How can a poor tree bear good fruit? Only by grafting… We cannot tell how God has done his work in us, but it is done. We can do nothing and need do nothing to bring it about, for by the resurrection God has already done it. God has done everything. There is only one fruitful life in the world and that has been grafted into millions of other lives.
The Normal Christian Life, Tyndale House 1957/1977, 97-8
If I put a dollar bill between the pages of a magazine, and then burn the magazine, where is the dollar bill? It has gone the same was as the magazine goes – to ashes. Where the one goes the other goes too. Their history has become one. But, just as effectively, God has put us in Christ. What happened to him happened also to us. All the experience he met, we too have met in him. ‘Our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin’ (Rom 6:6). That is not an exhortation to struggle. That is history: our history written in Christ before we were born. Do you believe it? It is true! Our crucifixion with Christ is a glorious historic fact. Our deliverance from sin is based, no on what we can do, nor even on what God is going to do for us, but on what He has already done for us in Christ. When that fact dawns on upon us and we rest back upon it (Rom 6:11), then we have found the secret of a holy life.
Sit, Walk, Stand, Tyndale House, 1957/1977, 21
Christianity does not begin with walking; it begins with sitting… Most Christians make the mistake of trying to walk in order to be able to sit, but that is a reversal of the true order. Our natural reason says, If we do not walk, how can we ever reach the goal? What can we attain without effort? How can we get anywhere if we do not move? But Christianity is a queer business! If at the outset we try to do anything, we get nothing; if we seek to attain something, we miss everything. For Christianity does not begin with a big DO, but with a big DONE.
Sit, Walk, Stand, Tyndale House, 1957/1977, 14
We try to show love, and, finding we have none, ask the Lord for love. Then we are surprised that he does not seem to give it to us… You were surely not wrong in seeking love from God? No, but you were wrong in seeking that love as something in itself, a kind of package commodity, when what God desires is to express through you the love of his Son…
We have been accustomed to look upon holiness as a virtue, upon humility as a grace, upon love as a gift to be sought from God. But the Christ of God is himself everything that we shall ever need.
Many a time in my need I used to think of Christ as a Person apart, and failed to identify with him in this practical way with the ‘things’ I felt so strongly the lack of. For two whole years I was groping in that kind of darkness, seeking to amass the virtues that I felt sure should make up the Christian lie, and getting nowhere in the effort. And then one day – it was in the year 1933 – light broke from heaven for me, and I saw Christ ordained of God to be made over to me in his fullness. What a difference! Oh the emptiness of ‘things’! Held by us out of relation to Christ they are dead. Once we see this it will be the beginning of a new life for us. Our holiness will be spelled thereafter with a capital H, our love with a capital L. He himself is revealed as the answer in us to all God’s demands.”
Sit, Walk, Stand, Tyndale House, 1957/1977, 36-8
Now the principle on which we receive the enduement of the Holy Spirit is the very same as that on which we receive forgiveness of sins. The Lord has been crucified, therefore our sins have been forgiven; the Lord has been glorified, therefore the Spirit has been poured out upon us. Is it possible that the Son of God shed his Blood and that your sins, dear child of God, have not been forgiven? Never! Then is it possible that the Son of God has been glorified and you have not received the Spirit? Never! Some of you may say: I agree with all this, but I have no experience of it. Am I to sit down smugly and say I have everything, when I know perfectly well I have nothing? No, we must never rest content with objective facts alone. We need subjective experience also; but that experience will only come as we rest upon divine facts… Enduement with the Holy Spirit becomes yours… by putting your faith in what the Lord has already done.
The Normal Christian Life, Tyndale House 1957/1977, 128
The object of temptation is always to get us to do something… Satan’s temptations are not designed primarily to make us do something particularly sinful, but merely to cause us to act in our energy; and as soon as we step out of our hiding-place to do something on that basis, he has gained the victory over us.
The Normal Christian Life, Tyndale House 1957/1977, 178