THE WAY A THING WORKS

Norman Grubb
Google Images

We have, therefore, to delve deeper to get this into right perspective. We have already said that law can be defined as the way things work, and they don’t work any other way. At the creation only one law was given to man (the way man works)—the law of receptivity—“eat”. But man obeyed that simplest of all laws in reverse, by eating of the tree of self-sufficiency.

Now the situation changed. Instead of eating of the right tree and receiving Him who is love and who would live the love-life through him (which is the fulfillment of all law), he had been taken captive by the huge delusion that he could manage his own life. So now the history of law in our fallen world begins. God in mercy and grace meets man on his new blinded level and says in effect, “You can live your own life? Very well, here is the law. Man is made to love God with all his heart, mind and strength, and his neighbor as himself. Obey it.”

In other words, God institutes an elementary and external form of law, suitable to man’s condition—the form of “do this and you will live”. Twice in the Scriptures it is called man’s elementary religion: “we, when we were children, were in bondage to the elements (rudiments) of the world…under the law”: and “wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments (elements) of the world, why…are ye subject to ordinances, Touch not; taste not; handle not?”

Law, therefore, was the first form of God’s grace, because it imposed an impossibility on man—that the selfish one should be selfless—and gave him the chance of discovering his truly lost condition.

Man’s response to law has been twofold. The first response damns, the second opens the door to salvation. The first response is hypocrisy, the second honesty. Hypocrisy means pretending to be what we are not. All men, including ourselves, have done that. We have sought to build our own righteousness and maintain our own respectability by pretending we keep God’s law, by keeping a very little of it where convenient: a little religion, a little ethics, and so on. What we really do is to display the one or two commands we do keep, but carefully hide the dozens we break. We cling to an eleventh commandment—Thou shalt not be found out! This attitude finally damns us, because it is not ultimately sin that damns; God has provided for that; it is dishonesty, refusal to admit and confess sin. “This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light…and hateth the light, neither cometh to the light.”

Man’s other response to law is honesty. Recognition that we are all law-breakers. That is the one capacity we have—recognition and admission of fact. That is what Jesus meant in the parable of the Sower, when he said the good seed fell into an “honest and good heart”.

Taken from “God Unlimited” by Norman Grubb

Advertisements

A letter to Norman Grubb

The following is an excerpt taken from Norman Grubb’s book “God Unlimited.” It is part of a series of correspondence letters to Norman sharing some wonderful enlightenment. I know you will be blessed by this.

“July 3. God has been opening up more in Ephesians about the life of sharing the throne with Christ. The key to me is in the first chapter ‘to usward who believe.’ It may not hold much to others, but to me it is like an open door of a vast dominion-to us who act in accordance with these facts that we are really delivered out of Satan’s authority into the kingdom of His Son and share His authority. I see that God has to use shadows to reveal the invisible which is the real Substance. We tend to hold on to the shadows and thereby miss the Substance.

In meditating in Romans 6 on how the old man is out, the new man helpless in 7 and Christ in us in 8, I was thinking how the illusions are so contrary, just like in physical life. If a person gets his tonsils out, he says his tonsils hurt (how can tonsils hurt if they are out?). If one gets an arm or foot or any other member cut off, the person usually complains that the limb which is cut off hurts him, and he says it until death. Illusions, are they not? When we get cut off in Christ’s death with the circumcision not made with hands, we have had quite a severe operation. What illusions we have and quite painful, but they are illusions.

It is a marvelous truth that Christ is living His own life in us. It has come to me just very slowly, but it is a fact and not feeling. I realize that there are those who feel His presence constantly, but He has not been pleased to manifest Himself to me that way. I find that He will manifest Himself through me rather than to me.”

ENTERING INTO REST

  Most people don’t enjoy salvation in its fullness. I mean, if you have been born again and filled with the Holy Spirit you have been delivered from bondage. That is great, but are you also enjoying life in the Promised Land? The Children of Israel were delivered out of bondage in Egypt, but not all of them entered into the rest of the Promised Land. I’m afraid that is where most Christians are also. They have been forgiven of sins, delivered from bondage and yet they aren’t enjoying the rest God has for them. The following is an excerpt taken from Norman Grubb’s book “God Unlimited” in which he talks about this very thing. He said it so well I thought I would just let him do it, so here it is, enjoy!

Google images

“Israel had a savior, indeed two saviors: one brought them out of the land of their bondage, and the other into their land of promise: Moses and Joshua. A greater than these is our Savior; but we had better be sure that we have experienced the benefits of His salvation, as they did of theirs.” At least, they all did of Moses, but much fewer of Joshua. They all came out triumphantly enough from under Pharaoh’s yoke: “they were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea”. That is what we would call a regenerating experience, separated from the world, justified by the blood, dead and risen with Christ. But then trouble began. Through ignorance and willfulness they allowed civil war to rage in their hearts. On the one hand they had the bread from heaven and the water from the rock, which Paul said was Christ to them. On the other, they were constantly racked by fear, unbelief, resentment, murmuring, and even hankerings after the old life in Egypt. They did not know the secret of victory, as Moses did. They had an undiscovered self-life, which God had exposed and dealt with in Moses long before, in the backside of the desert. They foolishly thought that they could be true to God in their own strength; they even replied to God, when He told them how gracious He would be to them if they obeyed Him, “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do”. What abysmal self-deception! And all their miserable failures did not open their eyes. So they never entered that land of promise, land of corn and wine, with rest from their enemies. They never made real in their experience the fullness of the blessing which was theirs from the time they joined themselves to Moses, if they had only gone through with him in faith. They died, in the wilderness, not damned souls, but defeated Christians, as we would say.

What about us? The writer asks. We have gone through in faith with our Moses to separation, justification, regeneration, which in fact means death and resurrection with Christ. But then we have landed where the Israelites did in “the waste and howling wilderness” of trial, assaults from the enemy, dryness of soul, good resolutions which we fail to keep. We too have had to learn the hard way that self-effort, though it is the new self, can’t keep the commands of God or live the victorious life. Have we learned this? Or do we continue rebellious, resentful, unbroken, like the children of Israel? Do we die in the wilderness, as they, instead of reaching the Promised Land?

Extended quote taken from “God Unlimited” by Norman Grubb

LEARNING OBEDIENCE

Our very premise is wrong if we think that our first father could have resisted temptation. If he could, we can. But can we? Is not that our problem and failure, until we learn that the way to meet temptation is by recognizing the One in us, and not by struggling against it ourselves? We start mixed-up, if we start by thinking that the Garden of Eden was a scene of probation to try men out. God is no such experimenter, dangling men on a string to see how they will react. God knows our frame that we are but dust, and He only puts us through absolutely necessary grades of education that we may learn, even as the Son Himself had to “learn obedience (recognition of His Father in action in Him) through the things which he suffered (temptations)”; and thus we can become eternally free, healthy, happy cooperators with God, knowing exactly who He is and who we are, and loving the relationship.

Taken from “God Unlimited” by Norman Grubb

GOD IS LOVE

God is love. John said that twice in that passage of his first letter and it sets the final bounds to human destiny. If a man loves, that is the evidence of his union with God. If a man loves his brother, the invisible God is made visible in that act. That is the last word that can be said-for time and eternity. Love is selflessness. The last rung of the ladder of attainment has been climbed. God is total disinterestedness in what might be to His own advantage. When it speaks of Him vindicating His own righteousness, giving pre-eminence to His own glory, that is not because of what He gets out of it: it is because only in the sharing of His perfections can His creatures attain theirs. It is for their sakes, for the universe of His creation, that He maintains the inviolability of His Throne.

Love must sometimes be wrathful, appear self-interested and demanding, and appear to maintain its own rights and dignity. Only love can safely do that, just because of its total detachment from self-interest. Can we imagine a Being whose sole occupation for the ages of the ages is to carry the burdens and provide for the needs of others, and when those burdens and needs add up to those of the whole creation? And when the only human race we know of, made to be His peculiar treasure, hates Him, rejects Him, takes all and gives nothing, not even thanks, and often denies His existence? And His answer is to set to work to win them back by giving His life for them!

Excerpt from “God Unlimited” by Norman Grubb