JUN E RADIO FEATURES
Managing Editor. . .
President. . .
J. RICHARD CHASE
C O N T E N T S
T h e Land o f the F re e . J . R icha rd C h a se
* Panel D iscu ssion s
*Counting Our Spiritual B le ssing s AI S and e rs * P sa lm 2 7 .......................................................... AI S and e rs
*Ph ilipp ians
Llo yd T . Anderson
* T h e Will o f G o d .............................................. G ran t Howard
♦Edited Biola Hour Radio m essag es
Cover: Exact replica of Independence Hall at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. Photographed by Kirk Potter. The Broadcaster is mailed monthly to members of the Biola Fellowship. See page11 for coupon and further information. Production: Janice Wilson Student Photographer: Kirk Potter WHEN REQUESTING EXTRA COPIES OF THE BIOLA BROADCASTER, PLEASE ALLOW TIME FOR DELIVERY. Second Class postage paid in La Mirada, California. Printed in U.S.A. by Penn Litho graphies, Inc., Whittier, California. Address: Biola Broadcaster, 13800 Biola Avenue, La Mirada, California 90639.
Talbot Theological Seminary
JUNE 3, 1973 LA MIRADA, CALIFORNIA 3:00 P.M.
See list of graduates on page 54.
f j U e fREE By j. RICHARD CHASE Lyman Bryson has stated that "the biggest dimension of freedom is knowing. . . . The choice you never can make is the choice you never heard of." There is a great deal of truth here. The person who "does his own thing" is not necessarily ex ploring the dimensions of his free dom. Actually, he may be doing little more than imitating others. You are not free to make wise
choices unless you properly under stand all the opportunities open to you. For example, if you want to buy a pair of shoes and know of only a part of the stock available to you, you can make a choice. But your freedom of choice is limited. The less you know, the fewer choices open to you. When we do not know what to do with an evening and just turn on the television to see "what is on," we are making a choice and exercising our freedom. But what a restricted world we have allowed to develop about us. Whatever happened to reading, hobbies, con versation, or just plain thinking. Here are options that have been neglected so often that they are overlooked. Television has become our sole expression of freedom — or slavery. Knowledge can expand the choices available to us and, thus, the dimensions of our free dom.
America is still called the land of the free. In comparison with most other countries of the world, this is undoubtedly true—and for this we should be profoundly thankful. But few Americans are well enough informed to make wise judgments in voting or in par ticipating in the life of our country. We are content to let the televi sion or radio news editor digest the news and feed us what he feels we should hear. Serious books and ar ticles are seldom read. Effective discussion with political leaders is seldom possible and the effort to write a letter to a congressman and request information is thought not worth the effort. Hence, we cannot fully appreciate and act upon the political, social, and religious free doms available to us. Our basic freedoms are being eroded and may soon be lost through lack of use and support. Too quietly, we are becoming a
nation of politically ignorant and impotent people. Those who run the country are often selected, packaged, and sold on bill boards, bumper stickers, radio and televi sion spots as is the latest fad in detergents. Knowledge is crucial if citizens are to make wise choices and exert effective influence over the affairs of any country. No man is free who blindly defends the establishment or unwittingly follows the latest popular protest leader. Wise polit ical freedom is exercised only when we gain a working knowledge of the tremendous choices stijl open to us—and then act upon them. Indeed, the "biggest dimension of freedom is knowing." Looking beyond our citizenship, our freedom as a Christian is also limited by ignorance. True, we are free from all condemnation through Christ our Savior. But are we free from worry, hate, fear, and anger?
The Bible has much to say that can help a Christian live without such things dominating his life. The Bible also has much to say about purpose in life, and the worth of an individual. If you feel trapped in the life you are now living, there are far better options open to you. However, the Christian must know of God's provisions before he can apply the Word to his life. As the good citizen is informed and seeks to enjoy the full dimensions of his freedom, the satisfied and produc tive Christian is also informed. He may fully enjoy his freedom in Christ only as he studies the Bible and discovers and appropriates the privileges of this new life. In Christ's death and resurrec tion, we find God's declaration of independence for all who will be lieve. The full dimensions of a new life of freedom from bondage can only be seen and lived through a growing knowledge of His Word.
Dr. Feinberg, Dr. Sutherland and Dr. Chase Discussions
Q. Visalia, Calif. "Can you help me to understand the meaning of the phrase about casting our pearls before the swine?" A. This is taken from our Lord's discourse known as the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 7:6 we read, "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before the swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." In any type of literature we find both lit eral and figurative (or symbolical) language. Referring to holy things in connection with animals shows that these are not actual dogs to which reference is being made. This is further shown by the fact that real pigs would have no need for pearls. In order to contrast things there must be some element of likeness. As an example, no one would ever think of contrasting an elephant with a lemon even though three out of five letters in "lemon"
are also found in "elephant." Lan guage must have logic to it. The verse shows us that some individuals are so set in their ways, determined to follow unrighteous goals, that there is no purpose in giving them that which is precious to those of us who love the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. If they act like dogs, without proper direction, they will not heed the truth. Even the Lord knew at times He could speak no longer to certain ones. The same was true with Paul. He had to be rescued while in Jerusa lem by Roman forces. The people had become so incensed against him that they would have killed him. The only thing he had said was that God had sent him forth to the Gentiles to preach salvation. They had gone beyond the place where they were reasonable. This is what Scripture means by casting pearls of God's truth before swine of unbelief.
Q. Davison, Mich. "/ often won der why it was that God was dis pleased with the offering Cain brought. Can you help me to un derstand this?" A. There is no doubt but that, with Abel, he was taught about the proper blood sacrifices which were required of his parents. We find that the Lord God made "coats of skins and clothed them" (Genesis 3:21). This required an innocent animal to be slain as the proper substitute. Both young men un doubtedly knew what God re quired. Cain, in the hardness of his heart, refused to do what he had been commanded. No one can ap pease the Lord through the works of his own hands. "Without shed ding of blood is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22). Q. Victoria, B.C. "Some people call others 'legalists' who take a stand on almost anything question able. From a biblical perspective, what actually determines a legal ist?" A. We are living in an age of pre vailing permissiveness. This is why it is proper to get a scriptural def inition of this term. Basically, a legalist is one who is trying to achieve merit with God through his personal works. No one can ever enter heaven in this manner (John 14:6). We know that by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in God's sight. This is the strict and proper interpretation which we should keep in mind. Without proper rules for order we would have anarchy. There is noth ing wrong with right guidelines, as long as we do not establish any of
them to represent even the small est fraction of a means to bring salvation. Q. Los Angeles, Calif. "What will the Holy Spirit's ministry be after the Rapture of the Church?" A. While we are not told specifi cally we know that He came upon men in Old Testament times to empower and energize them for service. This doubtless will be a primary function following our be ing taken to glory (I Thessalonians 4:13-18). Q. Lapeer, Mich. "When the word 'Jew' is used, does it refer to a na tionality or to a race? In this age, is it not true that whoever accepts Christ becomes like a Jew since we then are God's 'chosen people'?" A. There has been a great deal of confusion on this point. The Bible must be our final authority. Gene sis 12:1-3 gives us the answer. God had called Abram out of Ur of the Chaldees and was told that He would make of him a "great nja- tion." Even in the time of King Saul, Israel realized that they were a nation. They urged Samuel, "Make us a king who shall rule over us like all the other nations." There is, of course, a sense in which "na tion" is often equated with "race." Strictly speaking, however, this should be for divisions such as Caucasian, Black, etc. Israel or Jew is not a religion. There are many who call themselves Jews who do not give adherence to either or thodox, conservative or reformed Judaism. The term refers to a na tionality since this is what God wanted. The human family, coming Page 9
Students prayed together in small groups during recent campus day of prayer. down from Adam and Eve, had be come fragmentized in their rebel lion against Cod at the tower of Babel. is a Gentile believer can certainly say he is a spiritual son or daugh ter of Abraham who was born as a Gentile, too.
It is true that in this age who ever accepts Christ enters into a special relationship, adopted into God's family. Certainly, however, in salvation we do not change na tionalities. We do not become a part of the nation, strictly speaking which is properly referred to in Scripture as Cod's "Chosen Peo ple." One who is a Jew has des cended not only from Abraham but also through Isaac, Jacob and ac tually Judah. Faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness and he received this blessing. One who Page 10
There is another difference be tween the terms "Jew" and "Israel ite." At one time the latter word was used to refer to both parts of the nation, north and south, until the time of the division of the king dom. The two tribes remaining loyal in the south to the line of David were separated from those of the other ten tribes who went into idolatry and bondage earlier. All of these terms can have at one time a very narrow meaning, while at other times a very broad repre sentation.
Q. San Diego, Calif. "In Revelation 20:12 we read that 'the books were opened.' Does anyone know from other Scripture just how many books there are and what they con tain?" A. Always consider the context and see the emphasis which is being given. We do not know, however, how many books are referred to in these verses. Certainly there is the book of life as well as the books which contain records of man's works. Keep in mind that the Lord does not need these rec ords to find out who is redeemed and who is not. They are opened as a testimony to the righteousness of Cod so that every mouth may be stopped before the Lord. Those whose names are not recorded in the book of life will see for them selves that they are condemned. Do not picture the Almighty as sit ting up in heaven with a set of books, marking down our good or evil deeds. He does not have to keep track for fear that He will for get. The records are there for our sakes and for the sakes of the un redeemed. Q. Portland, Ore. "In Matthew 5:22 Jesus tells us not to call people fools. Yet He Himself calls the Pharisees fools in Matthew 23:17. This seems like an immediate con tradiction." A. Again, look to the context. In Matthew 5:22 the question is not just calling people fools. Our Lord declared, "Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca [which is an abusive epithet] shall be in danger of the council."
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The word is more than just a "fool," it means one who is empty-headed. Christ rightly called the Pharisees fools because they had foolishly rejected the Word :of Cod. The word is used here in the same manner we find in Proverbs and Old Testament faith where one who is morally, more than just in tellectually, a fool. He is ungodly and wicked because he has re jected Cod's Word. The Saviour had ample reason to call these un believing ones "fools." They did not want any spiritual insight. There was a cause for it, whereas there was not in the case of Matthew 5:22. Q. Monterey, Calif. "/ Corinthians 15:51 says that we shall all be changed. Will this take place at the Rapture? If so, what changes will be made?" A. This is a thrilling subject to con template. Paul writes, "Behold, I show you a mystery." This word "m ystery" refers to something which heretofore had been con cealed but which now Cod was going to reveal. It all concerned the return of the Lord. The phrase "we shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed" must be tied in with the passage in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. Here the Holy Spirit uses Paul to indicate the transformation which awaits all be lievers in Christ. It is a thrilling passage to consider. The dead in Christ shall rise first and then those who are alive at the coming of the Saviour in the Rapture shall be caught up in the air together with them. The sequence, using the two passages together, indicate that the dead in Christ rise first, given their
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resurrection bodies at that partic ular time. We, who are alive and remain, in the twinkling of an eye, w ill be given our resurrection bodies also. It will all be an instan taneous transaction. Philippians 3:21 tells us that our "vile" bodies, or the bodies of our humiliation, will be changed to our resurrection bodies, likened unto His glorious resurrection body. At that time we will no longer be sub ject to the laws of time and space. No longer will we endure any of the physical problems which are now faced. We will be able to move around in God's creation, not at the slow speed of light (186,000 miles a second), but rather at the speed of mind. This is instantan eous. Remember, no eye has seen, no ear has heard, neither has any one been able to conceive of the wonderful things awaiting all those who have put their trust in Christ. Q. Yakima, Wash. " What is the dif ference between the burnt offering and the sin offering as spoken of in Leviticus?" A. This is one of the most beautiful pictures in typology indicating the future work of our Lord. The offer ings and their procedures discussed in the first seven chapters of Lev iticus are based on holiness. The burnt offering is the first one. Along with it, in the second chap ter, is the meal offering, with the peace offering in the third chapter. These three together have an added designation of sweet savour to the Lord. The burnt offering did not primarily have sin in view. It was offered up entirely consumed, speaking of utter and unreserved devotion to God. This also shows Christ in His complete commitment
and death for us. The meal offer ing, on the other hand, refers to the humanity of our Lord since grain comes from that which grows on the earth. It is His perfect obe dience in the burnt offering, His perfect humility in the meal offer ing and the perfect Peacemaker in the peace offering which God uses to picture His Son for us. The non-sweet savour offerings were those involving sin and its atonement (chapters four and five). The difference between them is that one indicates the dedication of our Lord and the heart love of Jehovah and His coming Messiah, while the other indicates one's sin. Of course, Christ is both our burnt offering as well as our sin offering. Q. Walla Walla, Wash. "Did the ancient race of giants mentioned in Genesis 6 come after the flood or are they considered a pre-Adamic race?" A. They did not come after the flood nor are they considered a pre-Adamic race. These were gi ants between the time of Adam and Noah. No one knows where they came from. Some believe that they were the result of fallen an gels who married daughters of men and bore these mighty monstrosi ties. It is also valid that this passage refers to the godly line of Seth while the daughters of men were of the ungodly line of Cain. Be cause of their intermarriage the whole world became corrupt. The whole race may well have been much larger than we know men's stature today because the effects of sin had not had such a devastat ing result as in our age. We believe Page 13
applies to Ham and his descen dants through Canaan. Q. Los Angeles, Calif. "Did the people who built the tower of Babel actually expect to reach God or was it only symbolic of their de sire to reach Him l" A. They did not actually expect to reach Cod, nor was it symbolic of their desire for Him. In all actuality, they were not after the Lord at all. They wanted rather to make a name for themselves. They were boastful and proud of their accom plishments. This was the great sin of the tower of Babel. The Almighty had been completely ruled out of their thinking. Q. Gladstone, Ore. "Is the story of the rich young ruler (Mark 10:21) applicable to all of us? Must we sell all of our possessions to obtain eternal life?" A. The only way we can receive eternal life is through faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:16, 5:24, 14:6; Ro mans 10:9, 10; Ephesians 2:8, 9). Salvation cannot be bought at any price. Our Lord was trying to give this young man, who said he had kept every part of the Mosaic law, the inner spiritual meaning of the law. It was not just a case of keep ing the Ten Commandments. One must be sold out completely to Cod's will. For us, it is not just the little details but the commitment of our entire lives to Jesus Christ. In this case it was whether the young man loved most his money or the Lord Jesus Christ.
these giants were natural men, tall er than some of the other people around them. Q. San Diego, Calif. "Do the seven churches in Asia Minor still exist?" A. The list of these seven churches is found in the second and third chapters of Revelation. None of them exist today, which indicates the accuracy of Cod's prophetic judgment. The warnings given to them would be well for us to con sider in our own lives as well as congregations. Q. Nampa, Idaho. "Did the curse of Canaan (Genesis 9:25) apply to him and his immediate descen dants only, or did it apply to all of his continuing descendants?" A. Expositors have grappled with this question for many years. The background relates to Noah be coming drunk. When he went into his tent, Ham (the father of Ca naan) saw the nakedness of his father in this condition and then proceeded to tell his brothers out side. The implication shows the indecency or disrespect on the part of Ham. Perhaps Ham was empha sizing this thing and he may have even made fun of his father. Shem and Japheth, on the other hand, took a garment and covered their father. When Noah became sober he knew what Ham had done. In declaring, "Cursed be Canaan," we are led to believe that the grand son was a part of this disrespectful attitude toward Noah. The state ment "a servant of servants shall he be" cannot be used as a blanket statement indicating that all Ham- itic people would be in servitude the rest of their lives. The context
Lorene Rhodes (I.)/ Trudi Badger and Doris Allen are part of the correspondence department staff.
counting our spiritual blessings think of which were hers as a be liever in Christ. Expectant that a new radiance would then flood her soul, she did just exactly what he told her. It was not hard either. She put down such things as the fact that she enjoyed reasonably good health. She considered that some day, should she outlive the mort gage owner, she might even pos sess clear title deed to her own home. As far as security, she re called that she had a few dollars put away in a bank account ready for a "rainy day." There were some other similar things on the sheet which, when completed, she took the pastor to show him. He was greatly interested when in a crest fallen and disappointed attitude she explained, "Do you know what? I am still discouraged!" Her minister was somewhat per plexed until he read the list she
Have you ever felt discouraged and depressed? A woman, going through such difficulties, decided she would face her pastor with the situation. The anxieties had be come almost overwhelming. She wondered if he might suggest some practical help. He very kindly pointed out that discouragement is one of Satan's most effective tools. It's something he constantly seeks to wield in the life of a believer. Temptation to be "down" in spir its is something we all have faced. The wise minister of the Gospel explained further that the devil ev idently enjoys bringing our spir itual defeat as he frequently uses the instrument of discouragement and discontentment for his benefit. The helpful counsellor encour aged her to go home, get a piece of paper, sit down and list all of the wonderful blessings she could
By AL SANDERS
had made. Then he smiled and pointed out, "Your problem is that you have put down some of the mercies of the Lord rather than your spiritual blessings which are yours through faith in the Saviour. You see, the things you have listed here are really some of the same things that God bestows upon the saved as well as the unsaved. "Matthew 5:45," he reminded her, "declares that the Lord sends the rain on the just as well as the un just. There are people who do not know Christ who may already own their own homes. Perhaps they even have an additional retreat up in the mountains or down at the beach. Keep in mind that there are many who would never enter a church door and yet may enjoy a greater physical strength than you do." She was beginning to see the light as he continued, "Just think
of the magazines and newspapers which regularly carry articles about the wealthy people of the world who jet around the globe. They never take a second thought about righteousness." She readily agreed that all of these things were true. Then he proceeded to suggest that there are, additionally, spiritual blessings which the Lord bestows only on the believer who comes to Him by faith. In conclusion, he shared the secret, "When we think on these things, the blessings rath er than the mercies, then it is that we turn the devil to flight." How tremendously right he was with this excellent and practical word of counsel. You try it yourself and see what a pragmatic approach it really is. If there is any doubt in your mind about your share, amply pro vided, of spiritual blessings, con sider the passage beginning in Page 17
Ephesians 1:3 which has a tremen dous blessing for us. This portion of Scripture is one of the pertinent high points in the Word of God given to guide us in a greater un derstanding of the Lord's divine plan and purpose for our lives. It was Saint Augustine of old who declared of this portion that, “ It is shallow enough so that a babe in Christ could wade in it, yet it is deep enough for the largest spir itual elephant to swim in it!" In the original, Ephesians 1:3 commences one of the longest sen tences in the entire Bible. The next twelve verses, as we find in the Greek, do not contain any periods, or even when you get right down to it, a practical place to stop. This is not because the Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, was unfamiliar with good grammar and sentence structure. The fact of the matter is that this condition simply serves as an added emphasis. It underscores the point that we are being presented with the thrilling story of man's spiritual biogenesis. All three persons of the Godhead are involved in this blessed process in every tense: past, present and future. Notice verse three, “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heav enly places in Christ." Underscore that word “ hath." It reminds us of the important fact that once by faith we receive Jesus Christ as Saviour, every single one of God's spiritual blessings are immediately given or are instantaneously avail able to us. We have but to possess them. Notice that Scripture does not say that God will bless us, or even that He is now blessing us, Page 18
Brenda Peek of El Cajon, Ca. is a junior communications major. Her part-time job on the dorm switchboard happens to be a popular form of communication in the college dorms!
although both of these aspects are, of course, true. "Hath" is a settled condition; it refers to that which has already taken place. Do you see that other little word "all"? Cod has already given us His spiritual blessings in time past. They are there, on deposit for us. Some of us seem to live as though certain blessings are reserved for the preacher, the Bible teacher, or for the godly saint. That is certainly not true. In actuality, every single one of God's spiritual blessings are available to each of us. This is what makes the difference between ma turity and mediocrity; victory or defeat. Our responsibility is to pos sess our possessions which God desires us to have by faith. Without question, one of the most important words in Ephesians, recurring through the book, is the little two letter word "in ." It is gen erally connected with the name of the Saviour such as "in Christ." It appears 93 times in the book (ac tually only 89 in the Greek), sym bolizing the repository, the resting place, the relationship between the thing of which is spoken and our selves. "In God," "in Christ," "in Him," and our treasures, of course, are "in heavenly places." Verse four of Ephesians 1 con tinues the story, "According as he (that is God) hath chosen us in him (that is, Christ) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." Charles Haddon Spurgeon right ly pointed out, "God must have chosen me before I came into the world because I'm quite sure He never would have afterward!" This is not a case of self-deprecation. We simply must all realize that we
are all sinners in the sight of God. There is just no other adequate way to diagnose the problem. In an effort to be brief, perhaps we can use this illustration. D. L. Moody preached on this subject and asked his hearers to envision a door which, as they looked at it, over the top would carry the fa miliar words, "Whosoever will may come." "This," he would say, "is the door to salvation, and we enter through it by faith to find eternal life. Then," he said, "as we go through the door and look back over the other side, we read the words, 'Chosen in him before the foundation of the world.' " Do you see the picture? Before, looking at the pre-salvation side, we only see, "Whosoever will may come." But coming into the fold by faith, we find out that we have been in the very center of God's love and grace. He has had us in mind for an un told period of time and space, pre dating this earth's creation. Never think that the Bible indi cates, in any way whatsoever, that some individuals are elected to hell while others are chosen to enjoy eternal life. The clear teaching of Scripture is that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. The actual truth of the matter is that man condemns himself to hell by his willful rejection of Jesus Christ. This is what is meant by John 3:18 as we find the reminder that the individual who does not believe on or in the name of the only be gotten Son of God will not have eternal life, but rather literally con demns himself. Thereby, the wrath of God must abide upon him. Keep in mind that the Lord did not save us to make us happy. A
lot of people may have that popu lar misconception. Some evidently feel that all they need to do is to accept the Lord and they will be finished with all of their problems. But this is not God's purpose in redeeming mankind. He did not save us to make us happy, but that we might be holy, without blame, and prepared to live with Him for evermore. This does not mean that we cannot have joy or that there is something wrong in living a happy and contented life. When He speaks of our lives being without blame, He desires that we should be free from any fault or blemish. We are living in an exceedingly dirty and filthy world. No matter where we look there is growing degradation and immorality. No doubt it is more difficult today as never before to be without blame before the Lord. This, however, is what God's stand ard is for our lives. He does not leave us hopeless or helpless. He provides the complete armour and promises, "Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." In verse five we find a further definition on the subject of elec tion which reads, "Having predes tinated us into the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his w ill." Many translators feel that the last two words of the fourth verse, "in love," should actually be included with the opening state ment of the fifth verse. In this case, we can read it, "In love having pre destinated u s ..,." What a power ful truth that suggests to us. Our salvation is all of love, it is through divine compassion and grace that we have received the fullness of God's unmatched and unparalleled spiritual blessings.
Verse four refers to election while verse five deals with predestina tion. To some people these terms may seem to be synonymous. And, in a certain sense, they are related, although they do not mean exactly the same thing. Election looks at the place from which we have been taken while predestination consid ers the place to which we will be going. We have been elected out of our own wicked state as well as the sinfulness of this world. We are predestinated, however, to eternal life in glory with our Lord Jesus Christ by grace through faith. The famed Negro scientist George Washington Carver often remarked, "Measure me not by the heights to which I have ascended but rath er measure me by the depths from which I've come." That would be a good testimony for a Christian as well who says with the Psalmist David of old, "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay [that is election], and set my feet upon a rock, and estab lished my goings" [that is predes tination] (Psalm 40:2). In love our Lord Jesus Christ predestinated us to become the children of God. But that love is not focalized on just a select few. I Timothy 2:3-4 reminds us that God will have all men to be saved and to come into the knowledge of the truth. What about this matter of adop tion? That, too, is a tremendous doctrine and it is an unspeakable spiritual blessing! We are now in God's family! The word "adoption" simply means "to take by choice into relationship." We have some friends who have four children. For the first year of their married life they were given no children, and so they adopted a boy. Then, al- Page 21
most immediately, there came two sons of their own. Finally, to make the family complement of three boys complete, they adopted a little baby girl. They have quite frankly told the adopted children, now fairly well grown, "We espe cially selected you! We love the two boys God gave to us natur ally, of course, but you we pur posely sought out to become a part of our family." What a beauti ful picture of adoption that gives us, and it is only on the human plane. There is no question as to God's love for His own Son, but think of the divine love the Lord has so graciously shown in purposely seeking us out that we might be come a part of His family through out all eternity (Romans 8:17). When, by faith, we receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, we can nev er be legally disinherited. We are eternally secure in the province of God. Newspapers carried the account of a little Polynesian girl about five years of age who had been no ticed by a wealthy French manu facturer and his wife while they were on a trip to the South Sea Islands. The poor little waif, or phaned at birth, had no place to go, no family, and lived by begging from hand-to-mouth. The wealthy people were so moved in their hearts by the appearance of this pathetic little lass that they de cided to take her home with them, gaining the necessary permission from the local government. So, from the Polynesian isles she was brought to their lovely home in Versailles where she lived in un believable luxury. Then, all of a sudden, the wealthy man passed away. He left an estate of some 68
million dollars. The widow, who had been so moved by the love she and her husband shared for this little orphan, declared that the child should share jointly with her. It was all a result of her husband's love. Doubtless, that little five or six year old would have no real con ception of what it meant to be a millionaire, especially at her age. And I wonder if we fully realize what it means to be an heir of God and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ. All things are ours. All we need to do is to possess them. Paul sug gests, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them who love Him." The adoption we have in Christ is not because we are beautiful or educated or socially graceful, but rather this act of di vine compassion and mercy and love is all according to the good pleasure of God's will. A visitor was going through an art gallery one day. She was tre mendously moved by the beautiful paintings which were to be seen on every hand. Overcome with the masterpieces, she felt she had to share her ecstasy with someone. The only person around was an elderly scrub woman. She raptur ously turned to the unimpressed worker, "Oh, there are so many beautiful pictures to see in here; I just cannot get over it!" The la bourer stopped her efforts long enough to observe, "Well, I s'pose you are right, that is . . . if a body has time to look up!" I think she is a lot like many of us. How tragic that we fail to look up into the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are so occupied with all our
through faith in Jesus Christ. What a tremendous thing is this subject of redemption. Do you remember years ago a radio program called "The Quiz Kids"? Now that may date me, but we used to love to listen to that favorite broadcast. These were young people, anywhere from sev en on up through teenage years who had fabulous minds. They were able to answer almost any question on any conceivable sub ject sent in by listeners. One day the emcee, Mr. Kelly, asked the query of the children, "What is the most wonderful thing in all of the world?" He expected one answer might be radar which was just coming into the fore then, as was television. Or surely someone would think of airplanes or even the wheel, which some hold to be the most significant invention of all times. One little boy responded by saying, "Mr. Kelly, I think that the greatest thing in all of the world i s . . . is redemption." There was noticeable silence for a mo ment. Then Joe Kelly had to reply in the affirmative and very solemn ly he agreed, "Son, I believe you are right." We have redemption. We have been purchased from the slave markets of sin, never to be put on sale again. We have been bought back with a price no one else could have paid. We have been com pletely liberated. We have been loosed from the bondage of death. But what did it all take? One thing, the blood of Jesus Christ, Cod's only begotten Son. No less a ran som would do. It was not a case of just a good man's blood. There have been untold thousands of good men and good women who Page 23
involvement, with all of the cares and concerns of each day's activi ties. Take time to look up! Because of the grace of Cod we are now accepted in the beloved. That word "beloved," as it appears here in Ephesians, is found no where else in Scripture. It is true that at the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ we hear the voice of God pronouncing the benediction, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Yet, again, as it stands here, "beloved" apart and alone, symbolizes all that Cod is in His moral character and in finitude. We are accepted in God's sight only because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. Our accep tance by God is always and only through Christ. There can be absolutely no doubt how we, as believers, receive this election, predestination, adoption and salvation, as well as all the many other spiritual blessings of the Lord. Notice verse seven of Ephesians 1. It says, "In whom [that is, Christ] we have redemp tion through his blood, the forgive ness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." Even further, in the original the words "we have re demption" are in the present tense. We might say, and we would be very correct although it may sound strange, "In whom we are having our redemption." It is one thing to find Jesus Christ as Saviour at the moment of our initial salva tion. That is the past tense. In the days ahead, we know from Scrip ture, Cod is going to take us to be with Himself forevermore. That wonderful contemplation is also salvation in the future. But there is a need for salvation right here and now. This comes as we said
have lived here on earth. Perhaps your mother or father was one of them. You revere their saintly memory. I thank God for my won derful parents, too. But good men are also sinners. There is only One who was tempted in all points like as we are, and yet He was without sin. I refer, of course, to our Lord Jesus Christ. It took One who was perfect in order to meet and to fulfill the absolute demands of the Law. The righteousness of God can only be filled by a perfect keeping of the Law. This Christ did. Other wise, the righteousness of God must be satisfied by paying the penalty for breaking the Law. This Christ did, too. He fulfilled the Law in both ways exactly and com pletely. No less price than the blood of Jesus Christ could ever secure redemption. In verse seven of Ephesians 1 it says that we have forgiveness of sins. The term "for giveness" is given to us in several senses. First of all, when by faith we receive Jesus Christ as Saviour, we have eternal forgiveness. We are pronounced right then free from guilt; just as if we had never sinned. Our record is eradicated; the slate is wiped clean. There are a lot of people who go through life with a guilty conscience. Re member, no matter what the past, it is all covered by the blood of our Saviour. In the courtroom there is that which is known as double jeopar dy. This means that when once acquitted for a crime, the accused can never be put on trial for that offense again. When once Jesus Christ's blood has cleansed us, and God has pronounced us justified in His sight, we can never be put
on trial again. Then, there is still more than that. There is that which is known as restorative forgiveness from day- to-day. How desperately we need this aspect too. The Lord is very clear and explicit on such a subject as restorative forgiveness. I John 1:9 assures our hearts, "If we con fess our sins [this is written to believers, as the context clearly shows] he [Cod] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us [or to keep right on cleansing us] from all unrighteous ness." When we sin and ask for Cod's forgiveness, we are not being saved all over again. It is rather a matter of having our communion, or our fellowship, restored. After having lost our joy, the Lord gra ciously bestows it upon us again in abundant measure. A short time ago I received a letter from a listener in which she wrote, "I am a Christian and have a wonderful husband with three children. About two years ago I felt my husband hurt me concern ing something. I became involved with another man. My husband is very understanding and willing to forget, yet it still preys on my mind. Please help me to pray that the Lord will allow me to forget." What a weight she has been carrying. Perhaps you, too, have a similar load. God wants us to purge our minds. When He wipes the slate clean, we do not have to continue to turn these things over in our minds. He who forgives also for gets! So should we, too. Several years ago my wife and I were privileged to be on a Biola tour to the lands of the Bible. It was a thrilling experience and I
hope we can go again. While in Turkey we visited the famous Top- kopi Palace in Istanbul. It was ab solutely fabulous to go into room after room after room, filled to overflowing with treasures beyond description. Each room contained some different type of exquisite wealth. One might be the silver- ward of the palace, solid silver, another of the necklaces of the palace, another the dishes of the palace with beautiful gold on each one of the pieces of porcelain. There were gold, diamonds, prec ious jewels to be seen encrusted in everything. Millions upon mil lions of dollars are in this decaying palace which has become a mu seum in Istanbul. One, however,
cannot help but be confronted by the seeming incongruity found just outside the palace wall. As you leave the grounds, you see people in the most abject poverty; men and women as well as boys and girls obviously in need of mone tary help, begging support, physi cally and perhaps mentally disin herited. All of that money in the museum and yet so much poverty just outside the walls. How often is it that we, as Cod's children, live in this same fashion? The storehouses of the Lord are readily available to us. All we have to do is ask, and to meet the con ditions, of course, which God has set down. What is your personal relationship to Him today?
Student Missionary Union outreach secretary, Marilyn Townsend; and Chuck Briggs, outreach director have been busy this year planning for the SMU team programs.
CONFIDENCE COMMUNION COMPASSION COURAGE
Unlike any other book in the world, the Bible, Cod's Word, is filled with true wisdom far beyond all human knowledge. True schol arship can only be realized when one applies himself to the study of Scripture. Today, with so many perplexed and confused, how thrill ing it is that we may turn to the eternal truths Cod has given us which alone can make us wise unto salvation. The 27th Psalm comes from the hymn book of the Bible. The book of Psalms is what the Jewish people used for their songs of worship in praise to the Lord. These 150 chap ters were a key part of their regu lar fellowship and communion in God's presence. There has been much speculation as to when Da vid, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, actually wrote Psalm 27. Some believe, based on the tenth verse, that he may have been led to do so when his parents had passed away. Others hold to the opinion that it may have been at the time when Doeg betrayed him before King Saul. This almost
caused David to lose his life. Still others have an idea that the Psalm was penned during the time of Absalom's insurrection against his father. While we do not know the specific time or occasion, yet there are truths and practical applications for our own lives even today as we consider what the Holy Spirit caused him to write long ago. The first six verses show the tri umph of the writer. The next verses, 7 through 14, confront us with the tribulation so often facing the be liever. Verses 1 through 3 point out the confidence we have in salva tion. Verses 4 through 6 give us the blessed communion available for the soul. Verses 7 through 12 are concerned with the compassion of the Saviour. Finally, verses 13 and 14 strengthen us with the cour age or contentment of the saints. In verse one of Psalm 27 the tes timony is given which should thrill every trusting heart, "The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" The first thing to attract
By AL SANDERS
our attention is the fact that there are three important areas of our daily existence mentioned here. Notice that we are assured of light, salvation and strength. Actually, for the believer, these three items can never be separated from one another. Oxford University has as its motto “ The Lord Is My Light." That is quite a testimony, even if it is not always adhered to in these more modern days. But, the truth of the matter is that to believe Cod provides light is not all that David has in mind. He is thinking far more than that. He is talking about that perfect light which brings forth salvation and strength. There is light within; there is light around; there is light reflected from the Christian. At the same time, there is light that will be revealed to us, too. To know that God is light is one thing. James reminds us, how ever, that the demons believe also, and they tremhle.-What we are say ing is that David is confessing far more than the fact that Cod is light.
A lot of people who are not be lievers would agree with that. The Psalmist is testifying that the Lord is his light. There is the personal and practical application which makes all the difference in the world. Da vid had found life and light in a Person. "The Lord is my salvation." The word for Lord is “ El Shaddai." It means the Covenant-Keeper, the One who never goes back on any of His promises. Acts 4:12 assures, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." No wonder David could ask the rhetorical question, “Whom shall I fear?" The idea of fear here does not mean just anxiety, as it does at the end of the verse, but also rep resents the consideration that there is no one else deserving of our reverential, trust. “Who is there whom I can worship as I ought to praise the Lord?" There should be a natural and holy fear of offend- Page 27
ing God. We should have a concern that we might yield to temptation apart from the Holy Spirit. There is a fear of the results of pride in our lives. How this common sin so of ten rears its ugly and fateful head. All of these things are very real. They must be considered. God is the only One whom we can truly fear in the sense of reverential trust. He is the only One deserving such confidence. The Psalmist continues, “ The Lord is the strength of my life!" In what or in whom do you find your strength? Do you have a lot of money? Do you have a large num ber of friends? Is your health quite good? Do you count on things be ing the same tomorrow as they are today? Whether we are willing to face it or not, they certainly will not be. Do you realize that all this could change in a day? None of us are immune to personal change or even disaster. Are you trusting in anything or anyone other than the Lord who alone can give strength? David asked the question, "Of whom shall I be afraid?" There is one thing about this phrase which intrigues me. It is the word "shall." You know, fear usually concerns itself with something that is in the future. The worries which I con cern myself with are not things that took place yesterday, or even those things which are taking place right now. Most anxieties or forebod ings are really all in the future. David said, "O f whom shall I be afraid?" The Psalmist explains, "When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell." Reading this, you may think to yourself, "David must have had
many problems. I know there may be people who do not care for me, but as far as I know, I do not have any real enemies who would try to devour me." Remember that Scrip ture gives us the realization that as a Christian, knowing Jesus as our Saviour, we do have enemies who are very real! The Bible defines them as the world, the flesh and the devil. They must be reckoned with. As an example, Satan is de scribed as a roaring lion who goes back and forth seeking whom he may devour. David knew well his enticing powers. He had suc cumbed to them on earlier occa sions. These enemies, according to the Psalmist, stumbled and fell. The sweet singer of Israel had met all kinds of adversaries. It is true that Christians may stumble. The Bible teaches us that though a believer may trip, yet shall he not be utterly cast down. The wicked, on the other hand, completely fall. The Christian never does for he is kept by the power of God. Zephaniah 3:3 speaks of the lions, as well as the wolves, which leave nothing until morning. In Psalm 14:4 there is the account of how they delight to "eat up my people as they eat bread." If you are a born-again Christian, seeking to live for the Lord, make no mis take about it — the wicked will hate you! They have nothing but contempt for those who would live for God. Remember, though, that Cod has promised to be with us and "If Cod be for us, who can be against us?" This, too, was David's testimony and release from fear. In verse three of Psalm 27 we have a supposition. David assures himself, "Though a host should en camp against me, my heart shall
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