Tozer here gives us ten lessons from the Gospel of John. Using the theme of faith as a springboard, Tozer explores how faith in God transforms the ordinary into something unimaginable. Those familiar with Tozer will recognize his perceptive application of Scripture truths to real-life problems within the church. They will also learn to exercise a faith that believes in things beyond human understanding—things only possible with God.
Aiden Wilson Tozer (1897-1963) was born on a small farm in what is now Newburg, PA. His family moved to Akron, Ohio, when he was just a young boy. At the age of 17, Tozer heard a street preacher, responded to the calling of Christ, and began his lifelong pursuit of God. After becoming an active witness of Jesus as a lay preacher, he joined The Christian and Missionary Alliance and was soon serving as the pastor of West Virginia’s Alliance Church, in 1919. He transferred to the Southside Alliance Church in Chicago in 1928, and his ministry continued there for 31 years. During that time he preached on the Moody Bible Institute’s radio station. In the 1940s Tozer was invited to speak at Wheaton College, and seldom a year passed after World War II that he didn’t preach in the college’s Pierce Chapel. In 1950 he became the editor of The Alliance Life magazine and served in that capacity until his death.
Self-taught, with no formal Bible training, Tozer has been called a twentieth-century prophet within his own lifetime. Through years of diligent study and constant prayer, he sought the mind of God. A master craftsman in the use of the English language, he was able to write in a simple, cogent style the principles of truth he had learned. For Tozer, “there was no substitute for knowing God firsthand.” He wrote many of his books with one idea in mind—that his reader would achieve the heart’s true goal in God and maintain that relationship with Him.
Tozer moved to Toronto in 1959 and spent the final years of his life as the pastor of Avenue Road Church. He and his wife, Ada, lived a simple, non-materialistic lifestyle and let much of the royalties from his books go to those in need. The Tozers had seven children, six boys and one girl. James L. Snyder, said of Tozer that his “preaching as well as his writings were but extensions of his prayer life. He had the ability to make his listeners face themselves in the light of what God was saying to them.”
“They largely forget that our confidence must not be in the power of faith but in the Person and work of the Savior, Jesus Christ.” (Page 34)
“It cannot be handled without considering the fact that there are many people in the world who are God’s creation but not God’s children.” (Page 1)
“If you have much, do much. If you haven’t much, do what you can. If you haven’t anything, have good intentions.” (Page 142)
“Faith never goes contrary to reason; faith simply ignores reason and rises above it.” (Page 36)
“That is why the meaning of the word received is so important here. ‘As many as received him’—actively and aggressively took Him. This means a determined exercise of the will. It means to not deny any condition that the Lord lays down. That is something quite different from what we are hearing. They did not come to the Lord and try to make terms, but they came to the Lord and actively took Him on His terms.” (Pages 11–12)