Tag: A.W. Tozer

A. W. Tozer Sermon | Dead Passivity

A. W. Tozer Sermon | Dead Passivity

” the real work of the preacher is to instruct with an end to securing moral action from the hearers. “


Most readers will remember (some with just a trace of nostalgia) his or her early struggles to learn the difference between the active and the passive voice in English grammar, and how it finally dawned that in the active voice, the subject performs an act; in the passive voice, the subject is acted upon. Thus, “I love” is active, and “I am loved” is passive.
 
A good example of this distinction is to be found at the nearest mortuary. There the undertaker is active and the dead are passive. One acts while the others receive the action.
 
Now what is normal in a mortuary may be, and in this instance is, altogether abnormal in a church. Yet we have somehow gotten ourselves into a state where almost all church religion is passive. A limited number of professionals act, and the mass of religious people are content to receive the action. The minister, like the undertaker, performs his professional service while the members of the congregation relax and passively “enjoy” the service.
 
One reason for this condition is the failure of the clergy to grasp the true purpose of preaching. There is a feeling that the work of the preacher is to instruct merely, whereas the real work of the preacher is to instruct with an end to securing moral action from the hearers. As long as there has been no moral response to the instruction, the hearers are passive merely and might as well be dead. Indeed, in one sense they are dead already.
A. W. Tozer Sermon | Encountering God

A. W. Tozer Sermon | Encountering God

The man that will have God’s best becomes at once the object of the personal attention of the Holy Spirit. Such a man will not be required to wait for the rest of the church to come alive. He will not be penalized for the failures of his fellow Christians, nor be asked to forego the blessing till his sleepy brethren catch up.

God deals with the individual heart as exclusively as if only one existed. If this should seem to be an unduly individualistic approach to revival, let it be remembered that religion is personal before it can be social. Every prophet, every reformer, every revivalist had to meet God alone before he could help the multitudes.

The great leaders who went on to turn thousands to Christ had to begin with God and their own soul. The plain Christian of today must experience personal revival before he can hope to bring renewed spiritual life to his church.

A. W. Tozer Sermon | Faith and Obedience

A. W. Tozer Sermon | Faith and Obedience

What is our answer to the many confused persons who keep asking: “How can we know that we have come into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ?” First, we stand together on the basic truth that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
 
A second fact is that men and women are saved by faith in Christ, alone; without works and without our merit. However, the fact that Christ came to save sinners is not enough-that fact in itself cannot save us.
 
Now, in our day, the issues of believing faith and the gift of eternal life are clouded and confused by an “easy acceptance” that has been fatal to millions who may have stopped short in matters of faith and obedience.
 
Faith is believing and receiving, as in Acts 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved;” and as in John 1:12: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name.”
 
A.W. Tozer | Blurred Goals and Spiritual Impediments

A.W. Tozer | Blurred Goals and Spiritual Impediments

Like a doctor with a sick patient whose disease eludes diagnosis, religious leaders have for some years been aware that there is something seriously wrong with evangelicalism and have yet been unable to lay their finger upon the precise trouble. The symptoms they have discovered in abundance, but the cause back of them has been hard to locate. Mostly we have spent our time correcting symptoms, having all the while an uneasy feeling that our remedies did not go deep enough. Knowing that a disease that cannot be identified invariably calls out a flock of untrained experts to analyze and prescribe, we yet risk a pronouncement upon the condition of evangelical Christianity in our day, and we believe we may not be too far from the truth. The trouble seems to be a disorder of the spiritual nerve system which we might, for the lack of a proper term, call dual orientation. Its dominant characteristic appears to be a cross up among the nerve ganglia of the soul resulting in an inability to control the direction of the life. The patient starts one direction and before he knows it he is going another. His inward eyes do not coordinate; each one sees a different object and seeks to lead the steps toward it. The individual is caught in the middle, trying to be true to both foci of the heart, and never knowing which he would rather follow. Evangelicalism (at least in many circles) is suffering from this strange division of life-purpose. Its theology faces toward the East and the sacred Temple of Jehovah. Its active interests face toward the world and the temple of Dagon. Doctrinally it is Christian, but actually it is pagan mentality, pagan scale of values and pagan religious principles.


Recommended:
Prayer: Communing with God in Everything – Collected Insights from A. W. Tozer | https://amzn.to/2tpKeab


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A.W. Tozer | Distinguishing What is Caesar’s and What is God’s

A.W. Tozer | Distinguishing What is Caesar’s and What is God’s

One thing must be kept in mind: We Christians are Christians first and everything else after that. Our first alliegiance is to the kingdom of God. Our citizenship is in heaven. We are grateful for political freedom. We thank God for democracy as a way of life. But we never forget that we are sons of God and citizens of another city whose builder and maker is God. For this reason, we must not identify the gospel with any political system or make Christianity to be synonymous with any form of government, however noble. Christ stands alone, above and outside of every ideology devised by man. He does not join any of our parties or take sides with any of our great men except as they may come over on His side and try to follow Him in righteousness and true holiness. Then He is for them, but only as individuals, never as leaders of some political faction. The true Christian will be loyal to his country and obedient to those in authority, but he will never fall into the error of confusing his own national culture with Christianity. Christianity is bigger than any country, loftier than any civilization, broader than any human ideology.


Recommended:
Attributes of God, Volume 1: A Journey Into the Father’s Heart | https://amzn.to/2RXgSdu


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A.W. Tozer | GOD’S PLACE AS CREATOR

A.W. Tozer | GOD’S PLACE AS CREATOR

We make a mistake if we do not learn to admire God in all things, great and small; for a new rich mine would be opened in our consciousness if we could learn to recognize God in nature as well as in grace! We do acknowledge that the God of nature is also the God of grace; and it is true that we glorify God’s redeeming grace no less when we glorify His creating and sustaining power. When Christ came to redeem us, He stepped into the framework of an already existent nature. If we will obey and believe, we can go on pushing back the narrow borders of our spiritual world until it takes in the whole creation of God! At one time, the English merchant and renowned poet, William Blake, stood watching the sun come up out of the sea. The bright yellow disk of the sun emerged, gliding the water and painting the sky with a thousand colors. “Ah! I see gold!” the merchant said. Blake answered, “I see the glory of God! And I hear a multitude of the heavenly host crying, ‘The whole earth is full of His glory.'”


Recommended:
Attributes of God, Volume 1: A Journey Into the Father’s Heart | https://amzn.to/2RXgSdu


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A.W. Tozer | A Good Husbandman

A.W. Tozer | A Good Husbandman

Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. –John 17:24

I believe that a pastor who is content with a vineyard that is not at its best is not a good husbandman. It is my prayer that we may be a healthy and fruitful vineyard and that we may be an honor to the Well Beloved, Jesus Christ the Lord, that He might go before the Father and say, “These are mine for whom I pray, and they have heard the Word and have believed on Me.” I pray that we might fit into the high priestly prayer of John 17, that we would be a church after Christ’s own heart so that in us He might see the travail of His soul and be satisfied….

The church should be a healthy, fruitful vineyard that will bring honor to Christ, a church after Christ’s own heart where He can look at the travail of His soul and be satisfied. Rut, Rot or Revival: The Condition of the Church, 112,119.

“Lord, I long that Jesus Christ might indeed be satisfied with my own life and the lives of those whom He has called me to lead. Help me to be a faithful husbandman in whatever vineyard You place me. Amen.”


Recommended:
Attributes of God, Volume 1: A Journey Into the Father’s Heart | https://amzn.to/2RXgSdu


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A.W. Tozer | Much Every Way

A.W. Tozer | Much Every Way

Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. –Jeremiah 32:17

When Tennyson wrote “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of,” he probably uttered a truth of vaster significance than even he understood. While it is not always possible to trace an act of God to its prayer-cause, it is yet safe to say that prayer is back of everything that God does for the sons of men here upon earth. One would gather as much from a simple reading of the Scriptures.

What profit is there in prayer? “Much every way.” Whatever God can do faith can do, and whatever faith can do prayer can do when it is offered in faith. An invitation to prayer is, therefore, an invitation to omnipotence, for prayer engages the Omnipotent God and brings Him into our human affairs. Nothing is impossible to the man who prays in faith, just as nothing is impossible with God. This generation has yet to prove all that prayer can do for believing men and women. The Set of the Sail, p. 33

“I don’t begin to comprehend all the implications of this truth, Father, but I accept it and thank You and worship You for it. Amen.”


Recommended:
The Knowledge of the Holy | https://amzn.to/2PON9ke


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A.W. Tozer | Helping or Hindering New Believers

A.W. Tozer | Helping or Hindering New Believers

The happiest man in the world,” said a well-known preacher some time ago, “is the new convert before he has met too many Bible teachers and seen too many church members.” . . . The first half of our opening quotation, then, is so true as to need no verification. “The happiest man in the world is a new convert.” But it is the last half that disturbs me. Why should a Bible teacher or a church member tend to destroy the joy of the new convert? Well, to be just to everyone I must assert positively that not all Bible teachers and church members would have such an adverse effect. I know Bible teachers who would delight in piling more fuel on the blazing altar of the young Christian’s heart, and I know church members whose influence and example would be a source of great strength to his whole life. But I also know many of the other kind, the kind the young convert must actually climb over in his struggle to advance in the Christian life.
The way some Bible teachers injure the new convert is to take away his simplicity; and the way some church members do it is by disillusioning him–before he is ready for it.


Recommended:
Prayer: Communing with God in Everything – Collected Insights from A. W. Tozer | https://amzn.to/2tpKeab


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A.W. Tozer | Imitating the Imitators of God

A.W. Tozer | Imitating the Imitators of God

Spiritual experiences must be shared. It is not possible for very long to enjoy them alone. The very attempt to do so will destroy them. The reason for this is obvious. The nearer our souls draw to God the larger our love will grow, and the greater our love the more unselfish we shall become and the greater our care for the souls of others. Hence increased spiritual experience, so far as it is genuine, brings with it a strong desire that others may know the same grace that we ourselves enjoy. This leads quite naturally to an increased effort to lead others to a closer and more satisfying fellowship with God. The human race is one. God made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and He made the individual members of society for each other. Not the hermit but the man in the midst of society is in the place best to fulfill the purpose for which he was created. There may be circumstances when for a time it will be necessary for the seeker after God to wrestle alone like Jacob on the bank of the river, but the result of his lonely experience is sure to flow out to family and friend, and on out to society at last. In the nature of things it must be so.


Recommended:
Three Spiritual Classics in One Volume: The Knowledge of the Holy, The Pursuit of God, and God’s Pursuit of Man | https://amzn.to/2sWodPS


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