TO MY BELOVED WIFE,
WHOSE LOVE AND LOYALTY IN THE LORD
HAVE MADE HER A CONSTANT AND COVETED COMPANION,
I AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBE THIS VOLUME
Some months ago I had the blessed privilege of reading in manuscript some of the chapters of this volume, and I was exceedingly glad to know they would appear in book form. Now the book has been produced, and through its pages, by the Grace of God, many will be blessed.
In his own life the author has proved the blessed meaning of the Divine paradox that forms the title, which we each must prove for ourselves if we would walk the Pauline way. From the day of his conversion, Paul becomes the greatest Christian warrior who ever buckled on sword for the Lord and assaulted the citadel of Mansoul for Christ. He has left us an example that we might follow in his steps.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live.”
“This is a great mystery even to myself,” says Paul, “but I tell you how it has been fulfilled in me. When the law of God came home to me I saw that I was a dead man. I saw that the wages of sin like mine was death. But just then it was that God in His grace to me revealed His Son in me. Revealed Him in me a very mystery of godliness; revealed Him as made sin, as crucified for sin, and thus as the ransom and Redeemer of my soul. Had I died for my own sin, which I was just about to do, I had died forever: I had died the first and the second death. But dying in and with Christ, I both died and yet lived. One with Him in His death, I began to live in His resurrection life. I awoke and, after the Cross, found myself a new creature; old things had passed away, and all things had become new. I am dead to some things—dead and never to see resurrection. I am dead to the law and the law is dead to me. The law sometimes looks at me as if it knew me and had something against me, and was about to bring up something against me; but after a time it looks at me and passes me by.
“At such moments I tremble to my very heart; but at such moments God again reveals His Son in me, and I am enabled to say: ‘Why are thou disquieted in me, O my soul? thou and I are crucified with Christ.’”
There is a tremendous challenge to every reader in these pages. Mr. Logsdon has penetrated “far ben” into the Divine mysteries of the life that is life indeed and to be found only in the Lord Jesus Christ. He lures us to brighter worlds and greater conquests and leads the way. I am proud and privileged to write this brief foreword to a book that needs no poor commendation of mine.
J. H. HUNTER
Editor, The Evangelical Christian
It was with Holy Spirit unction that the beloved Apostle Paul encouraged men to emulate his life. “Be ye followers of me,” was his unhesitating advice. Down through the corridors of time, his appeal has come with a resounding challenge; and, in this day of alarming spiritual decline, it becomes eminently essential that the earnest child of God should hear anew the clarion call to a life of triumph through self-abandonment to his sovereign Lord.
The plea to emulate Paul in no wise contradicts or even affects the exhortation to “keep looking unto Jesus.” Instead of supplanting, it supplements. It is as though the Spirit of God were saying, “As you keep looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of faith, you may find in Paul a profitable example of unswerving fidelity, unaffected devotion and unfailing obedience.” The practicality of the gospel became personified in him; and, as we peruse his walk and work, we become confident that his counsel is free of egotism and full of spiritual encouragement.
It is inspiring to learn how a “chosen vessel” became so definitely “sanctified and meet for the master's use.”
- Travel with him down the path of the precious Page and you will find him in step with the Saviour.
- Sit under his persuasive preaching and you will know he declared the full counsel of God.
- Join with him in heavenly sweet communion and you will sense his nearness to Christ.
- Witness him enduring the vicious maltreatment of lewd men of the baser sort and you will understand that he had fellowship in the sufferings of his Lord.
- Walk with him down the last mile of his life's journey and you will be aware of his unshatterable assurance in the protection of Providence.
To study his life is to throw widely open to our view the panoramic possibilities for all Christians of any age. “By the grace of God, I am what I am,” he contended; and this matchless, marvelous power is as presently sufficient as it was historically experienced by the trustworthy Apostle of early times. He clearly and firmly believed that he was called of God expressly “to reveal His Son in me” (Galatians 1:16).
During those three silent years in Arabia and in Damascus, subsequent to his conversion, his whole course seemed to be definitely determined and his unwavering aim was to reflect the life of Christ, Whose he was and Whom he served.
The papers herein presented were written solely with the thought in mind of setting forth some-thing of an unfolding of Paul's holy desire to conscientiously exalt Christ, whether by life or by death.
This dear old champion of the early Church has been an unceasing challenge. He has stirred up a desire in the hearts of countless Christians to “glory only in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” and “to fight the good fight of faith.”
May the sweet inspiration of his noble life fall as a mantle upon the soldiers of the cross who, in our day and in the days to come face the same vicious foe and serve the same ever-glorious Lord.