Early in the first of his 2-tape set on Galatians, Norman tells us that the letter was written for the specific purpose of giving us a background to what God is bringing into reality through Christ in human lives. He reminds us that the letter was written to Gods redeemed people but yet people who were not able to live the liberated, fellowship life which Christs redeeming work had made available. Pauls message was that Gods sons should be free sons. If you ever struggle with living a liberated, victorious Christian life, then these tapes are just for you.
Paul begins his letter by staking his all on the revelation he received from Jesus Christ (Gal.1:11, 12). Through these two tapes Norman gives wonderful insight into the practical application of Pauls revelation in order that we too can live as the liberated sons that God has destined us to be.
Normans first point about Pauls revelation is that it was a replacing of truth from external to internal. As a result of the Fall man began to interpret life externallyto be more concerned with the creation than the Creator. Paul was pointing Gods people back to what a true inner self isspirit created to be in true fellowship with the Creator Spirit. From this starting point of what we are meant to be and what Christs redeeming work has made available to us, Norman then shows us the road by which we must travel. In order to find this liberated life, we must first find ourselves as we are apart from God and for this purpose the law was given. Through the law our self-centredness and inability to live Gods life are exposed. Jesus was the first of humanity to be delivered from that and at our new birth we enter into that deliverance, since we died with Him. However, from the early church to the present day, Gods redeemed people fall short of living out that deliverance.
Norman goes on to show how, not being satisfied with partial understanding, Pauls quest for the total truth led him to the great revelation that we are not independent, separated people. We are inner people, joined to Godspirit people in union with the Spirit and living in the spirit dimension where we are no longer controlled by outer laws. The verse central to this understanding is Gal.2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Yet it is possible to know redemption without knowing this union. We are shown how this is the key to Paul having to rebuke Peter (Gal.2:11-21). Peter still saw himself as an independent person and feeling fearful, gave in to the fear. Norman points out that if he had known union he would have replaced human fear with Gods courage.
How do we move into this union knowing? The faith path is outlined for us. Faith, we are told, is not a mental belief in something; its our inner self joining itself to something. Through repeated failure to live a godly life we finally realise that we are not meant to do so, since self cannot do it. Thus we move, by faith, to Gal.2:20 and move from being under law to being led by the Spirit. As our attention is transferred to Jesus, He handles the situations through us.
However, our newfound freedom is not a license to gratify the flesh and we are given a clear distinction between liberty and license as Norman walks us through chapter 5. We are reminded that we will always be subject to temptations fears, hates etc.but rather than needing to fear them or be condemned by them we are told how to walk through them by faith. I am reminded that the real I is not my flesh, but Christ in me and by faith I can trust Him to live my life in just the same way I can trust Him to be my Saviour. Normans teaching leaves no scope for behaving however I like and saying it is Christ living through me. He makes it clear that I need to recognise the negative, treat it as such, and trust Christ through me to be the opposite.
In these tapes Norman succeeds in tackling issues such as liberty versus licence, faith versus works, spontaneous living, handling temptation, knowing what it is to be an inner person, the meaning of being one with Christ and so much more in a refreshing and practical way that offers hope to all who seek answers. In his words, Im living an ordinary life but underneath I know its not I but Christ. Thats what Paul squared up for us in Galatians and Being right with God is not having a few sins put away, its being a right person. Your whole being is put right. If you want to know more about living like this, then these tapes are well worth a listen.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 21 No 3
- Speaking The Word of Faith
- Editor’s Note
- A Miracle of Small Stones
- A Vision For Zerubbabel
- Tape Talk
- Modern Man and the Ultimate Question
- Two Common Misunderstandings
- Living in the Promised Land
- BIBLE STUDY: Sin, Satan, and the Flesh
- School Days
- To Think About
- Powerless over Alcohol and Life: Step 10
- Letters From Norman
- A Priceless Inheritance
- Words To Live By
- The Laugh of Faith Part 1