ROMANS 6-8 by Norman P. Grubb [part 15]

By Norman P. Grubb


All the world’s people, including us the born-again, have always taken it for granted in their delusion that they were self-operating and therefore self-responsible persons, who could and would improve themselves. And at last I find that there never was such a person! Now I see I was always a slave of Satan-sin – “sold under sin”- and it is he who is to blame. In my unsaved days I went along with Satan’s sin activities. In my saved days I have hated my slavery, been ashamed of it, and wrestled vainly against it.

Sin is the “other law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin in my members” (Rom 7:14-23). Now I have it clear that it is not I, but this evil power controlling me. Paul cries out for us all, as he had cried out for himself, “Am I tied and bound to this death in my body, or is there a deliverance?” (Rom 7:24). At last I have come to my limit. In my hatred of this intruder of my body, I find that I am not to blame, but sin. Is there a deliverance from sin for me?

Now I can see what Paul had already revealed in its completeness in Romans 6:1-13, and which had become his own liberation. Yes, thank God, there is deliverance for me now by the personal application – in my desperate need – of what I had accepted in my head and reckoned on as told to do (Rom 6:11). But while I remained ignorant of there never having been such a thing as human self-effort or human independence, I had not realized that all my own efforts to live a victorious life were really Satan expressing himself as me….and I had not realized that until I had made such a failure of attempts to live it. Only then was I ready to see that the only way to live the life is if Christ lives my life as me, in place of that self-effort which was really Satan…”good” or bad.

Paul had explained the key to total liberation (Rom 6:1-13), and we had reckoned on it as fact as best we knew how. It was this: my death in Christ’s death to indwelling sin power, and my life in freedom from that power in His resurrection. But now I also have the human self in true focus – as only the container and expresser – but never the originator. So I could see that the death and resurrection union with Christ – which I had reckoned as fact – not He AND me in action in place of Satan and me, but only He AS me, and I the human expresser, replacing only Satan as me, and I as his expresser.

The big difference and final liberation comes when, after my exposure by the law, I have myself in my true eternal relationship to Him: not as kind of co-living with Him (or formerly Satan) as two on the same level of action, but as only He living His life in me as me. I now spontaneously, delightedly, and easily express Him with all the vigor of my God-endowed humanity. That is different! Seeing this as my total life, I move in from reckoning to realizing. Yes, I thank God through Jesus Christ my Lord (Rom 7:25).

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