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BROAD CA STER
A U G U S T 1971
VO LUM E 1
N UM B E R 8
JULY RADIO FEATURES
Managing Editor. . .
President. . .
J. RICHARD CHASE
Biola Hour H o st. . .
Editor. . .
C O N T E N T S
E d it o r ia l.................................................
J . R ich a rd C ha se
S o n s o f P riv ile g e . D ic k H illis E va n g e lica ls and T h e S e c u la r P re ss
R o b e rt F lood P h i l i p p i a n s .......................................
S. L . B o e hm e r
Pane l D is cu s s io n s
F a ith T h a t F u n c tio n s . L lo y d T . A n d e rs o n
Cover Photograph by John Kruissink
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Commetfcemetit cExercises Sunday, May 30,1971 President J. Richard Chase, Presiding Band Prelude: HYMNAND TOCCATA, George ...................Biola Concert Band SYMPHONY FOR BRASS, Ewald GOD OF OUR FATHERS, Warren-Johnson Processional March: POMP&CIRCUMSTANCE, Elgar . . . Biola Concert Band (Audience please remain seated) Hymn: PRAISE YE THE LORD, THE ALMIGHTY ................... Jack Schwarz Gesanbuch Assistant Professor of Music Scripture: / Corinthians 3:5—15; 4:1—5 ................................... Masakazu Iwata Professor of History Prayer................................................................................................. James E. Rosscup Associate Professor of Bible Anthem: FESTIVAL ANTHEM, Rodger Vaughn ........................... Biola Chorale Address: The Investment of Your L ife .........................................Burton G. Hatch Chaplain (Lieutenant Colonel) United States Army Presentation of Diplomas.................................................................... President Chase Conferral of Honorary Degrees Alma Mater: ALL HAIL TO BIOLA Benediction........................... ........................................................ S. Philip Sutherland Associate Professor of Psychology Choral Benediction: THE LORD BLESS YOUAND KEEP YOU, Peter Lutkin . . Biola Chorale Recessional March: TRUMPET TUNE, Ciarke-Hanson. . . . Biola Concert Band Dean Robert F. Crawford, Biola College Dean Charles L. Feinberg, Talbot Seminary (Kindly refrain from applause)
Ray Lutke, Director........................... Concert Band Loren Wiebe, Director................................... Chorale
List of Graduates on Page 56
We are supposedly
specimens of an
It is a shame that one of the most thril ing phrases in Scripture is still frequentI turned into an epithet for a collection i misfits. Notice the word " peculiar” in Titu 2:14, and though most modern translation have selected a clearer word, the conce; lingers on.
If we appear to
Who gave himself tor us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
be normal, our
We are s“pposed/y odd~balls and sPeci mens of an unappreciated religious ordei If we appear to be normal, our spiritui condition becomes suspect. Christians ar
not r,9ht unless they are peculiar!
The Christian ideally is in the world bi not of the world; he is chosen, separatee filled with the Spirit, ready to deny sel and looking for the return of Christ. Hi values, interests, and joys are often tie to things that are beyond the comprehen sion of the average man in the street. Hi is different in a positive sense.
Christians are not
right unless they
Titus 2:14 teaches that the Christian /.
J. RICHARD CHASE
ish translator (A.D. 200), selected the Latin term peculiaris to translate the Hebrew word frequently used as the concept of "a special people.” The well-known trans lator of the Latin Vulgate, Jerome, picked the term up, and it found its way into our English versions. Peculiaris, or peculiar, is a good term if properly understood in its original sense. A latin dictionary will show this term was used to designate property set aside for the exclusive use of the one controlling it. Psalm 135:4 uses the word in this sense when it refers to Israel as the Lord's “pe culiar treasure." Adding all the elements together, we re joice in the knowledge that in Christ we are abundantly blessed and special objects of His love. We are His, and He is ours. A Christian is not peculiar in the sense of being odd. He does, however, enjoy the implications of being "special children” of God. The life we live will, indeed, seem strange—and attractive—to those about us.
honored that he is to be envied — not a sfit pitied by the world.
Let us look at this word translated, culiar. At the heart of the Greek family words, from which this particular adjec- e in Titus 2:14 comes, is the idea of undance. It was often used to indicate 'arge sum, a surplus, or even superiority, e word spoke of a soldier’s abundant ■tune at being able to return home with t shield instead of on it! This was more in he had hoped for. It was victory in- )ad of defeat: life instead of death. When Paul used the special Greek phrase nslated, peculiar people, he was echo- I an important theme from the Old Testa- •nt where the Septuagint * used the ve Greek concept. Exodus 19:5; Deuter- omy 7:16; 14:2; and Ezekiel 37:23 refer the Jewish Nation as God’s own treas- , His very own people. This is a tremen- us concept. It speaks of honor and posi- n, of the abundant wealth of God’s love His own.
hy the use of the word peculiar in the g James version? Symmachus, a Jew-
»Hebrew Old Testament translated Into Greek.
D R . D IC K H ILLIS For over thirty days the people had known nothing but drenching rain. It is little wonder that village populations panicked as mud slides buried their homes, often wiping out entire families. They had a right to panic for not once during the longest month in their lives had the sun shone its face. Not once had the stars been seen. Their streets became rivers, their farms lakes. By the tens of thousands men and beasts perished in the greatest deluge in history. Three boys lived through the storm. They were delivered from the watery grave that swallowed their friends and neighbors by simply get ting into the boat they had helped their father build. As the water level rose, the dying people looked upon Noah's children as the "sons of privilege." They were safe. They could ride out the storm. There have always been those fortunate ones. Things seem to go just right for them. We have all dreamed of what it would be like to be a "son of privilege." A child of Harlem dreams of a child of Suburbia and wishes he were a "son of privilege." A city boy looks with envy at the wild freedom of the country lad as he urges his horse to a faster gallop across the meadows. A farmer's son feels cheated because he has never experienced the thrill of accelerating a powerful sports car as his city cousin. Even adults dream can concoct their list of privileges they have never experienced. A young businessman thinks of the Fords, the Rockefellers, the Hunts and the Pews. Those with spirits of adventure think of the Lindberghs and the Astronauts. Christians too can name their "sons of privilege" — the Wesleys, Whitefields, Sundays and Grahams. Or looking abroad they relive the stories of the foreign missionaries — the Careys, the Livingstones, the Taylors and the Judsons — and reliving they wish they too might be "sons of privilege." I have news for you. If you are a child of God (I am tempted to believe
PRIVILEGE you are or you wouldn't be reading this article) you are a"son of privi lege." "But as many as received him (Christ), to them gave he power (authority and privilege) to become the sons of G o d ..." (John 1:12). "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God . . . " (I John 3:1). If that isn't priv ilege nothing is. While all Americans have the privileges granted American citizens, a few are granted the special privilege of being chosen by the President as ambassadors and are sent out to speak on behalf of the President and the country. The analogy holds for the "sons of privilege." As God's children we are also His ambassadors to those near and far who have never been told that they too can, through faith in Christ, become "sons of privilege." The biggest danger we face in this high calling is that of becoming cold and indifferent to the responsibility our position lays upon us. That responsibility is both horizontal (to reach our fellow men) and vertical (to please God by our obedience). If all the Christians in all the world would appreciate their privilege and fulfill their responsibility we would reach our generation for Christ. I have more than I can wear. Their feet and hands and heads are bare. I have more than I can eat.
They die with hunger in the street. My life knows love of noble souls. Their hearts are thirsty, empty bowls. I worship Jesus, risen Lord, But these have never heard His Word. These things let me remember when Cries of the needy rise again.
Anonymous Dr. Hillis is General Director of Overseas Crusades, Inc., Palo Alto, Calif.
The Degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred on Sylvester L Marshburn (center) during Commencement Exercises. Dr. Marshburn is a member of the Biola Board of Trustees.
Dr. Raymond Stedman (center) received the Degree of Doctor of Divinity at the Com mencement Exercises on May 30. Dr. Stedman is Pastor of the Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto.
EVANGELICALS AND THE SECULAR PRESS Robert Flood sees evidence of better, more objective and sympathetic coverage of evangelical concerns in the mass media.
his stereotypes and caricatures of the Christian from something he has read, or watched on TV, or seen in the movies. Chances are he has drawn his image of the evangelist from Elmer Gantry, his idea of the missionary from Ha waii and his opinions about the Christian's intellectual capacities from Inherit the Wind, a filmland version of the Scopes Trial which has been milked dry on TV. Wesley Hartzell, assistant man aging editor of Chicago Today (formerly Chicago's American) and an evangelical, asserts that years of fundamentalist resistance to social change and the more recent emer gence of extremist right-wing movements who attach the name "Christian" to their organizations have reinforced this negative im age both with the public and the communications media. Fortunately this image is finally beginning to change — perhaps partly because of the evangelical's new social conscience. The evan gelical movement in America seems
Reprinted by permission from Eternity magazine, copyright 1971, The Evangelical Foundation, 1716 Spruce Street, Philadel phia, Pennsylvania 19103. Right or wrong, Spiro Agnew is not the first one to have trouble with the public press. For years the mainstream press has generally treated the conservative Protestant with disdain and cynicism, or ig nored him altogether. Not all of the sour coverage, of course, has been undeserved. Some more extreme segments of the Christian church have been woe fully inept at winning the public's admiration. And the press seems quick to lump the mainstream of Biblical Christians in with the ex tremists. But without question the media, in part, is molding the public im age of the evangelical or, if you prefer, the fundamentalist. The man on the street too often gets
Mr. Flood is Managing Editor of Moody Monthly. Page 10
he says, "are New York City, Wash ington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles —pretty much in that order. I be lieve generally that these cities should be the prime targets for Christian penetration now." The articles under Phillips' by line reach three quarters of a mil lion influential Times readers each day. And because the Times also syndicates much of its material, Phillips' readership can be multi plied into the millions. Frequently, his articles have clear Christian content or significance. He recent ly gave feature coverage to the evangelical book industry particu larly Ken Taylor and Tyndale Press. Another example of an evangel ical serving in the secular press is Dick Ostling, former news editor of Christianity Today. Some two years ago he joined Time maga zine's staff as a religion reporter. Time's coverage of the U.S. Con gress on Evangelism, W. A. Cris well's defense of Biblical inspira tion and the vigor of the evangeli cal press, all reflect Ostling's pres ence. Still another example is Wes Pippert, reporter for UPI in Wash ington, D.C., and a Wheaton Col lege graduate. When popular fash ion model Windsor Elliott became a Christian and established an im pressive Bible study ministry to college students in her home on Washington's ambassador row, Pippert got the story on the UPI wire. The Chicago Daily News (June 18, 1970) gave it an unprec edented plug headline above its front page banner ("Why famous beauty turned to Christ"), along with the lead position on the wo men's feature page. "I'm still get ting clippings from across the coun- Page 11
to be emerging as a force with which secular reporters must reck on. The press seemingly has be come genuinely impressed at what is happening, and objective jour nalism demands that they report it. There is another encouraging trend: we are beginning to discover some reporters in the mainstream public press who are themselves believers. These men and women recognize the legitimate news fea tures that can be found everywhere in the Christian ranks, and they know howto handle the story right once they get it. One such example is McCand- lish Phillips, feature editor and re porter for the New York Times. Not long ago I visited him on the huge Times editorial floor off Times Square, where one looks out over a sea of desks in an L-shaped of fice fully one block in length. While on duty Phillips always has his Bible out on the desk and he talks unashamedly about the things of the Lord. His associates respect him; they know where he stands. Phillips is quick to blame the un satisfactory and inadequate cover age of religious news to the almost entire abandonment of the news media of communications by evan gelical Christians. "For years the cry of my heart," he says, "has been, 'Lord, break up the news monopoly'" — that is, the han dling of the nation's news almost exclusively by unbelievers. Hundreds of thousands of words, he reminds us, are transmitted to the entire country every day from the key communications centers of the nation. And these words have something to do with the forma tion of our culture and the ideas that inform it. "Those key centers,"
You are not seeing double. . . but you are seeing twins! Joyce and JoAnn Bryan are enjoying coffee in the Biola Cafeteria.
try on that one," Pippert told me recently in Washington. The religion editor's slot pre sents a great challenge. By and large the religion pages of our country's metropolitan newspapers are in the hands of those who move everywhere but in the con servative Protestant orbit. Many of them hardly know what is happen ing in evangelical circles. And so the Protestant share of the cover age goes to the latest way-out the ology, or to a current ecumenical confab. Yet there are some notable ex ceptions among big-city religion editors — such as Adon Taft of the Miami Herald, Bill Willoughby of the Washington Evening Star, and a growing host of others. At last year's Evangelical Press Association convention in Washington, Wil loughby, a Columbia Bible College alumnus, pleaded with editors to Page 12
feed much more evangelical news to the secular press. Not long ago Lillian Block, a friendly Jewish woman who heads up the office of the Religious News Service (RNS) in New York City, told me that for years the press has neglected the evangelicals. But now she sees the situation chang ing. Evangelicals are emerging as a prominent force, she observed (expressing surprise at the conver sion of so many prominent sports figures). And she predicted that the growing number of sympathet ic reporters would help to reduce the amount of cynicism that so of ten comes through in articles by reporters who have little use for "fundamental ists." Examples of such cynicism abound. Last year, Moody Bible Institute was victim of some press distortion and innuendo when a national news magazine reported
cannot understand the things of the Spirit. All this is true, and we should not water our message or make any apologies for the offense of the Cross. But too often Christians fall back on a persecution complex to excuse their own carelessness or ineptitude in telling the world what they believe and what they really stand for. We must still "walk in wisdom toward them that are without" (Col. 4:5). And we must do what we can to remove those obstacles that would unnec essarily distort the gospel, or pre vent a hearing. Rightly or wrongly, there is ample evidence that here tofore the image of the evangeli cal-fundamentalist camp, in the minds of many unbelievers, has been anything but an asset in our getting across our message. Perhaps the new social con science of many evangelicals is helping to alter the picture sharp ly. And perhaps the next genera tion will not fall prey to a false view of separation that prompted an earlier generation to shun an active part in politics, mass media, etc. Meanwhile, it is up to evangeli cal Christians themselves to dem onstrate the kind of dedication, conviction and lifestyle that the scrutinizing eye of both the press and the public-at-large will re spect. Only then will our message get the kind of hearing which the good news of Jesus Christ truly deserves.
on a “ demonstration" staged by three former black students. Un fortunately such stories are often put together in cloistered offices by editors who take their informa tion from reporters secondhand and are prone to slant it in the di rection of their own bias. Reporters can also distort the real picture by quoting out of con text. A classic example came out of the 1969 U.S. Congress on Evan gelism when the press reported associate evangelists' Leighton Ford's keynote address. Ford had said that on one point he could agree with Karl Marx: the world needed a revolution. He promptly went on, however, to spell out the kind of revolution he had in mind —a spiritual one which, of course, contrasted sharply with a Marxist- style revolution. The next day a Minneapolis daily ran a front page story whch declared, in the headline, that Gra ham's heir apparently "agrees with Marx." The article did little to ex plain the context of the statement. Graham critics, of course, were quick to pass along the report at face value. This kind of sloppy reporting ought not to exist in professional journalism, and I speak as a fellow journalist. But it does, especially when the reporter is bent on sen sationalism and is a stranger to spiritual things. At this point one might raise a legimate question: Why should Christians get uptight about what "the world out there" thinks? Why worry about image? Do not the Scriptures assure that the straight forward Christian will be misunder stood and that he will suffer per secution? After all, the unbeliever
Introduction Many have been the apt and captive descriptions of the book of Philippians. F. B. Meyer describes it as "an epistle of the heart." James Stocker calls it "the most beautiful of all Paul's letters." While it is not a doctrinal treatise as such, some of the strongest meat of the Word is found in it. To me it is a heart warming love letter of four brief chapters showing us how joy and contentment can be our lot in life as we trust Christ in all our circum stances. Arthur T. Pierson looks at it, particularly chapter three, as "the disciple's balance sheet." His re nunciations are skillfully and graph ically contrasted with his inestim able compensations. Paul had a two fold objective in writing this letter. He wanted to thank these warm-hearted souls for their unflagging and sacrificial gen erosity. Perhaps even more impor tantly, however, he desired to re pair tactfully the damage that had ruptured the little assembly due to some discord among two women who experienced a falling out. One cannot help but be immediately impressed with the humility of this
Dr. Boemer has traveled widely as a missionary statesman and is pres ently President of Ontario Bible College, Ontario, Canada.
The Book of Philippians is a love letter showing us how joy and contentment can be ours as we trust Christ in all our circumstances.
Dr. S. L. Boehmer
Therefore, gratitude ought to be one of our most prevalent attri butes. As a result, Paul burst out into a doxology of praise. He ex presses thanks to the Lord for the fellowship of the Philippians. The world has its clubs, social gather ings and innumerable get-togeth ers. All of these fall far short of bringing contentment to the long ing soul. Only Christ can satisfy. First, there was the fellowship of prayer (vrs. 3-4). Next there was a very real fellowship of their pres ence (vrs. 5). While Paul coveted no man's gold, he rejoiced in their subject of the security of the be liever, or the preservation of the sacrificial and sincere love. On the saints, Paul has not the slightest question that salvation is all of God from beginning to ending It is eter nal and rests on the sure word of the Lord. Our standing is perfect the moment we are saved. It con tinues so until we are presented faultless before the presence of God's glory in that great day (vrs. 6). We see the same idea in Ro mans 8:30. These same blessed truths are explained by Christ in that favorite passage in John 10:27- Page 15
mighty man of God. As we note the way the first chapter begins, there is not the slightest sugges tion that he is the great apostle to the Gentiles. We would do well to learn that pride is an abomination unto the Lord. We note next his evaluation of the relationship he has with God by describing himself as a bond servant. He can think of no higher honor. How right he is. What an exalted position! The salutation is to all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi. Many have strange ideas as to what actually constitutes a saint. The key is the little phrase, "in Christ Jesus." Very simply put, a saint is a sinner saved by grace. Paul never forgot that he was a sinner. In case there is any ques tion he refers to himself as "the chief of sinner." Verse 2 gives us grace and peace in an interesting combination. "Grace," the Grecian salutation, is "favor against what we deserve." It can only be known by the Chris tian. "Peace," the Hebrew greet ing, rests on the work of the cross. All that we are and have is from God's loving and beneficent hand.
Dr. Robert Crawford, Dean of the College, presenting the Biola diplomas during Commencement.
30. We are saved by grace plus nothing. The whole design is of God. We can rejoice in the fact that the salvation of our never-dying soul is in the hands of the sover eign God. We cannot, humanly speaking, fathom these depths. Since this is the irrevocable word of the One who cannot lie, we have but to accept it with grateful hearts. Paul brings his introductory re marks to a conclusion in verse 7. He is saying that it is only right that he should have such an evalu ation and high regard for these brethren in Christ. They are really joint-participators with him in his missionary work. Here are the co partners of his grace, granted to him in being God's missionary. It is a privilege we likewise can share as we faithfully seek to serve our blessed Saviour.
Secret of a Happy Life In our continuing study of Phil- ippians we find that, following the introduction, the body of the let ter begins with verse 8. Here we have the secret of how to live a happy life. Until we meet and become identified with Christ, in God's sight we are dead (Eph. 2:2). Christ is the Christian's life. While some think that life begins at 40, the Bible reminds us that life be gins when one comes into a vital relationship with Christ. You can read the moving experience of Paul's conversion in the early vers es of Acts 9. From that day until his death the Apostle had but one passion and that was to live Christ (vrs. 21). This is foundational to all Christian experience. It is most helpful to observe the scriptural prayers. Note Paul's be ginning in verse 9. First he prays
President Chase addressing the May 30 Commencement audience.
that their love may grow ever rich er in the knowledge and insight of every kind. This is the gift of true discrimination. How important to discern those things that are prop er and Cod's perfect will for us. He next asks the Lord that they may be sincere and without offense until the day of Christ. His desire was that they might not be a stum bling block. Someone has ex pressed, "Were we to take as much pain to be what we ought, as we do to disguise what we are, we might appear like ourselves, with out the trouble of disguise." We are told that "sincere" is made up of two Latin words, "sina" and "cera," which is literally "without wax." In ancient times ancient mak ers of pottery labeled their mer chandise with these words. Those who were unscrupulous manufac turers would take imperfect mer chandise and skillfully pour hot wax into the affected area. This way repairs would be scarcely dis cernible to the naked eye. Only if it were held up to the light could one tell the porcelain was faulty. We are to live our lives moment by moment remembering that we may be the only Christian some body knows. These devout souls at Philippi were upset to think of their be loved Paul languishing in a Roman prison. He wants them to under stand that he has risen above his circumstances conclusively and tri umphantly. In Christ there is no room for pessimism and defeat (Rom. 8:28). Paul's imprisonment had become known throughout the palace guards, and in all other places. As a result other believers gained confidence to testify for the Lord. It is strange to read here that Page 18
there were some who preached Christ of envy and strife while oth ers do so of good will, without contention. These two groups were made up of his own converts who loved Paul, as well as those who were jealous of the way in which the Lord had used His servant. It did not make any difference to Paul. Whether it was in pretence or in truth all he desired was for Christ to be preached. This is mag nanimity compounded. In verses 19 and 20 Paul seems to refer to his well-being, the eman cipation of his soul, rather than his body. The Apostle felt that his im prisonment was like curring pio neer roads for its advance. This was like a tonic to his soul. It saved him from discouragement and spurred him on to greater endeav ors for the Saviour. Paul's passion was that whether by life or through death, Christ should be magnified. Everything was inconsequential apart from the glory of Cod. Too much of the time we are "men pleasers." We want to be well thought of by our fellows. Paul had this as the least of his concerns. I wonder if this could be said of us as well? Do not make the fatal mis take of pleasing the wrong people. The smile of Cod's approval is all that matters. Paul's secret of life was that he wanted to live only for Christ. For whom are we living? We are either self-centered, or Christ-centered. Considering His great love for us, the answer ought to be evident. When the Apostle was apprehend ed by the Lord on the Damascus turnpike he never turned back. Sa tan did all in his power to bring him down. It was to no avail.
The Commencement Address was given by Chaplain (Lieutenant Colonel) Burton C. Hatch, United States Army.
Life of the Righteous All of us must die, unless the Lord returns first. David of old cried, "Let me die the death of the righteous." Now, one cannot die the death of the righteous unless he has lived the life of the right eous. For the dedicated child of Cod, death is gain no matter how it is viewed. How frail these bodies are! The greatest curse for man would have been to live forever in the flesh. Cod has designed it oth erwise. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. At that day our redemption will be complete. Not the pearly gates, not the streets of gold, not the mansions, but it is Christ who makes heaven heaven. Never again the thought of separa tion. Such a happy condition is surely gain (vrs. 21). We see some interesting con flicts in vrs. 22 to 26. While he wanted to go home to be with Christ, which was his objective, he
also recognized how badly these Philippians needed him. He was concerned that the "conversation," which is really "behaviour" would truly bring glory to the Lord (vrs. 27). What a great privilege it is not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for His sake (vrs. 29). There is a parallel of this in Ro mans 8:17 and 18. Did you ever think that trials and testings are a gift from God? His providence will not take us where His grace can not keep us. Others Chapter two contains one of the most moving portions of the Word of Cod. It gives us a tremendous picture of Christ, the believer's pat tern. The key word is "others." The word "therefore" in verse one pro vides a connecting link with the first chapter. The Philippian's did not have a lukewarm religion. There was a tendency evidently toward internal strife. Paul's constant em
phasis was on unity in love. It is based on forgetfulness of self. These first four verses form the fa miliar key to the solution. Christ lived and died for others. He knew absolutely nothing about selfish ness. Our natural tendency is to be charitable to ourselves, and harsh to others. We see an unruly child of a neighbor, and we call him a brat. If it happens to be our child, we say that he is overly tired. Do you get the point? Paul is urging us to live together in harmony and love as though we had only one mind. We should learn to see things from the other person's point of view. Christians will never see eye- to-eye on all points. We are large ly influenced by habits, environ ment, and education. But we are to have “ the mind of Christ." We must hold modest thoughts of our selves while having a proper eval uation of others. This may be a tall order, but through the power of the Holy Spirit it is what can and should happen. We should desire blessings and good for the other person. We are to rejoice in anoth er's prosperity. This is not the eas iest thing in the world. How envi ous we can become! Do we sym pathize in another's misery? Little do we know what a day may bring forth. We should not overlook the fact that we are called to contrib ute to one another's necessities. By so doing we are fulfilling Christ's commandment to love one anoth er. We are to let Christ have the pre-eminence in our lives. Self-Humiliation of Christ There is perhaps no greater portion of Scripture dealing with Christ's incarnation than Philippi- ans 2:5-11. This shows his volun tary self-humiliation. It is known as Page 20
the Kenosis passage, which refers to the Saviour's action in leaving heaven's glory to become a ser vant in giving His life to redeem mankind. No human mind can be gin to comprehend the tremen dous price that had to be paid for our Salvation. It would be well for a moment to look back to Christ's pre-exis tent glory. He had said, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). And in His high priestly prayer He pe titioned, "Father, glorify thou me with Thine own self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was" (John 17:5). In this sec tion Paul tells us that He was in the form of Cod. These testimon ies are shown to be true as Cod vows, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Other verses which would be well for us to study and to memorize on this subject are II Corinthians 8:9 and Hebrews 1:1-3. As we consider further His vol untary self-humiliation there are two aspects to be considered, the theological and the practical. The ologically, since Jesus was Cod, a part of the Trinity, He did not have to grasp His title as though He might possibly lose His equality with Cod. "He made himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant." There are those who would have us believe that in that moment the Lord laid aside His deity and ceased to be Cod. Nothing could be further from the truth. He gave up neither His di vine nature nor His perfect attri butes. He simply stripped Himself of the insignia of majesty, His glory, or His visible manifestation of the Godhead. The Son of God set aside His royal prerogatives. Here on
earth, when occasion demanded, He exercised His divine attributes such as omniscience, omnipres ence, and omnipotence. As to the practical, Christ's humiliation was very real. He experienced it in a double manner. First of all in be coming man. He became man while He was still Cod. Here He was a servant while He was Lord of all. It is impossible for us to compre hend what this involved. How could any of us take up our abode in the smallest, lowliest creature known to man, such as an ant or a flea. Even at that it would be as nothing compared to the eternal Cod taking upon Him a body of such low humiliation. His abase ment also took the form of volun tary obedience. It involved the most shameful of deaths. They laughed Him to scorn. They stripped Him of His clothing. They put on Him a scarlet robe and a reed in His hand as a false scepter. They planted a crown of thorns upon His brow, and bowed before Him in mockery. Some blindfolded Him while a wretch stepped up and slapped His blessed face. Then in jest they taunted, "Tell us who was it who hit you?" Little did they realize that not only could He look through His blindfold, but also right down into their iniquitous hearts. Then, as the final crowning insult and ignoming, they dragged Him away and nailed Him to a cross. They were not even satis fied then! They teased Him further, "Come down from the cross, and then we will believe." Someone actually spit in His face. Exaltation of Christ In Philippians, however, His ex altation is proportional to His hu miliation (vrs. 9-11). Rarely do we
view this from the viewpoint of heaven. The price is paid and God has exalted His Son even to His right hand. Thus, Christ, in conde scending to the humility and shame of the cross, comes back to His great glory. He again assumes the Name that is above all others. Well did Isaiah declare, "His name shall be called wonderful, counsellor, the mighty Cod, the everlasting Father, the prince of peace!" Christ plummed the depths in order that we might scale the heights. Surely there can be no room for divisions or bickering. Obedience in All Things Considering the tremendous sac rifice of Christ, and the unspeak able depth and tenderness of His love, we are to serve our Saviour with joy and gladness. Philippians 2:12 reminds us that without pres ent salvation from sin we should have an eager, trembling anxiety to obey Cod in all things. The Chris tian life is not a passive thing. No tice verse 14 where Paul declares, "I press toward the mark of the high calling of Cod in Christ Je sus." We find similar quotations in Colossians 1:29 and II Peter 1:10. Cod has worked in salvation, for only He can do this, and we are to work it out. There is absolutely no thought here of working to ob tain salvation. We know it is not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us. Do not stop there! The 13th verse reminds us, "It is God who worketh in you." Salvation is a three fold matter. There is past for giveness of sins, present triumphant victory over sin, and future deliv- Page 21
plies a slender trust in the resources of divine goodness and wisdom. It has been well said, "If you insist on choosing for yourself, then do not grumble at God for what you reap." Disputing is manward. Dis- sention will mar our peace. Such generally arises from pride and ig norance. James wrote on the sub ject, "But where envying and strife are, there is confusion and every evil work." If we live in peace God
erance at Christ's return from the very presence of sin. No wonder we have this exhortation to carry on. Because of this we should set aside all murmurings and disput- ings (vrs. 14). This is both a rela tionship Godward as well as man- ward. Murmuring can easily be against God. It may result from a disagreeable lot in life, or from an unthankful spirit (I Timothy 6:66; Hebrews 13:5). Complaining im
Commencement crowd with Talbot Seminary building in background.
will be with us. Instead of backbit ing and gossiping we should re joice in God's providence in our lives. Nothing so delivers believers from self-occupation as does oc cupation with Christ. Those who are busy holding forth the Word of life have no time for selfish quarreling among themselves. Three Saints The last half of the chapter is
exemplified by three saints: Paul, Timothy, and Epaphroditus. Almost casually the Apostle speaks of him self. Probably no other mortal ever drank into the Spirit of Christ so deeply as did he. Once a proud and hauty Pharisee, glorying in his own righteousness, he was mirac ulously transformed by the sight of the risen Saviour. In verse 17 Paul alludes to the libation offering which was poured out on the burnt offering. This was typical of the outpouring of the Saviour's soul unto death. He wanted to be con sumed completely for the Service of Christ. What sublime self-abne gation this shows. How humble was this giant in the faith. The next reference is to Timo thy, the unselfish pastor (vs. 19). Timothy was not like the others who all sought their own and not the things which are Christ's. Paul loved this dedicated young man (I Timothy 1:2). No matter what the task he was willing to sublim ate his own will to do the bidding of his father in the faith. There ought to be this holy bond be tween people even in the same household. So often we see bick ering and back-biting among the children of God. It surely must grieve the loving heart of our Lord. Finally he refers to Epaphroditus beginning with verse 25. This faith ful laborer was the one who had brought a love gift from the Phil- ippians to Paul in Rome. While he was there he fell deathly ill. The people at home had learned of his illness and became greatly con cerned. Paul felt it best to send him to his loved ones. Paul urges the Philippians, "Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation." This man ___________ Page 23
qualifications. Who could begin to match his spiritual pedigree. He was not a proselyte to the Jewish faith but born of parents who were both Hebrew. In addition his dis tinction was being a member of the illustrious tribe of Benjamin which gave Israel her first king. As far as the law was concerned he was a Pharisee. These were the strictest and most author itative sect of the Jews. No one could question his zeal in the light of the way he persecuted. All of these things in their sum total (vs. 7) were not worth the slightest bit. Paul looks on them simply as ref use compared to what he gained in finding Christ. All these things were far out-weighed by the gain of knowing the Saviour. His right eousness was not his own, but what he received by imputation from faith in Christ. Consider briefly the phrase "the excellency of the knowledge of Christ." This is what he sought. This is a day of knowledge. It is obviously very, very important. Probably no generation since ours has seen such tremendous strides in every area of learning. Already our men have been on the moon. In the field of medicine, heart trans plants have proven to be effective. It is a fantastic day to be sure. But all of this is to no avail unless we know Him. What good is it if a man with all of his learning can make such progress and yet lose his own soul? The knowledge of Jesus Christ is excellence. Only through this can we become par takers of the divine knowledge. Money and Happiness Paul explains, "Christ is the pres ent gain that shelters His people." He prays, "That I may gain Christ."
had risked his life in order to bring the love offering to Paul. The man who holds himself as one worthy of honor and esteem is not the one whom God honors. We must be willing to take the lowly path, seeking not great things for self. This is the person whom the Lord will exalt in due season. Beware of False Teachers The third chapter of Philippians deals with "Christ, the object of the believer's faith." On the sur face it may seem that Paul intended to bring his letter to a conclusion as we note the word "finally" with which he begins. The Holy Spirit directed him to record some of the most important and moving ma terial in all of the Scriptures as we see 4:7. We cannot help but note his urging to "rejoice in the Lord." Drawing near to the end he wants to pass out a very necessary word of exhortation. He knows that spir itual dangers surround us with false teachings. He follows this with a very sol emn warning, "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision." His reference to dogs has to do with false teachers. Evil workers meant those who were breeders of mischief. Those of the concision were the mere external- lists. The word comes from the idea of mere mutilators of the flesh. In contrast he avows, "For we are of the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confi dence in the flesh" (vs. 3). People are prone to point to their own works. Certainly, if man ever had reason to do so this would have been true of Paul. Beginning with the 4th verse he outlines his
written study II Corinthians 11:23 to see Paul's trials and sufferings. He knows he has not arrived, at taining complete perfection. Quite the opposite was true. He warns against a theoretical perfectionism (vrs. 12). To profess sinless perfec tion shows great lack of meekness, humility, forebearance, and all oth er graces. Spiritual pride is a dead ly poison. We must not be satisfied with present attainments which prevent progress in spirituality. We will only find ourselves backsliding and giving up in despair. Proverbs 4:18 tells us that "The path of the just is as the shining light that shin- eth more and more toward the perfect day." The Prize The child of God needs always to persevere. Satan always opposes us and is never off the job. We must constantly keep the prize be fore us (Hebrews 12:1,2). We must guard against certain disastrous tendencies, one of which is when we lack the proper goal. The far mer in plowing a straight furrow will pick out something at the oth er end of the field to use as his marker to make straight lines. The apostle explained, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling." He was not going to look back. Likewise it is dangerous to set the wrong goal. Unfortunately, multitudes are doing this very thing today. They are sincere but they are grasping at straws. Do you remember the football player who got turned around through a hard tackle? He ran with the ball as though his life depended on it. The crowd yelled. He thought they were cheering him. In reality, they were trying to stop him. He was running toward the wrong Page 25
Think of acquiring the Lord of heaven and earth in whom are all treasures of joy and happiness. How can this be possible? It is not by tears of repentence, good works, or even by suffering the loss of all things. We gain Christ simply by accepting God's righteousness. A man may gain much in this life and then lose it. I read a story about four millionaires who told how they had amassed their for tunes. Almost before the ink was dry one of them had gone broke. Such is impossible for the one who gains Christ. Riches can be very disillusioning. There is no connection between money and happiness. The world is full of sad specimens who have tried to equate the two. Peace and joy become Paul's immediate in heritance when he came to know the Saviour. If a man does not gain Christ, he loses not only wealth and position but also his immortal soul. Man's only hope is Jesus. Endless Life We cannot help being impressed with Paul's dedication and absolute yieldedness to the will of Cod (3:10). He desired to know the power of Christ's resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. The benefits of the Saviour's res urrection are found in I Corinthi ans 15:13-20. This is a very moving passage. We see how empty our faith would be without Christ be ing raised from the dead. Practi cally there avails for the saint the power of his endless life (Romans 1:4). It is the greatest power ever demonstrated and is ours for the taking. The fellowship of Christ's sufferings are shown in I Peter 4:13 as well as Romans 8:18. To read one of the most moving things ever
their house in order. What greater reason to rid ourselves of divisions, strife and backbiting. Our respon sibility is to keep our eyes focused on Him, singled to His glory, until that blessed hour when He comes back again. Christian's Strength Philippians chapter four deals with the great fact of Christ, the Christian's strength. We are urged right at the outset to stand fast in the Lord. Next, Euodias and Syn- tyche are urged to be of the same mind in the Lord. Christian unity begins with love. We are to let our "sweet reasonableness be known unto all men" for "the Lord is at hand." This does not just mean that His return is imminent, al though such is true. The idea be hind this is also that the Lord is standing by. He has promised nev er to leave or to forsake us. For our remaining study I would like to select some of the incom parable blessings the believer has in Christ. So manyare found in this wonderful chapter. As a recap, the believer has the privilege of prayer to help him (vrs. 6). He has the peace of God to keep him (vrs. 7). He has the presence of the God of peace to accompany him (vrs. 9b). He has the pattern of those who have gone before (vrs. 9a). He has the promise of contentment to calm him (vrs. 11). He has the power of Christ to strengthen him. (vrs. 13). He has the provision of God to support him (vrs. 19). Because of these things, this little book of Philippians ought to be in our constant possession. We ought to commit many portions of it to memory. Consider again the privi lege of prayer (vrs. 6). The child of Cod has a direct line to the very
goal. C. S. Lewis points out, "It does not matter how fast we are moving if we are on the wrong road." Paul was the soul of diplomacy. He was patient with those who were not mature spiritually. He urges all to follow a lowly pathway of humility, letting Cod be the fin al authority. Christian leaders are to set an example to the flock of Cod (vrs. 17). We are to observe Cod's stalwarts of the faith. We should seek to emulate their graces and to avoid their errors. The next two verses show us the danger of following those who have re nounced their faith, or who are liv ing without proper harmony with the Lord. It is a solemn but timely warning. Some people can be re garded as Christians when, in real ity, they are enemies of the cross. They grievously check the progress of the Gospel. Paul knows the meaning of sin all too well. The closing words of this third chapter are indeed blessed ones. "Our citizenship, is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Sav iour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our body of humilia tion, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto Himself." Jesus said that all power was given unto Him. One of the hymn writers penned: " He's coming again, He's coming again, The very same Jesus, rejected of men.” Paul assured us that the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout. This is but another incentive for the Philippian saints, as well as for you and me, to put Page 26
throne of God. I am sure you be lieve in prayer. That is not the is sue. The question is, do you pray? To think that God has put within our grasp this tremendous poten tial. You can go into the presence of the King of kings and Lord of lords anytime you wish. He will hear and welcome you provided that you come on the basis of His require ments. As we see things worsening on every hand, be sure that you take time to get alone with the Lord. The peace of God garrisons the soul (vrs. 7). Although we may ex perience terrible trouble and trials, Jesus' great legacy was, "My peace I give unto you." Think of those three Hebrew youths who were thrown into the fiery furnace. When we get to glory and talk to them, I am sure they will tell us of the peace of God which garrisoned their souls in those dark and des perate moments. Peace can accompany the child of God wherever he goes (vrs. 9b). We had some missionaries in our home several years ago who had tremendous experiences out in Kenya in the heart of Africa. The events were shortly after the Mau- Mau atrocities. One of the natives who had come to Christ admitted after his conversion that he was among those who were about to move in and absolutely destroy their compound. The man ex plained, "You had too many de fenders." The missionary was puz zled, "There was no one here but ourselves." Yet, these Mau-Maus would not attack because of a fear of those who evidently had been assigned by God to protect them. The missionaries got together and sang, "Praise God from whom all
blessings flow." The angels are ministering spirits sent forth on behalf of the heirs of salvation, ac cording to the Bible. Then, the pattern of those who have gone on before is very im portant. As an example, consider Abraham who was told to leave country and kindred to go to a land God promised to show him. What obedience this great patriarch ex hibited. We read simply, "So he arose and went." Everything about Abraham shows implicit obedi ence. We especially see this in the case of his willingness to offer up his only son as a sacrifice to God. Abraham did not waver in the slightest. Little wonder that he be came known as "the father of the faith." Abraham had the Word of God, and that was sufficient. To day, we have the complete Bible, God's total revelation. Do we act upon it? Is this your daily experi ence? God grant that you may fully trust and prove Him each day.
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