Notes from Norman

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by Norman P. Grubb

The whole presentation of a saving Gospel to a lost world is as simple as ABC on the externals of life. Wrath, sin, judgment, Judge, guilt, salvation through a manifested Saviour in history. He is One that all can see, dying in our place on Calvary, shedding His precious blood on our behalf on Calvary’s Cross. Any little child can embrace that. Beautifully, wonderfully simple. But that, brothers and sisters, is not sufficient for living the Christian life. That’s exactly why we’ve our problems. If it was sufficient you wouldn’t need anything more. The point is, we do need more. And the Bible gives us more. It’s not sufficient for living the Christian life. Just to know that our past is blotted out in His precious blood and we’re saved from wrath doesn’t enable us either to live the Christian life or to fulfil an adequate ministry. That’s just what we know.

Now we move on and we begin to find an internal problem, with an internal answer to it. This is much more difficult. That’s the meat of God’s Word. We now pass from the milk to the meat. I’m skipping very rapidly because we can’t go into every detail in this short time. But in Romans 6 we begin to get the internal problem about ourselves. It isn’t our sins that begin to trouble us now; it’s the sinner that troubles us. It’s the one who does the sin. “How shall we continue in sin?” The emphasis is on ourselves; not the sin, but ourselves. The consciousness of that past is blotted out. Now it says here, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” Our problem now has become a self that does not conquer as it should do, a self that isn’t as holy as it should be, a life which isn’t as pure as we wish it to be, a self which doesn’t glorify Jesus as it should do, a self that can’t produce the fruits that it wants to do. The problem of ourselves has arisen now. Now that’s an internal problem. Now we’re getting down to the real meaning of life. The other is merely the external crust of it; it’s merely the outer gate of it. Now we’re getting at last to the inner gate which shou1d take us on to the road itself.

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