The Saving Life of Christ

( 4 )

Overview

"This book is simply written and will be of much help to new converts and defeated Christians in starting them off to a victorious spiritual life."
— Bibliotheca Sacra

"Major Thomas points out how many dedicated people, ministers, Sunday school teachers, and the like, have come out of the old life but never gone on to the full, joyous life in Christ. He writes with fresh insight into many Bible passages, and challenges Christians to walk on and...

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Overview

"This book is simply written and will be of much help to new converts and defeated Christians in starting them off to a victorious spiritual life."
— Bibliotheca Sacra

"Major Thomas points out how many dedicated people, ministers, Sunday school teachers, and the like, have come out of the old life but never gone on to the full, joyous life in Christ. He writes with fresh insight into many Bible passages, and challenges Christians to walk on and take the victory that is already won."
— Faith at Work

". . . a very inspiring and helpful book."
— Baptist Standard

"This is one of the most helpful treatments of a neglected subject which has come to this reviewer’s attention."
—The Baptist Bulletin

". . . the author evidences keen insight into the definition and activity of the two natures of the believer and the path to victory. This path is explained with refreshing theological objectivity."
—The Sunday School Times

"A deeply spiritual study of the doctrine of the indwelling Christ. . . . Complete surrender is our need that Christ may live through us. We found the book helpful and enriching."
— The Southern Baptist S.S. Board

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310332626
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 11/1/1989
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 577,361
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Major W. Ian Thomas has spent his life in Christian ministry. He founded and directed the Torchbearers, an international evangelistic organization, and is also the author of If I Perish, I Perish.

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Read an Excerpt

THE SAVING LIFE OF CHRIST

THERE IS SOMETHING WHICH MAKES CHRISTIANITY MORE THAN A religion, more than an ethic, and more than the idle dream of the sentimental idealist. It is this something that makes it relevant to each one of us right now as a contemporary experience. It is the fact that Christ Himself is the very life content of the Christian faith. It is He who makes it "tick." "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it" (1 Thess. 5: 24). The One who calls you is the One who does that to which He calls you. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2: 13). He is Himself the very dynamic of all His demands.

Christ did not die simply that you might be saved from a bad conscience or even to remove the stain of past failure, but to "clear the decks" for divine action. You have been told that Christ died to save you. This is gloriously true in a very limited, though vital sense. In Romans 5: 10 we read, "If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." The Lord Jesus Christ therefore ministers to you in two distinct ways--He reconciles you to God by His death, and He saves you by His life.

I would like to examine with you what this implies. The very first word of the gospel is a word of reconciliation, so that "we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God" (2 Cor. 5: 20). This is a call to the sinner to be at peace with God Himself. How is this possible? Only by virtue of the fact that "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself" (2 Cor. 5: 19a).

God in righteousness has no option but to find you guilty as a sinner--by nature dead in trespasses and sins-- and to pass upon you the sentence of death, the forfeiture of His Holy Spirit, and alienation from the life of God. But more than nineteen hundred years ago, God in Christ stepped out of eternity into time, and there are extended to you today the nail-pierced hands of One who suffered, "the just for the unjust," to bring you back to God (1 Peter 3: 18a). He bore "our sins in his own body on the tree" (1 Peter 2: 24a). This is what makes the gospel at once so urgent! Mental assent is not enough--a moral choice is imperative! Christ is God's last word to man and God's last word to you, and He demands an answer.

Your response to Jesus Christ will determine your condition in the sight of God--redeemed or condemned! This, however, is but the beginning of the story, "for if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled [now an accomplished fact] we shall be saved [as a continuing process] . . . by his life" (Rom. 5: 10). The glorious fact of the matter is this-- no sooner has God reconciled to Himself the man who has responded to His call, than He reimparts to him, as a forgiven sinner, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and this restoration to him of the Holy Spirit constitutes what the Bible calls regeneration, or new birth. Titus 3: 5-6: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour."

On the third morning after His crucifixion, the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead and appeared to His disciples. He instructed them for some forty days and then ascended to the Father. On the first day of Pentecost He returned, not this time to be with them externally--clothed with that sinless humanity that God had prepared for Him, being conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary--but now to be in them imparting to them His own divine nature, clothing Himself with their humanity, so that they each became "members in particular" of a new, corporate body through which Christ expressed Himself to the world of their day. He spoke with their lips. He worked with their hands. This was the miracle of new birth, and this remains the very heart of the gospel!

"Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." The One who calls you to a life of righteousness is the One who by your consent lives that life of righteousness through you! The One who calls you to minister to the needs of humanity is the One who by your consent ministers to the needs of humanity through you! The One who calls you to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, is the One who by your consent, goes into all the world and preaches the gospel to every creature through you!

This is the divine genius that saves a man from the futility of self-effort. It relieves the Christian of the burden of trying to pull himself up by his own bootstraps! If it were not for this divine provision, the call to Christ would be a source of utter frustration, presenting the sorry spectacle of a sincere idealist, constantly thwarted by his own inadequacy.

If you will but trust Christ, not only for the death He died in order to redeem you, but also for the life that He lives and waits to live through you, the very next step you take will be a step taken in the very energy and power of God Himself. You will have begun to live a life which is essentially supernatural, yet still clothed with the common humanity of your physical body, and still worked out in the things that inevitably make up the lot of a man who, though his heart may be with Christ in heaven, still has his two feet firmly planted on the earth.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Meet the Major 7
Foreword 11
1. The Saving Life of Christ 13
2. A New Principle 23
3. Three Categories of Men 35
4. A Day to Be Remembered 45
5. Any Old Bush Will Do! 59
6. The Church in the Wilderness 71
7. Then Came Amalek! 81
8. Know Your Enemy (Amalek continued) 95
9. The Man Who Forgot to Remember 103
10. The Man Who Died Too Young 113
11. The Man with the Sword in His Hand 127
12. Victory and Vocation 139

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First Chapter

THE SAVING LIFE OF CHRIST
THERE IS SOMETHING WHICH MAKES CHRISTIANITY MORE THAN A religion, more than an ethic, and more than the idle dream of the sentimental idealist. It is this something that makes it relevant to each one of us right now as a contemporary experience. It is the fact that Christ Himself is the very life content of the Christian faith. It is He who makes it 'tick.' 'Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it' (1 Thess. 5:24). The One who calls you is the One who does that to which He calls you. 'For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure' (Phil. 2:13). He is Himself the very dynamic of all His demands.
Christ did not die simply that you might be saved from a bad conscience or even to remove the stain of past failure, but to 'clear the decks' for divine action. You have been told that Christ died to save you. This is gloriously true in a very limited, though vital sense. In Romans 5:10 we read, 'If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.' The Lord Jesus Christ therefore ministers to you in two distinct ways---He reconciles you to God by His death, and He saves you by His life.
I would like to examine with you what this implies. The very first word of the gospel is a word of reconciliation, so that 'we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God' (2 Cor. 5:20). This is a call to the sinner to be at peace with God Himself. How is this possible? Only by virtue of the fact that 'God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself' (2 Cor. 5:19a).
God in righteousness has no option but to find you guilty as a sinner---by nature dead in trespasses and sins--- and to pass upon you the sentence of death, the forfeiture of His Holy Spirit, and alienation from the life of God. But more than nineteen hundred years ago, God in Christ stepped out of eternity into time, and there are extended to you today the nail-pierced hands of One who suffered, 'the just for the unjust,' to bring you back to God (1 Peter 3:18a). He bore 'our sins in his own body on the tree' (1 Peter 2:24a). This is what makes the gospel at once so urgent! Mental assent is not enough---a moral choice is imperative! Christ is God's last word to man and God's last word to you, and He demands an answer.
Your response to Jesus Christ will determine your con-dition in the sight of God---redeemed or condemned! This, however, is but the beginning of the story, 'for if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled [now an accom-plished fact] we shall be saved [as a continuing process] . . . by his life' (Rom. 5:10). The glorious fact of the matter is this--- no sooner has God reconciled to Himself the man who has responded to His call, than He reimparts to him, as a forgiven sinner, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and this restoration to him of the Holy Spirit constitutes what the Bible calls regeneration, or new birth. Titus 3:5--6: 'Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.'
On the third morning after His crucifixion, the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead and appeared to His disciples. He instructed them for some forty days and then ascended to the Father. On the first day of Pentecost He returned, not this time to be with them externally---clothed with that sinless humanity that God had prepared for Him, being conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary---but now to be in them imparting to them His own divine nature, clothing Himself with their humanity, so that they each became 'members in particular' of a new, corporate body through which Christ expressed Himself to the world of their day. He spoke with their lips. He worked with their hands. This was the miracle of new birth, and this remains the very heart of the gospel!
'Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.' The One who calls you to a life of righteousness is the One who by your consent lives that life of righteousness through you! The One who calls you to minister to the needs of humanity is the One who by your consent ministers to the needs of humanity through you! The One who calls you to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, is the One who by your consent, goes into all the world and preaches the gospel to every creature through you!
This is the divine genius that saves a man from the futility of self-effort. It relieves the Christian of the burden of trying to pull himself up by his own bootstraps! If it were not for this divine provision, the call to Christ would be a source of utter frustration, presenting the sorry spectacle of a sincere idealist, constantly thwarted by his own inadequacy.
If you will but trust Christ, not only for the death He died in order to redeem you, but also for the life that He lives and waits to live through you, the very next step you take will be a step taken in the very energy and power of God Himself. You will have begun to live a life which is essentially supernatural, yet still clothed with the common humanity of your physical body, and still worked out in the things that inevitably make up the lot of a man who, though his heart may be with Christ in heaven, still has his two feet firmly planted on the earth.
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Customer Reviews

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( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2001

    Saving Life of Christ

    Ian Thomas has a unique view of how Christ will live in us if we only give Him an invitation. If we do this without reservation, Christ will then take over our lives while we are allowed to go on vacation. Anytime I read a book by Ian Thomas, I invariably feel inspired.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2001

    Saving Life of Christ

    The main theme of this book is that Christ can live through us. After we commit to Christ we receive the Holy Spirit and are reborn. Christ will then live in us if we offer Him child-like acceptance. Like the Jews who longed for Egypt while travelling in the wilderness, there are carnal Christians who still live in the flesh even though they have been redeemed by faith in Christ. Without the fullness of Christ in us we cannot celebrate completely. Thomas makes his case with readable prose and his arguments are the result of original thinking. I read the book after hearing the author speak at a local church and found both experiences to be inspirational.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2000

    The Saving Life of Christ

    What does it mean to be in Christ? What does it mean for Christ to be in you? Major Ian Thomas explores the issues and the implications of Christ's life and death in his book The Saving Life of Christ. In it he covers such topics as The Saving Life of Christ-The Exchanged Life, To Be In Christ-Total Dependency on God, Christ In You-Victorious Christian Living and much more. It is a probing evaluation of the deeper meanings of the Christian life. Thomas offers key Scripture passages for study and meditation, questions for discussion and response, quotations from classic Christian writers, and personal reflections from his own life. He takes you on a journey through familiar biblical passages and brings new life and application to them that encourage you, teach you and deepen your faith.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2013

    Highly Recommended - Five Stars

    In 1980 we had the wonderful opportunity to meet and hear the author, Major Ian Thomas speak. We purchased his book, "The Saving Life of Christ" not long after we heard him speak. Since the book we purchased was paperback and not hard cover, it completely fell apart. We read it over and over many times because we liked what the author had to say and appreciated his real life experience as a young believer. He gave up from his effort to believe that Christ had already finished the work. This is a "must read".

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