King's Business - 1940-07

July, 1940

T H E K I N G ’ S B U S I N E S S


?‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should 30 and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain” (John 15:16)

The accompanying message, by the President of Grace Theological Seminary, was the commencement address delivered at the Bible In­ stitute of Los Angeles, June 6, 1940. In introducing his subject, the speaker said: “Knowing some­ thing of the uncompromising Chris­ tian faith of this school, the high spiritual ideals for which it stands; and having spent some time with­ in its walls both as a student and as a teacher, I sincerely congratu­ late you upon the successful com­ pletion of your respective courses. Considering the desperate moral and spiritual need of the world just now, and the widespread in­ difference and skepticism even within the professing church, one might easily become discouraged. But the best antidote for all such pessimism is to see, as we are see­ ing tonight, young life which has had the vision to prepare itself for the altar of God’s service.” X tain respects, was the darkest in the history of our sinful race. The infi­ nite God had laid aside His preexistent glory, had become poor, had humbled Himself to be born of a virgin, lived as Man among men, healed their diseases, offered them the water and bread of life without money and without price; and the answer of the world to all this un­ deserved grace was, “Away with him, . . . We have no king but Caesar,” and at last His was a lonely cross at Gol­ gotha where He hung reviled and for­ saken of men. You say the present hour is dark! Well, look back and con­ sider that hour! Consider also the men to whom the lo rd was speaking in that dark hour. There were only eleven of them—very ordinary men, terribly weak, human, and fallible, full of self-seeking and quarreling and the fear of man, blind to the spiritual meaning of the hour. Cer­ tainly, there were no heroes there that night, no supermen, but simply a few weak men of like passions with us. Yet in that dark hour, and to those weak men, our wonderful Lord said, “ I have chosen you.” Dark hours and weak men are nothing to Him. “My strength,” He says, “is made perfect in weakness.” “The darkness and the light are both alike” to Him. This is the God who is still speaking to men. Listen again to what He says: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” These glorious words declare several in­ dispensable principles of all Christian service. HE WORDS of the text were spoken in an hour which, in cer-

The Complete • Sufficiency of Christ for Christian Service

By ALVA J. McCLAIN Winona Lake, Indiana

a fine group of men. You have good blood in your veins. You have brains and personality. Your glands are in ex­ cellent working order. Your talents are great. You are well prepared. God needs men like you. We congratulate you for choosing the Lord.” But this is not the Lord’s way. He says, almost sharply, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.” And remember that He is the infallible Teacher, the One who never makes a mistake. He knew that the greatest need of those eleven men in that hour was an unshakeable convic­ tion that they belonged to the sovereign God who works all things after the coun­ sel of His own perfect will. The effect of this great truth of God’s sovereignty upon your life depends whol­ ly upon your attitude toward the Son of God. If you will only bow your head submissively in the presence of your sovereign Lord, confessing humbly, “Thou are the Potter, I am the clay.” you will find flowing into your soul a new courage and a new assurance. The servants of the Lord have always needed courage, but we seem just now to be entering times more fraught with peril than any since the days of the martyrs. The fires of religious persecution are once more burning, and again the blood of Christian martyrs is flowing. Door after door is being shut to the freedom of preaching the gospel of the grace of God. If these tendencies continue, as it seems they will, the time may come (and very soon) when to be true to the Lord Jesus Christ may cost you the loss of everything else. In the face of this prospect, you will need something more than mere human bravery. But if you believe that, far back in the counsels

1. The Sovereign­ ty of Christ Is the O n l y Sufficient Ground of Chris­ tian Service.

“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.” Here the Lord Himself lays the foundation of all true Christian ministry in His own absolute divine sov­ ereignty. You will notice that He makes no attempt to tone down its unqualified severity, nor explain its insoluble mys­ tery. He does not ask that we shall understand it, but only • that we shall bow our heads humbly and accept it as a great, and blessed fact of Christian faith. Every once in a while I have an unusually bright and ambitious student who rolls up his intellectual sleeves for the purpose of settling the problem of human freedom and divine sovereignty. Only one of two things ever happens: Either the student comes back full of humility, or else he comes back full of heresy! All the so-called explanations miss the point just about as far as the old Colored man who “explained” the truth of divine election something like this: “God votes for you; the devil votes agin you; and the election goes the way you vote yourself.” At first thought, our Lord’s uncom­ promising declaration of His own sover­ eign election might seem a strange way to urge men to action. In our worldly wisdom, we probably would have tried a different way. We might have said to those eleven men that night, “You are

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