Notes from Norman

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by Norman P. Grubb

It seems clear to me and I seek to make it plain in the Romans booklet, (and yet by responses already received hardly any seem to me to see the depth and radicalness of this problem which really almost defeats the church of Christ), that the great number even of those who do ‘see’ far enough to affirm “Christ in me”, and hopefully stand square on our Galatians 2:20 faith affirmation, while they say, “Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me”, are tangled up by the first phrase of the “I am crucified with Christ”. I have had several letters lately taking that first phrase to be “death to self”, and say so. But then the tangle is, when we are honest, self does not appear by any means to be “dead”, but I have constant trouble with fears, resentments, depressions, lusts, and a whole list of other ‘flesh’ diversions rising up thru my “me”; and the best I can do is “counteract” (an old favorite phrase of Keswick) by the fact of Christ in me: and I surely have to live very carefully preserving my “abiding” life, for ‘death to self’ to have any real meaning to me. (And actually that phrase is not in the Scripture!).

We are forever humans and have human responses and are meant to, but they are overflowed by Christ in us; and indeed unless we were first living human persons with human reactions, we should not be the persons by whom He unveils Himself.

So I want to say again that this is where the vast error and delusion has captured the vast majority of believers. The delusion is that I have a very, to say the least, inconsistent self, which often seems by no means ‘dead’. I give it a bad name by calling it “flesh” (though actually my ‘flesh’ is God’s beautiful human creation) – “the life that I now live in the flesh!”

From Knight of Faith, Vol.I