‘At the Centre of Me’

‘At the Centre of Me.’ Decision, June 1964, 7.
By Peter Taylor Forsyth
(Modified excerpts from The Person and Place of Jesus Christ, 197-199, 204).

What I have in Christ is not an impression,
but a life change;
Not an impression of personal influence which might evaporate,
But a faith of central personal change.
I do not merely feel changes;
I am changed;
Another becomes my moral life.
He has done more than deeply influence me.
He has possessed me. I am not his loyal subject,
But his absolute property.
I have rights against my king, however loyal I am,
But against Christ I have none.

He has not merely passed into my life as even a wife might do,
But he has given me a new life,
A new self,
A new consciousness of moral reality.
In him alone I have forgiveness,
Reconciliation,
The grace of God,

And therefore the very God
Since neither love nor Grace is a mere attribute of God.
There has been what I can only call a new creation,
Using the strongest word in my reach.
He has not merely healed me of an old trouble,
He has given me eternal life.
He has not only impressed me as a vision might,
He has done a permanent work on me at my moral centre.
In my inmost experience he has brought me God.

It is not that Christ spoke to me of God or God’s doings,
But in him God directly spoke to me.
He did in me
And for me
The thing that only God’s real Presence could do.
Who can forgive sin but God only,
Against whom it was done?

Any faith I have at all is faith in Christ
Not merely as its point of origin
But as its creator.
I know Christ as both the author
And the object of my faith in God.
I know him therefore as God.
The great change was not a somersault I succeeded in turning
With some divine help;
It was a revolution effected in me
And by him,
Comparable only to my entry on the world.

My experienced salvation is not a passing impression
But a life faith.
My experience is the consciousness
Not of an impression on me,
But of an act in me,
On me,
And by me.
The peace of God is not glossy calm
But mighty confidence.

I am forgiven and saved
By an act which saves the world.
It not only gives me moral power to confront the world
And surmount it
But it unites me in a new sympathy with all mankind,
And it empowers me not only to face
But to hail
Eternity;
And this it does not only for me,
But for whosoever will.

Surely the Christ who re-creates me in that faith
Must be God.
Standing over my experience is the experience
Of the whole evangelical succession,
And standing over that
Is the historic fact of Christ’s own Person
And His consciousness of himself,
As Lord of the world,
Lord of nature in miracle,
Of the soul in redemption,
And of the future in judgment.

‘All things are delivered to me of my Father.’

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