are and all that we have (see Deuteronomy 6:4–5; 11:13; 30:6; Matthew 22:36–40; Mark 12:28–34; Luke 10:25–28 ).

In short, while we do live in the world as Christians, the world is not to live in us.

We, through the transforming power of the Gospel and the indwelling life of Christ through His Spirit, are completely transformed; our natures change. We are told, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Just like God spoke into the darkness and created light (Genesis 1:3), so He also transforms the sinful darkness of our hearts and brings forth the light of Christ (see John 1:5, 1:9; 8:12; 2 Corinthians 4:6).

Our lives can actually be different! The old behaviors, mindsets, attitudes, and actions can be transformed by the power of the Gospel of Christ.

We have been set free from the power of sin to live a new life … the life of Christ … or perhaps better stated: for me to surrender, abide, and depend upon Him to live His life in and through me. We aren’t talking about passivity, but a fully active life as we respond and submit to His authority, direction, wisdom, and indwelling life within.

The question before every believer is: will I fully surrender, submit, abide, and depend upon God?

And the question isn’t a one-time decision but a daily, often moment-by-moment one. Will I continually surrender my life to Christ and allow Him to bring about continual sanctification (the process of making me holy) as He conforms me to His image (see Romans 8:29)?

He wants the totality of my life … every moment of every day.

In Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, Hudson Taylor called it the “exchanged life”—my life for His—I live “IN Christ” and Christ lives “IN me.”

Throughout Christian history, this has also been called the Victorious Christian Life, the Spirit-Filled (or Spirit-Led) Life, the Indwelling Life of Christ, the Fellowship of the Burning Heart, or the Narrow Way of the Cross. I call it the Deeper Christian Life. But it’s simply biblical Christianity.

Success, then, is not what I can accomplish for myself … but living a faithful, obedient life as I abide in Christ, allowing Him to produce fruit through my life for His glory, honor, and praise (see John 15:1–5; Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 10:31).

Oh To Know Him!

The Deeper Christian Life is a life focused on, filled with, and dependent upon Jesus Christ. It is a purposeful progression to ever-increasing intimacy and oneness of relationship with the God of the universe. It is being filled with and sourced by the Spirit of God. It is plunging headlong into the endless depths of Jesus, desiring more and more of Him—with the prayer of a kid in a swimming pool full of chocolate: “Oh Lord, increase my capacity!”

What if the focus of our lives was to know Him … not know more about Him but to actually experience intimacy, relationship, and oneness with the Living God?!

Jesus, in John 17:3, said this is the heart of eternal life—to know (ginōskō) Jesus. The Greek word ginōskō is more than intellectual understanding but conveys the concept of deep intimacy, richness of relationship, or experiential knowledge. Eternal life, according to Jesus, is not knowing details and facts about God, but actually having a relationship with Him. It is, as we talked about earlier, being filled with His life.

Handley Moule once said, “[The Christian life is] to be like [Christ]. To displace self from the inner throne and to enthrone Him; to make not the slightest compromise with the smallest sin. We aim at nothing less than to walk with God all day long, to abide every hour in Christ, and He and His words in us, to love God with all the heart, and our neighbor as ourselves.” 2

Or as A.W. Tozer wrote, “Deity indwelling men! That is Christianity in its fullest effectuation, and even those greater glories of the world to come will be in essence but a greater and more perfect experience of the soul’s union with God. Deity indwelling men! That, I say, is Christianity, and no man has experienced rightly the power of Christian belief until he has known this for himself as a living reality. Everything else is preliminary to this. Incarnation, atonement, justification, regeneration; what are these but acts of God preparatory to the work of invading and the act of indwelling the redeemed human soul?” 3

The Christian life is all about Jesus

The focus of the Christian life is Jesus. Everything in Scripture points to Him and His work upon the cross. He is to be preeminent (have first place) in all things (Colossians 1:18).

As a Christian, Jesus alone should be the explanation of my life and how I live. He is to be the source and substance of my life.

Major Ian Thomas captured it well when he wrote, “The Christian life can be explained only in terms of Jesus, and if your life as a Christian can still be explained in terms of you—your personality, your willpower, your gift, your talent, your money, your courage, your scholarship, your dedication, your sacrifice, or your anything—then although you may have the Christian life, you are not yet living it! … True Godliness leaves the world convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the only explanation for you, is Jesus.” 4

We are not promoting laziness, apathy, or “sit on a couch until Jesus forces me to do something”; rather, it is my life interacting with His through my surrender, dependency, response, and obedience. I become the vessel through which He flows His life, love, gospel, truth, and triumph through. I become the stage upon which He acts and demonstrates Himself to this lost and dying world. I become His hands and feet to the needy, broken, and lost.

As Christians, we ought to desire greater growth and depth. It is, as my friend Eric Ludy states, “an endless frontier” to press forward into and experience. As we live in the richness of intimacy with Jesus in this moment, we realize that this is but a taste (or as Paul would say, “a downpayment”—Ephesians 1:14, 18), and we must therefore continue onward and upward in our pursuit, praise, honor, and love of Jesus.

Andrew Murray clearly expressed this when he stated, “You will ask me, ‘Are you satisfied? Have you got all you want?’ God forbid. With the deepest feeling of my soul I can say that I am satisfied with Jesus now, but there is also the consciousness of how much fuller the revelation can be of the exceeding abundance of His grace. Let us never hesitate to say, ‘This is only the beginning’.” 5

This indeed is only the beginning—there is so much more depth to the Christian life that we have yet to experience. May we run down this endless frontier of experiencing the fullness of the Christian life, centered on and built upon Jesus Christ.

If you want a picture of what such a life looks like, open any biography of the heroic Christians of old, and you will discover a hint of what is possible when we embark down the Narrow Way of the Cross, also called the Deeper Christian Life—or simply “Christianity.”

Some people who lived the Deeper Christian Life throughout the last few centuries …

C.T. Studd, Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, George Müller, Rees Howells, Andrew Murray, A.W. Tozer, William and Catherine Booth, Samuel Brengle, Richard Wurmbrand, Major Ian Thomas, Leonard Ravenhill, Corrie ten Boom, Samuel Morris, George Whitefield, John Wesley, David Brainerd, Paris Reidhead, Charles Spurgeon, Francois Fenelon, Watchman Nee, E.M. Bounds, John Hyde, Handley Moule, Jonathan Edwards, Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, Madame Guyon, Keith Green, Jackie Pullinger, D.L. Moody, Charles Trumbull, Gladys Aylward, David Wilkerson, Samuel Chadwick, T. Austin-Sparks, Duncan Campbell, Stephen Manley, Jonathan Goforth, and Oswald Chambers.

Are there more? Of course. Many more.

Most who have lived the Deeper Christian Life were not famous, never wrote a book, or had one written about them. They were bathed in humility—often unseen and unnoticed by the world around them—but whose lives were marked by a voracious pursuit of and love for Jesus. As William Tyndall once said, “There is no work better than another to please God; to pour water, to wash dishes, to be a cobbler, or an apostle, all is one; to wash dishes and to preach is all one to please God.”

In a Nutshell …

Simply put, the Deeper Christian Life is one of absolute surrender to, complete dependency upon, and faithful abiding in Jesus. It is a life that is obsessed with, focused upon, and indwelt by Jesus (through His Spirit) as we live in continual response to Him.

Again, as Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Christianity is a life completely built around and upon Jesus Christ.

My prayer is that God makes you and me pictures for this next generation of what true authentic Christianity looks like. Examples of what loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength looks like. Examples of what God can do with men and women fully surrendered and given over to Him.

Let me give you one more quote from Ian Thomas, “To be in Christ—that makes you fit for heaven; but for Christ to be in you—that makes you fit for earth! To be in Christ changes your destination; but for Christ to be in you, that changes your destiny! The one makes heaven your home—the other makes this world His workshop.” 6

Still Want to Know More?

I talk and write about the “Deeper Christian Life” each week, and compile it into one weekend email. Join me in growing spiritually and living the authentic Christian life—I’d love to encourage you down the Narrow Way of the Cross … consider signing up for the Deeper Digest.

  1. See “Salvation” by Ian Thomas on YouTube ↩︎
  2. Handley Moule, Thoughts on Christian Sanctity (originally published 1885), page 2–3. ↩︎
  3. A.W. Tozer, God’s Pursuit of Man (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 2007), 100. ↩︎
  4. Ian Thomas, The Saving Life of Christ and the Mystery of Godliness (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1988), 162–163. ↩︎
  5. Quoted in the article The Exchanged Life by Andrew Murray, from The Christian Magazine, August 15, 1895. ↩︎
  6. Ian Thomas, The Saving Life of Christ and the Mystery of Godliness (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1988), 22. ↩︎

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