” I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Many years ago, in the early years of my Christian life, I was greatly blessed through reading two books – Watchman Nee’s book, The Normal Christian Life, and John Stott’s book, Men Made New.Watchman Nee concentrated much attention on Galatians 2:20, while John Stott focused on Romans 6 (as part of a series of talks on Romans 5-8, given at the Keswick Convention). These faithful men of God instructed me in the things of God. Their ministry was reinforced by two other booklets – William Still’s booklet, Towards Spiritual Maturity, and James Philip’s booklet, Christian Maturity. Each of these men – Watchman Nee, John Stott, William Still and James Philip – have entered into the glory of their Lord. They were faithful men in their generation. We could do with more like them in times where there is much need for greater depth in the ministry of God’s Word. These men were known to me mainly by their writings – though I did hear three of them preach – William Still, James Philip and John Stott.
While I thank God for their written ministry, I must acknowledge my spiritual indebtedness to the spoken ministry of Rev George Philip (the younger brother of Rev James Philip). For over forty years, George was the minister of Sandyford-Henderson Memorial Church, Glasgow (Scotland). Today, I attended the thanksgiving service for George’s life and ministry. Looking back over his long life (11th November 1925 – 16th February 2019), there has been, for many people in Glasgow and far beyond Glasgow, much cause for giving thanks to the Lord.
Why do I write about these men and their ministries? They taught me, from the Word of the Lord, that God has done something supernatural in my heart. What He has done in me is far greater than anything I could ever do for Him. How far short I have fallen of God’s purpose for me! How often I have needed to be reminded of God’s amazing grace! How often I have needed to think again of the great words of Paul, in Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” I could never have changed the direction of my life. I was going my own way, not the Lord’s way. Then the Lord came to me, and saved me. He made me a new creation. He gave me new life. This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in my eyes.
While the names of Watchman Nee and John Stott are widely known, few of you may know about the faithful ministries of William Still, George Philip and George Philip. They served the Lord in Scotland – William Still (Aberdeen), James Philip (Edinburgh) and George Philip (Glasgow). If you are interested in learning more about these faithful ministries from former years, here are some links.