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Charles Trumbull


His Testimony

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Trumbull was disappointed in his ministry to others and though he lacked the dynamic, convincing spiritual power that would work miraculous changes in other men's lives. He labored at ministering to others, but wasn't seeing the results he desired. One day he heard a preacher speak on Ephesians 4:12, 13; "Till we all come ... unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Dr. Trumbull testified: "As I followed it I was amazed, bewildered. I could not follow him. He was beyond my depth. He was talking about Christ, unfolding Christ, in a way that I admitted was utterly unknown to me."

When Trumbull attended a World Missionary Conference, his hunger for this vital maturity in Christ was sharpened when he heard a message on "The Resources of the Christian Life." Dr. Trumbull said about the speaker: "I expected him to give us a series of definite things that we could do to strengthen our Christian life; and I knew I needed them. But his opening words showed me my mistake, while they made my heart leap with a new joy What he said was something like this: 'The resources of the Christian life, my friends, are just-Jesus Christ."' That was all. But that was enough.

Later that summer, Trumbull attended a young people's missionary conference and, in his own words, "was faced by a week of daily work there for which I knew I was miserably, hopelessly unfit and incompetent." The first message by a fellow speaker was on "The Water of Life," from John 7:37-39. He heard again that the "rivers of living water" in a Christian's life should flow continuously and irresistibly, not intermittently.

Trumbull said: "The next morning, Sunday, alone in my room, I prayed it out with God, as I asked Him to show me the way out. If there was a conception of Christ that I did not have, and that I needed, because it was the secret of some of these other lives I had seen or heard of, a conception better than any I had yet had and beyond me, I asked God to give it to me. I had with me the sermon I had heard, 'To me to live is Christ,' and I rose from my knees and studied it. Then I prayed again. And God, in His patience, forgiveness, and love, gave me what I asked for. He gave me a new Christ-wholly new in the conception and consciousness of Christ that now became mine.

"Wherein was the change? It is hard to put it into words, and yet it is, so new, and real, and wonderful, and miracle-working in both my own life and the lives of others. "To begin with, I realized for the first time that the many references throughout the New Testament to Christ in you, and you in Christ, Christ our life, and abiding in Christ, are literal, actual, life-changing fact, and not figures of speech. How the 15th chapter of John thrilled with the new life as I read it now! And the 3rd of Ephesians, 14 to 21. And Galatians 2:20. And Philippians 1:21."

"At last I realized that Jesus Christ was actually and literally within me; and even more than that: that He had constituted Himself my very life, taking me into union with Himself-my body, mind, and spirit-while I still had my own identity and free will and full moral responsibility, it meant that I need never again ask Him to help me as though He were one and I another but rather simply to do His work, His will, in me, and with me, and through me. Jesus Christ had constituted Himself my life-not as a figure of speech, remember, but as a literal, actual fact."

Taken from They Found the Secret by Raymond Edman

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