Simple as This By Norman Grubb

Simple as This

By Norman P. Grubb


In our first “little children” stage (1 John 2:12,13), we only have our eyes opened by the law and Spirit to our outer sinfulness made plain by our committed sins. Therefore, our only understanding of Christ’s atoning sacrifice is by Him being “evidently set forth crucified among you” (Gal. 2:3; Rom. 3:25), and being seen by us sinners as a person separate from us, dying on the cross. His death was evidenced by the shedding of the blood, going to hell for us (Acts 2:13), and being “raised from the dead by the glory of the Father” (Rom. 6:4). As we receive Him and confess Him by faith (John 1:12; Rom. 10:9), the Spirit bears witness to us (Rom. 8:16) that we are “justified by faith”, and thus have peace with God. Much more important than that, God immediately begins to bring into being His eternal purpose by and as us by the Spirit beginning to express His other-love nature in our form. In our ignorance and our deceived ideas that we have a nature of our own, we think it is we loving Him, which is an impossibility because we humans only have a love faculty. The other-love nature is that of the Spirit-Deity now indwelling us and manifesting His nature through our faculty. What we think of in Rom. 5:5 as our new birth experience is we loving Him. When our eyes are open to that Scripture, we see it is His Spirit-given love by which we are loving Him. He has begun to be Himself in our form, “The love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us”. We are “new creations” (2 Cor. 5:16,17), and by His operating nature in and as us, we no longer live self-for-self, but self-for-Him, and by His Spirit we see all men, even Jesus Himself, as spirit (not flesh) people, and, indeed, all things are seen in a new light as material manifestations of the Invisible One. (2 Cor. 5:15-17)

But now begins our real problem. Sins are put out of sight forever, but what about the self that appears to keep sinning? Sins, the product, are no longer our problem; the sinner-producer is, which appears to be our sinful self. We, who are desperate for the fullness of God in our lives, start a second and deeper misery. The misery of the convicted sinner is his sins. The deeper misery of the born-again saint is his apparently inconsistent self!! A radical discrepancy increasingly distresses him. He thankfully recognizes goodness (righteousness) proceeding from him in new love, joy, peace and self-control, etc., and he is quick to deny they are from him but are the fruit of the Spirit now being manifested in his newborn life. (Gal. 5:22,23) So then he says that he is twofold. Good things proceed from him, which are the fruit of the good Spirit, but then bad things are also evident which must mean he has some bad nature expressing them. That is where the fallacy, which has so taken over the evangelical church, is believed and accepted by the believer. If the good is from the Spirit, where does the bad come from? The answer supposedly is a bad nature still in me. There is the fallacy and deceit. We humans never had a nature of our own but were created to contain and manifest God in His divine nature. (2 Pet. 1:4) Temporarily, unless we choose to remain so, we manifest, through the Fall, our badness which we falsely attribute to our human selves. The question is, if we don’t attribute our goodness to ourselves but to the Spirit of Righteousness, why then don’t we attribute our badness to the spirit of badness? Why put our human selves in? We have been bemused and muddle-headed. So here is our agony, and we see the perfect purpose of God. Unless we see and experience the sin of sins, the lie of the independent self, and have come to a disillusionment and hatred of it (as Paul in Rom. 7:14-24: “O wretched man that I am…”) as deep and thorough as our disgust and hatred of our old life of sins, we might revert to it again. Once we know the total truth of ourselves, we shall not revert to the falsity of independent self any more than a saved sinner reverts to his sinful condition. (1 John 3:9) (We can be caught up again in a particular sin, but never again into occupation by that sin nature of Satan, the difference between sins and sin. We must get this clear.)

Therefore, it has been of necessity that we humans, if we are for eternity to be spontaneous expressers of the God of Self-giving Love in His nature, must first have tasted to its roots the deceiving nature of the god of self-getting love, that god of deceived independent self (Is. 53:6 “… every man turned to his own way…”), and, at all cost, have sought deliverance from it (that “hunger and thirst after righteousness” of Matt. 5:6). Even the perfect human, Jesus, the Son of God, called the “second man” as the ideal of humanity, was confronted for forty days with the spirit of error, being “driven” to that confrontation by the Spirit of Truth just entered Him (Mark 1:12); and it took Him that long time, of such intensity that He didn’t even miss food (only, “… after, was He hungered”, Matt. 4:2) to be confronted and finished with these temptations to be self-sufficient and self-acting. Even He had to “taste” that deceitfulness of sin, which we humans swallowed.

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