Trenchant Truths

No man who desires to please, rather than to preach God's truth, has any right in the pulpit.

L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry.

Pious talk will never take the place of a godly walk.

Private sin will nullify all public witnessing.

A true sermon does not represent a mental achievement, but a spiritual experience.

Beware of substituting the energy of the flesh for the divine energeia of the Holy Spirit.

No man who desires to please, rather than to preach God's truth, has any right in the pulpit.

The contest is on between the church evangelizing the world, and the world secularizing the church.

It is easier to speak on other themes than the victorious life. One's own life is not so closely watched when speak­ing on general doctrines or prophecies.

We should always be courageously willing to face the facts, regardless of whatever adjustment this may require in our own thinking and living.

Remember, it is not simply the doc­trines or truths of the message that save, but the Christ of the message who forgives sins, transforms lives, and gives peace to the soul. Let us not rob our divine Lord of the praise and glory due to Him, by ascribing our praise to truth as an abstraction. " Fear God, and give glory to Him," is heaven's word to us.

The greatest preacher is he who brings the greatest number of souls to God.

Heresy means a dividing or choos­ing. Almost all great heresies arise from adopting some extreme statement of scripture or of the spirit of proph­ecy, while rejecting the other extreme that balances it.

Growth and numbers are not neces­sarily evidences of divine approval. The Christian Science mother church has 2,300 branch churches scattered all over the world, and all were paid for before dedicated. Truth alone identi­fies the remnant church of God.

The one supreme requisite necessary for a minister to " strengthen " his brethren in the church, is not platform ability, organizing genius, adminis­trative strength; scholarly attainment, nor financial acumen, but genuine, per­sonal conversion,— the realism of a new life in Christ Jesus.

We must hold the balance be­tween " lengthening the ropes " and " strengthening the stakes." Expan­sion in the mission fields without com­mensurate strengthening of the home bases, is to invite catastrophe. Evan­gelism based upon the vibrant Chris­tian experience of the church is the law of advance.

There are general truths, and there are special truths. The general truths are eternal, and all special truths are to be presented in the light of, and integrally related to, these general truths, for they are based upon them. The recognition and application of this principle will safeguard against for­malism, and will insure converted Sev­enth-day Adventists.

Truth courts the searchlight of ex­acting scrutiny. It has nothing to fear. It will stand the most rigid test. Not only are the " eternal years " hers, but also the everlasting foundations. We must individually know these founda­tions. The time of test is upon us. Let us be prepared. It is a challenge to study, study, study.

Great delusions are often mistaken for great truths.

A creed is a stake driven marking the end of growth and development in God's illimitable truth. It expresses the attitude that there is no more beyond. It results in stagnation and spiritual atrophy. There is danger lest we tread the way of the churches be­fore us. The open mind is the only safe attitude.

"Faith that worketh by love." If that sentence could be formed into a complete circle so that the " F " of faith and the final " E " of love touched, it would be a complete illus­tration of just what we need. Faith without works is dead; and works that do not spring from love are a counter­feit. It is this triple in experience that marks the complete circle in Christian life.

Great truths are so simple in their essentials that the most illiterate can understand them and be saved thereby, but so profound that the most giant intellects cannot sound their fathom­less depths.

There are two kinds of Adventists: First, there are head Adventists,— in­tellectualists; giving mental assent to our distinctive teachings without much thought as to the soul's relationship to God. Frequently they are scrupu­lous in conduct, ardent in propagating the faith, most active workers, but cold, logical, militant doctrinarians, without a living experience in Christ. To such, Christianity resolves itself into a set of beliefs. The other group are heart Adventists, with 'whom Christianity is a living relationship with a living Lord, a glowing fellow­ship with Christ. They hold the doc­trines as loyally as the first group, but recognize they are the skeleton, the bare bones, to be clothed with flesh and blood. They understand these beauti­ful and harmonious doctrines are the outspring of the will, of Christ and His relation to man. They do not minimize the doctrines, but teach the " truth as it is in Jesus." Dare we say this classi­fication is restricted to our lay members?  

L. E. Froom

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L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry.

March 1928

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