Thursday, June 10, 2010
The story goes that Harry Ironside, in just three short years, moved up the Salvation Army ranks from cadet to captain, but he was constantly tormented with the thought that he had backslidden and might lose his salvation. To stay saved, he thought, he must reach a place where he was beyond sin. He heard sensational stories from people who claimed that they had attained holiness, their lives totally free from sin. He wanted that holiness too.
Harry prayed for and pursued sinlessness, working ever harder, depriving himself of even the simplest pleasures, convinced that he was making his place in heaven more secure. But the holiness he sought eluded him. Under the strain of this unbearable pursuit of perfection, Harry collapsed in exhaustion. When he resigned from the Salvation Army and checked into a rest home, he was 19 years old.
Harry, more commonly known as H. A. Ironside, learned the importance of being saved early. But it took a physical and emotional breakdown to make him realize that Jesus does the saving—not us. Only after he discovered this essential truth could his real ministry begin, resulting in 50 years of powerful preaching, teaching, and writing that included 34 expository books covering the entire Bible. Among those writings is this simple declaration of the truth that nearly cost him his life to discover—
Christ and… is a perverted gospel, which is not the gospel. Christ without the “and” is the sinner's hope and the saint's confidence…Jesus is not only necessary, but also he is enough. (from Youth Specialties “Hot Illustrations” v.1.0)