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Ritual vs Reality

29 Nov

There are a few things quite so boring as being religious, but there is nothing quite so exciting as being a Christian! Most folks have never discovered the difference between the one and the other, so that there are those who sincerely try to live a life they do not have, substituting religion for God, Christianity for Christ, and their own noble endeavors for the energy, joy, and power of the Holy Spirit. In the absence of reality, they can only grasp at ritual, stubbornly defending the latter in the absence of the former, lest they be found with neither! They are lamps without oil, cars without gas, and pens without ink, baffled at their own impotence in the absence of all that alone can make man functional; for man was so engineered by God that the presence of the Creator within the creature is indispensable to his humanity. Christ gave Himself for us to give Himself to us! His presence puts God back into the man! He came that we might have life – God’s life!”

Ian ThomasIan Thomas

Foreword, Classic Christianity, Harvest House, 1989, 7.

The Mystery of Godliness

30 Nov

Godliness is a mystery! Fail to grasp this fact and you will never understand the nature of godliness.

God did not create you to have just an ape-like capacity to imitate God. There would be no mystery in that, nor would this lift you morally much above the status of a monkey or a parrot! The capacity to imitate is vested in the one who imitates, and does not derive from, nor necessarily share the motives of the person being imitated, who remains passive and impersonal to the act of imitation…

Remove the mystery or try to explain it away, and the result must inevitably be disastrous, for you will no longer be anchored to anything absolute; you will be at liberty to choose your own God ­ the object of your own imitation; and your “godliness” will be the measure of your conformity to the object of your choice.

The moment you come to realize that only God can make a man godly, you are left with no option but to find God, and to know God, and to let God be God in and through you, whoever He may be ­ and this will leave you with no margin for picking and choosing ­ for there is only one God, and He is absolute, and He made you expressly for Himself!

W. Ian Thomas

“The Mystery of Godliness,” Website: Excerpts from the Writings of Maj. W. Ian Thomas.

Let’s Go!

1 Oct

In seeking to preserve your own life you will lose it.  If you are prepared to lose your life for God’s sake, you will find it…  I believe that such a moment comes in the life of every child of God – the moment when God’s purpose for your life hangs delicately in the balance.… 

Fulfillment comes with the realization that you do not have in yourself what it takes.  Death to all that you are in your own inadequacy is the only gateway through which you may enter into the fullness of all that Christ is, so that you may live miraculously in the power of His resurrection, crying from the heart, “Lord Jesus, I can’t but you can, and that is all I need to know – let’s go!”

W. Ian Thomas

If I Perish, I Perish, Torchbearer (1967/1993), 52.

​Religious or Christian?

5 Sep

There are few things quite so boring as being religious, but there is nothing quite so exciting as being a Christian!

Most folks have never discovered the difference between the one and the other, so that there are those who sincerely try to live a life they do not have, substituting religion for God, Christianity for Christ, and their own noble endeavors for the energy, joy, and power of the Holy Spirit. In the absence of reality, they can only grasp at rituals, stubbornly defending the latter in the absence of the former, lest they be found with neither!

They are lamps without oil, cars without gas, and pens without ink, baffled at their own impotence in the absence of all that alone can make man functional; for man was so engineered by God that the presence of the Creator within the creature is indispensable to His humanity. Christ gave Himself for us to give Himself to us! His presence puts God back into the man! He came that we might have life – God’s life!

There are those who have a life they never live. They have come to Christ and thanked Him only for what He did, but do not live in the power of who He is. Between the Jesus who “was” and the Jesus who “will be” they live in a spiritual vacuum, trying with no little zeal to live for Christ a life that only He can live in and through them, perpetually begging for what in Him they already have!

W. Ian Thomas

“Religious or Christian?” Excerpts from the Writings of Maj. W. Ian Thomas.

Count Yourself Alive

28 Aug

Walking in the spirit is a continuous process, one step at a time.  It means that for every new situation into which every new step brings you, you must reckon positively with the Holy Spirit, to keep the flesh in the place of death.  I want to emphasize the need to reckon positively…  The surest way of reckoning yourself to be dead to sin (that old Adamic nature), is to reckon yourself alive in Jesus Christ and be utterly dependent on him. He then will take care of the consequences.

W. Ian Thomas

If I Perish, I Perish, Torchbearer (1967/1993), 102.

Free to Love

13 Aug

Though the Holy Spirit inhabits your humanity as God, representing in His person both the Father and the Son of God, He will never violate the sovereignty of your will, nor deprive you of the moral responsibility to choose… 

That is why your free “yes” to God, at any given moment, fills His heart with greater joy than all the thrilling wonders of a million universes, throwing out into the vastness of outer space by the word of His power.  They have no capacity to love him – because they have no capacity to choose Him!

W. Ian Thomas

If I Perish, I Perish, Torchbearer (1967/1993), 105.

Christless Christianity

25 Jul

I’m tired of religion – and to be entirely honest I know of nothing quite so boring as Christianity without Christ.  Have you ever tried to start a car without fuel, and there wasn’t a spark left in the battery?  Then you will know exactly what I mean, for there a few things more frustrating than the car that will not go. Everything is nicely greased and in its rightful place, and all the working parts move dutifully, but try as you may, there isn’t the suspicion of a kick, the tiniest evidence of life in the engine.  You might just as well dump the thing, for the chance you have of getting it to move! 

Countless people have stopped going to a place of worship simply because they are sick of going through the motions of a dead religion.  They are tired of trying to start the car on an empty tank!  What a pity that is that there are not a few more people around to tell them that Jesus Christ is alive.  I spoke of nothing more boring than Christianity without Christ, but I know of nothing so utterly exciting as being a Christian – sharing the very life of Jesus Christ on earth right here and now, and been caught up with Him into the relentless, invincible purposes of an almighty God, and with all the limitless resources of deity available for the job.

W. Ian Thomas

If I Perish, I Perish, Torchbearer (1967/1993), 7-8.

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