I have never seen Christ, the object of my supremest love and joy. His name enwraps an inexplicable mystery, yea, many of them. I love a person as I love no other being.
Two things to me are certain. First, a person stands before me as consciously present to my thought, will and affections, as no other being whose presence is manifest to my physical sight, and that with increasing years the fellowship is as a man talking face to face to a friend. His presence is a consciously felt power, making the promises of Scripture real, prayer a bliss, and giving a conscious response to faith.
To the real believer, Christ is revealed to the inner man as a reality.
The effect of this revelation is the removal of all doubt relating to personal salvation and deep inward peace. Reason may grasp a historic Christ and yet miss the presence of the personal Savior. It is one thing to love a person because his claims are reasonable, and another thing to love the person because he has made himself known in the loveliness of the character he bears.
This love is the result of a revelation of Christ through the Spirit to the spirit. I can believe the love that Christ hath towards me with my reason, but I cannot know it, however high I may reason. It must be revealed in me.
To declare and promise is not enough to establish the friendship for heaven. What battles have been fought here? We hear of "historic faith," "believing the naked Word," ''trusting,'' ''not living on feeling,'' etc., all of which may be shaken by the soul itself hungering for Christ Himself.
What the soul must have is a doubt-dispersing, soul-cheering, impregnable, heaven-opening, present, personal revelation of Christ Himself, creating a joy unspeakable and full of glory. Torrents of tears have coursed the cheeks of men moved by mighty emotions, as the tragedy of the Cross, resurrection morning, and ascension to glory have been depicted in glowing terms, who have forgotten their emotions as quickly as they have arisen, and have no love that holds them to Him when temptations arise to leave Him.
As the ground of my love, is there nothing more than the statement that God's Word is true? Yea, in response to my faith comes a revelation to me of Himself, not a mere imagining, a great emotion, a strong reason. All this and more, He shows Himself through these and awakens such a love for Him that what He requires is gladly given to reciprocate that love. It kills censure for others, it deepens humility, and it transforms us as we gaze upon what we are to be like.
In response to my faith, the Spirit shows me Christ, independent of the inductive processes of reason, without logical conclusions from sound reasoning, and at once the soul cries, "I know whom I have believed."
It is not our purpose to ignore the indirect method of making Christ known. Illuminations come from the study of the Word, answered prayers, etc., but our contention is, that no soul knows Christ until He has revealed Himself to it as He did to Paul, when by the spirit Christ was revealed in him.
G.W.W., The Nazarene Messenger, October 10, 1907
Used with permission from Nazarene Archives for Coffee Break with Holiness Today.