Tozer Devotional

Tue, June 20, 2017

Dead Passivity

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.


In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:11


Rather than counting ourselves dead to sin and alive in Christ Jesus, are we living as though we were dead to Christ and all too alive to sin?


Lord, deliver me from casket living! I'm alive in Christ.

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“What I believe about God is the most important thing about me.”

A. W. Tozer, a modern day prophet, was a key figure in The Christian and Missionary Alliance. His legacy reaches through time and has impacted countless millions. A prolific author and pastor, Tozer was known for his emphasis on the deeper life movement. His message, informed as it was by A.B. Simpson the founder of The Alliance, brought the missionary call to a massive audience. A series of his sermons are available as audio files.

bookHis books have been published around the world and in many languages. This devotional was compiled from the We Travel an Appointed Way Chapter 27 - Religion in the Passive Voice


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