Is Salvation that Difficult?
Hi, my name is Fred Pruitt. Linda Bunting sent me your questions you had sent her from our website and asked me if I would like to reply to you.
Obviously we don't know each other so in a sense I'm responding in a vacuum, not knowing really from what place you ask your questions. Your last paragraph seems to say that you haven't satisfactorily found for yourself what it means to know "salvation" in Christ -- at least I think that is what you are saying -- but wonderfully you seem also to say that you would truly like to know the "answer" to what "salvation" means.
So let me take your issues in reverse order, because the answer starts in the Cross. I quote your note below, and then will make an attempt to address the things you bring up.
I am trying to understand what Mr Grubb means:
He says of the first truth:
The personal truth is that the revealed fact of our being in Him and He in us is a conscious union. This means that I no longer see myself as a separate person in a ''relationship'' with the Lord Jesus Christ, but as one, as Branch in the Vine, as a Body member in the Head, as spirit joined to Spirit. I am consciously He in my Branch, Body, Spirit forms--Christ, indeed the whole Trinity, in my human form.
I am not I dependent on Him, but He permanently expressed by me. And so I live spontaneously on this inner fixed fact by the Word, inwardly confirmed by the Spirit. This means that I live my daily life as if I am just myself, in total freedom, yet with the inner permanent sub-conscious reality that it is He living my Life (the hidden truth of Col. 3:4 and Gal. 2:20). This is total truth #1--the replaced life.
Does he explain anywhere what it means for to be "as one.... Indeed the whole Trinity, in my human form." I see an answer in Gal 2:20, but Mr Grubb does not explain it.
Of the second truth:
Nothing exists outside of God--Father, Son, and Spirit. Therefore the only sin is unbelief--which is negative believing (John 16:9 and Romans 14:23)--seeing things and people and all situations as though separate from God. Negative seeing and believing causes us to be judgmental, fearful and defeatist, always transmitting to others what we ourselves inwardly see. To us the total.
Again, where does he explain how the scripture references apply. John 16:9 speaks of the Spirit convincing the world of sin. Romans 14:23 says what-so-ever is not of faith is sin. However, it does not explain what he is saying.
Sorry to be so inquisitive. I just spoke with a friend last night who told me all I needed to do was to go to the cross to be saved. However, he could not explain what that means.
I am beginning to realize that Christians witness, using Bible phrases, all the time, but cannot seem to explain what they mean. Is salvation that difficult?
Ok, Fred here again.
Wow, ________, what a question to ask -- "Is salvation that difficult?"
Primarily whenever we each in turn might ask that question, the answer really depends upon ourselves. What do we want? Do we want to find the answer to that question?
It's an honest question. Unless one is resigned to the idea that the question has no answer, and remains therefore aloof to the idea of an answer.
The answer to that question involves a complete outside-in-over-under-discombobulation of all we know, or think we know. To find the answer means to be willing to accept the answer.
Another way to start answering the question is to say that the answer is No AND Yes.
It is, "No, it isn't difficult," because it is the easiest thing in all the universe, as easy as breathing fresh mountain air and eating all the good things you like.
It is, "Yes, it's the hardest thing in the world," because the cost is all you are and all you have, which turns out not to be enough. And yet it is absolutely free.
The answer is neither intellectual nor academic. The answer penetrates every place there is, in thought, word and deed.
The answer isn't available to the natural mind of man, neither yours nor mine, because it is only from the Spirit of the Living God, Who is Beyond anything mankind conceives, knows, thinks of, and describes. Though He is the Foundation and the Source and the Cohesion of All that is, nevertheless it is impossible to perceive Him in any way. He has to reveal Himself to us, and no "technique" of any religion, nor any behavior, nor will any proper modes of thought make us aware of His Presence, though He is always closer to us than the me-I-think-I-am is to myself.
We have all gone far from Him in thought, word, and deed, and all humanity, you and I and everyone, has left Eden and lost our way and abused each other in our fear, even though the Foundation of our very being and life and thought and self-awareness springs directly from Him -- "Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture." (Psalm 100:3)
It is precisely because we are compounded and made up of Him, He whose only Purpose is to bless and build up and to love, precisely because we live and move and have our being in the BEING Who is ONLY LOVE, that we find ourselves in misery and we do violence to ourselves in walking as strangers in our strange land where we cannot find Him. We seek we do not know what, because there is a pervasive emptiness in life no matter what joys or pleasures may come our way. That emptiness is a dread and a fear that harasses us, binds us and blinds us, so that we spend our days building up and protecting our own personal kingdoms, of whatever realm they might be, doing anything and everything to hide and cover up what we see as our real selves which in our deepest most honest moments disgusts us, because we get just a glimpse of how much we really are for ourselves, even though we like to think of ourselves as "not so bad" and "not selfish like other people" or maybe even "pretty developed human beings". But it may very well be that we are far, far away in a misty land with no knowledge of our real Father, bastards of the lonely universe, alone, alone, alone, groping about in life like kids playing blind-man's bluff.
We are made of love, but we cannot love. We at best can want to love. For those who come to this in honesty of heart it is a great sorrow.
The Gospel of John, first chapter, says:
9 [He] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Right here, _______ , is the foolishness of this good news. Because here we leave reason and anything that makes sense to any sort of logic. And it is also the simple part of all this.
This "Good News" (to which we have have given a formal name -- "The Gospel") is simply this: Mankind, as I have stated above, has wandered far from its truth. We have listened to and heeded the voice of the deceiver, the accuser, the liar, the judger, the despiser, and through him we have collectively over the millennia built a system in the world that is absurd and insane and evil in its core with greed and envy and pride and violence as its driving motivations.
However, from the depths of the Eternal, God sent His Son to be one of us, to walk our walk, talk our talk, hurt our hurts, cry our tears. He sent Him into the world to love it, to reconcile it, and to bring it back into the harmony of God Himself.
Ultimately, the only victory over this world was that He go down into death, killed by the weight of the sins and the sorrows of all those who had ever lived or will ever live, taking into Himself by the Spirit of God within Him, every cry, every heartbreak, every evil word or thought, every slander, every deceit, every injustice done, every rape, every murder, every puff-up with pride, every arrogance and every haughty look, every disdain and every glance of disgust, every stab and every blow, every shot fired in malice and every tragedy of chance and accident and awful judgment.
Jesus Christ of Nazareth, regular man, normal man, very man, like you and I, somehow also in a way which cannot be explained and which cannot be logically described, was also the Deity in fulness in the world, the very Lamb of God slain before the foundations of the earth, dwelling eternally in the heart of the throne of God. Yet He walked around among us as one of us in order that He, as Man, might regain for man what man lost in the beginning -- living consciously in the Spirit of God, enlivened every moment from within, imbued with the Light and Life of the Almighty, living in Him to bless and build up and to cause to be.
Likewise, something which cannot be explained nor grasped intellectually, is the Truth that by the power of the Father Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead. He came to life again by the Spirit of God, and in so doing brought deliverance, victory, healing and forgiveness to the same "all mankind" He had taken with Him into His death on the Cross.
When Jesus died, being the Only Begotten Son of God, Who was the Root and Offspring of David, He died as all of us, taking into Himself all that we had become. We had become the temple of desolation, the habitation of devils, purveyors of lies, promoters of violence. We were a marketplace, each of us open for the highest bidder. He BECAME all that -- us! (2 Corinthians 5:21)
And then He died.
When He rose from the dead He received the Father's Life as a gift to be transferred via His Resurrection to all who would from then on simply believe on Him. It was the same Life that He was/IS which He came to give to us who would believe on His name. "I am come that they might have Life, and might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) "And this is the work of God, that Ye believe on Him whom He hath sent." (John 6:29.)
He came to deliver us from the futility and emptiness and nothingness of what we have all found life to be when we have come to the end of ourselves.
The only way into understanding this is to believe first. Understanding will not come first.
How can that be?
Because we cannot know Him until we believe on Him, and we cannot know "about" Him until we know Him.
How can you know Him? Ask Him yourself. Tell Him you would like to know Him. Tell Him you would like to "receive Him" as it said in the passage I quoted above.
It's craziness and makes no sense, unless there really is a Living Jesus to respond.
And there is, which makes it craziness and without sense to NOT ask Him to come into your Life and BE your life.
Brother, you are on the right track.
Jesus said, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field." (Matthew 13:44.) You are the field. In the midst, in the middle, hidden, is the treasure of the "Light that lights every man which comes into the world."
The man in the story "sold all he had" in order to buy the field where the treasure is.
The treasure is not only Jesus living within you in some hidden depths, but that His life in "salvation" not only saves YOU, but becomes a succorer of others, a living tree of life, so that you no longer are merely someone with "needs," a user, a taker, a consumer, but an All-Sufficiency, manifest in the weakness of our mortal frame.
Jesus in us is joy unspeakable and full of glory.
So if you haven't taken the plunge yet, I urge you to do so now. Ask Christ Jesus into your heart, to come into you and to be Love and Wisdom and Light and Life in you and shining out of you for the benefit of the world you live in.
Let me know how you feel about what I have written here and then we'll move on to the other two questions you asked.
All my love,