by Norman P. Grubb
What we call Union-Life has only one foundation, and it can have no other. That foundation is the truth that there is only One Person in the universe, and every thing and every body is a manifestation of Him in one of His millions of manifested forms. That is oneness.
I did not see that truth easily, nor at all in my initial living conscious (though separated) relationship with the Father through the Son, as confirmed in me by the Spirit. I would not even have used the preposition “in” (as Paul used it in telling of his rebirth in Galatians 1:15 – “When it pleased God to reveal His Son in me”). At that time I would have said “to” me, for the eternal fact of inner union was still too far off for me.
The “in” fact (“en” in the Greek means “in union with,” as translated in Good News for Modern Man). first became a personal fact of inner union with Christ for me when I was in personal distress at my inability to live effectively on a supposed separate relationship of myself and Him helping me. I was in the illusion of being a Norman Grubb struggling, separate – though – redeemed “I” under the law of Romans 7. This ultimately brought me to that cry of every frustrated, deceived believer, “O, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me?” At last the reality of the inner personal union of Galatians 2:20 became a fact to me. “I live? No, not I, but Christ lives in me. Christ in me. Christ the real I.
That was wonderful enough; but gradually in my outreach ministry to the world, I began to examine more deeply who we really are as persons and how we really tick. I began to read (and in my immaturity, largely misinterpret) such books as William James, Varieties of Religious Experience. The humanist challenge suddenly confronted me, and substantially threw me for a whole year. Was man after all merely a self- developing entity by his own inner mechanisms? Is there perhaps therefore no need of a God at all? Could it be that there isn’t a God? They seem like childishly, superficial questions to me now, but not then, when I was climbing. And this happened to me about twenty years after I had been born again!
This experience forced me right back on my heels. Here I was a missionary servant of Jesus Christ, and yet I was asking whether there really is a God at all! But any such outer reasonings could not shake the inner consciousness which is beyond reason. So I remained in the awkward position of saying to myself and my long-enduring wife, “Well, if there isn’t a God, I have had such a love affair with Him and Jesus these years, that if He is phony, I still remain a love-phony with Him!”