During the last decade of Norman Grubb’s life, in addition to the hundreds of letters he wrote each month, Norman penned several booklets in his quest to leave the body of Christ what had become to him an ever more clear understanding of the Lord’s revealings throughout Scripture. I chose Think on These Things as the title knowing he so desperately wanted each one who believed in Jesus Christ to come into their full inheritance described in these writings. In Think on These Things you will find a collection of his last booklets, as well as several transcribed talks.
Romans 6 to 8 I suppose every eager searcher after God's truth for the liberated life knows that the biblical key to opening the door lies in Paul's letter to the Romans, chapters six to eight. I have been a persistent searcher for years, and these pages of my many Bibles have been well worn! I think now, in my nineties, as never before, I have in working focus what Paul is saying. So I am writing this for those who are also diggers and hopefully finders. I will assume that we are already born-again knowers by God's Spirit. (Rom. 5:5) As confessed sinners, in our guilty and lost condition, we found "peace with God" through Christ, who was "set forth as a propitiation through faith in His blood" and "raised again for our justification". (Rom. 3:25; 4:25; 5:1, 5, 10) Now we come to the practical question of Rom. 6:1, as up to date today as when it was first posed. Is there such a sure provision for daily consistent and holy living as for having the past blotted out? "Yes, surely," says Paul. "Don't you know that it is all part of the gift of a full salvation?" So in these chapters he begins to explain himself, and we will follow along. INTO DEEP WATERS Paul starts by taking for granted that his readers have a deeper quality of spiritual understanding than most of us today had at our new birth. "Know ye not," he asks, "that when our Lord Jesus Christ hung on that cross, he represented us all, and therefore His dying there means you and I died there?" Water baptism – our being immersed beneath the waters and lifted out again – is a symbol of the fact that when He died on the cross and was buried in the tomb, by faith we died, were buried, and then were raised with Him. (Rom. 6:3,4) And as the Holy Spirit entered the resurrected body of Jesus, which represented all ours, the same Spirit has entered us, delivering us from Satan, whose sin nature had entered our bodies and taken us over at the Fall. (Rom. 6:5, 6) Therefore, we have died in Christ's death to the indwelling and operation of Satan's nature in us: we are "dead to sin". (Rom. 6:7-11) Sin, however, isn't dead to us as an operating power in our world, and thus we experience its pressures on us. But in our bodies we have died to its false claims to be still dwelling in us and thus expressing its self-for-self nature by us. Equally, the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is dwelling in us and living His quality of other-love by us. Thus, we are expressers of God's holy nature, just as formerly we were expressers of Satan's sin nature. (I Jn. 4:4, 6) "So," Paul says, "based on the historical fact that Christ settled the sin question once for all" (Rom. 6:9, 10), "we now reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to God". (Rom. 6:11) We therefore no longer yield ourselves as agents of that self-for-self sin nature, but as agents of God's other-love nature. This is strong meat, packed into a few sentences. But does it really work out in our lives? A STARTLING STATEMENT A much deeper problem needs to be solved in order to make workable the life of being dead to sin and alive to God through Christ. We must be dead to law, as well as to sin. But why? Is not the law a safeguard to keep us from running into loose living? "No," Paul maintains. "You have a much deeper reality to learn -- that you have no independent human self, which keeps or doesn't keep the law. You are really just a slave to the deity who owns you, and it is his law you keep." Paul slips in a statement here which sounds startling, but which turns the key in the lock for us when we know it. "Sin shall not have dominion over you," he states, "because you are not under law, but under grace". (Rom. 6:14) But what does that mean? Many would ask, "Is not the Law the standard for right living, announced by Moses in those Ten Commandments and demanded of us by God, with the penalty of judgment and wrath if we disobey it? Is not the Law the means by which God exercises His control over us and by which we endeavour to live? Obviously, we would go wildly into lives of self-gratifying license if the conditions of the Law were removed." But this is our vast error. We have been under the satanic delusion of being independent selves who can and must respond to law. And while we think this, we are actually still slaves to Satan, who compels us either to try and fulfill or to resist God's laws, thereby obeying his own law of sin and death. So the more we think we should obey God's Law, the more Satan is aroused to make us break it. And we shall always have this problem while we blindly think we are independent selves who can keep the law.
Norman Grubb was a missionary to the Belgian Congo in the 1920’s with the Heart of Africa Mission founded by C.T. Studd. After C.T.’s death Norman became the head of the mission which had been renamed Worldwide Evangelization Crusade (WEC). Norman married Pauline Studd Grubb in 1919 and they had four children. After serving in Africa and England they moved to the United States in 1957 to take over the leadership of WEC U.S.A. Norman was involved in many other Christian organizations, including: Faith at Work and International Christian Leadership. He was a prolific writer, producing numerous books, articles and letters! His most well-known writings are Rees Howells Intercessor, C.T. Studd Cricketer and Pioneer and The Key to Everything. He saw his retirement from WEC in 1965 as God’s “redirection” for him to bring to the body of Christ the truth of Galatians 2:20 which God had given him long ago in Africa: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Through the last years and days of his life his joy continued to be bringing the world the message that the Apostle Paul called his second commission, “to fulfill the word of God; even the mystery hidden from ages and generations, but now is made manifest to His saints…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” EDITOR’S NOTE DeeDee Winter lives in Arlington, Texas with her husband, Gary. DeeDee’s thirteen-year friendship and co-working relationship with Norman Grubb was formed around their mutual understanding of union with Christ and developed through their exchange of letters, travel together throughout the U.S. and many visits in each other’s homes. DeeDee hosts the website www.normangrubb.com dedicated to his life. Other writings of Norman Grubb may be found at www.christasus.com.