Many catchwords are used by God’s people, both Scriptural and home-made, to express the highest aims of their goal in God: some speak of the fullness of the Spirit, or entire sanctification, or power for service, or the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, or full salvation, or victorious living. All these are useful but we would like to speak the basic, simple all-inclusive word of Scripture, that was such a favourite with the Saviour: Eternal Life; or rather, just “Life,” for, as we shall see, nothing but this is Life. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly,” said the Saviour; and Moses put it in the plainest terms to Israel: “I call heaven and earth to witness this day… that I have set before you life and death.” Not a religion, not a philosophy, not a way of life called Christianity, but LIFE. And we are to discover that there is only one Life, all else is death. It is absolute in definition and experience, “straight and narrow” as the Saviour said; there are no deviations, no alternatives; and it is foolproof in every conceivable situation or problem. Also, being life, it is entirely natural, not something strained, or rather hopelessly aimed at; but just lived, and lived exuberantly.
We begin by a fact of fundamental importance. Life is not thing, an “it,” at all. Life is a Person. In fact, we shall clear the ground from the start if we take careful warning against a chronic habit we all have, though to a point it is necessary and justifiable, but soon leads us deep into Bypath Meadow, the habit of looking at life in terms of abstractions, and usually arguing about them. We talk, for instance, of love or hate, faith or unbelief, sin or holiness, and so on, as if they were things in themselves, things we either need to attain or avoid; and then we have our various theories of how we can experience them or be rid of them. But love is not thing; it is a person loving: faith is not a thing, but a person believing: life is not a thing, but a person living. There could be no such “things,” if it were not that people loved and hated, were holy or sinful. For convenience sake, we abstract these various characteristics of a living person, isolate them as a research student would say, label them, and then so often get into the quicksands of a fruitless, despairing search for love, power, faith, holiness in our own lives. We are missing the vital mark. We are pursuing death, not life, that way.
It is quite plain that life is a Person, because God is life. “I am… the Life,” said God the Son. “We have seen and show unto you eternal life which was with the Father,” writes John. “Christ our life,” writes Paul. “This is the true God, and eternal life,” writes John again. Therefore, “that which was from the beginning” is a Living Person, Who is all love, light, life, power, wisdom, holiness (wholeness). Is there love? God is love. Is there light? God is light. Is there wisdom? He is wisdom. Is there faith? He is the eternal believer in Himself, for “I AM” is His name.
We cannot stress this too strongly, for the key to true being is here. Life is never found by searching for or possessing things. Life is a Person.
By Norman Grubb