[Author’s note: I wrote the Foreword to a forthcoming new printing of The Life of Faith, which I’m posting here as a review.]
The Life of Faith by Cornelia Nuzum is worth reading for historical and spiritual reasons.
As a matter of history, it reflects the emphasis on faith that characterized the first generation of Pentecostals. That faith confidently proclaimed that the believer was heir to the promises God had fulfilled through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Those promises touched on all aspects of life: salvation, sanctification, spiritual empowerment for mission, and healing. Quoting Galatians 3:13, Nuzum writes: “‘Christ hath redeemed us from the curse,’ all of it, not some, nor even much of it, but all of it.” This confident faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, Healer, Spirit-Baptizer, and soon-coming King continues to characterize Pentecostalism today, and it partly explains the rapid and extensive growth of Pentecostalism throughout the world.
As a matter of spirituality, The Life of Faith offers a standing rebuke to the shallowness and nominalism in Christian practice. Or perhaps, to put it positively, I should say that it encourages us to go deeper in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Nuzum writes:
My tongue cannot express the greatness of mydeliverance, but my heart goes out to my great Deliverer in adoration, worship, praise, loyalty, and thanksgiving. Who would not desire to be fully yielded to such an almighty, gracious loving One? My desire is to be one with Jesus in all things. How far we come short of this! How sweet are the words, “Conformed to the image of Christ.” Oh, to so live that we may not hinder God, but let Him do this for each one of us.
Some may read this little book and question its emphasis on healing. I understand their questions. As a person with a chronic illness, I struggle with why Christ has not healed me yet, despite my faith. But when I read Nuzum’s words, I am reminded that the most important thing is to be conformed to the image of Christ. Oh, that you and I may so live that we do not hinder God from conforming us to His Son!
That is the true and lasting life of faith.
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