by T. Austin-Sparks
First published in "A Witness and A Testimony" magazine, Jul-Aug 1948, Vol. 26-4.
In the beginnings of the Church, we are told that the disciples continued in the apostles' teaching. This implies something more than conversion; so that, clearly, conversion is not everything. We must beware of confounding beginnings with ends. Conversion is but initiation, it must never be regarded as synonymous with salvation. Conversion is a crisis which may occupy but one brief moment; salvation is a process running on concurrently with life, and the end of which is not yet. It is a process, moreover, that may be hastened, retarded, or even arrested; and is a much greater and grander thing than many even Christian people suppose.
As viewed by Christ and His apostles it is no mere negative deliverance, it is rich in positive elements, the unfolding of which will demand the eternities for their field, and the infinities for their range - elements which can in no wise be shut up and exhausted within the narrow limitations of time. Who will dare to limit the possibilities enfolded in the newborn spirit? Has it not been born again for deathless and incorruptible being? and with eternal life shall there not be eternal development, and ever-growing likeness to God?
Measured by our years as children of God we ought, many of us, to be teachers; measured by our attainments we ought to be classed as spiritual defectives.