Notes from Norman
By Norman P. Grubb
As a mature Christian I am a missionary. It isn’t suitable to do certain things which I might do if I wasn’t a missionary. I personally haven’t, for a long time, drank alcohol. However, there are one or two friends I go to and do have a sherry. I am not against drinking, but normally speaking it wouldn’t be good for me as a missionary to be running around with a whiskey bottle in my hand. So, we are just free and we don’t judge others. That is the secret. But at the same time, I do watch that I am a person who has certain responsibilities to my younger brothers. There may be some things I feel I am better without for example’s sake. Because he says, “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” That is how he ends this chapter in the twenty-third verse.
Now faith means you are settled. That is OK. Doubt is on the soul level. Now remember, faith swallows up doubt. All life is doubt. So doubt being on the soul level, you say, “Should I do this, should I do that?” Now if you are mature you will say, “I will do it until God shows me. I will not go by niggling doubts. I won’t go because man says I shouldn’t do it. All right, if I shouldn’t do this thing, You tell me, God.” Because, if God tells you, He has a way of doing it, which is an easy way. It isn’t condemning and destructive; it up-builds you. It is something—“Oh, I shouldn’t do that.” And then, it is easy not to do it. That is all right then.
But you see, if you haven’t that faith, you may say you believe God, but you do something which you think you shouldn’t do. Then you really condemn and get yourself under bondage and condemnation, and perhaps even throw out Christianity by saying it doesn’t work. The trouble is that you haven’t discerned between soul and spirit. You are taking doubts that you could say, “I’m not taking those until God gives them.” But, you are grabbed by them and other people set the example to you until you slip away. I wonder how many in our churches were disillusioned because they fought and failed. They haven’t learned how to fight. They have had their guilt. “It hasn’t worked,” so they have thrown it up.
It could help them into this faith, which doesn’t accept doubt. If he accepts doubt, which is not of faith, it is sin. Then we are free of sin, if we do not accept doubt. Condemnation comes from Satan. Conviction, we accept from, “Oh, I see that” (I mean, like I did. I saw that I shouldn’t go with it for my calling. Okay, then it was quite easy for me.) Then the conviction will fit right in. So, faith can include conviction, but it does not include condemnation. When you are a young Christian, you may mix up faith and condemnation. Then you get guilty, struggle, fail and perchance throw up the whole business.
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