Speech – International Christian Leadership Conference – Held at Fellowship House
November 12, 1952
Norman P. Grubb
Walking in the Light
"I want to pass on to you the essence of what I saw, learned and experienced in Africa. The Africans don’t preach at you. You just live with them. When you live with live people, you just have to be uncomfortable, or live with them.
What does it mean to have Christ living in us, Christ mighty in us? Paul said in Galatians 5:25: “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” If we have come alive in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. This is what I suggest we think over tonight.
You are alive, or come alive because you have a living experience of Christ as Saviour, as Lord and Christ is our life. We must proceed to walk with Him. In the 1st Epistle of John, he is writing a letter of how we live the Christian life. He says, if you say you are born of the Spirit, this is the kind of life you ought to live and the kind of person you ought to be. This is what he calls eternal life and by that eternal life, he means the new quality of life. He does not mean it is something we are going to receive some day. It is a relationship.
Jesus said: “I am the life”. He now lives in us and we derive new life, new wisdom through living in Him and He in us. That is what John means by that eternal life, that new quality of living which comes from union with Him. He also calls it “walking”.
I found this to be the favourite phrase of the Africans. They are simple, thorough, more direct and honest than we are and more direct in their own challenges. This was the first phrase I picked up from them.
The crisis of our rebirth is the gate we have to enter and now we have to proceed along our path. Of course, we must come in through the gate, through Jesus Christ and having entered that gate, we must now get walking and living the Christian life. When we fail and sin, we must not wriggle out and fail to face up to that walk, we must walk a right walk, we must walk with Jesus.
This eternal life is a two-way fellowship and that is where our problem and gap so often comes. We Christians claim that we are justified by faith. John says the proof that you claim to be righteous is that you are righteous.
The next thing that I learnt came in Verse 4: “And these things write we unto you that your joy may be full”. Do you see therefore that special anointing? Yet if a movement is to be more than God just speaking through one man, it has to pass through this phase where the mind of Christ is expressed more through the mind of many than just channelled through one. If a movement is to have continuity, it must pass through this phase, when the leader goes more and more to the background and the group comes more and more to the foreground.
We went through two distinct phases. First under Studd, when the movement almost broke up because of his strong leadership. He was an individualist, so that you worked with him with some difficulty. But being what he was, he imparted fire that never dies. But when he died, we decided that we would not have any individual in that sense again. He was the founder, but we ceased to have some direct head whose word was final and we began to learn fellowship. At the time that happened, there was such trouble in our midst that even our Boards disappeared, so we had to start with a group of workers and there has never been an outside Board since. We may have missed things as a result. We missed the confidence of the public, but we had a team. We have practised for many years now with this internal fellowship and gradually got to a place where it has come to stay. When problems arise, the full membership of the Crusade feel they have their say. It is the mind of Christ that comes through. As to our methods, we have a morning meeting at each headquarters of the Mission all over the world. The light is the next phase of our advance. The basis of it is keeping one with each other by sharing and confessing our sins, prejudices and resentments. I think we still have something to learn about challenging each other in love and in a spirit of true brokenness. M.R.A. are ahead of us in this. A frank challenge has to be faced with much humility and openness of heart. Then after this, we can seek together the next phase of our advance and the next thing we should take by faith, the next thing we should carry through and so as we discuss together these things crystallize and then we can take the stand of faith and action.
We also have a more official staff conference when everybody who is a full time member of the association can come. The leaders from our different centers must come and anybody else can come if they like. There are no time limits and we just sit far into the night and hammer things over.
When important decisions have to be made, the meeting is limited to those who are full time members of the Crusade who have worked with the movement for two years. These are grand times of heart searching and the bond we have together is wonderful. We have a sense of oneness, of having found God’s mind.
The Communists have picked up something from the Bible. Can you have a complete sense of brotherhood where there is not equality of privilege? If I gain more materially out of a situation than you do, we are in a different relationship.
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you” is the most important thing to remember.
We do not believe in Communism, or a monastery where you are forced to give up all. Each person in their private life remains private, but from the work nobody gets more than another from the resources and funds that come in for the work. Each one must look to God for their own sustenance. No-one is responsible for anyone else. Our only responsibility is allocation. That is what binds us together.
Mr. Vereide asked what happened to those at the home base, to those in the office. Mr. Grubb replied that there were no salaries which meant a great sense of freedom. A person gets nothing out of the work. It is all for Christ. C.T. Studd said that the basis of true service is when you give more than you get. There should be a basis of sacrifice, commitment and adventure. The oldest man in the Mission gets no more than the youngest, which is zero. Everybody in the Crusade has exactly the same say. Everyone feels as if they have a part in it.
Mr. Vereide asked Mr. Grubb if individuals gave to him personally. He replied that out of 30 gifts, only two were for him personally. He usually represented the Crusade.