Biola Broadcaster - 1962-02

"In times of severe crisis, a re-affirmation of the great car­ dinal doctrines of the Word of God, upon which B iola (The Bible Institute of Los Angeles, Inc.) has been founded, and which eternal verities are taught to our 1,000 students daily” —5. M. Sutherland, President

I N T R O D U C T I O N by S. H. Sutherland, President

The series of m essages contained in this booklet w as pre­ sented on the Bible Institute Hour broadcast. They have been prepared and delivered by members of the facu lties of BIOLA College and Talbot Theological Sem inary. They are not de­ signed prim arily to be doctrinal dissertations in any sense of the word but rather a declaration of the convictions of the men, individually and collectively, concerning the great doc­ trines of historic Christianity. The authors were asked to prepare the m essages as a per­ sonal testimony of their oum heart convictions and not as a compendium of doctrinal truth. Because of the fact that so m any of the men are not theologically trained on a graduate level, perhaps the approach in any given instance m ay be somewhat different from that of a theologian. We trust, how­ ever, that what is written w ill bring sp iritual blessing to the heart of each reader. These men are a ll experts in their respective fields. In ­ deed, they a ll have their earned doctorates from outstanding institutions of higher learning throughout the country. It is refreshing to know that although their areas of study have varied greatly yet there is a common bond of fellow ship in each one?s having accepted Jesu s Christ as his own personal Savior and in their being able to present a united testimony on the theme, “ This We Believe.”


This We Believe

T A B L E OF C O N T E N T S The Bible, The Word of God .............................................................. 4 James H. Christian The Trinity ................................................................................................ 6 Robert L. Saucy The Deity of Jesus Christ ...................................................................... 8 William Bass The Death of Christ, An Atonement for Sin .................................... 11 J. Richard Chase The Bodily Resurrection of Christ .................................................... 13 William Bynum Justification by Faith .............................................................................. 16 Robert H. McCollum The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit .......................................... 17 Robert L. Thomas The Dispensations .......... ...... .................................................................. 20 Nicholas Kurtanek Evolution ................................................-................................................... 22 Bolton C. Davidheiser The Church of Jesus Christ ................................................................. 24 Masakazu Iwata The Spiritual Growth and Development of the Believer ............... 26 James O. Henry Satan—His Origin, Present Work and Destiny ................................ 28 Wallace Emerson The Future Destiny of the Unsaved and the Saved ........................ 30 Arnold D. Ehlert The Return of the Lord ....................................................................... 32 Glenn O’Neal The Millennium ....................................................................................... 35 Charles L. Feinberg


This We Believe

The Bible, The Word of God by James H. Christian, Th.D. Dean of the College; Professor of Church History-Seminary day the conviction grew upon me that I must settle this question to my own complete satisfaction once and for all. At that time I had not read John Lea’s The Book of Books and its Wonderful Story, but I believed what he said in the first sentence: “The founda­ tion upon which Christianity is based is that the Bible is true, that it is God’s revelation to man concerning matters which are of supreme impor­ tance in relation to human destiny, and that it is the only reliable source of information in this respect.” I rea­ soned that through my study I would decide that the Bible is completely the Word of God or it is not. If it is, I would continue to prepare for Chris­ tian service. If it is not, I would leave the seminary at once, for there was no use in spending my time pre­ paring to teach or to preach something of which I could not be sure. In my distress I conveyed my feel­ ings to some of my fellow students. They frankly said that I was laying too much importance upon too small a matter. What difference did it make whether the entire Bible is the Word of God or whether the great truths only of the Bible are inspired? Are not the great truths enough to save men? My reply was that they are not. If man is to be the judge of what the great truths of the Bible are, man might lay emphasis upon things which are not great truths. Perhaps even the greatest doctrine of the Bible in our eyes, the atonement through Jesus Christ, might not be one of these great 4

T h e B ib l e is the Word of God! This is the declaration of the apostle Paul in II Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteous­ ness: That the man of God may be per­ fect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” When I entered theological semin­ ary to prepare for Christian service, I believed this verse implicitly. How­ ever, during the first year, my faith was shaken by one of my respected and learned professors. It was his con­ tention that the Bible is the Word of God but that it is not all the inspired Word of God. He believed that the great truths of the Bible were inspired, but that surrounding these great truths were details supplied by the writers of Scripture which were not inspired by God. These details surrounding the great truths might, in fact, be quite erroneous. Instinctively I jumped emo­ tionally to a defense of my cherished belief in the complete inspiration of the Word of God, but I found that emotion and simple conviction were not enough, for the arguments which the professor used were themselves convicting a n d evidenced consider­ able thinking. Moreover, I was struck by the fact that at the beginning of this particular lecture, he had stated that he once believed that every word in the Bible was inspired, but that through study he had changed his opinions to his present position. As I thought through the matter that

this conviction, was the fact that books by human authors often contradict each other and in the technical fields are soon superseded by more modem books which often directly contradict earlier accepted facts and tmths. Next, I considered its remarkable preservation. It is the oldest book in the world and most frequently at­ tacked, yet it has been preserved. There was a time when the Book almost dis­ appeared from the face of the world; apparently only one copy existed, but God protected that one copy and brought it to light again. Read the sto­ ry for yourself in II Kings 22! One oth­ er instance of the Bible’s remarkable preservation may be noted. In 303 A.D. the emperor Diocletian issued the order that all copies of the Bible were to be destroyed. But -— the order failed to accomplish its end. The Bible was not destroyed.! Today the Bible faces the greatest attack of its entire history, an attack by enemies and so-called friends alike, but still it is the world’s best seller. The preservation of the Bi­ ble may be attributed to one thing only; it is the Word of God. Some of the greatest writings in the world have disappeared under the impartial hand of time and history; the Word of God alone has remained. Fourth, I considered the prophecies of the Book. I found that each one that has been fulfilled has been so in exact accord in every detail as origin­ ally set forth. These prophecies often were made centuries before the time that they were fulfilled. They were fulfilled by people who in accomplish­ ing them did not even know that they were fulfilling a prophecy. They were sometimes fulfilled by people who were opposed to God’s plan and who would not have fulfilled it if they had known what they were doing and had been left to their own discretion. The pro­ phecies themselves were made by peo­ ple who did not themselves sometimes understand what they were prophesy­ ing, though some have said that they made astute political guesses because they were students of governmental (continued on next page) 5

truths. Perhaps the writers of the New Testament had misinterpreted the meaning of Christ’s life, and we might be misplacing our faith. Perhaps after all the liberal is right when he de­ clares that salvation is not through the vicarious atonement of Jesus Christ but rather through the keep­ ing of the Sermon on the Mount. No! This was not enough. Either the Bible is the Word of God or it is not. Even my own Christian experi­ ence rested in the balance, and I de­ clared that if the Bible were not the Word of God, then I would turn my back upon Christianity itself and would “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomor­ row we die.” To settle this question I turned to the Word of God and for two days gave it my almost undivided attention to answer this most crucial question. As I looked, I saw these things. First, the Bible has within it no real contradictions. Those which my professor had pointed out were seeming contradictions; a careful consideration of them revealed that they were ap­ parent; they were not real. The ex­ planations were there if one only took the time to look. Then, I considered the remarkable unity of the Book and its agreement with itself throughout. Here was a Book written over a period of some sixteen hundred years by about thir­ ty-six to forty different people, written in three different languages, in six dif­ ferent countries. Few of the writers knew each other. Advances in know­ ledge were being made constantly. How could the writings of different periods, the productions of Jews and Gentiles, kings and commoners, priests and lay­ men, prophets and politicians, acade­ micians and academically untrained, and physicians and publicans be put together in a single volume and have no real contradiction even in science, history and psychology within them? The only answer was that God the Holy Spirit was the Author of this book, and that every word of it was divinely inspired without exception. By way of contrast, and to strengthen

THE WORD OF GOD (cont.) policies. See I Peter 1:10, 11. One such prophecy will suffice. In Isaiah 44:28- 45:13 the prophet declared that there would arise a heathen man named Cyrus who would destroy the Babylon­ ian Empire and return the Jews to their land. When he prophesied, the Jews were not in captivity, the Persian Em­ pire did not exist, and the king was not yet born. One hundred and five years later Jeremiah prophesied in chapter 25:8-14 that the Jews would be in captivity for seventy years and that at the end of that period the Bab­ ylonian nation would fall. 175 years after the first prophecy and seventy years after the second, both were ful­ filled as recorded in Ezra 1. Nobody but God could have made a prophecy like this and have fulfilled it. Yet, this is only typical of dozens within the Word of God. I turned away from my study con­ vinced that this Book does not contain the Word of God but that it is the Word of God. I turned away convinced that not only the great truths but also

the little ones and the details as well, were inspired by God the Holy Spirit. I turned away from the study con­ vinced by the Word itself that every word is God-breathed as Paul states in II Timothy 3:16. Last eve I paused beside a blacksmith’s door, And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime; Then looking in, I saw upon the floor, Old hammers worn with beating years of time. ‘How many anvils have you had,’ said I, ‘To wear and batter all these hammers so?’ ‘Just one,’ said he, and then with twink­ ling eye, ‘The anvils wear the hammers out you know.’ ‘And so,’ I thought, ‘The Anvil of God’s Word For ages skeptic blows have beat upon, Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard, The Anvil is unharmed, the hammers GONE.’

This We Believe

The Trinity

by Robert L. Saucy, Th.D. Professor English Bible and Systematic Theology Talbot Theological Seminary among the religions of mankind. It is only thè revealed God of the Christian who is the Triune God. The fathers of the infant church struggled with the concept of the God of the Scriptures, seeking to formul­ iate, accurately, the truth concerning the Trinity in the face of heretical thinking. Some erred on the one hand declaring the Father, Son and Holy 6

“ I s long as you have sincere faith -TaL toward God that is all that matters.” Such reasoning is common among religious peoples of the world, even among professing Christians. This thinking is undoubtedly based upon the belief that all are wor­ shipping the same God. But it is pre­ cisely the nature of the true Christian’s God which makes Christianity unique

Spirit were only successive manifesta­ tions of a uni-personal God. On the other hand, there were attempts to de­ grade either the Son or the Spirit from positions as persons within the God­ head. A few even thought in terms of tri-theism. The truth was hammered out through controversy until — with the Nicene Creed of A.D. 325, plus the added statement at Constantinople con­ cerning the Holy Spirit in 381 — there emerged the doctrine of three divine persons of one substance. The Athana- sian Creed of the fifth century spells out the doctrine which has become the standard of the church declaring at one point, “So the Father is God; the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet there are not three Gods but one God.” This we believe not because it is a creed of the church, but because it expresses concisely, although in gen­ eral terms, the mystery of the Triune God of the Scriptures. We believe in the Triune God be­ cause this is the God who has revealed Himself in the Word of God. The Trinity is obviously not the God of man’s reason, for he can but feebly comprehend such a God even with the aid of the illumination of the Holy Spirit. It was not until God revealed Himself as the Triune God that He was acknowledged as such, and it is in His revelation that we, too, must find the Triune God. The Scriptures unfold the doctrine of the Trinity as the natural concurrence with the drama of redemption. Each person of the Godhead appears upon the stage of God’s history of salvation to perform His function. It is there­ fore not until the coming of the Son and the later sending of the Holy Spir­ it, that the full doctrine is revealed. The emphasis in the Old Testament is upon the unity of God. “Hear, 0 Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deut. 6:4). However, there are indica­ tions of a plurality within the Godhead even here. The name of God is a plural form. Plural pronouns are used of God, such as when He declares, “ Let us make man in our image” (Gen. 1:26). Also the angel of Jehovah appears to

men on earth as God distinct from God in heaven. But these pointers awaited the additional revelation of the New Testament for their understanding, somewhat as boulders in the night shadows await the light of day for their recognition. With the unfolding of the plan of redemption, the second person reveals Himself as God. “ . . . He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (Jn. 14:9). “ . . . Ye believe in God, believe also in me” (Jn. 14:1). The inspired testimony to His person is unanimous. Besides the conclusive evidence of His Deity in His works He is specifically called “God blessed forever,” (Rom. 9:5). Luke mentions Him as God who pur­ chased the church with his own blood (Acts 20:28), while the writer to the Hebrews records the Father declaring the throne of His Son by the name, “God” (Heb. 1:8). The revelation of the coming of the Holy Spirit brings the third personal­ ity of the Triune God. Our Lord fore­ told the Spirit’s coming as another Comforter whom He would send from the Father. His language indicates that the Spirit was to be a Comforter of the same kind as Himself when He was upon the earth, a personal, divine Being. The Spirit is then plainly re­ vealed as God against whom Ananias and Saphira sinned in Acts chapter five. There are then three persons called God. But they are not successive mani­ festations of a one personal God, for all three re revealed as distinct per­ sons when they are mentioned togeth­ er. In our Lord’s promise of the Spirit, He declares, “But when the Comforter is come whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” (Jn. 15:26). Again at the baptism of Christ they appear as distinct persons, the Father in the voice from heaven, the Spirit in the form of a dove and the Incarnate Son (Matt. 3:16-17). Thus there are three distinct persons (continued on next page) 7

THE TRINITY (cont.) in the Godhead, but these three are also set forth as One God. Hear the words of Christ as He explains to the inquiring scribe which is the greatest commandment of all. “ . . . the first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first com­ mandment” (Mark 12:29, 30). Perhaps the golden text of Biblical revelation Concerning the doctrine of the Trinity is Christ’s exhortation to baptize “ . . . in the name of the Fath­ er, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28:19). Here are all the persons united as equals having a single name. This expresses, complete­ ly, the doctrine of the Trinity, that is, three distinct, divine personalities forming a single personal divine Being. But how can three be one and one bp three? Anti-trinitarians rule out the Trinity as absurd on the basis of the mathematical impossibility. But we do not hold that God is one and three in the same sense. He is one as to His Being, but three as to His personality. We cannot fully comprehend such a God for there is nothing analogous to this in our experience. But perhaps it is most simply illustrated by the equi-

lateral triangle. The area enclosed is one and is not divided while the sides are three equals. Now assume for a moment that the enclosed area is the divine Being of the Godhead and each side is a separate manifestation of per­ sonality. There are thus three persons possessing the same undivided essence or substance of God. The fact of incomprehensibility must never turn one from contemplating the doctrine of the Trinity. It was never revealed as a metaphysical proposition for speculative thought, but rather was addressed to life in the story of re­ demption. It is precisely here that the doctrine still speaks. To say that God is triune is to say that God is the God of redemption; to deny the Trinity is to deny redemption. Sinner, if you would come to God you must come through the work of the Triune God. So, also, the believer experiences this triune activity in his fellowship with God. We see God the Father through revelation in God the Son, and our hearts are kindled to worship and adoration by God the Holy Spirit. And yet our fellowship is with one supreme Being. Thus the belief in the Trinity is the belief in the God incomprehensi­ ble, and yet the God who has revealed Himself to mankind in redeeming grace, whom to know is life eternal.

This We Believe

The Deity of Jesus Christ

by William Bass, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Philosophy

I s J esu s t h e S on of G od P This ques­ tion sometimes suggests to the mod­ em mind a rather irrelevant mythical debate or, at best, a pleasant fairy sto­ ry. An affirmative answer to that ques­ tion is to express a fact which has vital

implications for every facet of contem­ porary life. One suspects that those who deny the Deity of the Lord Jesus are really fighting the problem of His Lordship. Actually the issue is not an intellectual one, but involves being rec- 8

history of the race. It would be ante­ cedently probable that His life would be the most celebrated by subsequent literary effort, and His incarnation re­ garded as the great watershed of his­ tory. Of all human institutions, the one based upon His lengthened shadow should be the most persistent. Indeed, His existence and manner of life. His teachings and His Church have been the most uplifting and powerful forces in the subsequent history of the West­ ern World. And within the Church, myriads and myriads of believers have testified that He has abundantly served as the Living God to their receptive hearts. The Meaning Of The Deity Of Christ Theologians have expressed it as follows: Christ and the Father are of one essence. The New Testament puts it this way: “In Him was life and the life was the light of men.” David wrote in the Psalms, “With Thee is the fountain of life. In Thy light shall we see light.” This connects Christ with the very essence of Divin­ ity. For the very designation of the Father as Jehovah makes use of a He­ brew root which denotes life. The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Life. The Lord Jesus then, shares a designation common to the persons of the God­ head. This means that the three per­ sonalities of the Godhead—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit each share in the common life of God. Thus in the deep­ est sense possible, Jesus Christ may be said to be the only true and living God. He was that from eternity past, before the creation of things in heaven or things on earth, and will remain the same forever. Praise His name we share in that eternal life now. By virtue of His Deity, He possesses all of the characteristics or attributes of God. Because of His Divine Life, He also shares the glory of God’s dwelling in light. Thus He could be transfigured before the disciples and appear with such radiant splendor to John on Pat- mos. His truthfulness makes His Word as dependable as that of the Father. Hence He could frame and uphold the (continued on next page) 9

onciled to God. However, the self-de­ ceptive factor is not all that is involved in the denial of Christ’s honored place. There is a natural resistance to the thought that a flesh and blood individ­ ual who shared the commonplaces of our lot could be God incarnate. Evidence For the Deity of Christ Nevertheless, there is abundant evi­ dence that He was no less than the eternal God when He walked the dus­ ty roads of Judaea and the sparkling sands of Galilee. The lines of Biblical testimony are many. On a recent broad­ cast, Dr. M. R. DeHaan stated that the New Testament identifies Jesus with the Jehovah of the Old Testament. Dr. Adolph Saphir made the same iden­ tification many decades ago. In Isaiah 30:27 for example, the Christ who will return in judgment is none other than Jehovah. Christ claimed to be God. “I and my Father are one,” He said. Those who met Him were persuaded that He was more than man. Peter confessed, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” The Centurion insisted, “Truly, this was the Son of God.” John used our Lord’s miracles to prove that He was the Living Word who made all things — testifying to the verity of the prophecy that He was to be Immanuel — God with us. In­ deed, upon whom could we expect the Spirit to descend as a dove and remain until He was able to impart Him to others? Only upon the One who was absolutely worthy. Further, the apos­ tles understood that by His resurrection He was proved to be Lord, and the Son of God with power. Indeed, the book of Revelation pictures Christ as glorified and seated with the Father on His resplendent throne. He initiates the outpouring of wrath upon a sin cursed and rebellious earth in the final day prior to His second coming. Only the Son of God Himself could be “given all judgment.” If Jesus were God incarnate we should expect, in advance, that He would be regarded by the many as the greatest man who ever lived and His teachings as the clearest, most im­ portant, and most meaningful in the

THE DEITY OF CHRIST (cont.) world by the Word of His power. In fact, He is the Living Word of Truth incarnate. The divine holiness was His in eternity and was manifest while He walked the earth. He was sinless in such a way that His enemies were re­ duced to the most ridiculous ways of finding fault with Him. He was perfect in the Biblical sense of maturity. He was guileless. There was absolutely no air of artificiality about the Lord. His wisdom, thoughts, and teachings were those of God Himself. At the time of His earthly life, He was recognized as a Rabbi worthy of being tested by His enemies. He was able accurately to reduce the teachings of Judaism to its essentials and with confidence improve upon them. Some testified that no man ever spake as He spake. His disciples considered that they could go no place else and receive such words of eternal life. His power was and is omnipotent. He was able to still the waves and He is capable of smashing the kingdoms of this world at the proper tipie. The love of Christ is the very love of God which flows unreservedly from His be­ ing. A. W. Tozer has aptly said that God’s love is “not something God has and which may grow or diminish or cease to be. His love is the way God is, and when He loves He is simply being Himself.” Thus, Christ’s love was an everlasting love. Christ’s faith­ fulness is as sure as that of the Fath­ er. Even if we believe not, yet He abides faithful. He cannot deny Him­ self. This is an aspect of His life: The Lord Jesus is eternal as the Father is eternal. He is the same yesterday, to­ day and forever. The Implications Of The Deity Of Christ The implications of the Deity of Christ are staggering. Think what is involved for Christ personally because He is very God. Death did not, yea, could not keep Him prey. He arose triumphantly. Because He is the Son, He is heir to all of the riches of heaven and earth. The Son of God yes, and the sons of God possess all which the

Heavenly Father controls. Because He is the Son of God He is beloved of the Father. No such love could exist like the mutual, love of the Father and Son except it be that of the Son for His Church. Because He is God, Jesus Christ is destined to rule the world. Therefore He will hold steadfastly to His purpose and not be thwarted until He has set justice and righteousness in the earth. Every knee will some day bow to Him! The implications of the Deity of Je­ sus Christ are delightful to the child of God, but fearful for the man who seeks to avoid His Lordship. To refuse Him after facing His claims, is to in­ sult God and to refuse the love of the most worthy person in the universe. To live independently of Christ is to challenge Him to a test of wills and to try one’s own sustenance of natural life to the uttermost. Specifically to sin against Christ is to incite the wrath of the God who will loose the seals of the wrath at the time of the end. To take His name in vain is to per­ vert one’s highest ability namely, to glorify God. To omit Jesus Christ from your life is to have failed to live at all. If God is, and if Jesus Christ is God, and if man was made for fellow­ ship with God then not to know Him is to live far short of life in its full­ ness. To the Christian, the Deity of Christ is both delightful and awe-inspiring. We base our life, our hope, our all upon the death of the Son of God who loved us enough to die for us. This means that the entire meaning of any life has been changed. We begin our outlook with the most exalted God serving the meanest of creatures to the absolute uttermost. We cannot live like other men. Our understanding of Christ’s death on our behalf makes this impossible. But further, our new life in Christ makes us akin to God the Son. We also are sons or children of God. We bear the same relationship to the Father as Christ does, and we are even indwelt by the same Spirit as that God-man. We are even to look like Him when we come with Him. 10

is Jesus Christ crucified. To preach Him alone in His fulness and grace is all that we need or that He desires. Of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Ancient of Days, the King of the Jews and the God of heaven, let us say with David, “Thine O Lord is the greatness and the power, and the Glory and the victory, and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.”

However, for now, we walk here be­ low and He walks with us. Is not this beyond the fondest imaginations of the carnal man? God Himself walks with us day by day. It is true. He dwells within us by His Spirit. Our closest companion and friend is the God who appeared to the patriarchs in Ur and Bethel. Since our Christ is God, let us be serious with an awe born of His holi­ ness. Let us have confidence rooted in His power and faith which is anchored in His faithfulness. Let our efforts on His behalf be the Gospel of God which

This We Believe

The Death of Christ An Atonement for Sin

by J. Richard Chase, Ph.D. sociate Professor of Speech

T h e doctrine of the atonement is a battlefield. For centuries men have contended over the means by which man is righteously restored to fellow­ ship with God. Those who man the fortress, in defense of what is frequent­ ly called substitutionary atonement, believe that God’s Word presents the crucified Christ as the perfect, the fully adequate, God-given means for the pardoning and putting away of sin. Those who attack this representation of the atonement are innumerable and their strategies legion. Let me indicate, simply, a few of the strategies that have been employed to counter the doctrine: (1) They have assailed it on the ground that it violates man’s sense of justice—the innocent suffering for the

guilty; (2) they have asserted that the doctrine so described here, presents God as an unduly austere Father who harshly demands the sacrifice of His own Son — and, among other things, (3) these detractors have claimed that such a doctrine as substitutionary atonement strips Christianity of its spiritual vitality and substitutes but a legal contract of remission and accept­ ance for sinners. The last forty years have produced historic arguments and given rise to two new schools of strategy — modern­ ism, and neo-orthodoxy. The modernist, I suppose, does not really attack as much as he ignores. He may draw upon aforementioned arguments and, at the same time voicing the thought that the (continued on next page) 11

ATONEMENT (cont.) wrath of God against sin has no in­ tensity which requires the cost of Christ’s shed blood. This, of course, is foreign to Scripture—but why should one who ignores the Bible be concerned at so great an inconsistency? The more recent enemy is neo-ortho­ doxy. From personal contact with some of the followers and reading done in the field, it appears that while some neo-orthodox men claim to defend the fort—others talk as if they are not sure whether they are attacking, defending, or observing the conflict. Regardless of their stated views on the atonement, it becomes apparent that they take a modified stand on what most conserva­ tives feel to be the Biblical position. Neo-orthodoxy is silent on the efficacy of the shed blood of Christ—the heart of substitutionary atonement. How great is this conflict—a veritable theo­ logical war! When I reflect upon this conflict and upon my faith, I have no alternative but .to continue to embrace the doctrine of substitutionary atonement — and to aid in defending it from those who would deny its significance. I take this stand for two principal reasons. First, I am compelled by necessity. From what I know of my own personal con­ dition, I am inescapably drawn to Christ as my Saviour. My efforts toward righteousness fall far short of God’s standard of perfec­ tion. Guilty and convicted, yet believ­ ing that I am pardoned by Him. I am in nq mood to alter a belief in Christ that has brought personal peace. Were Christ in His death on the Cross not my sufficient Saviour to cover my sin, then I must relinquish the forgiveness, fellowship and peace which I have enjoyed in God. Should I try to cover my sins, I understand that God would see through my efforts, and my sins would remain an insurmountable ob­ stacle to fellowship. Since I did not accept Christ as my substitute to make myself acceptable in any particular company of theolo­ gians, I am not about to forsake God’s blessings to court their favor now. I

raise the question, is it possible for any man to have true peace with God (which I claim through Christ) on any false foundation? I think not! I adhere to the doctrine of the atonement, not only by necessity, but also because I believe it is taught in Scripture as a required and integral part of the Gos­ pel message. Perhaps Peter captures, most sharply, the heart of this doctrine when he writes in I Peter 2:24, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” Yet it is difficult to present in one verse, the full intent of substitutionary atonement. Ephesians 2 is one of the clearest chapters in Scripture that re­ counts both the need of man and the righteous provision of God for the cleansing of sin and restoration of man to divine fellowship. This chapter de­ picts man as being “ dead in trespasses and sins (v. 1),” by nature and prac­ tice “the children of wrath (v. 3),” “Having no hope, and without God in the world (v. 12),” and “strangers and foreigners” to the household of God (v. 19). Many other passages substantiate the damaging effect of sin — such as Isaiah 59:2, “But your iniquities have sepa­ rated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear;” and Colossians 1:21, “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works . . .” So described, sinful man is certainly beyond all human means of atone­ ment. The Bible points out with preci­ sion that the Lord Jesus Christ, exclu­ sively, could and did atone, for man’s sin. Ephesians 2:13-18 is emphatic: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity . . . And that he might reconcile both 12

unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: For through him we both have ac­ cess by one Spirit unto the Father.” Particularly note the references to the blood of Christ in this chapter — this is essential to the atonement! The Book of Hebrews tells us, both by in­ ference and statement, that . . with­ out the shedding of blood there is no re­ mission” (9:22). Hebrews, among other books, states that the blood of the sin­ less Son of God was the only means by which atonement could be accom­ plished. However, all who have a life at stake in the atonement are not will­ fully enmeshed in open conflict. Frank­ ly, I have never been a vocal partici­ pant in theological debate on this issue. Like most of you, my belief in Christ as the all-sufficient Saviour, nev­ er for one moment rested on any theo­ logian’s ability to explain or defend an item of doctrine. But, whether one is on the front lines of theological de­ bate or not, he certainly should know where he stands. Unhesitatingly I take my stand beneath the Cross of Jesus. For me, Christ’s death was full atone­ ment for my sin.

Although an understanding of all the aspects of the atonement is not a prerequisite to salvation, we rejoice to see the marvelous and righteous way in which God provided the perfect avenue of restoration for sinful man. I take my stand with those who be­ lieve in the atonement—not only be­ cause I have a personal need of an atoning Saviour, but also because I believe the atonement to be distinctly taught in the Bible. Now I have presented this doctrine in the framework of a battle, remem­ bering that in warfare there are only three possible positions: those who de­ fend, those who attack, and those who observe—or the neutrals. Are the at­ tackers more constructive than the de­ fenders? Obviously not. And what of the neutrals—is theirs a choice posi­ tion? At times, yes. It is certainly bet­ ter to withhold judgment than to make a rash decision on insufficient evidence. But the doctrine of the atonement is crucial in Christianity. Anyone who purports to be a Christian has had to decide to what extent he draws upon the Grace of God. Neutrality is an un­ tenable position for one who lays claim to the name Christian. We Believe

Bodily Resurrection of Christ

William Bynum, D.R.E. Professor of Christian Education get crucified and rise again on the third day.” These great proofs of Chris­ tianity — such as the resurrection — and central themes of doctrine cannot be placed in order of importance for all are as supporting stones of a huge (continued on next page) 13

I t has b e e n said that a friend once asked Talleyrand, Bishop of Autun, and one of the most astute men who ever lived: “The Christian religion —- what is it? It would be easy to start a religion like that.” “Oh, yes,” replied Talleyrand. “One would only have to

BODILY RESURRECTION (cont.) arch, equal in importance and supply­ ing strength to our faith. We must hasten to add that this single event is that which gives Chris­ tianity a vibrant and energetic faith and hope. It is the resurrection that verifies that “our faith is not in vain.” Paul’s weighty words ring down the corridors of time, “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” “He is not here, He is risen,” the angel cried out at the doorway of the sepulcher. What did the angel mean? Simply that He arose according to His word — as He predicted — but the heavenly visitor did not indicate the manner in which He arose. Jesus, who had but three days be­ fore suffered an ignominious death, had truly risen bodily from the grave. This resurrection was not réanimation, but an actual reunion of the body and spir­ it. True, the body was similar to the earthly body, recognizable as we under­ stand in His later relations with His disciples, yet it was different. Scrip­ ture furnishes a perfect illustration of this concept — Lazarus was reani­ mated, Jesus was resurrected. The stone was removed from the tomb of Lazarus to permit him to come out. Jesus did not require the stone to be rolled away that He might come forth. The angel removed it that outsiders might be let in. In that tomb lay the evidence upon which hangs the whole of the Chris­ tian faith and it was want that the dis­ ciples might see it. Lazarus brought with him from the tomb, the wrappings of burial that were about him, Jesus came forth from the tomb without the winding sheets of death. He left the grave clothes in­ tact, except the head roll which, when released, fell back to a place by itself. And then He proceeded through the walls of the sealed tomb and out into the resurrection atmosphere of that first great Easter morning. There is remarkable proof that Jesus rose bodily that day. Interesting to note is the fact that the Jews were un­

able to produce the body following the stirring event. There are passages to support the fact that He had risen in a body and not just in spirit. The Word takes us to a beach beside the Sea of Galilee. As we see Jesus standing be­ side the sea with His disciples, we rec­ ognize Him as did they. His figure had the same form that it had before His death. That is fact number one. Fact number two lies in the words which He spoke — “Why are you troubled?” — they thought Him to be a spirit. Facts three and four: His wounds clear­ ly visible in His body and His partak­ ing of food with them there. In God’s wisdom and power, Christ had died and risen bodily as He said He would. Paul gives us assistance in under­ standing this event in I Cor. 15. Here Paul describes our sowing. When we sow wheat, oats or barley, we sow not the body that shall be — but we sow bare grain, and in that strange, mys­ terious new life which succeeds death, God gives it a body as it pleases Him, to each seed its own body. It will be a body adapted to the new order of na­ ture in which it is to live. Even so with the resurrected body. There is no thought in the mind of Paul regard­ ing a disembodied spirit; he refers con­ stantly to a body. It is an incorrupti­ ble body, a spiritual body, adapted to the spiritual existence into which en­ trance is gained by. resurrection. Other proofs of His bodily resurrec­ tion are found to be His numerous ap­ pearances to individuals and groups of people following that first Easter morning. The two on the road to Emmaiis did not know to whom they spoke until the bread was broken and their eyes beheld the marks in His hands. Then He vanished from their sight. Again, His appearance before the Apostles when Thomas was absent and later in Thomas’ presence. This latter proof of His physical, bodily resurrec­ tion brought Thomas to exclaim “My Lord and my God!” The survival and growth of the church give further evidence of the resurrection of Christ. He is risen! 14

by telling us that if “ . . . we be dead with Christ, we shall also live with him.” What a cause for rejoicing! The bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is credible and valid, and as­ sures the believer of eternity in the presence of God. The blessings, so typi­ cal of our wonderful God, do not stop here. On the basis of His resurrection the Christian finds a greater challenge which comes from Paul’s letter to the Colossian Church, “ If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:1, 2). This is a corner­ stone of appeal for dedicated living. Then, because of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Christian has an entirely new attitude toward physi­ cal death. With Paul we can stand in glorious triumph as we look into that wonderful event of the future and lit­ erally sing, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (I Cor. 15:55). No longer need we fear that which ushers us into a new and greater life — a life unceasing in the presence of that One who died and rose again for us. Death is not, therefore, to the Christian what it has often been called, “ Paying the debt of nature.” — no, it is as if we are bringing a note to the bank to obtain solid gold in exchange for it. You bring a cumbrous body which is worth nothing; you lay it down and receive for it, from the source of eter­ nal life, a glorified body as a treasure with liberty, and victory over the mor­ tality you once knew. All this because He arose!

Hallelujah! Such proclamation and proof became the stimulating power and growth among the early Christians as it does today. Beyond this it is difficult to escape the marvelous results of this outstand­ ing event. The resurrection demon­ strated to all mankind that the re­ demptive purpose of God was now com­ pleted, and the resurrection was God’s stamp of approval on the sacrificial work of the Lord Christ. The penalty of sin was now exhausted and hu­ manity, in Him, was justified. Clearly the words of Paul resound in our ears, “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.” Again the resurrection has a signi­ ficant place in our faith for it shows, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Christ is Lord of all, consequently it gives sufficient and eternal proof of Christianity itself. “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord . . . declared to be the Son of God with power, accord­ ing to the spirit of holiness, by the res­ urrection from the dead.” Here is proof positive that the First-fruit of the res­ urrection was truly the Son of God, Kings of kings and Lord of lords. Christ’s rising furnished the ground and pledge of our own resurrection. Because He rose, we, too, shall rise. Paul carefully assures us of this in stating that “ . . . is now made mani­ fest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (II Tim. 1:10). Again he encourages our hearts



This We Believe

Justification by Faith

by Robert* H. McCollum, Ed.D. Assoc. Prof, of Physical Education compels him to prefer the base, the sensual, the immediate self-satisfac­ tion; while willingly rejecting the beautiful, the spiritual, the eternal promises of the Father’s glory. Paul discusses this sad state in his Epistle to the Romans: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.2 What a sad state for man—eternal separation from God because of sin.4 But our Heavenly Father, while pos­ sessing a nature of divine justice, also possesses a nature of forgiving love to the sinner who truly repents for his willful and wanton transgressions. St. John’s Gospel tells us: “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever be- lieveth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, be­ cause their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” 2 Note the use of the word believe in that passage. It is this faith in God’s 16

B ein g th erefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1). As a lay member of the body of Christ, without any formal theological background, I find it a delight to in­ vestigate the areas of normal Chris­ tian living and learn what the Word of God has to feed the believer’s soul. For man to pursue the normal Chris­ tian life several conditions must pre­ vail: forgiveness of sins, justification by faith, and peace with God. To deter­ mine whether the attainment of the conditions of forgiveness, justification and peace are really worth considering requires some knowledge of God and His plan of creation. The first chapters of Genesis tell us that “in the beginning God created heaven and the earth1 . . . And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” What an ideal blessed state for our first ancestors: created in God’s image, a living soul having daily fellowship with the Creator, given worthwhile oc­ cupation of responsibility for all the others of God’s creations. But Adam and Eve deliberately dis­ obeyed God, they sinned.2 As a result of this disobedience to God’s command, man acquired a sin- nature compulsion; that is, he inherited an innate aspect of personality that

not after the flesh but after the Spir­ it.”8 What a tranquil state for the believ­ er is further promised as a result of true repentance: “Therefore being jus­ tified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”10 If you have never experienced the guiltlessness, the freedom, the peace with God that the Holy Bible prom­ ises, consider the case of Nathanael when Philip announced that the Mes­ siah was' at hand. Philip’s quiet reply of “Come and see,” plus the unbiased personal examination of the credentials of the Nazarene’s claims caused the skeptical Nathanael to publicly pro­ claim his faith and adoration: “Rabbi (teacher), thou art the Son of God!” 1 .May this discovery of justification through faith in Jesus Christ also be your own personal experience. 'Gen. 1:1 “Gen. 3 “Rom. 3:23 ‘Heb. 11:1 “John 3:16-21 “Heb. 11:1 (Amp. N. T.) ’Rom. 10:17 “Rom. 10:9 ‘Rom. 8:1 “Rom. 5:1 '"John 1:44-51

eternal plan and promises that gives the believer hope and peace. The great faith passage in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews tells us: “Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the con­ viction of their reality” faith perceiv­ ing as real fact what is not revealed to the senses. For by [faith], and trust and holy fervor born of faith, the men of old had divine testimony borne to them and obtained a good report.”“ How are we come to have this faith so necessary both for salvation and for a positive Christian testimony and daily walk? “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.’” We, therefore, are justified by faith when we believe, with Paul “that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”8 This leads us to a state of guiltlessness, in the eyes of the Father: “There is there­ fore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk

This We Believe

The Person and Work the Holy Spirit by Robert L. Thomas, Th.D. Professor of New Testament Language and Literature Talbot Theological Seminary

M odern - day usage of the English language is quite interesting. Very often it will be said, “That per­ son is a bad influence upon you.” Es­ pecially is this particular custom ob­ servable in relation to our children; we will say to them, “Do not play with that little girl next door; she is not a good influence.”

We are accustomed in our use of the language to speak of persons as influenc­ es, when in reality we mean that they have influences upon others by the way in which they behave. This particular twist of the English language has had an interesting bearing upon the theo­ logical thinking of men as they have (continued on next page) 17

THE HOLY SPIRIT (cont.) sought to define the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. In all too many cases men have come to think of the Holy Spirit as an influence and as an influence only. To be sure, He has an influence upon the lives of all men, but the Bi­ ble does not limit its description of the Spirit of God by making Him just an influence. In passages where this may seem to be true there is an error on the translator’s part. For example, in Romans 8:16 the King James Version has, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit . . Similarly, in Ro­ mans 8:26 there is found, “The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us . . .” There is no warrant in the original Greek for referring to the Holy Spirit as an impersonal influence in this man­ ner. These passages should read, “The Spirit Himself." In order to prove the personality of a being, one must demonstrate that He is characterized by three elements: in­ tellect, sensibility, and will. Can these three qualities be found in relation to the Holy Spirit? In thinking of the intellect the stu­ dent of the Bible will remember quick­ ly, not only that the Holy Spirit is the possessor of an intellect, but that His intellect is far beyond anything which can be produced from the hu­ man race. In dealing with the general topic of wisdom, Paul writes in I Cor­ inthians 2:10-11, “But God hath re­ vealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” Not only does the Spirit possess intellectual ability, He possesses all intellectual ability. He is omniscient, and is willing to impart divine wisdom to the believer in Christ. In thinking of the attribute of sensi­ bility, one’s mind immediately comes to meditate upon the immeasurable compassion of the Lord Jesus Christ. A large proportion of His suffering in life was due to His sympathetic feeling towards others in their needs. Partic­

ularly, was He burdened with respect to those needs which were spiritual: “When he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion bn them, be­ cause they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (Matt. 9:36). Similarly, the Spirit — whom the Son has sent into the world —is sensitive along these lines. In Ephesians 4:30 following a series of commands which forbid certain speci­ fic sins which were besetting the Chris­ tians addressed, Paul writes, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemp­ tion.” The obvious conclusion from this word of admonition is that the Holy Spirit can be grieved; He does have feelings. The other remaining attribute of personality is that of will. Perhaps the most obvious instance in which this characteristic of the Holy Spirit is evi­ denced is in conjunction with spiritual gifts within the church, the body of Christ. The distribution of these gifts is a sovereign act of God; thus there must be a decision within the Trinity as to who is to receive them. Speci­ fically, the Scripture relates the Third Person of the Trinity to this distribu­ tion of gifts; in I Corinthians 12:11 we read, “But all these [specific gifts of the Spirit just listed] worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man as He w ill.” The words “He will” are a translation of a Greek term which denotes a deliberate deci­ sion. In common language of today, He made up His own mind how He was going to do it. In His omniscience He came to a decision, and gifted men along the lines in which He knew they would be needed in their own particular sphere of responsibility. From the foregoing passages of Scrip­ ture it becomes obvious that the being, called by the name the Holy Spirit, is a person. Turning to a consideration of the work of the Holy Spirit, we cannot help remembering the statement of the Lord Jesus Christ found in John 15:26. Referring to the Spirit of God, He said, “When the Comforter is come, whom 18

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36

Made with FlippingBook flipbook maker