Notes from Norman

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by Norman P. Grubb

Now you see that, here, God is dealing first of all with extroverts. He is dealing with people who have not considered, and don’t wish to consider, what goes on inside them. They try to live on the outside of life. So God meets them on the outside of life. And you find in the first five chapters of Romans every approach of God through grace to man is practically on the external, because they could understand that. They couldn’t understand the subjective truth. They couldn’t have understood a word of what we’re saying here today, because those things are only for the enlightened saints or, anyhow, for partially illumined saints.

And so just to run through it very quickly; you see in Romans 1:18, “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven.” That’s external . Any poor dark heart in any country can understand that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven. And then follow all the list of sins which anyone can see. Anyone can see the wickedness, vileness, and the abominations of man which go through the remainder of Romans 1. They’re as plain as a pike-staff to any honest person.

Now you pass on to chapter 2 and you get the presentation of external judgment. Verse 5, “After thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” And following on you have what that righteous judgment is. Then in verse 16 you have the presentation of the Judge Himself. “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ.” Now all I’m pointing out is that these are truths external to mankind which anybody can understand. Any lost sinner can understand the wrath of God from heaven, the sins he’s committed, the judgment day that’s going to come, the grounds of the judgment, and the Judge.

He even goes further than that in His grace, for in 3:19 He gives us fore-view of the verdict. So none of us need to go away deceived. And thus in verse 19 He says, “That all the world may become guilty before God.” So already it is revealed to us that the verdict will be our guiltiness and the consequences, of course, our damnation. Then finally in the same chapter you get the presentation of an external Saviour. It is that glorious statement that starts away in verse 23 onwards. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth”—external you see—“set forth as propitiation through faith in His blood.”

Karuizawa Japan Conference of 1954
Topic: “The Liberated Self”