Major Ian Thomas, founder of Torchbearers International, came to know Jesus Christ as his life, at the age of 19, an experience that led to his dropping out of school and traveling all over the world in an itinerate ministry sharing the “life that is Christ.” He wrote several books, but the one I recommend is the Saving Life of Christ. The Mystery of Godliness has some wonderful chapters but also some very confusing ones which I am not that great a fan of. He is a marvelous speaker and you can find 13 of his sermons at path2prayer.com. He is one of the BEST speakers I have heard on the subject of the indwelling Christ. This book will shift your paradigm on what it means to be a Christian. I found a used copy of the Saving Life of Christ at a Canadian thrift store and it took my ministry from local to global. I personally appreciate his sermons more than his books.
The following is a permitted "less than 1,000 word" excerpt from the book They Found the Secret by Edmonds.
"Now supposing I am your life, and you begin to accept it as a fact, then I am your strength! … I am the One to whom it is perfectly natural to go out and win souls; and I know precisely where to go to find them. Why don't you begin to reckon upon Me and say 'Thank you.’"
This series is wonderful and has been a wonderful blessing to people all over the world. The audio is also great! I highly recommend listening to it.
This 9 part series was given at the Prairie Bible Institute, Three Hills, AB in 1986. If you have heard any other sermons of the Major, you will know that he speaks with the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
This is a wonderful sermon on what it means to make oneself available to God. By the way, I remaster these sermons before uploading them, increasing the volume and getting rid of white noise.
“There are few things quite so boring as being religious, but there is nothing quite so exciting as being a Christian! Most folks have never discovered the difference between the one and the other, so that there are those who sincerely try to live a life they do not have, substituting religion for God, Christianity for Christ, and their own noble endeavors for the energy, joy, and power of the Holy Spirit. In the absence of reality, they can only grasp at rituals, stubbornly defending the latter in the absence of the former, lest they be found with neither! They are lamps without oil, cars without gas, and pens without ink, baffled at their own impotence in the absence of all that alone can make man functional; for man was so engineered by God that the presence of the Creator within the creature is indispensable to His humanity. Christ gave Himself for us to give Himself to us! His presence puts God back into the man! He came that we might have life—God's life! There are those who have a life they never live. They have come to Christ and thanked Him only for what He did, but do not live in the power of who He is. Between the Jesus who "was" and the Jesus who "will be" they live in a spiritual vacuum, trying with no little zeal to live for Christ a life that only He can live in and through them, perpetually begging for what in Him they already have!”
“Godliness is not the consequence of your capacity to imitate God, but the consequence of His capacity to reproduce Himself in you; not self-righteousness, but Christ-righteousness; the righteousness which is by faith a faith which by renewed dependence upon God releases His divine action, to restore the marred image of the Invisible God. It is not inactivity, but Christ-activity; God in action accomplishing the divine end through human personality—never reducing man to the status of a cabbage, but exalting man to the stature of king! "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:17). At first sight this might seem to offer to you the possibility of sinless perfection as the result of spiritual regeneration, but this is far from being the case; for it is only your faith and your obedience which allow Him to be in you now what He was then (perfect)—and you will be what He was then only to the degree in which you allow Him to be in you what He is now (perfect)! All of the Father was available to all of the Son, because by His faith-love relationship, all of the Son was available to all of the Father, and this constituted His perfect manhood; and the availability of the Son to you will be in the degree of your availability to the Son, because of your faith-love relationship to Him!”
“The Christian life can only be explained in terms of Jesus Christ, and if your life as a Christian can still be explained in terms of you your personality, your willpower, your gift, your talent, your money, your courage, your scholarship, your dedication, your sacrifice, or your anything, then although you may have the Christian life, you are not yet living it! If the way you live your life as a Christian can be explained in terms of you, what have you to offer to the man who lives next door? The way he lives his life can be explained in terms of him, and so far as he is concerned, you happen to be "religious"—but he is not! "Christianity" may be your hobby, but it is not his, and there is nothing about the way you practice it which strikes him as at all remarkable! There is nothing about you which leaves him guessing, and nothing commendable of which he docs not feel himself equally capable without the inconvenience of becoming a Christian! It is only when your quality of life baffles the neighbors that you are likely to impress them! It has got to become patently obvious to others that the kind of life you are living is not only commendable, but that it is beyond all human explanation! That it is beyond the consequences of man's capacity to imitate, and however little they may understand this, clearly the consequence only of God's capacity to reproduce Himself in you! In a nutshell, this means that your fellow-men must become convinced that the Lord Jesus Christ of whom you speak, is essentially Himself the ingredient of the Life you live!”
"Godliness or Godlikeness is the direct and exclusive consequence of God's activity in man. Not the consequence of your capacity to imitate God, but the consequence of God's capacity to reproduce Himself in you! This is the nature of the mystery! ... The moment you come to realize that only God can make a man godly, you are left with no option but to find God, and to know God, and to let God be God in and through you, whoever He may be and this will leave you with no margin for picking and choosing for there is only one God, and He is absolute, and He made you expressly for Himself!"
The One who calls you to a life of righteousness is the One who by our consent lives that life of righteousness 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 tying 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 both in the big and the little things that inevitable 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. You will have become totally dependent upon the life of Christ within you, and never before will you have been so independent, so emancipated from the pressure of your circumstances, so released at last from that self-distrust which has made you at one moment an arrogant, loud-mouth braggart, and the next moment the victim of your own self-pity and, either way, always in bondage to the fear of other men's opinions."
"How much then can Jesus Christ do through you and through me? Everything! He is limited only by the measure of our availability to all that He makes available to us, for "in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and ye are complete in Him" (Colossians 2:9,10). What then is the faith that releases divine action? How may you be saved by His life, as you have already claimed to be redeemed by His death? This is the critical question of Christian experience, and the answer is simple "The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17). Faith in all its sheer simplicity! Faith that takes God precisely at His Word! Faith that simply says, "Thank You." If you are to know the fulness of life in Christ, you are to appropriate the efficacy of what He is as you have already appropriated the efficacy of what He has done. Relate everything, moment by moment as it arises to the adequacy of what He is in you, and assume that His adequacy will be operative; and on this basis in I Thessalonians 5:16 you are exhorted to "rejoice evermore!" You are to be incorrigibly cheerful, for you have solid grounds upon which to rejoice!"
"It is amazing how busy you can be doing nothing! Did you ever find that out? "The flesh everything that you do apart from Him "profiteth nothing" (John 6:63), and there is always the awful possibility, if you do not discover this principle, that you may spend a lifetime in the service of Jesus Christ doing nothing! You would not be the first, and you would not be the last but that, above everything else, we must seek to avoid! So you discover that the life which you possess as a born-again Christian is of Him, and it is to Him, and every moment that you are here on earth it must be through Him of Him, through Him, to Him all things! "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1)."
"Every area of your life, in which you have not learned to be dependent, is an area of your life in which you have not as yet repented."
"There was never a moment in the life of the Lord Jesus that was without divine significance, because there was never anything He did, never anything He said, never any step He took which did not spring from a divine origin nothing that was not the activity of the Father in and through the Son. Thirty-three years of availability to the Father, that the Father in and through Him might implement the program that had been established and agreed on between the Father and the Son before ever the world was."